Halloween, Historical Fiction, Reader's Rights, Reviews

Sometimes You Just Need to Give Up

The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow

Maybe it is the years of reading for school that drill into us this compulsion to finish every book even when we aren’t enjoying it.  I am only now, nearly twenty years past my last Summer Reading assignment, able to simply put a book aside or give up reading it altogether when I’m not enjoying it.  I still feel a little guilty but then I just start another – hopefully, more enjoyable – book and the guilt fades.  Other times circumstances help make the decision for you.

The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow by Alyssa Palombo

When NetGalley gave me the opportunity to read The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel, I was thrilled because I’d been intrigued when I saw it on Goodreads and because I love Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I quickly got over my excitement. The narrative is slow, the main character, Katrina, is spoiled and annoying, and the language which is supposed to read as historical just feels stilted and unnatural. But I read some reviews that said that it got better so I forged ahead. The first half of the novel, at least, is a cloying romance between Ichabod and Katrina. And then it was repetitive. I just could not get into it when there were so many other books to be read so I was considering abandoning this one when the lending period ended. So…maybe it does eventually get better, which would explain all of the great reviews The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel has received, but I’ll probably never know because I wasn’t even interested in finding out what happens.

I don’t have a recommendation but I am reading another historical fiction from NetGalley.  V.A. Shannon’s When Winter Comes is based on an actual historical event  – the journey of the Donner party of all things! – rather than a work of fiction but so far it is a much more exciting and interesting read.

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