Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's Not You, It's Me (2)

"It's not you, it's me. I just want to be friends."  I'm sure some of us have heard those dreaded words uttered before and the same saying can be applied to books.  Some books just don't work for me, whereas other readers may have really enjoyed them.  This new feature will be showcasing books that I never finished or reviewed.

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

Goodreads says, "On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings--and to catch their wives. The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment.  Margo Lanagan weaves an extraordinary tale of desire, despair, and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also unspoken love."

My thoughts:

I love the cover and the premise, but the writing style was just too much for me and the initial plot was a bit slow.  I recognize that Lanagan's writing style is elegant, poetic, and beautiful, but for some reason, I couldn't get into it. It just seemed too wordy and drawn out. Plus, there's multiple points of view, which I struggled with.  

Speaking of struggling....I have noticed that lately I struggle with fairy tale retellings and other types of fantasy novels that include selkies or mermaids.   Maybe I have some sort of mental block towards these mythical creatures? Either way, The Brides of Rollrock Island wasn't for me.  If you have read it, let me know what do you think.

14 comments:

  1. This happens to me alll the time :) Thanks for your honesty.

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  2. There are definitely books I have to be in the right mood for, and if I'm not, I struggle with everything about the story from the writing style to the characters to the plot. Mermaids and other various water creatures have been tricky for me too, I've yet to find one (except for Of Poseidon) that I really loved.

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  3. Life is too short to read books we don't enjoy! :)

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  4. YES I totally agree with you on this book. I had to give up in all honesty. The multiple POVs, the wordy plot, I hated how the author used so many complex words that kinda detached me from the whole story. Also, like you, i somehow always struggle with mermaid stories.

    anyways, GREAT feature, I might do it sometimes on my blog!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  5. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Maji- I'm glad we agree. I feel the exact same way. Thanks! I hope you do feature it on your blog!

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  6. That's unfortunate. I enjoy Lanagan's poetic style, but the downside of those is, as you pointed out, that it is drawn out. Still, I can't wait to read this, and I'll get back to you on my thoughts. =)

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    1. Thanks, Dazzling. I'd love to hear them and I hope you like it more than me!

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  7. I read it and loved it, but it is okay that you didn't. (Perhaps you've finished Great Expectations but I always get stuck partway in and give up.)

    I guess I finished and enjoyed it because I do find fascinating all manner of fairy tale and myth and the retellings and reworkings intriguing.

    I know what you mean about the pace and style. In many ways Lanagan's writing is easier swallowed in doses like the short stories that she's renowned for, but you're also right that it's beautiful (and brutal. Beautiful and brutal. That's how I'd describe Lanagan's style)

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    1. That's an excellent description of her writing style. It just wasn't for me, although I can acknowledge that it's beautiful and poetic. Thanks for stopping by, Shadow!

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  8. I agree that the cover is quite beautiful. I've actually stayed away from fairy tale retellings for some reason. Most of them don't interest me.

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    1. Yeah, I think I need to give up on them. They are definitely not my cup of tea. Thanks for stopping by, Alexis!

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  9. I'm with Shadow, loved it. In fact I love almost everything she's written. I'd try some of her short work if you are still interested. See if you can get Singing my Sister down a shorty story in Black Juice ( I think).

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    1. I will have to check out her short work like you said. Thanks for the suggestion. Perhaps that might work better for me. Thanks for visiting, Sean.

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  10. That cover is gorgeous! But I'll probably avoid this book, because novels with poetic writing styles usually end up being the ones I set aside (I still think it's a miracle that I made it through YOU ARE MY ONLY by Beth Kephart). Multiple POV's are difficult to read, too.

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I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

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