The Book Cleansing

If you’re worried by the title—take a deep breath and relax. It’s not what you think it is. I am not getting rid of any of my precious books.

Rather, I’m returning the enormous stack of library books sitting on my nightstand that have been abandoned for a while now.

A month ago I had been on an enormous fantasy and historical fiction kick, so I checked out a ton of books of those genres, preparing to devour them. Unfortunately, that was also when my reading slump started. And those two genres are not what you read when you’re stuck in a reading slump.

Now, I’m not necessarily in the mood for fluffy contemporary, but realistic fiction (I’m fairly certain there is a difference), or even—dare I say—nonfiction. (This is influenced by something that I will be the subject of my next post.)

I have decided that I will return all the books and start over with new ones. Of course, I plan on picking up most of them again one day (minus one I DNFed which I’ll get to later). But, just in case any of you are into fantasy or are curious as to what books I’m returning, here they are (I will be linking them to their Goodreads pages):

  1. Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
  2. Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
  3. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  4. The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
  5. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  6. Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra
  7. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
  8. The Muse by Jessie Burton

Let’s get to the book I DNFed. Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra. Me choosing not to finish it has nothing to do with the reading slump I’m in. There were many issues that I could not look past. I read just the beginning before I gave up on it.

The premise had me intrigued: A girl with a speech impediment that allowed her to only speak “normally” (as in without a stutter) if she mimicked another person’s speech, struggling to find her own voice.

That fell completely flat for me.

Let’s start with something that had me feeling disappointed. Of course, I do not believe the author intentionally made this the message of the story, but here’s what I got: the main character feels worthless until—*gasp*—a man finally decides he wants her! Then, everything is okay. Then she’s alright in the world. All she needs is her “knight in shining armour.”

Here’s a paragraph taken directly from the book:

Only look at the man, I wanted to tell her. Francis Thornfax was the delivering angel I’d longed for, the shining knight come at last to my rescue. I’d hardly dared hope that Daniel might be right—that Mr. Thornfax might not mind my deficiencies, that he might be immune to society’s disapproval. And now that I’d heard from the man himself, this confirmation of his interest in me. The darkness barred me from a clear view of his beautiful face, those guileless blue eyes, and that full shapely smile—and I was grateful for the darkness. I felt I might say anything, do anything!”

It’s lovely that the man could look past the main character’s deficiencies despite the way society thought in the Victorian Era, but honestly? It was awful that the main character was satisfied with the first man who accepted her (never mind the fact that he just happened to be incredibly handsome). She should have wanted to fight her own way to acceptance, not just depend on a man she’d just met! Perhaps a tinge of romance would have been fine, but the book made it seem as if romance solved everything. As if getting a man was the main character’s solution to all her problems. (At that point I was so frustrated that I wanted to bang my head against the wall.)

This brings me to my second point. The romance. I thought the book was supposed to include mystery, but it was so unbelievably slow-paced that reading even one page felt like ten and all I read until I gave up was about finding the main character a man and Mr. Thornfax.

Ah, well. That is the end of my rant. Apologies if this post turned out to be rather long, but I suppose you could count it as partly an update on my reading and a review of a book.

Thanks for reading! 🙂


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