Once upon a time I insisted on finishing every book I started. Mostly because as a kid ebooks weren’t a thing yet and I didn’t want to waste the money spent on books. I also only got a handful of new books a year so I wanted to savor them all. These days I’m more likely to put down a book I’m not enjoying before finishing it. When I can’t get into a book I’d been eager to read, it leaves me with the predicament of when to quit reading. I do a lot of my reading via the library now, and when I buy books I try to read the first chapter before I do.
It took quitting a few books before the guilt of not finishing finally left me alone. Sometimes I want to know how the story ends, but I’m not enjoying the journey. In that case once it feels like a slog for more than one chapter I just look up the book to see how it ends. More recently while reading Hunted I decided to quit as soon as I began to feel bored. The truth is I have so many books on my reading list that I don’t want to waste my time on something I’m not feeling when there are so many other books calling my name. These days my to-be-read list grows faster than I can read. I give every book at least three chapters to catch my attention. A few get put down just from scanning the first chapter, while I make it farther in others before quitting.
Hunted is in short a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Beauty is a hunter in this version. I enjoyed the historical fantasy feel of this one. Unfortunately I found the pacing slow and didn’t connect to the storyline between Beauty and the Beast once she is captured. Calling the main character Beauty felt like a forced nickname to hit home that it was a retelling. Plus I didn’t enjoy the excerpts from Beast’s perspective. Beauty also felt too modern in a forced way. In my opinion her not wanting to get married wasn’t explained well enough and felt like it was done to make her seem like a woman who doesn’t need a husband. I enjoy women who break the mold of their day, but it’s starting to feel like no YA historical characters want to get married now.
Fairytale retellings are often a hard sale for me to begin with, and this one was no exception. Once I found myself rushing and not wanting to pick the story back up, I quit and started a new book. I made it 38% of the way through the book before quitting, which I see as giving it a fair shot. While I didn’t like this specific book, I’m sure it’s a good pick for fans of retellings.
When I used to force myself to finish reading books, finishing didn’t feel like a win and I often found the ending as unsatisfying as the rest of the book. So now instead of forcing myself to get through books that just aren’t for me, I focus more on books that are. While I no longer feel guilty about putting aside a book, I still get a little disappointed that it didn’t work out. Those first three chapters are kind of like book dating, will it work out with this one? Or is it just not for me?