I’ve had two Did-Not-Finish [DNF] books this past month. Sometimes when I put a book down, it’s not a final sign-off. Sometimes a book just doesn’t match my mood at the time, or another book takes priority due to an impending due date at the library or similar reason. But in the case of these two books that I checked out from the library, I don’t think I will try them again.
All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
I’ve actually never read a book by YA lit queen Meg Cabot before. I read a review of All-American Girl on another blogger’s website that praised the narrator’s voice and the likability of the protagonist. Unfortunately, though I liked the fact that the book was set in D.C., the narrator didn’t click with me. Perhaps it’s that I just don’t like being in a teenager’s head – there’s an element of cluelessness there that I sometimes can’t put up with. Also there were a lot of references to pop culture and it felt like too much clutter.
Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat
This was supposed to be my fifth book for my challenge of reading 19 Books Older than I am in 2010. It was the book for the decade 1840-1849. Unfortunately, Children of the New Forest managed to be boring even though the children’s family home is burned down and they must go in hiding from Cromwell’s soldiers. Part of the dullness can be attributed to the characterization: the children are dutiful and two-dimensional. There is no real personality there.
In addition, there is this gem of a line early in the book:
“But, mercy on us! What will become of the children?” said Agatha, as they walked along, her fears for herself having, up to this time, made her utterly forgetful of them. “Poor things! And Martha has left them.”
“Yes, indeed; what will become of the dear babes?” said the cook, half-crying.
Now Jacob, knowing that the children of such a Malignant as Colonel Beverley would have sorry treatment if discovered, and knowing also that women were not always to be trusted, determined not to tell them how they were disposed of.
Now I have read other books that have contained sexist sentiments and ideas, but it really is not worth reading a book that is both dull and sexist. For 1840-1849, I think I’ll read a book of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays instead.