BOOK HUNGRY: never let me go

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbach, vanessa noble, alyson peterson, cynthia reese, elizabeth ryann, and myself. here’s the deal. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is:

NEVER LET ME GO by kazuo ishiguro

i have a confession.

i didn’t finish the book.

i can’t say that about many books, but this one? heck, i didn’t even make through the first 100 pages. i only reached page 69 (tee hee) and i can’t even remember the main character’s name. (ok, it’s kathy. i peeked.) i found the prose to be dull and lifeless and vague and confusing and i see from an amazon.com review that “misdirection” is an intended side effect, but ishiguro misdirected me right out of the book. i couldn’t get into it nor did i want to. the only reason i made it as far as i did was because of the external pressure i felt knowing others in my group were reading it, but there are far too many other books out there for me to waste my time on a book that i find unrelatable and uninteresting.

i know, i know, i’ve said that reading all kinds of books (even bad ones) is important because from them you learn what to do and what not to do in your own writing.

but, yet, this book is a different beast. i mean, ishiguro is a successful author. this is his sixth novel. it was turned into a movie! still, i couldn’t finish reading. i could barely even start reading and i’ll have you know that it wasn’t just me. out of the group, only patty finished it. isn’t that odd that only one person out of nine could complete it? we’re all readers and yet this story didn’t grab any of us? i know publishing is subjective and all, but i think the masses have spoken. book = bad. hey, maybe this is the exception to the “book is always better than the movie” rule. see for yourself:

it looks mildly entertaining, slightly creepy, but ultimately watchable, right? so what am i missing? why aren’t the words beckoning like usual? am i right to have given up so soon? should i have incurred the library fine and kept reading? what do you do when you find yourself reluctant to read? do you plod ahead? do other chores? put down the book for good? watch the movie instead?

in other reading news, these are the books i read instead of the book club selection: WHITE CAT by holly black, REVOLUTION by jennifer donnelley, and NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by justina chen headley. all of which had action and drama and real life moments that punch you in the gut. yes, i want to be slugged while reading. emotionally socked. aww, you know what i mean.

and i know that next month’s book (13 REASONS WHY by jay asher) will provide the punch. why? because i’ve already read it.

*pulls out boxing gloves*

i’m ready for ya.

//

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33 Responses to “BOOK HUNGRY: never let me go”

  1. Linda G. Says:

    Thanks for the warning. ;)

    Seriously, not every book is for every reader. Books are brain food, and like food they appeal to different palates. :)

    • abby mumford Says:

      maybe it was because no one had read it before it was assigned? maybe it was because the beginning was so slow? whatever the reason, this was like sitting down to dinner and finding a plate full of pineapple.*

      *note. i HATE pineapple.

  2. Raquel M/ Says:

    My friend Kevin loves that book and loved the movie adaptation as well. He said it was very depressing, a kind of depressing with no hope which is why I’ve skipped it altogether.

    I commend you for moving on. There are so many books to read that sometimes it seems a waste to spend time on a book that wasn’t meant for you. :-)

    • abby mumford Says:

      depressing with no hope? yeah, glad i skipped this one. i’m okay with depressing as long as it has a side of hope. no hope? no me reading it.

  3. pebbsie Says:

    My friend just finished and loved this book. I haven’t read it yet but am hoping to read (or attempt to read it, at least) it in my lifetime. We’ll see:)

    I couldn’t get through Revolution, though it sounded right up my alley. I loved North of Beautiful. Made me want to take up geocaching!

    • adriana Says:

      what the hell is geocaching???

      Abby, good for you for giving up on it! Life is too short to waste on books that don’t speak to us.

      That said, i’m now very curious about this book… i may have to pick it up, just to see how my reaction would compare :)

    • abby mumford Says:

      pebbsie — if you do finish NEVER LET ME GO, let me know. i’m curious to hear if you like it.

      i’m actually not quite yet finished with REVOLUTION. i am really liking it. it was a bit slow to start, but once she finds the diary, the book races on.

      and YES, i totally want to take up geocaching now. i loved NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL so much though the dad really creeped me out.

      adriana – geocaching is where objects are hidden all over the world and all you’re given is a set of coordinates (and sometimes a clue) to help you find it. once found, you sign the paper and then add another object to the bundle, you leave a piece of you behind. very cool concept.

      and i kind of want you to read NEVER LET ME GO, too. let me know if you do. :)

      • pebbsie Says:

        Oh, that might be why. I read 20 pages or so and gave up. Hrm. Maybe I’ll pick it up in the summer….

        • abby mumford Says:

          yes, give it another whirl.

          p.s. i LOVE LOVE LOVE that you and adriana have a separate convo going on here on my blog.

          *beams*

      • adriana Says:

        ok, that geocaching business sounds disturbing. “you leave a piece of you behind”? um… no, thanks.

        how big is NEVER LET ME GO? i’ll add it to my TBR list, but can’t request it from the library yet — that’ll be breaking my new year’s resolution :) (which i’ve already broken for MONSTERS OF MEN, but whatever :))

  4. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    OMG Abby! Misdirected is exactly the right word for how I felt about this (I only got about a third of the way through it) and I kept thinking wow, why am i feeling so adrift with this? :)

    don’t worry. Next month is a goodie :)

    • abby mumford Says:

      i do kind of love that vanessa picked a book she hadn’t read because it’s fun (and funny) that we all dove into this with no clue what to expect.

      • Karla Nellenbach Says:

        ahahah. just read your comment on my blog…funny thing was that immediately after i posted mine, i jumped over to yours and said, “Self, you and Abby are Book Hungry brain twins this month. these posts are so similar!” :)

  5. Kelly B Says:

    Me too. There really are too many other books out there that I WANT to read than for force myself to sit through one that actually bored me to tears.

    • abby mumford Says:

      what you said is a recent revelation in my life. it’s kind of liberating, but sometimes i worry i give up too soon on a book. like REVOLUTION. if it hadn’t been personally recommended to me, i might not have stuck with it. i’m glad i did though because it’s fascinating.

      however, i think NEVER LET ME GO was never going to be good, at least, according to my tastes.

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    I didn’t read any of your alternative books, or I’d be happy to engage in a discussion.

    I really really do mean to read next month’s though. I swear!

  7. Jeffe Kennedy Says:

    I *loved* this book. I don’t know what is wrong with you people! (I’m putting this same comment on Kelly’s blog. So there.)

  8. Elizabeth Says:

    So true! One week from today!!!

    By which I mean I’m pretty pumped.

  9. Meg Says:

    Never Let Me Go has been on my wishlist for a while, but I’ve never gotten around to picking it up! Sounds like I haven’t missed much, though.

    And North Of Beautiful? One of my all-time favorite novels. Totally under-recognized and under-appreciated. Glad to see you loved it, too!

    • abby mumford Says:

      there are a few people who piped up and said they loved NEVER LET ME GO. with such a wide range of books available, there’s bound to be some i like and don’t like. this fell into the latter category for me.

      and yes, NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL was gorgeous. i first heard of it because of the jacket image, actually. two publishers used that same photo on books that came out the same year. it took me until now to finally read it. i am so glad i did!

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