I've been having a hard time settling down to a new book in print format.
I received a copy of Lineup by Liad Shoham as a prize during my first Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon. And feel a bit guilty that the book, which was donated by the publisher, has languished on my TBR shelf for over a year. I pick it up occasionally and keep setting it aside in favor of other selections. This time, I actually read the first few chapters before deciding that I just couldn't stomach reading another book focused around a rape so close to Speak. It's tricky - rape is a major crime just like murder, so obviously it will feature in many crime thrillers. And mysteries and thrillers often start with a view of the crime that starts the ball rolling so that you know more than the characters. But this time around, it just turned my stomach to have a male author casually summon a rape in the first two chapters so that the male detective and other male protagonists could have a problem to solve. I haven't decided whether I will give Lineup another go at a later date.
I also couldn’t get past the set-up for Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau. Jade’s mother has recently “drowned” leaving the 14-year old with her Dad. She is taking a bath after a stressful day of having her first period arrive while swim-suit shopping, when she transforms into a mermaid. Dad isn’t entirely surprised, because it seems that Mom was also a mermaid...(so was her “drowning just a cover story for returning to the water full time?) I can see how the chatty tone might appeal to middle-grade and younger YA readers, but I just couldn’t stomach it.