It is a truth universally acknowledged that we cant like ALL the books we are sent or buy for ourselves right?
I hate it when this happens but i’d rather be honest with the publishers who have sent them to me and maybe pass the ARC (advanced review copy) onto someone else who will love it and want to review it fully.
So here are the latest batch of books I did not like…
The hanging tree by Ben Aaronovitch
Its not the first book in this series that I couldnt get on with but i had hoped that as this is a much later one the writing may have changed. Its sooooooo slooooooow! Nothing seems to happen for pages at a time, it just waffles on with background info but I have never actually come across any plot. Its only redeeming feature is that it is really funny but thats not enough to grab me and keep me reading i’m afraid.
The book of forgotten authors by Christopher Fowler
All I can say about this is that they had obviously been forgotten for a reason. Very few of the authors in the book had written anything i’d heard of or had made a big dent in the publishing world so why bother telling us about them now? The only one i knew of was the lovely Arnold Ridley of Dad’s Army fame who wrote a very popular play called The Ghost Train. It was nice to read about him. The whole thing is rather dry, samey and like a school textbook of old.
Scorn by Paul Hoffman
I knew this was gonna be weird and bonkers but It was so much worse than i thought. It made no sense to me at all. It is a chunker of a book with the smallest of fonts (when will publishers stop doing this?) and it just wasnt for me.
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
This opinion will win me no friends and may lose me Twitter followers but I have to be honest; this book sucked! It was one huge mix of contradictions. Its a middle grade book but is over 400 pages and again the font is so small that when published it will be over 500 surely! It’s written for 12+ children and even sounds a bit patronising in places as if meant for younger ones than that but then it adds a paragraph of quite complicated writing that would fox a YA reader. I’m hoping its because its still a proof and these wrinkles will be ironed out but I just never gelled with this at all.
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
This is the review i’m sadest to write as i’ve loved her books in the past and adore her prose poetry style for its originality and ease of reading. But for some reason i just couldnt get into this one and i’m gutted. I found it a bit disjointed and hard to follow at times as well as rather miserable, also i found I didnt like any of the characters much, it was difficult to distinguish between some of them.
Bluets and The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson
These books are clearly meant for someone a whole lot smarter than me or who’s brain just works differently as i couldnt grasp half of what she was on about. Bluets is good in parts and i enjoyed some of the many poems about the colour blue but seriously people how many do you need? It all got a bit unnecessary after a few pages. The Red Parts is very hard to follow, it jumps around all over the place in its timeline which is not a literary device i enjoy and for a crime type story it just didnt grab my attention but waffled on and distracted itself all the time. Weird!
A huge thank you though to all the publishers who sent me these:
Gollancz, RiverRun, RedOpera, Pan McMillan, Vintage and Bloomsbury
I may be offering these on Twitter soon if anyone’s interested? Just cover my postage and they are yours!
What books have you not enjoyed lately?