(Im)partial Reviews: First Installment

Technically, I read multiple books at once; I have bookmarks in at least a dozen books on any given day. However, I’ve noticed a significant trend in my reading habits: when a book really grabs my interest, all other books get pushed aside until I finish it. Then I either finish another book or start a new one. Thus, I have a constantly-changing roster of books on my “currently reading” shelf.

There comes a time, however, when I have to face the facts: there are some books that I am technically “reading” but that I keep getting distracted from. No matter how many times I dip into them, I’m not terribly interested. I used to force myself to finish them for closure’s sake, but I’m trying to be more considerate of wasting my own time. Therefore, I’m starting a new type of entry on here: (im)partial reviews. I’m going to review books that I’ve only partially finished, trying to be honest and impartial about the reasons I didn’t see fit to push through to the end. Basically, they’re books that I’ve decided are not worth my time at this particular stage of my life (i.e., being a full time mom whose free time is fleeting).

Here’s the first roundup:

Broken Angels by Harambee K. Grey-Sun. HyperVerse Books. 312 pp.

Broken Angels by Harambee K. Grey-Sun. HyperVerse Books. 312 pp.

When I started reading Broken Angels, I had a difficult time telling the characters apart. I figured this would get better over time, but after reading the first few chapters, I didn’t have much interest in reading more about these characters and their world. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. There’s a big action scene in the beginning that’s pretty good, if memory serves me correctly, and maybe the book gets better later on, but it didn’t grab me enough to convince me to give it more of my time.

Freaking Out: Real-Life Stories About Anxiety, edited by Polly Wells. Annick Press. 130 pp.

Freaking Out: Real-Life Stories About Anxiety, edited by Polly Wells. Annick Press. 130 pp.

I was really looking forward to Freaking Out. However, it was written far too simply for me to get into it. It reminded me of those high-interest-low-level novels: the subject matter is on a high school level, but the reading level is on an early-elementary level. Sometimes a book written for kids is so good you don’t notice that it’s written for kids; other times, the writing is overly simplistic and childish, and it’s not enjoyable. That’s how I felt about this one. Also, some of the chapters didn’t really seem like they were about anxiety; the topics were sort of all over the place.

100 Poems: Old and New by Rudyard Kipling, edited by Thomas Pinney. Cambridge University Press. 197 pp.

100 Poems: Old and New by Rudyard Kipling, edited by Thomas Pinney. Cambridge University Press. 197 pp.

I’ve read a Kipling poem here and there, but I’m not an expert in either his writing or his time period. While Kipling’s poems are diverse in style and subject, and his ear for dialect is quite good, this collection didn’t do much for me. I’m all about reading works from other times and places, but there needs to be an underlying current of humanity. I need to be able to somehow relate to what I’m reading. And, although a couple of these poems were interesting, after struggling my way through more than half of them I decided not to force something that wasn’t working for me.

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