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48 Hour Book Challenge recap #3: In which I do math

June 7, 2009

Let’s see, 2 hours 4 minutes + 1 hour 59 minutes + 2 hours 40 minutes = 6 hours 43 minutes of reading so far. I’m going to try to squeeze in one more book before going to sleep, then we’ll see how much reading I can do tomorrow later today.

So in the last 2 hours and 40 minutes, I finished one book and started, but didn’t finish, two others.

I finished Torn to Pieces by Margot McDonnell, mostly to find out how the plot was resolved. The narrative was odd, in that the first half of the book is a retelling of the past two months of Anne’s life, in which her mother acts strangely, then disappears. Well, to clarify, this fact isn’t odd; what struck me is that there’s a lot of foreshadowing and foreboding phrases in this part of the book, yet the story lacked tension. I felt no urgency. The second half of the narrative describes what happens after we reach the point at which the book began. (Does that make sense? I’m getting tired and I’m not sure how coherent I am.) As a character, Anne takes action to try to discover what happened to her mother, but, I don’t know, maybe she was a little too detached as a narrator? I never really cared about her, nevermind her relationships with the two new guys at school. I ultimately finished the book due to the plot, not characterizations or prose or voice.

The two DNFs were The Night I Disappeared by Julie Reece Deaver (I just could not get past all the expository dialogue in the early chapters, and jumped to the ending so I could find out what the cover copy meant about “Jamie’s paralyzing fear and…tangle of long-forgotten, horrifying secrets in her past”) and Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman (the contemporary voice was jarring at first, and there seemed to be a lot more telling than showing. I stuck with it for a long time because it’s a retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades, then finally put it down. I’m disappointed, because I had been looking forward to it.).

Blogging time: 34 minutes.

Next: I’m not sure. Should I try another retelling, Alex Flinn’s A Kiss in Time, or try The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley instead? Or continue reading and listening to Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates, because when I listened to the audiobook earlier this year (great production, I have to say), I had a hard time concentrating on all the quotes, so now that I finally was able to borrow the print book, I’ve been reading along with the audiobook.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2009 3:13 am

    That’s disappointing about Radient Darkness. It’s in my pile too! But maybe it will speak to me differently or whatever.

  2. June 7, 2009 3:43 am

    Heh. Yeah, the math’s not always easy. You’re doing a great job, though! Keep up the good reading work!

  3. June 7, 2009 4:47 am

    Math is the trickiest part, isn’t it?

    I think you’re the first person I’ve read who’s not liked Radiant Darkness. Interesting. 🙂

  4. June 7, 2009 5:31 am

    I just read A Kiss in Time and loved it. It’s fun and light. Good summer reading.

  5. June 7, 2009 1:25 pm

    It’s so true that the math is the trickiest part.

    Charlotte and Melissa – I hope you like Radiant Darkness more than I did. It didn’t work for me, but, well, that’s just me.

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