Posted by: Natalie | March 25, 2011

Reading Fail

I am sorry to say it but The Icarus Girl has been put back on the shelf for another day. After two weeks of looking at it and vaguely reading 80 or so pages, I have had to give up. I barely made any dent in the narrative before I realised I was going to be highly irritated by Helen Oyeyemi’s writing style. I can’t even really put my finger on the reason why, only that I could barely get through a page without a shiver descending my spine – one character’s name in particular created the sensation of biting down on cotton wool. It is quite rare that a book literally puts my teeth on edge.

And it is a shame because I think there could have been potential – or perhaps this is why it is an issue to me. It is far too quickly clear that the books potential is not going to be realised. Just as I thought something unsettling was about to be introduced, the story quickly skims over this notion and removes all suspense and intrigue. Even within these early pages, the warning signs are there – too many over obvious hints that something not-quite-right surrounds our young characters, no subtlety at all leaving it bland and frankly unreadable.

But don’t listen to me – I haven’t finished it yet, and my opinions are simply my own. I have no right to judge another’s work, especially when I have not reached the end. One day I may try again, but I doubt it will be soon. I think part of the problem occurred because I have recently restocked and suddenly I felt over awed and over excited about the prospect of other words to read, other worlds to know. In particular, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. It was only when I flicked to the back page that I realised I had also read Oryx and Crake which I adored and forced upon any one who would read it – I sadly no longer have my copy for this reason. Instantly the wonder lust of a potential Atwood Fave completely crushed any desire to persevere with The Icarus Girl. I feel a little sorry for it really. With so many interesting books currently sitting in the pile, the current read has to really catch my eye, has to really intrigue me and keep my attention. The Icarus Girl just didn’t do it.

For details on The Blind Assassin click my Currently Reading tab, above.



  1. See, that’s where you’re a better reader than I: I just can’t let a book go! Even if I’m hating every page… I am glad I stuck out Random Acts of Heroic Love, though, as the ending was worth it (lots of sobbing, but brilliant nonetheless!). I haven’t read Blind Assassin, but I too loved Oryx and Crake, and The Handmaid’s Tale by her – so I’d have high hopes! xxx

    • Hee, I’m not sure it makes me a ‘better’ reader – just an impatient one!! But, I think that only makes 4 books ever which I have failed to complete!

    • Am loving the recent Atwood covers too – very glam! They’d make fab posters in your flat!

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