Often, I read a summary of a book and know immediately that it's a perfect fit for me. Sometimes...I'm wrong.
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson: I entered every blog contest out there for this book, which sounded perfect for me, but I can't get past the first fifty pages. Southern Gothic? Ghost story? Murder mystery? Sign me up. But this book, which started out with a bang (the ghost of a girl leads Laurel to her body, floating facedown in Laurel's pool) fizzled for me when it became apparent it was going to be more about Laurel's poor, Southern family and her relationships with her husband and sister than about ghosts. The point-of-view switching bothered me as well, and after a couple of tries, I moved on.
Testimony by Anita Shreve: I've always meant to read Anita Shreve, and kept attempting to read The Weight of Water years ago. I was excited to win this one, but Shreve lost me on page four (4!) with the phrase "empurpled penis," which is possibly one of the worst turns of phrase in the English language and, sadly, was not meant to be funny. I cannot believe that an editor didn't kill that phrase. It wasn't just that particular affront to the English language; I had a strong feeling of melodrama/dragging out a story that was less dramatic than the author thought it was, and I *did* try to keep reading past "empurpled penis," but I just didn't care for the writing and it wasn't the book for me.
Someone out there will love these books, I know, but I've got to get them out of here. Every time I see Testimony on my dresser, I think "empurpled penis, empurpled penis" and start laughing uncontrollably. Leave a comment telling me which book you'd like to read and why before Sunday, June 21 at noon and I will pick a winner for each. U.S. and Canada only, with my apologies to everyone living elsewhere.