May 19, 2013 by Heidi
Even though I don’t use ratings here on the blog, I do have an internal mental ranking system. The fact of the matter is, the bulk of the books I actually talk about here at Bunbury in the Stacks fall either above or below average. Lately, I’ve been having a big issue with books that I pretty much ‘nothing’. When I say I nothing you, book, I mean you haven’t pissed me off, but you haven’t won me over either. I’m not worse off for having you in my life, but I wouldn’t notice if you weren’t there. Quite frankly, these middle-of-the-road generally 3-star books are fine, but I have nothing to say about them. Sure, I enjoyed them enough to read them at the time, but I almost wish that they’d have done something to piss me off and make me rail because at least then I’d be thinking and talking about them.
The latest case? Boundless by Cynthia Hand.
Here’s the thing. Boundless, the final book in the Unearthly trilogy didn’t disappoint me. But it didn’t sweep me away and remind me why I really loved this series when I first picked it up either. Initially, I was drawn to this series for one reason: It took place in Wyoming. I remember being pleasantly surprised at Hand’s realistic portrayal of the California wealthy tourist-town that is Jackson, Wyoming, and even more taken aback by her juggling notions of free will vs. destiny and playing out one of the few love triangles that has really torn me in several directions.
Author Cynthia Hand plays these ideas through all the way to the end, embracing some pretty unconventional plotlines for YA paranormal romance, but in the end, I was disappointed to find I just didn’t care. The plot was decently paced and the ending surprised, but Cynthia Hand’s world and characters no longer held any power over me. I honestly don’t think this is anything done wrong on her part–I felt Boundless was a stronger installment than Hallowed–but I just couldn’t muster the gumption to be either upset or happy with Clara’s choices in the end.
I suppose this is another clear example of why I prefer to wait until a series is complete before reading it. Somewhere along the way, I think I may have outgrown the Unearthly series before its end. It no longer seemed to fit me. Maybe it was my own inability to choose between Clara’s potential suitors, maybe it was a lack of Wyoming goodness, it’s hard to say–I just don’t care enough to really explore my nonplussed reaction to the book.
My experience with Boundless has me questioning if I’m really going to finish some series that I fear I’ll similarly nothing, such as reading Ally Condie’s Reached. Really books–piss me off or make me swoon, but do neither of these things and I will forget you in a matter of minutes.
FTC Disclaimer: I borrowed my copy of Boundless from my local library.