Well, I have accomplished one thing in 2023. I finished a book I had previously marked as Never Finished. I picked up Grab On to Me Tightly as if I Knew the Way by Bryan Charles because 1) I was trying to read something outside my normal style or approach 2) it was connected to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and as a born and raised Michigander I guess I hoped that would connect with me.
As publishers are wont to do, the blurb made big promises:
A wise, bighearted, and hilarious look at one teenager’s life by a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction
Generous in spirit and laugh-out-loud funny, here is a novel that introduces a tremendous new talent and deftly captures the alternately amusing and harrowing process of holding on until you find your way.
That is what I was hoping for, but nope. It was vulgar and full of angst. I get that is what it means to be a teenager, but at my age I guess I just have a low threshold for these things. So when the digital book was due and people were waiting for the book I gave up.
But in an interesting twist, writing the post about books I didn’t finish motivated me to take another crack at it. And one night when I couldn’t sleep I was able to read large chunks and find a rhythm so to speak.
I still didn’t love it, but I was able to finish it and appreciate aspects of it.