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Did Not Finish - If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

It is so rare that I don't finish a book, or that I get halfway through a book and then give up on it. I sometimes read just a few percent of a book on my Kindle or a few pages, but rarely get too far. I don't like giving up on books and I wanted to love this book, so I persevered, I really did. But, I just couldn't get on with it.

My friend Angie recommended this book on Twitter and said it had an amazing black fat protagonist, which intrigued me. I ordered it and picked it up a couple of weekends ago. The protagonist is Winnie, who is seventeen and who spends the summers with her grandma in a small town called Misty Haven. Granny owns a diner called Goldeen's and Winnie works there. She's accompanied by her brother Winston and their cousin, Sam (who I think also lives with Winnie's family full time). Sam is spending her summer babysitting. Winnie tries to get Granny to enter a competition, but she's having none of it. Winnie's ungirlfriend Kara lives in Misty Haven. The two of them are friends who are dating, but are both free to date other people.

So every summer there's a like homecoming thing where the town nominates a Queen, and then someone volunteers to be her consort, and then there's a whole celebration thing around that. I don't think I read far enough to fully understand the ins and outs of this thing. Winnie gets nominated as Queen. Kara volunteers to be consort, but then so does this boy called Dallas, who is totally dashing and who Winnie has a crush on.

This is like all that happens in the first half of the book. The action just wasn't moving fast enough for me, and I felt like there was a lot of telling me what was what rather than showing me. There was a lot of what I felt was unneeded detail. I liked Winnie and Winston and Sam, and even Dallas, but Kara left me a bit cold.

Oh, there's also Granny commenting on Winnie's weight and trying to get her to go on a diet and exercise with Sam. Usually I love this stuff, but it just wasn't gelling for me. It took me five nights to read half the book, which is ridiculously slow for me. So for now, I'm giving up on the book, but if it sounds like your thing, do read it!

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