Saturday, March 21, 2015

When Books Disappoint

I don't usually start a book and not finish it. No matter how many times people tell me that it's okay to put a book down if I'm not loving it, I just have to. And I think part of it might be the need to find out how it ends, even if I really, really, really dislike some main characters. But mostly, it's because I have hope for the books.

I'm so optimistic about so many books. See, even if I'm reading a book that I complain about way too much, I'll finish it, because what if it picks up? And then, I'll casually mention that I read it, and somebody else will say, "Well, that book wasn't really for me." I'll say, "It wasn't for me, either! I just thought it might turn out to be for me."

So, books disappoint me sometimes. But I always feel this need to give them another chance, like maybe in the next chapter a character will make up for whatever choices were made in the last chapter.

However, it's not just my optimism. It's that I've been spoiled by too many fantastic books. For example, the books I read right after I read I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson were such a letdown, but not because they weren't good books--just because I'll Give You the Sun was a great book. (Even The Sky Is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson's first book, was kind of disappointing simply on the principle that it wasn't I'll Give You the Sun.)

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that even when books disappoint me, it's (mostly) because I've had great experiences with books in the past. If those books can be great, why can't they all? I've been spoiled by books, and that's given me hope for all books to be as good as the others I've read. And, really, isn't that a great problem to have?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Recent (and Not-So Recent) Favorites

Okay, so there are a couple books that just make me smile when I see them. Whether it's because A Wrinkle in Time reminds me of my childhood, or because I'll Give You the Sun made me almost cry because it was so beautiful, these books just remind me why I love reading.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I did not want this book to end. It was so sweet and sad and such a good story! Aristotle and Dante meet and become friends over the course of a few summers. And I wish I could tell you more about it, but then I'd have to tell you everything about it, because how would I choose which plot points to talk about?

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
I read this one every year. I fall in love with this book every year. One of my favorite things to do is imagining how Libba Bray pitched this book idea: "Okay, so there's this plane full of beauty queens, right? But it crashes on a desert island, so they've gotta find shelter and take care of themselves, and everything. But this island is also full of secret agents who are trying to carry out a secret mission, and they're trying to keep anyone from discovering the mission, so they have to keep everyone from finding out the beauty queens survived. And it's going to be really funny" (Of course, Libba Bray would use prettier wording).

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Amy and Roger are barely acquainted, but they're going cross country. On the way, they get to know each other. I just love road trip books, okay? And I also really love books that have songs at the beginning of chapters or whatnot. And this book has both! I love Morgan Matson, and this might be my favorite of her books.

Those are just a few of my favorites--of course, the list goes on, but those are the ones that came to mind immediately. Happy reading!