Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shelf-Sitter Challenge: Book 2

I'm throwing in the towel. I am not finishing Outlander.

I have been trying for literally months to read this book. I am now on page 333 of 800-something, so I have more than fulfilled my "read 20% before passing judgment" rule. I've angsted all over the interwebs about my struggles reading it.

So why has it been so bloody hard for me to give up on it? Several reasons:

1) I bought it as one of my birthday books, and it bums me out to think I wasted a present.

2) The series has a fanatical following, which makes me feel like if I give up now, I'll be missing out on something great.

3) The book is objectively good. I have no problem tossing aside something poorly written (I only read past page 2 of Fifty Shades of Gray because it was for book group). Hey, life's too short for awkward infodumps and adverb abuse, right? But Outlander is skillfully written, with well-drawn characters and an action-packed plot. It takes a eye-rolling Romance premise (time travel! Scottish lairds! torn between two husbands!) and renders it as realistically as possible. There was a lot in the first 333 pages that challenged Romance tropes, and I liked that. Kudos, Diana Gabaldon.

The problem is that I don't care what happens to these people. I don't know why. It's almost definitely me (see above re:fanatical following). I don't dislike Claire and Jamie, I just am not that interested in finding out what happens to them next. And without that interest, every page forward feels like a slog.

So off to the used bookstore it goes.

I still feel guilty about it, though.


  1. That is EXACTLY how I felt about the book, though I didn't get past page 20. I didn't even know the characters very well yet, but I had no interest whatsoever in what was going to happen. Luckily I had borrowed it from a friend (and one who wasn't that invested in it--a fan, but not a rabid one), so I wasted no resources there. You are not alone!

  2. I'm so glad you feel the same! I've really been doubting myself about this one.