“Another blog series?” I hear you cry. Yes, and I’m not even sorry. One of the worst feelings as a book lover is when you have such high hopes for a book, and it ends up being disappointing. This new series will document the books that disappointed me; it can either act as a warning or even pique your interest in a new read.
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher | The Last Days of Archie Maxwell by Annabel Pitcher | Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
After enjoying Ketchup Clouds and My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece, I was delighted to be approved for a copy of Annabel Pitcher’s latest YA release, Silence is Goldfish, on Netgalley. Silence is Goldfish tells the story of Tess, who becomes selectively mute when she reads her stepfather’s angry rant about how much he resents her being born. With bullying classmates as well as manipulative teachers taking advantage of her silence, can Tess find the strength to speak once more? I would have enjoyed Silence is Goldfish more if it wasn’t for the weird goldfish torch that Tess kept with her at all times and talked to on occasion. For me, it didn’t add to the story and made Tess appear younger than what she was. I also didn’t like how her stepdad was portrayed at the beginning and at the end of the book; it was a complete change in tone. I awarded Silence is Goldfish 3* at the time as, despite my reservations, I continued to read the book to find out what happened. However, for me, it was nowhere near as good as Annabel’s previous books.
After being disappointed with Silence is Goldfish, I was determined to fall back in love with Annabel’s books. I saw The Last Days of Archie Maxwell available at my local library, and after reading the synopsis, I thought I would give it a go. This short novella focuses on a young boy called Archie who finds out that his parents have split up and his dad has come out as gay. There were a lot of topics discussed in the story such as sexuality, homophobia, bullying and mental illness but for me personally, it didn’t work in such a short format. I fully appreciate that it was a short story for reluctant readers but in my opinion, it needed more room to flourish.
I love Sophie Kinsella, and I can always rely on her books to make me laugh out loud. When I heard that a new Kinsella book was on the horizon, Surprise Me, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I made sure that I was the first to reserve a copy at my local library and I excitedly picked it up a few weeks later. Surprise Me follows Sylvie and Dan, a happily married couple, who try to make their marriage more exciting after being told they have over 50 years left together. As much as I love Sophie Kinsella’s books, Surprise Me was odd. Instead of being romantic, the idea for spicing up Dan and Sylvie’s marriage was more along the lines of “let’s keep buying each other weird gifts”. A good chunk of the story also seemed to be a weird examination of the relationship between Sylvie and her dad, and it made me feel rather uneasy. Usually, I pass on books I like to my colleague at work, but when it came to this one, I told her it wasn’t worth reading and I took it back to the library.
Has a book ever disappointed you?