Monday, June 9, 2014

Do You Wanna Know a Secret?



I don't like every book I read.

There.

I said it.

It occurred to me that since I gush about (mostly) MG novels here on the blog, you might think I'm one of those readers who just love every single book they read. Without discrimination. It's-the-best-book-ever kind of adoration.

It's true; I do read a ton of books. And yes, I show enthusiasm for the ones I really love or even just like. I'll read historical fiction, fantasy, contemporary, mysteries, sci-fi, humor, thrillers. I'll read MG and YA and occasional adult books. I truly enjoy most of them.

But you rarely hear about the books I don't like.

Chances are if it's a zombie book, I won't like it (gives me nightmares, honestly!). If the narrator talks directly and incessantly to the reader in a condescending tone ("Dear Reader" this, and "Dear Reader" that), I probably won't like it. If the characters are all privileged pretentious snobs, I won't like it.

And if I feel I'm being manipulated, I definitely won't like it.



Courtesy of Jim Carrey GIFS for Every Occasion at The FW


I just finished reading a new and much-hyped novel and while I was definitely drawn in, I read it with a critical eye. The big reveal didn't shock me, because I knew from the hype that there was going to be a shocking twist, and my brain kept looking for it. When I finished the book I went back to page one. And started over. And I found several instances where the writer cleverly but unfairly (I thought) inserted some sentences that were clearly added to make you think one way. When the opposite was true.

Yes, I'd been manipulated. Which only the best writers can do well. But I HATE when it happens.

I mean, look at me. I ended up reading the book twice, even though I didn't like it very much. Crazy, no? You could argue that the author certainly succeeded.

(If you're curious and would like to know the title of said book, check off the little box that lets me email you directly and I'll let you know privately.)

Are they any types of books (without naming titles) that you don't like to read?

 




26 comments:

  1. I think I know which book you're talking about and I'm on a looong hold at the library for it. I'm very skeptical of its hype. I also blog about books I want to celebrate rather than those I didn't like much. I hate being manipulated too.

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who hates being manipulated, Melissa!

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  2. Ha! This made me laugh, 'cause I've thought the same thing--that people may think I love every book I read, 'cause I choose to spotlight the ones I love. But, I'm with you in not-so-loving some. Often it's just personal preference (I read some 'pink' books, but they have to have real plot to keep my attention), and then sometimes the book just isn't that well written. Or, the humor didn't connect. My son bought an entire series of much-loved popular books that I just couldn't get into. Not HP, though, if that's what you're thinking. I loved those!
    Okay, so box checked. I'm very curious which book it was--and if I've spotlighted it! lol

    --Suzanne
    www.suzannewarr.com

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    1. I loved your comment about 'pink' books, Suzanne! I tend to steer clear of those. And now you've got me curious about the much-loved popular series...

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  3. I've stopped reading a few books half way through, but I'd never tell. I know how hard it is to write a book and the time invested. I just don't mention those titles up on my blog. Although I am considering breaking that rule with a book in a series I loved after hating the initial one. The one area that I usually stay clear of is time travel. I got tired of the mysterious opening in the attic sending a child into another time period.

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    1. Ha! I love time travel. But not if there's a silly portal, so I agree there. Greg, I used to finish every book I picked up. But not anymore. Life is too short! And you've got my curiosity up now about the series your loved after hating the initial volume. Hmm...

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  4. I, too, spotlight books I love but certainly don't love every book I read. I used to finish books I started, even if I didn't like them much, but I don't even do that anymore. Recently, I've set many books aside because they're just not for me. What makes a book not for me is hard to pinpoint, but I know it when I read it.

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    1. I suspected there were other people out there who felt the same way, Barbara. I like your "know it when I read it" comment. So true.

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  5. From my goodreads list, you'd think I love every book, but I leave the ones I didn't like or didn't finish off my list. And sometimes I know it's just the mood I'm in and maybe I'd like the book better another time. And sometimes I'm surprised - I never would have thought I'd like the Hunger Games based on the description.

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    1. That's a wise idea, Kristin. And The Hunger Games does sound pretty terrifying from the description, doesn't it?

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  6. You make a very good point. The only time I make an exception is when I was the one who requested an ARC for review. In that case I do write why I didn't like a book but I try super hard not to be disrespectful to the author and keep in mind how hard it is to write a book. (sorry for very long sentence).

    ~Akoss

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    1. Ah, that's true, Akoss. If you requested the ARC in the first place, and you don't like it, it's a sticky situation. Being respectful works, though.

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    2. This has happened to me before, and I find it really hard to put a negative review on my blog, when I know how hard it is to write a book. I like your respectful solution.

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  7. I just finished a book I didn't love. I had read another book by the same author and thought I would give this one a try, but even though the character arcs were tight and everything came together nicely in the end, the characters and plot were a bit too unbelievable.

    I generally don't like books that have talking animals.

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    1. Hi, Julie! Ah, the talking animal books. Yep. I've avoided some of those for years.

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  8. I don't love every book either. And some I stop reading. Like Kristin, I don't put these on my Goodreads list. And I agree with her that sometimes it's just the mood I'm in. Right now the story really needs to draw me in or I'll have to stop reading it given all the books I need to/want to read.

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    1. You've mentioned your impossible TBR list before, Natalie. Hope you are making progress on that. And I don't blame you in the least for stopping reading if it doesn't draw you in.

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  9. Checking the box here. I want to know. I hate being manipulated. I read a lot of books, jsut about every genre, and certainly don't love all of them, but I can usually find something to like about almost all of them. I'm pretty honest in my reviews. I think that's only fair.

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    1. And I answered you privately, Rosi. Thanks. Good for you for being honest in your reviews.

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  10. This happens to me a lot with books that are overly hyped. I'm starting to wonder if it's like movies--I get my expectations up so high, that it's easy to be disappointed.
    I tend to be someone who likes beautiful prose as well and often really popular books are heavy on plot.

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    1. Beautiful prose is a big draw for me too, Jenni. And that's a good analogy about movies that have been hyped too much. Movies nearly always disappoint me.

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  11. Oh my gosh...it is like you _just_ read my mind. I don't generally enjoy middle grade or ya books written by well established adult fiction writers. That is especially true of middle grade where voice is vital and we cannot see the author in the story (well, that is true of any book really). I have read some where the author is so clearly there or on some case so very, very clear trying to teach a lesson. Drives me nuts.Having said that this is not true of all adult fiction writer turned middle grade. Like you, though...I talk about the books I like--more of a recommended reads thing going on on my blog.

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    1. I find the same thing. Some adult fiction writers have trouble getting the middle grade voice, it seems. Those ones I often stop reading.

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  12. Checking the box a week late. But hey, better late than never.

    Like you, I don't publicly mention books that don't do it for me. I just put them aside and move on. At my age, there's just not enough time to waste on something that's not working for me.

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  13. I am like you in that I don't tend to share the books I don't like, just the ones I enjoy. I like to spread the love of books with others. Of course, I do chat in person with friends about books I didn't like and I tend to not like books that use way too much description. I also put down books when I get far enough in and don't care either way about the characters.

    ~Jess

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  14. I'm pretty sure what book you are talking about. (And can't find the little thing to check off you were talking about, so I'm DYING over here! : ) )
    I don't like the books that are extremely predictable *cough* *hunger* *cough* *games* *cough* Sorry you know allergies...
    Anyway, what's the point of reading the book if you know how it's going to end? Well I usually read them , and fist bump to the air when get to the mystery already solved nd you were RIGHT, but it vexxes me to no end. (Did I spell that right? Excuse my horrible spelling if I didn't.) So yeah that's about it!
    Please check out my blog at bookreviewsatbob.blogspot.com
    : { D

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