Friday, December 3, 2010

Not Connecting With It

Even though the term "not connecting with it" is the bane of my existence right now, I"m going to go ahead and use it as a title anyways, because sometimes- even though it sounds trite- you just don't connect with it. What can you do?

I can, and I will (and I have), read just about anything- except for the usual caveats (no time travel, no meth labs, it has to be set in present day, the MC has to be human- or at least, mostly human, no pirates, no dragons, no wizards, no conspiracy theories and no drug lords, vampires- well, maybe. It would depend. I did read the Twilight saga.)

Last weekend I bought a new book "Not My Daughter", because the plot seemed interesting. It was about a seventeen year old who becomes pregnant as some sort of pregnancy pact at her high school. So I threw it in my cart and was on my way.

A week later, I'm about fifty pages into the book.

I'm finding it difficult, and I'm asking myself: at what point should I just set it aside permanently? It I haven't connected with the material yet, then maybe I never will. Usually I read a book until the end, no matter what, just because I feel like I have to.

Some books have slow starts and that's okay. But I think that this is more than a slow start. I just don't find it plausible. The story is told from the POV of the mother of a pregnant teen, which I thought might be an interesting point of view. But. She's facing possibly being fired from her job because her daughter is pregnant, which I find kind of a stretch- even with her being the principal of the school.

Even where I come from- a small city set in the middle of province that still has a largely rural population- most of our high schools have a built in child care facility- not for the teachers- for the students.
Even ten years ago (okay, more than ten, but we won't go there right now.) when I was in high school, the bus ride home was often crowded with babies and their vacant stares, working the soothers in their mouths, some furiously, some lazily. Their mothers stood, laden with a back pack slung over one shoulder, a diaper bag over the other, and a baby on hip. They did make it look sort of attractive, though. The Playtex bottles in shades of aqua and pink, neatly labelled with cool names "Allyx" "Bryanna"-- are teen moms more inclined to use a "Y" in place of a vowel?  I don't know, but it always sorta seemed that way.

Anyways, coming from this background, the authors handling of the subject matter just didn't ring true to me. The mother was in total denial, insisting that her daughter only had the stomach flu. She was fearing backlash from the community, facing possible suspension from the school board. It seems like this was a book written in a different time. Like fifty years ago.
So I'm considering whether or not I should see it through.
Honestly, at this point, even if I try real hard, I doubt if I'll be able to finish it.

What I have been reading a lot of lately is the Junie B: First Grader series by Barbara Park. I got the series to read with Payton, who has now, herself, risen to the ranks of first grade. We are both enjoying the books. They are hilarious. Last night when we went to bed, Geoff was reading his Stephen King book and I was reading Junie B.
They're really quite clever.
Anyways, that is all for today. Have a good weekend.


jayceelee said...

Reis LOVES Junie B Jones!! She reads them everynight at bedtime. I often catch her reading in the dark, hard to get mad at her even thou its late...but is cute and she's reading!!(not playing DSI or watching TV!) There is another series about a hamster, I can quite remember his name but its a series like Junie, Reis loves that too, check it out.
I wish to find "Superfudge". I want Brody to read it (and I wouldn't mind reading it myself again)
Maybe your book was written by Sarah Palin? Flush it!

Joann Mannix said...

It's so funny. One of my girls LOVED Junie B. The other one didn't connect at all with the books. And my youngest, was kind of on the fence.

And I am the worst when it comes to books! If I don't like it, I abandon it and throw it on a bookshelf. I am either grabbed by a book or I'm not. Usually, if it's not doing anything for me or I hate the characters or the writing, I'll just skip to the end, read it and then put it away.

I've been wrong a few times. For instance, at first The Poisonwood Bible didn't do a thing for me, even though everyone was raving about it. I put it away for several years. Then, finding myself with nothing to read last year, I picked it up and realized it was just this splendid, beautifully written book.

And then there are the other times I continue to read, even though the book is killing me. The Devil Wears Prada was so badly written, I threw the book against the wall when I was finished reading. Ugh.

And wow! I must live in just this little bubble of the earth. A few of our schools have day care centers, but to ride the buses with a bunch of teen moms! That sounds almost epidemic like! There are 2 pregnant girls at my daughter's very large high school and still in this day and age, everyone finds it quite shocking.

Lorrie said...

I don't even read a book if the front cover picture sucks! So when you get published put it in your contract that you get approval of the cover art! Starting the book you gave me tonight!!!

randine said...

I know!!
Actually I was just going to comment about that, too.
A coworker was reading The Poisonwood Bible, said it was really good and asked me if I wanted to borrow it. I looked at the cover and was like "I don't know. It doesn't really look like it's up my ally."
But I guess it's like they say- you can't judge a book by it's cover.
Except, kind of you can. Because in experience, if it has a puppy or a whimsical looking martini on the cover- it CAN'T be a bad book. And even if it- hey, you've got yourself a book with a cute puppy cover. And that's worth something right there.
And Lo-I hope you like the book.
And Jaycee- I can't believe Reis is reading by herself! And those books aren't that easy to read. She must be a smart cookie, like her momma.