Books Which May Very Well Induce a Coma
This is a public service announcement, courtesy of A Reader's Respite, which may very well save you from an unnecessary coma induced by a novel. Now this is not to be confused with bad writing. On the contrary, all of the sentences are properly put together, the dialog is snappy, the setting alive. But nothing happens. And if you're not careful, your eyes might glaze over and you'll find yourself slipping into oblivion (and not the good kind).
Read on for our 2010 picks.....
Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant. Oh how we tried to love this novel set in a 16th century Italian convent, where new novice Sarafina has been shunted off by her mean ol' dad in order to break up True Love. Locked in a convent, pining for her lost love. For 432 freaking pages, folks. Pining away. More pining. And just when you think it wasn't possible to pine anymore....yep, more pining. (Note to Serafina: no man in the world is worth all that pining. Really.) If you really must know more, you can see our full review here.
Jerusalem, by Cecilia Holland. Another historical fiction novel that we wanted to adore....what's not to love about 12th century Jerusalem and the Knights Templar valiantly fighting off the evil Saladin and his Muslim hordes? As it turned out, there's nothing to love because nothing actually happens in the novel. We meet a few characters, but have no idea what their goals or motivations are which in the end doesn't matter because nothing happens. Except a battle or two. But no one is even sure what the battles are supposed to accomplish because nothing happens.
The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi. In all fairness, it should be noted that A Reader's Respite tried this 2010 Hugo Award Winner on audio, when we suspect it might read better on paper. But after several hours of listening to a fantabulous narrator (Jonathan Davis), we only knew the novel was set somewhere in the Far East in the Future (we capitalize Future so you know it's a bad, mean place). We heard a lot about genetic engineering (at least, we think that's what it was) and something about Megodonts (evidently a prehistoric mammoth-like creature brought back to life). But again, we ran into that age-old problem: NOTHING HAPPENED. Well, maybe something happened at the very end. We wouldn't know because 19 hours and 38 minutes of nothingness just wasn't going to happen.
Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl, by Daniel Pinkwater. Not to be outdone in the YA category, this adorable little cover packs a big whollop of no-plot, which as it turns out was exactly what the author intended (we're thinking it's an art nouvaux kind of thing). But the cover art is cute, so what can we say? You can read our full length review here and if you're very thorough, you'll even find the author's not-so-happy-response.
So that's are list this year. Disagree? Speak up and say so! We've got our big-girl panties on and we can take it. And because A Reader's Respite never gives up on an author just because of one bad reading experience, feel free to suggest other works by these authors so we can give them another try in 2011!