Have you ever read a book that was outside your comfort zone? Or watched a movie you didn’t really like? Awhile back I joined a book club at work that meets during lunch once a month. Our most recent book, which we discussed yesterday, wasn’t my favorite. There’s nothing wrong with the book itself, I just could not relate to the story or the protagonist.
I read for enjoyment. If I’m not having a good time it becomes more like work. After trying three times to read this book I finally faced the fact that I couldn’t finish. The female protagonist was thoroughly unlikable. She had no redeeming features. Not. One. As an example, when her mother is shot our heroine ponders what she should wear to the hospital! In addition, everything – and I DO mean everything – is about sex with this girl. At one point she’s in a restaurant with her younger sisters and the young man her father sent to watch over them while he’s with their mother in the hospital. As they’re led to their table she sees a centerpiece with lit candles and immediately starts thinking about the flames and how they’re heating her up! Only her thoughts are a bit more explicit.
Now I’m no prude. At fifty-mumble years old my life experience includes sex abuse, a few adult liasions and two marriages. I’m a Scorpio, married to a Scorpio for heaven’s sake! I’m not adverse to having sex in a book I’m reading if it furthers the plot or helps me understand a character. But this girl was so over the top that I was uncomfortable reading her thoughts. She talks about losing her virginity at 12!! Voluntarily! [shudder]
Okay deep breath Bubbe. And hold it, hold it…. Let it out slowly. There, a little better now.
During our meeting yesterday one of the members who did finish the book said he kept waiting for the character to develop but she never did. Through all the trials she faced (father arrested, mother shot, foster care, jail) she NEVER grew. And of course it was always someone else’s fault. After hearing various members agreeing I was so glad I didn’t waste any more time on the book than I did. Life is too short to read books you don’t like.
And don’t even get me started on Leaving Las Vegas!
P.S. I’m not naming the book because it isn’t my intent to trash it just because I didn’t like it personally. Others may enjoy it; several in our group did.