I’m one of those people that HATES to stop reading a book. I force myself through it, thinking it will get better, thinking I’m just not in the right mood- whatever it takes to finish it. Normally, the back cover gives me a good enough idea that I don’t get ‘bad books’ very often. Yesterday, I went through two books that I just couldn’t get through. I hated it and I almost felt guilty for stopping, but it gets to a point that if I’m not enjoying reading it then it’s time to stop.
The first, I was excited about. There’s a series of books from Disney Press that are from the villain perspective and include Ursula, the witch that cursed Beast, Maleficent, and more called Twisted Tales. As a lover of all things Disney and villain I was all for it and I picked up As Old as Time. It follows the story of Belle’s mother and the town next to the provincial town Belle is in, a town full of magic. Belle’s mom is a witch and Maurice is the outcast inventor, so they click.
The book is written well, I’ll give it that. It wasn’t written too simplistically, the world and characters are fleshed out great and it didn’t rely too heavily on the standard Beauty and the Beast we all know. But I couldn’t do it.
One reason was that the chapters alternated points of views. Chapter one is from Maurice in the past. Chapter two is from Belle in the present. Then back to Maurice.
This is very jarring for me. I want to read ONE STORY at a time. Maybe they converge towards the end, I don’t know. The Boyfriend suggested I read half the book and then the other half so it would be more consistent and while silly, would make it better for me.
The other reason I didn’t like it I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe I just love the original so much that a spin-off or ‘fan fiction’ just taints it for me? I loved the TV series Once Upon a Time (while it was good) and I love alternate reality type things but this one….just didn’t hit the spot for me. It’s very disappointing because I WANT to love it, it’s villains! And Disney! But no, back onto the shelf it goes.
Maybe the other Disney books won’t have the perspective problem because I would love to try the Maleficent and Ursula ones. I’ll have to read a few bits before buying them so I don’t get my hopes up again.
The second book I had to put down was another I had high hopes for. It’s Phantom of the Opera themed and I was hyped.
The basic premise is a girl with a gift for singing is sent to a boarding school and there’s a phantom. Shocker.
In theory, the book is good. They had a good storyline, they had the right idea and good elements from the original but….they threw in magic. Typically I am all about the magic and fantasy and whatever else you want to throw around but this made the magic the focus.
Rune, the main character, gets ‘possessed’ by the music. She can’t help but sing it, even if she’s never heard the song before. She can’t sing for long though as the energy it takes to sing makes her pass out. They made it seem like she feeds off the energy of it and goes into withdrawal.
She also sees the music and songs as colors? And she has a psychic link to the phantom so he shows up in her dreams? The phantom is a teenager raised by the ‘original phantom’ who also has…powers? I don’t even know. At one point the new phantom and the old creepy phantom ‘feed’ off the energy of Rune’s song and suddenly they have the ability to do things and communicate with animals…
Another part that amused me – she photosynthesized. Literally, she stood in a ray of sun after she fainted and was like ‘ah, that’s better.’ What?
The book used too much imagery, too much emphasis on the emotions and events happening. It took two pages to get through the effect of her singing a note of a song. ONE NOTE. There was just so much fantastical focus that it overtook the actual story. Sad.
The book I have lined up next is about mermaids. Hopefully, it’s not like these!