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text 2017-11-20 23:12
My Brilliant Friend ★★☆☆☆
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante,Ann Goldstein

I really wanted to like this, and stuck with it much longer than I ordinarily would have, hoping that at some point I would just fall into the story. It wasn't terrible, and it had moments of description or character that I enjoyed. But the story simply wasn't going anywhere, and the characters were not interesting enough to carry it along while waiting for some kind of plot to happen. DNF at 32%

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. I don't know if it was the narrator's reading or the source material, but the audio performance contributed to my abandoning the book unfinished. Her voice just kept droning on and on, until I'd realize that my attention had wandered and I had to rewind. After almost 6 hours of listening, I just couldn't face another 12 of the same.

 

I was reading this for The 16 Festive Tasks square 7: International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language. I don't have another book lined up for this one. I might find a "Light Joker" to use instead.

 

Since I couldn't use this one for any of the squares, I decided to make my own square:

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review 2017-11-02 02:58
Abandoned at 21 %
Boneshaker - Cherie Priest

I've been trying to read this for months. I put it off because I just didn't have the time, but I wasn't all that interested in it either. I tried picking it up again but I just can't get interested in any of the characters or the world. It seemed like a neat concept, but there's this almost fairy-tale quality to the prose that makes the text seem very bland. I'm not explaining myself very well, I know, but I figure I have better things to read.

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text 2017-10-23 00:36
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

As of page 159, I'm pretty sure I'm done with this book. I was initially interested in the idea of a fantasy book about colonialism based on economic and political domination rather than military might. And the book is neither poorly written nor boring. But it is grim and cold, and while it is hardly the darkest book I've read, nor is the protagonist's life even close to the grimmest I've encountered, it is unrelieved by either an exciting plot or interesting characters. There's no humanity to these people; the book spins us through the typical overwrought "intrigue" scenes familiar to fantasy readers, but close to halfway through the book, not a single character feels like more than his or her political motivations. Even Baru, the protagonist, feels incomplete and cold. We're meant to believe that the memory of her homeland and trio of parents is a driving motivation, but we only ever see a couple of scenes of this and they are not particularly emotional ones. And since there's not much else to her, it's very difficult to empathize.

So while I could keep reading - it's not a terrible book - this one was leaving me feeling a little down after spending time with it and lacked sufficient redeeming qualities for me to want to put up with that.

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review 2017-10-20 23:22
The Road to Little Dribbling – DNF @3%
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain - Bill Bryson,Nathan Osgood

This could not catch my interest. It seemed kind of amusing, but my mind kept wandering. I’m not sure if this is just not a good book for the audio format or if I’m just not in the mood. Or maybe because it’s a sequel and I haven’t read the first book. I gave it my minimum 20 minutes of audio time before DNF’ing. No star rating given as I suspect my disinterest has more to do with me than the book. 

 

Audiobook borrowed from my public library. Nathan Osgood’s performance was fine.

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review 2017-10-20 21:56
Before We Were Yours ★☆☆☆☆
Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate

First Person Present Tense ought to come with a &!^@* warning label. I’m going to have to start checking the samples on every book I buy now. It’s spreading from YA into general adult fic like a plague of cockroaches that can’t be stamped out.

 

DNF after suffering through the first chapter and realizing it wasn’t going to go away. Audiobook, via Audible. No opinion on the narrator performance.

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