Sunday, August 5, 2007

It's Not You It's Me

I'm currently suffering from The Mother Of All Reading Slumps. Nothing sounds good, except not reading. Yeah, you read that right - I don't feel like reading. Anything. Thinking I needed a change of pace, I whipped out Have You Seen Her? by Karen Rose, hoping some dead bodies might be all I needed to get my reading mojo back. Unfortunately not. After forcing myself through 150 pages that took me a week to read, with me constantly berating myself to "just pick up the damn book already," I skimmed to the end.

Somebody is kidnapping and killing pretty teenage girls in wholesome small town North Carolina. Special Agent Steven Thatcher is on the case, when he's not wrestling with the guilt over his wife's death (she died in a car accident), the fact that his young son, Nicky, survived a kidnapping of his own and his other son, Brad, has gone from All-American Teen to surly pain-in-the-ass overnight.

Dr. Jenna Marshall is Brad's chemistry teacher and calls Steven when his son fails yet another test. Brad used to be such a good student, and Jenna feels that this sudden change in his personality is not good (well duh). Steven and Jenna are attracted to each other instantly - but she's still carrying baggage leftover from a dead fiance and he's got the whole single father guilt thing going on. Then the killer takes an interest in Jenna.

I just couldn't muster up much excitement here. Rose has worked for me in the past (I really enjoyed Nothing To Fear and Count To Ten) but Have You Seen Her? lacks the sense of urgency that made those other books so compelling. Also, I think the other problem is that Jenna is "just a teacher." That is to say, she practically screams damsel-in-distress - and frankly I'm just not that keen on that sort of conflict. I like the heroine who helps herself - which is why I think Nothing To Fear (heroine helps abused women escape their abusers) and Count To Ten (heroine is a cop) worked a lot better for me.

I just could not get invested in this story, and every reason "why" that I can come up with sounds really, really nit-picky. So I wouldn't consider this a review, more like a desperate cry for help. I skimmed the ending, but pretty much skipped the entire second half - so Final Grade = DNF.

Sigh, I hope I get my reading mojo back soon.


Alie said...

I have been in one of those reading slumps, they're so not fun. Sometimes I even get into those moods where all I do with a book is skim it!

Holly said...

I wouldn't beat yourself up too much over this book, though. Personally? I didn't really care for it. I'm a big fan of KR, but this book fell flat for me. :(

Good luck getting out of your slump. If you find a good slump-buster, will you let me know? I'm stuck, too.

Kristie (J) said...

I bet it has something to do with the anticipation of being able to read nothing but what you want to read - not what you have to read to review. Now that you have the freedom - the desire has disappeared. Our minds can do such freaky things to us :)
I wouldn't sweat it, the desire will come back in it's own time.

Wendy said...

Holly - Yeah, I just couldn't get into it at all. I think part of the problem might be that I discovered Rose with her fourth book, and Have You Seen Her? was only her second novel. So I found her after she had churned out a few books and had found her rhythm (so to speak).

Kristie: That probably has A LOT to do with it. But the good news is that I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Hoping to get my mojo back I thought I should go for a "comfort read" - which for me is a western. So I pulled out an HH western and so far I'm actually reading it! Yippee!

Big Sis said...

Perfect cure. READ LONESOME DOVE!!
Josh and I are tired of telling you how much you are going to LOVE IT!
As a side note: I just picked up Phyllis Diller's autobiography, Like A Lampshade In A Whorehouse. With a title like that, how can it be bad?

Big Brother-in-law said...

Dear genre nazi,
My name is Larry and I'm sending one of my books for review. It's called Lonesome Dove. Accept the fact that a book can take more than one day to read and still be entertaining.

Wendy said...

Big BIL - You've been living with my sister for too long, you've turned into a nag!

Yes, I'm sure Lonesome Dove is fantastic and I'm sure I'll love it. I just need to get over my fear of big, huge books that double as door-stops.

Sherry Thomas said...

Hmm, although I'd love to cure you of your reading slump, mostly I'm just glad that you haven't gotten around to me yet.

Let some other book do the heavy lifting and get you out of your reading blues. Mine? It's just a good-time book. :-)

Wendy said...

Oh Sherry, I'll get to you :) I'm waiting closer to the release date. If my slump isn't broken by March I'll likely have stabbed my eyes out.

Crystal said...

I usually find Roses book to be good. I have not read this one yet, maybe I'll stay away from it. Thanks for the review.