The Only YA Novel I Didn’t Finish

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So for the first time in my life I actually didn’t finish a YA novel that I picked up. It may happen again, but this is such a strange occurrence for me, as I’ve been reading YA for going on 13 years and it hasn’t happened once. Usually I can tell if I’m going to like a book, by the description on the book jacket, the genre and what I’ve hear about it from others and reviews. This wasn’t the case.

I had to resist the urge to throw the book

The book that I didn’t finish was Gone by Michael Grant. I’d seen and heard a lot of hype about it, and I knew it was a series, I also read about it on the book jacket. It sounded interesting – all the adults disappear and the kids have to survive on their own with no tv, no internet, no phones? All while some of the them are getting strange powers to boot? Yeah I’m all over that.

Much to my chagrin and annoyance it took me a while to get into it. I didn’t really feel any connection to the main character Sam (it didn’t help that the book leapt around in point of view to many other characters). The incident where all the adults disappear happens within the first three sentences of the book. I felt thrown in and didn’t care as much about it because I didn’t know the characters before hand. Some novels can pull this off well – jumping right in to the main event – this one didn’t succeed at all.

I got 100 pages in. Gone is the first book in the series and is 500+ pages. In that first 100 pages so many characters were introduced it got really really aggravating. I had to keep flipping back to try and understand who people were. I have done this in other books, but only with epic fantasy and then I kind of expect a lot of characters. Didn’t expect it or want it in this case. In addition, Sam just fell flat to me, the more I read the more each of the characters seemed to take on a stereo-type.

Now a couple of things in that first 100 pages sent up a few red flags so I went online and found out more about the series. Much to my shock I found out that this series is in the horror genre. Just watching the ‘book trailer’ on the website for Gone bothered me. I cannot do horror in any way shape or form. It disturbs me too much and my imagination flies away with it and I can’t deal. For a better explanation as to why see my post here: Why Being An Ann is Both Exciting and Horrifying. In the few details that were shared in the review of the series I was disgusted and completely turned off.

I hate not finishing a book because I feel like I can’t give a valid opinion (as evidenced by this post on my Lasera blog: Haven’t Read It? Or Seen It? No You Cannot Hate It). But with this book I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t enjoying or connecting with the characters and the plot was horrific enough that it worried me to even consider continuing on.

So I’ve had an experience that a lot of others have had, and that I never wanted to have happen to me, but there it is. Gone was the book I was going to review, yeah didn’t happen. Long and short of it? I only got 100 pages in.

Anyone else ever have this kind of experience with a book you thought you were going to love?

Cheers!