I may be a massive bookworm, but there are some books even I couldn’t get through. There’s no book too long, but there can be a book too tedious.
Marking a book as DNF, or did not finish, is almost like admitting defeat. There can be so many reasons why you would abandon a book halfway through – maybe you couldn’t get into the story, or perhaps it was just too long for your concentration to hold at the time.
Whatever reason, these are some of the books I’ve closed the cover on long before the final page. If I can’t get into it after three reading attempts, our relationship comes to an end.
We all like to think we’re fantastic allies. We sit back and champion books featuring Black charaacters, written by Black authors, or with characters of varied sexualities, religions, nationalities, or who appear on the autism spectrum. But how much of what we’re reading “diversely” is actually just performative? I know I’m not without blame here.
When we think back on the year that’s passed, it’s important to think about the triumphs and the turmoil. I’ve already run through my favourite books of last year, but I’m also going to discuss the books I maybe didn’t love, too.
I am possibly one of the most cynical people I know. I don’t even know the reason why, but it seems throughout my life I have very little tolerance when it comes to romance. I am the only person I know who didn’t cry at the end of The Notebook. Maybe something happened somewhere in my life that turned me off the idea of a happy ever after. Or I was just born with a heart of impenetrable stone.
On August 19th 2016, TES printed an article titled Why Young Adult Fiction is a Dangerous Fantasy, saying how the YA fiction genre is full of tired predictable storylines and has dumbed down teenagers. The author claimed it has led to generations of teens who will never be literate, because they spent their formative years reading Twilight rather than Voltaire.
Image via We Heart It
Some points to raise. First off, YA is not a genre – it’s an age group, and there are many genres within.
But let’s move past this and get to the heart of the issue – the content. I spent three in 2016 months immersed in YA fiction while writing my Master’s dissertation. Those were the most exhausting, but most eye-opening, three months of my life. It was all I read. All I wrote about. All I discussed.