Why Don’t I Like This Book?

I haven’t been reading much lately. With multiple deadlines breathing down my neck I just don’t have the time to lose myself in a book. But a couple of weeks ago I picked up one of my favorite authors’ latest book. It was the second book in a series. I really liked the first. So when I found out the this second book had been release I was so excited. I glanced at the reviews on Amazon. I saw all the 5 stars it was given on Goodreads. When I dived in I was expecting a really great read. But the greatness never came. Page after page I read and while the voice of the writer kept me interested I never lost myself in the book. I never fell in love with the characters. It was taking me days and days to get through it when I usually read a book in a single day or two at the most.But I kept thinking back to all those glowing reviews and those 5 star ratings. The good part must be coming, I thought. There must be something that is going to make this book stay with me. But it never came.

And then I did something that I had never done. I stopped reading it. I got to the last chapter and I stopped reading. It was a romance novel. I knew how it was going to end. I stopped reading because the author annoyed me. The heroine had gone out of her way to spectacularly save the hero and the hero still let her go. I just didn’t see the point of it. They had their dark moment, said their I LOVE YOUS, why extend the book? It sure as hell didn’t make it any better. When I told my friend this she gasped. “How could you stop reading so close to the end? How could you not finish?”

I was mad. That’s how. I felt let down. Confused too. Why didn’t I like this book? What was everybody seeing that I didn’t? I couldn’t get through Fifty Shades of Grey either. Couldn’t get past the third page of that. I not saying that the writing of this book was anywhere near that one, but somehow I found myself in the minority then too.

Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood or maybe I had higher expectations because my reading time is so precious. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel the same way as everybody else.

Has that happened to you? Want to tell me about it?

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9 thoughts on “Why Don’t I Like This Book?”

  1. I recently picked up the 8th book in a series that I love, a Regency Mystery series. As much as I adore the author’s work, I kept getting irritated by the red herring. Because as a writer I -knew- it was the red herring, taking up almost 70% of the book and dumping a huge amount of historical detail into the text. IT’s hard sometimes when I’m writing to turn off that internal editor….

  2. Since I’ve become a writer, reading can be a real downer sometimes. I find myself critiquing the works of other authors with a much more critical eye because I now know what makes me love a book and what makes me want to throw it against the wall. If I find myself examining the characters, questioning their motivation, or rolling my eyes over dialogue, I have to put the book down. If I do find one that pulls me in and makes my inner editor disappear, I know I’ve found an amazing book, but they are few and far between these days and I now will put books down that don’t keep me salivating over the next page. My reading time is so limited, I just don’t have the patience to wait for a story to get good. I do try to analyse what it is that makes me put a book down, though…so I can make sure I don’t do the same thing:-)

  3. Happens to me all the time now. A story has to grab me in the first chapter, or into the bye-bye pile it goes. I just don’t have time to spend on something optional that I don’t enjoy (plenty of nonoptional things I must spend time on!). That being said, a story can have flaws and still grab me. I read one recently that was very oddly constructed and had some pacing and characterization issues–and yet I loved it and would definitely buy more from the author.

  4. No surprises here. After workshop, workshop, workshop, editoral teachings, and more, my inner editor goes to work with the first word. I am trying to read everything possible b/c I have lots to catch up with, since my fiction reading only began…umm…pretty recently. BUT, not all are acceptable books to finish, but I have Tom preview for me. If he likes it, I do make the attempt. Time is so short. I am reading a contemporary right now and am half way, love it, but I realized, if I am on this journey writing historical fiction, I need to read mostly historicals. All I can say is, I am loving the journey. The good, bad and so-so.

    1. I actually have a very hard time reading contemporaries. I write them so I don’t want to read authors books that are just like mine. I love historicals because they truly take me to another place and time. I find I can lose myself more in them. With contemporaries I often finding myself comparing my work to theirs. Does that make any sense?

      1. Definitely. I do the same thing, only with Paranormals/Sci-Fi’s. I write both, so I try not to read them b/c I’ll critique more than enjoy. Contemps, not so much. I’ll pick up a few of the well-knowns, but like most of you because I’m writing too, I just don’t have the time to read anymore.

  5. You are not alone Sugar. You’re really not. See my above comment. I’m exactly the same way. My time is so limited right now, especially since I’ve decided 2013 is going to be my writing year that picking up anything other than my own works is hard. I do love it though when I can get caught up and read in one sitting…that tells me, flaws and all, that the Author did well enough to block the Editor in me and let me just enjoy!

  6. One of the best posts, and honest, I’ve ever read. I do the same thing, all the time – feel like I’m always the only one. I got you beat on 50 Shades – quit by page 2.

  7. I’m so with you, Leslie. I listened to a bestselling author’s book on a trip recently–her current book is close to the top of bestsellers–and if I weren’t trapped in the car trying to stay awake on a long drive, I would have trashed the book early on. I almost junked it at the sixth CD, but I went on to the end. There wasn’t one likeable character in the whole book, and I had no feelings at all for the main character. The book actually depressed me. Never again for that author, because I’ve read her bestseller, though well-written, is the same way. Writing puts my time at a premium, and if I don’t like the book, I’ve forced myself to stop reading.

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