Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Starting with a hiccup...and a disappointment

*Sigh* I suppose to go into my 2018 Books I Already Own Challenge and expect there not to be any hiccups in my reading plan would have been too optimistic, huh?

The new year started yesterday and so did my reading challenge! I was stoked.  I lined up a second book in a trilogy - one where I'd loved the first - trying to give myself a really great starting point.  Ah, best intentions...

So, I discovered that my plan to just jump right in and read all the books I own but haven't previously read has a fairly significant hiccup.  I forgot to factor in that many of the books I've bought were in fact bought YEARS ago.  I am very rarely a re-reader and I have a somewhat stellar memory for books that I've read, but even my powers of recall can be severely tested. 

For example, what I started my challenge with yesterday was the book Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer, book two in the Nightshade series.  I started reading, excited, as I remembered loving book one (hence why I own books two and three, in hardcover no less!, even though I haven't yet read them).  Sadly, as I read and realized I couldn't recall much of anything about the world, other than the main three characters' names, I looked back and saw I'd read Nightshade in 2010.  SEVEN years ago... wait, almost EIGHT now. 

Eight years of hundreds and hundreds of other books... and life experiences... to bump any recall I had about the plot of Nightshade right out of my little brain.  So, I got about a quarter of the way into Wolfsbane and then had to decide do I just forge ahead or do I go back and re-read the first book as a refresher. 

I'm a stubborn girl and re-reading was not part of my master plan so I forged ahead.  While Cremer manages to dump a lot of info onto the reader about the world in this book (seriously, it's one major info dump), she delved very little into what had actually happened in the previous book.  So, I found myself primarily focusing on where the characters were now and where they were going.  Which would be great if this was an adventure or mystery series.  But... when it's a paranormal romance based on a love triangle and one character is mainly absent for the whole of book two and you can't remember what their relationship was like in the first, it's very frustrating and hard to rekindle that connection you had with the characters. 

Add on to that a frustration that the main character does not seem as strong as you remember... and a desire to learn more about the side characters that suddenly seem more interesting than the intended trio, and you have a reader struggling to push through the bad middle book of a trilogy, just to dive into the final book and finish the series once and for all.

Sadly, as I start book three today, I have a feeling that I will be donating this pristine set of books to my Library so that someone else can enjoy them after I'm done reading them.  What had seemed at one point like a set I NEEDED to own, now is just taking up desperately needed space on my bookshelves.

And, I have to decide in the future if I want to take the time to re-read the book just prior to where I'm picking up a series as I go forward in the challenge. I think I may start looking at how long ago I read the original book and factoring that into my monthly reading plans.  So... you may not see reviews for every book that I read during this challenge (especially if I choose to reread) but I'll be trying to give you some updates and reviews on the particularly interesting books, good or bad. 

Recommended Werewolf Reads: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause, The Parasol Protectorate series, starting with Soulless by Gail Carriger, or The Immortal Empire series, starting with God Save the Queen by Kate Locke.

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