30 July 2013

The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer

I  became the eleventy-billionth person in line to read this after reading Book Riot’s article about the best books published in 2013 so far. Amanda liked it a lot, and since I’m quite fond of Amanda, I was extremely smug to find it on the Infamous 7-Day Shelf at the library.

Who's smug now?

Five pages in, I was So. Fucking. Charmed. By this book. How can one not be, with this description of growing up?

Irony was new to her and tasted oddly good [...] Soon, she and the rest of them would be ironic much of the time, unable to answer and innocent question without giving their words a snide little adjustment. Fairly soon after that, the snideness would soften, the irony would be mixed with seriousness, and the years would shorten and fly by.
It's all so true.

But ALAS and ALACK, it was all downhill from there, and by page 82 I was gonna give it one more night to prove itself worthy – by which I mean show that it has a plot I could get behind - when my cat attacked The Golden Mean for no reason whatsoever and I picked that up instead and well, you know what happens when serendipity comes a-knocking (things off of your nightstand).

Reader, I started it.

There was a time when I was somewhat judgmental of people who didn’t finish books. “I just HAVE to finish them, even if they’re bad!” I would say, with a serious case of Humblebrag. But much like my opinions about What Kids Should Read These Days, I have abandoned that paradigm for a new one, which is that life is too damn short to read books you don’t enjoy.

And thus did I DNF The Interestings for being… uninteresting.

But seriously, you guys, I have An Issue with the genre of contemporary literary fiction. I go into it all excited for plot twists and good writing and WHOA did you see that clever metaphor go by? But instead, I feel awkwardly like I’m reading someone’s exceedingly pretentious, self-aware diary from when they were a smarter-than-most-adults teenager.

Remind me of this next time we’re on gchat and I get all excited about a book that isn’t a part of the Modern Library reprints or doesn’t have a dragon/spaceship (maybe a DRAGON SPACESHIP?!? Helloooo, Anne McCaffrey!) on the cover, okay?