Thursday, 11 May 2017

DNFing Caraval

So, as you can see from my Twitter poll as part of my "Pick My Next Read", Caraval by Stephanie Garber won (which is surprise as, after reading Queen of the Tearling [review here, FYI], I thought you guys would pick The Bone Season or the sequel, The Invasion of the Tearling). So, on Sunday, I started this... 

So, I have made it a rule now to chat to you guys on if I ever DNF a book. I don't want you guys to read my blog and go "Oh, he's always so positive about books he write on his blog", which is true as I feel it is important to enjoy what you read. Reading should be a pleasure, something happy and should make you happy. Life is too short to read crap books. 

So, it pains me a lot that I have decided to put Caraval in my DNF pile. It pains me as I had such hopes for this. 

Now, before I go further, I am not saying this book is awful. I'm not. I have read and watch a ton of reviews where people are singing this book's praises. And I have read and watch a ton of reviews where people are more judgemental. This book is very much a marmite read, from people's reactions (I always like these type of books, truth be told). 

But I have decided to put this on my DNF (for now) pile. Notice I say, for now. Will explain in a tick. 

But my reasons for putting the brakes on this reading experience. The first was I wasn't enjoying reading this book. I am still in that heavy-fantasy reading mood. I want to read fantasy that has an edge or a bite to it. Hence why I kinda wanted to read The Bone Season or Invasion of the Tearling (as well as a few others). It's very difficult when you're in that headspace, I find. To jump from one extreme of one genre to the other end of that genre. It's jarring. 

There are other reasons linked to my brain going "Where's the meat" to this story. But the main thing I thought while I was reading the first 100-odd pages was "This would have been an awesome middle-grade book". I kept thinking that this was written as a middle-grade story - the style and the ideas just fitted middle-grade for some reason in my head - but, somewhere along the way of writing/edit, they tried to YA it by adding a possible love interest (it felt like it was going to go down the insta-love/lust route). Why, oh why, do we need another insta-love story in YA novels? I thought we were done with this troupe!  

Now, I do want to come back to this. I'm not DNFing this completely. There is potential here for me liking this story. I want to see what happens as people have opinions on this and I think, once am out of my heavy-fantasy reading mind space, I might like this. So, I'm not DNFing it completely (not now, anyway. Ask me in a few months time as I might change my mind), but I'm in no rush to return to it. Maybe when the second book in the series is published next year (this might be a series/duology)... 

So, I'm putting this on hold and, as I don't want to veto this vote, am going to try and read the runner-up of the poll, The Bone Season. Hopefully, this will go down better for me. 

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