I normally don’t write full review of books I DNF, but I have loved Shannon Hale as an author for awhile, so I wanted to take this time even though I only made it 66% of the way through her new book, Kind of a Big Deal. Ultimately, I’m not sure if it was my state of mind, headaches, or the plot that drove me away, but the next book I picked up I immediately flew through so take this as you will.
Josie is a 19-year-old (ish?) nanny living and working in Montana, after following her charge, Mia, and Mia’s mom from NYC where Josie’s dreams of being on the stage fell flat. But she was a “big deal” in her high school in Arizona (I think it was Arizona). She’s sad, feels like her boyfriend doesn’t like her and her life is going nowhere, so when she starts falling into the books she’s reading and experiencing her life through them, she’s fascinated and weirded out. That’s about where I ended up–she’d fallen into several books, seen the face of her boyfriend in all of them, but the book was 2/3 of the way over and I still wasn’t sure if I was supposed to care about Josie? Or root for her? Or think she was…talented? Because she seemed like someone who was probably talented for a random high school but why did she think she should drop out and move to NYC just because she got an audition? She didn’t even have equity? And the books chosen for her to fall into felt…random? And unimportant? And it was not that enjoyable and when I decided to DNF the book, it felt like a weight off my shoulders.
I think the idea was cool–falling into books!–but the execution and the characters were boring. Was I supposed to like the bf Justin at all? Because I didn’t. I liked the 5 year old Mia the most out of any character, and I would have loved to see Josie fall into a picture book she was reading to Mia or something. I don’t know–that’s the theme of this book for me. I’d give what I read like 1.75 stars…but I didn’t want to finish it.