We’ve all had it happen. You’re all excited to read that book – the one you’ve been waiting for. The one that finishes off the series that you’ve loved or the debut that everyone’s been talking about. The book with the beautiful cover that made you want to stare at it all day long. The one with a synopsis that captured your attention and made you need to read it!
You pick the book up. It starts off pretty good. Maybe not fantastic but … you’re still hopeful. And then your hope starts to wane. What’s happening? The book – the one you SO wanted to love – is a dud. It’s letting you down!!
I’ve had this happen to me a few times recently. First there was a series ender for an author that I love. All of her YA books have been strong and relevant, and this one was just … meh. And of course this was the one book that I had signed up to be on the tour for (this happened again with a novella for an author right after I joined her street team – really?!). Or another book (again for a tour) that I was really excited about based on the cover and blurb – and I ended up pretty much hating it!! (That review is coming tomorrow).
So, what’s your reaction? Well, I think the five stages of grief sums it up pretty nicely:
This especially happens with an author you love. You start to think that maybe the book wasn’t that bad. I mean your favorite author didn’t really let you down – you were just really tired when you read the book. Or, you know, not in the right mood. You just didn’t get the deeper message or …
Nope. It just wasn’t that good.
How could the characters do such stupid things?! Why on earth did the plot twist in a way that made no sense? What was the author thinking?
Writing a review while in this stage puts you in danger of ranting. Unfortunately, with some books, it’s almost impossible to get out of the anger stage.
This one doesn’t really work with our books, but sometimes we try it anyway. This is the stage where people sit down and write fan fiction. You think, “Well, maybe you wanted to end the series that way, but how about this …” Or you write to the author and beg them to write another book to tie up all those loose ends that you were left with when the series ended.
Or, just maybe say a little prayer? Dear God, please make the author recant their terrible words and write a completely different book where the characters do everything I wanted them to do. I swear I won’t ignore my children the next time they want my attention when I’m reading a book … at least not for more than a few minutes.
The bargaining didn’t work. You just need to go into a corner and cry for a while. Don’t worry – your bookish friends will understand.
It isn’t going to change. It’s time to move on. You still love your author. The next book will be better. For now, find a new book to latch onto and read, read, read!!
I think Jack Donaghy says it best:
So, what do you do when a book lets you down? What was your latest read that you wanted to love, but it just didn’t live up?