Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reading Elimination Tournament - Round 1: Book Hoarding? or Just Procrastinating?

DSC_0090Maybe this is typical of a book hoarder… I don’t know.  But three out of four of these books I cannot make up my mind on.  They all set up future conflict in the book well, and all three of the situations are very interesting.  But, we are early enough in the process that I can afford to be lenient in the culling of my selections.  Or is this just procrastination? Hmmm.

@expectations – Kit Reed (2000)

This book was written before the prevalence of massive multi-player online games, but it definitely foreshadows the prevalence of online romance as well as how it can ruin a real-life romance. The interesting thing about Jenny the main character is that she's carrying on this romance in such a way that it seems like cheating, but yet her husband didn't tell her important information him, such as he has children and that they’d have to move away from where she lives. This is an interesting conflict, and I'm intrigued by this situation, but the writing doesn't really grab me.

I'm putting this one on the maybe pile for now, and leaning toward passing it on to the next round.

Skipped Parts – Tim Sandlin (1991)

I like the narrator in this one and the writer places us easily into the setting and sets up a situation for the conflict the narrator will encounter. He is a likable smart 13-year-old boy in a typical situation, being the new kid in town, and the struggles that come along with it. This seems to be a combination of a fish out of water and coming-of-age story.  I want to read more about this one. On to round two.

L.A. Woman – Cathy Yardley (2002)

This book seems to be another one of those domestic dramas so popular in the chick lit genre, as well as seems to be a familiar theme present within the books I selected for this tournament. On the back cover, we have promises of a stable woman in a relationship with a man full of excuses. The first five pages illustrates this very well. Good dialogue and a good argument over the phone establishes the conflict right away. Sarah's boyfriend is a jerk and something is going to happen very soon. Again I don't like these are domestic dilemma type books very much, but this one does set up a conflict with good dialogue right away, so I may give this one a chance to go on to the next round. We'll have to see what the quality of the other books in this round are.  This one is in the maybe pile for now.

Being Alexander – Nancy Sparling (2002)

I really didn't want to like this book.  The cover is ugly.  The situation established on the back seems trite, but the author does a great job creating sympathy for the main character Alex. Sparling does a great job of showing us the kind of abuse he puts up with before the promised transformation on the back cover. This abuse almost is beyond belief, but you find yourself wanting to see Alex getting even with everyone who has wronged him. I will put this one on the maybe pile but I'm leaning towards moving it onto the next round.

Books Eliminated So Far (and available if you want them):
  • 21 – Jeremy Iversen (2005) 
  • Farm Fatale – Wendy Holden (2001)
  • Freezing -- Penelope Evans (1997)
  • Stronghold: Dragonstar Book 1 – Melanie Rawn (1990)
  • Man of the House  Stephen McCauley (1996)
Bonus Books! (because I've finished reading them)
  • Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time Book 6) Robert Jordan (1995)
  • Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time Book 7) Robert Jordan (1997)

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