We all do our best to find books we think we'll love. No one goes into the library or bookstore hoping to find their next three-star read. As we scan the shelves, we aren't looking for something that will barely manage a hold on our attention. We want to be gripped! We want to see stars! And I don't know about you, but I want that every time.
Inevitably, though, some books and I...we don't hit it off. Everything might look good on paper, the description might check a lot of my boxes, but for whatever reason, we end our date with an awkward, ass-out hug on the doorstep instead of heading inside for a nightcap-and-maybe-more.
Unfortunately, in my reading life it's been a chaste few weeks—it seems like nothing is making my skirt fly up. Several titles I've picked up recently have landed with a thud, despite promising publisher blurbs and intriguing premises. Blame it on my mood, my attention span, the barometric pressure...just don't blame it on the books, because I'm pretty sure all of them are actually quite good, whether I can appreciate them now or not.
Give them a try—you never know, maybe you'll have better luck than I did.
Speak by Louisa Hall
I was so excited to read this one—a novel told in several voices, including a fictionalized Alan Turing, who I have been fascinated by ever since I saw The Imitation Game. Hall deals with relevant, timely themes like artificial intelligence and the role of technology in our lives, and her writing is technically impeccable.
So why wasn't this a home run for me? The only thing I can figure is maybe I'm not as interested in AI as I thought (hoped?) I was. It's possible my theoretical self who exists in my head is a lot more science-y than I am.
Diamond Head by Cecily Wong
I love a good family drama, and Wong has pieced together an elaborate one here. Multiple generations of a Chinese-Hawaiian shipping family grapple with guilty secrets, some of them pretty juicy. But for me, the book lacked forward momentum. I wanted to know what would happen next, but I didn't have to know. I wish I'd had a harder time putting it aside.
Topaz by Beverly Jenkins
I read over half of this book before I admitted I wasn't enraptured. I still don't know why I didn't love it. A romance between an African-American lady journalist and a Black Seminole lawman set in the Wild West? How can it be anything but breathtaking? It even had a forced marriage, one of my friend Emily's favorite romance novel devices. All I know is, I kept picking up other books instead of this one, and eventually had to face up to the reality that it just wasn't working out between us.
As much as it pains me not to fall in love with every book that crosses my shelves, it's just part of being a reader. And hey, silver living: if I keep reading, I'm bound to find another soul-mate level match.
Here's hoping we all find our next favorite book soon!