What can I say? 2017 is halfway over and my reading has been bipolar all year. I might think it was me, but I know too many other readers who report the same thing—high highs and low lows. And then the blahs in-between. Sadly, either the books are getting worse or my patience is waning because I’m moving from blah to nah. Here are two books I gave up on this month. I’m hoping this is the only dreaded DNF post I write this summer!
Careers for Women by Joanna Scott
Publication date: July 25th 2017
What I thought I was getting was a novel set in 1950s NYC about a young woman facing the barriers to having a career. It started that way, but quickly the timeline and narrative split and the focus turned to a single woman with a developmentally challenged child who may or may not have been fathered by her married boss and… I gave up. I wanted the original story—a young woman going to work for an older woman who has succeeded in a man’s world.
It’s worth noting, the publisher only approved my request for an e-ARC four days before publication. I get there may be a perception out there that book bloggers sit around eating chocolate and getting our nails done, but in actuality I have a calendar of reading and reviewing and right now it goes out through October. Respect is appreciated.
New People by Danzy Senna
Published by Riverhead Books
Publication date: August 1st 2017
I was really looking forward to this novel about a new adult, racially ambiguous couple and how they navigate modern life—when your skin is too dark for some and too light for others. Instead, Senna makes Maria, the narrator, a hot mess from the get-go, meaning I can’t take the novel seriously. She is engaged to be married but is obsessed with another man to the point of stalking him—which, all right, that can happen. But when she is outside his apartment and a white woman mistakes her for her nanny, Maria goes along with it and finds herself taking care of an infant until the mother comes back. Racial insensitivity aside (being mistaken for someone else just because your skin is the same color) Senna’s choice in playing out this scenario is too weird for me. I was looking for something insightful, but didn’t find it.