Sometimes it just gets to the point where you have to call it a day. I’ve had two books I’ve been “currently reading” for so long now that today I am officially giving up.

The Maze Runner

140 pages read

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside.

This sounded so good from the blurb but just didn’t deliver for me. I fear it’s a bit of a boy book. The characters didn’t rouse any empathy in me and the prose was a bit bland. The bad things in the maze weren’t described in a way that made them scary or sinister and it’s lacking in tension. The world is rather intriguing and younger readers will probably enjoy the action and story elements. Other than wanting to know what the maze is (I have a theory), there’s nothing to keep me reading and I bet you have to read the whole trilogy to get all the answers. I have other books I’d rather be reading!

Just when I was wondering where all the girls were, one did crop up. I am not averse to a book without female characters but I do feel it needs some sort of explanation. At least it does get acknowledged and I would hope the reasons become clear later on…

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228 pages read

From their initial online encounter, through a shared appreciation of erotic literature, to the highly explicit and shocking story of their brief relationship, Emma Becker charts the labyrinths of lust of Ellie and ‘Monsieur’, set against the murky landscape of Facebook, text messages and the Pigalle hotel room in which they meet every Tuesday morning. Why do we do things we know are wrong? Why do May-to-December romances invariably go wrong? Why does the allure of forbidden sex cloud our judgments? Emma Becker doesn’t come up with all the answers, but provides a fascinating and poignant tale, which will turn Monsieur into the new Lolita.

It’s not that I didn’t like this one; it’s not bad as far as erotic fiction goes…but because of its nature I didn’t really want to read it in public and therefore it got left behind a lot. I just sort of got half way and lost interest. There’s only so much sex I can read about before it becomes boring and at the beginning Ellie (the character, not me) makes it clear that they broke up so there was nothing to read on for. Except maybe the why, but that didn’t seem all that mysterious to me.

Ellie is typical of a lot of manipulative young women at the start although I think she was starting to feel a little used at the point I got to. She has a love of classic erotic fiction (showing us that it’s not a new phenomenon) and uses this to reel in Monsieur. Being French, it doesn’t beat about the bush with flowery descriptions of sex and is quite blunt. Indeed the language might be a bit much for those used to mainstream erotica (no throbbing members here, thank god). The use of social media in the book also shows how differently people can act online/via text and in person. Whilst Monsieur’s language is quite consistent, Ellie comes across brazen in text and vulnerable in person.

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones

Have you read and enjoyed either of these books? Do you think I gave up too soon?