george & lizzie

George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl

I'm quite minimalist: constantly purging, trying to be conscious of what I choose to bring into my life, letting go of books immediately after reading them. 

I just started a new job and have intentionally only taken things to live at my desk as they seem essential. One of those few things I've set out is my Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure. Though I don't always love the same books she does and don't always agree with her assessments, she has been someone I've admired for a long time. I'm quite sure I once saw her on a ferry between Seattle and Bainbridge and just about lost my shit. 

All of this as a preface to say that it's bittersweet (emphasis on the bitter) that I finally stopped reading her fictional debut in large part due to always trying to adhere to Nancy Pearl's 50 Page Rule

Touchstone (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) offered George as an advanced reader's copy and I immediately agreed to read and review. Unfortunately, even though the book is only 288 pages long, I find myself three weeks after starting it and a day before the release date (tomorrow, September 5th), only 39% of the way in. I was complaining to my boyfriend about this; that while I found parts of it enjoyable that I'm not compelled to return to it, he said, with confusion, "But isn't she the one who taught you not to do this?"

Hayley Young

Hayley Young

George & Lizzie starts off particularly weak, as if Pearl started the novel not quite having found her voice, and then strengthened, but never went back and edited that early weakness. Although it did all pick up for me, which is why I made it as far as I did, I very much unfortunately am ultimately stopping due to the plot being so loosely structured and never really understanding or identifying with the Lizzie's motivations. 

Although I'm disappointed that this is the case, to be quite honest, I gave George significantly more time and effort that I might have any author unknown to me, thus breaking Nancy Pearl's own rule for Nancy Pearl's sake. 

I liked enough of it that could potentially see at least trying her fiction again but with much wariness.