That Book You Wanted to Love – Let’s Discuss

April 10, 2015 Let's Discuss 55

2015 Discussion Challenge3

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:

Denial

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.

max-blum-denial

Anger

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.

Anger

Bargaining

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.

DAbargaining

Depression

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.

Sad

Acceptance

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:

Five Stages of Grief

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?

55 Responses to “That Book You Wanted to Love – Let’s Discuss”

  1. Crystal Books Unbound

    This post is great! And so true! The last book I read that just didn’t measure up to the hype, cover, awesome synopsis and community reviews was The Sin Eater’s Daughter. I wanted to love this book so much! But it just came off as boring with a ton a info dumps! I kept hoping that something would happen but after about 150 pages, I just had to put it down. I was really looking forward to it though 🙂

    Crystal Books Unbound recently posted: The Maze Runner: Announcing the Collector’s Edition!
    • Nicole

      I haven’t read that one yet, but it does seem to be one that people are either really enjoying – or really not. 🙂

  2. Joycedale Chapman

    I absolutely hate this! I got far enough into your post to know what you’re talking about and immediately thought of Ignite Me. I have never hated a series ending as much as that one. I know there’s some new release ones but that was the only series to pop into my head.
    Love this post btw, very funny with the clips.

    • Nicole

      Oh no!! I have the first book in this series waiting for me on my bookshelf, but I don’t know when I’ll get to it – sounds like I might have disappointment in my future!

    • Nicole

      Yes, why do we do that to ourselves – read books that we know that, even though everyone else is raving about them, we’re probably not going to like them. It’s just setting ourselves up for disappointment. 🙂

  3. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    This has happened to me SO MANY TIMES. I think I’ve blanked out a lot of the incidents because they were so painful. But one that stands out is The Amber Spyglass, conclusion of the trilogy His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I cringed my way to the end but it was such a disappointment after the first two books were so great.

    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted: Houses of Healing: The Eliot Family Trilogy
  4. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Depending on how the book made me feel, I either curl up into a ball and cry endlessly…or I scream and rant and rage around the house–pending that there are no children or hell, anyone around! LOL!

    It’s funny, because my Friday post, which has random questions, was one of mine this week and it’s very similar to this one.

    There have been books I wanted to love! Because I loved the author. Because it sounded soooo good and intriguing. Because everyone I know has read and loved it. But then I read it…and it’s soooooo not the read for me. It can be a multitude of reasons. That I found the characters lacking, the plot or pacing was slow, the worldbuilding was poorly executed, or even just not feeling the originality. There was no spark between me and the book. I feel like that happens maybe 1 out of 100 books? LOL. Okay, maybe not that.

    But for the most part I do truly enjoy just about every book I read. Maybe they’re not all 5 stars, but they were enjoyable. Then there’s that one book I want to love. I’ll know I love…but the chemistry between us just doesn’t click.

    And I find it sooo weird that I am describing this relationship between me and book like it was between me and a boyfriend! LOL. The trials and tears of a reader I guess!

    Great post! Definitely agree with those 5 stages of grief. Though, acceptance…it’s harder for some books, but I guess in a way I get there. Usually when I remove the book completely from my life and pick up the next read! 😉

    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted: Review--Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
    • Nicole

      Yeah, sometimes acceptance isn’t really acceptance at all, but more like what Jack Donaghy says – “Shoving down emotions and proceeding as if everything’s fine.” Sometimes that’s all you can do!!

  5. Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

    I usually try to avoid the super-hyped books as I know I’ll wind up disappointed, but it’s harder when it’s one of your favorite authors. I tend to get stuck in the denial phase, as maybe the book didn’t really suck and I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Because no way would my favorite author let me down, right? Awesome post!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such... recently posted: Review: Carniepunk anthology
    • Nicole

      Exactly! I think I get stuck there sometimes too. Or I just end up feeling guilty – like I let the author down! LOL!

  6. Julie

    Love this post on the 5 stages of wanting to love a book, but not. Great use of GIFs 🙂 Yea I get really disappointed when a book doesn’t meet my expectations. I might book the series/author aside for a while.

    Julie recently posted: Book Review – Obsidian (Lux #1)
    • Nicole

      Yes, sometimes you just can’t find your way out of that denial stage at all!! I love the name of your blog, by the way!

  7. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    hahaha this was an awesome post Nicole^^ funny AND true.

    It sucks when a book is SO promissing and then simply doesn’t deliver. I’ve had that happen recently with series enders and with debuts alike. I think the worst though, is when it’s from a beloved author. I always feel so disillusioned o.O And you’re right: the five stages of grief sum things up perfectly XD

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: A Darker Shade of Magic
    • Nicole

      Yes – and I’m so horrible, I actually feel guilty over not liking a book by my favorite author. As if my thoughts on their book are going to be all that important to them! 🙂

  8. Silvara

    I’ve had that happen more often than I’d like. I had one book by an author I love, it was #3 in a series and I just slogged my way through it. The first book was really good, the second book was good, but that third one I was just sitting there wondering what was going on. It wasn’t even the last in the series, it was just bad.

    Also had it happen with a book I got, where the cover was beautiful and the synopsis sounded really good and perfect for me. And then I started reading it and wondered if the person writing the synopsis had been on drugs or something when they wrote the blurb. What was inside the book was not at all what I had been expecting.

    With the author I love, I got the next book in the series at a used bookstore for really cheap just in case it was bad too. (It was, but only half the book, the rest was awesome! So now I’m conflicted on whether or not to get the last one in the series… *laughs*) The other author wasn’t one I usually read, so I don’t know if I’ll buy more from them or not.

    Silvara recently posted: Fantasy Creature Friday – Kul!
    • Nicole

      I’m one of the few people who hasn’t read that series yet, so I can’t comment on you not liking it, but I definitely know what you mean! Sometimes a book just isn’t for you!

  9. Elizabeth

    This just happened to me with The Andy Cohen Diaries. I’ve had it on hold at the library for 5 months, and I read his first memoir, Most Talkative and loved it. Unfortunately, Diaries is just that, a diary. There’s no explanation of who people are in relation to Andy (friend, family, etc.) and the funny stories are overwhelmed by the detritus of daily life. I know he was trying to emulate the Andy Warhol Diaries, and he did, it just didn’t entertain me the way Most Talkative did.

  10. Vlora @ Reviews and Cake

    I love this post! It’s so disappointing when a book doesn’t live up to your expectations, but there is a flipside: books that you had no expectations of, but that turned out to be GREAT! I think the last book that let me down majorly was Throne of Glass. Everyone seemed to love it, but I just didn’t get it. It happens a lot with hyped books, because my expectations are just SO HIGH.

    Vlora @ Reviews and Cake recently posted: Graphic Design and Superheroes
    • Nicole

      Oh, you’re so right! I love it when I’m not expecting much at all and a book blows me away! I’ll have to write a post about that too!!

    • Nicole

      I haven’t read The Duff yet, but I’m definitely interested in reading it. It seems like the type of book that would be cute, but not necessarily earth-shattering.

  11. ShootingStarsMag

    Great post! I’m not usually able to read things when they are first released so I’m often spared from reading a hyped book that I see nobody seems to like. But it can be a bummer when you REALLY think you’ll like something and it just doesn’t work out. I’ve been pretty lucky so I can’t think of the last book that did that to me…

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  12. Kritika

    I’ve been AWOL from the blogosphere for the past month or two, and I really miss your blog! This post is fantastic, and sums up my feelings about books I wanted to love but didn’t. HAHA Jack Donaghy is the best 😀

    Kritika recently posted: Review: Heir of Fire
  13. Terri M., the Director

    The first book to pop in my head was Seeker. The cover was so pretty. The buzz was good and then I started seeing the reviews. I did give it a chance and I did read it, but I wasn’t a fan.

    The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey…yuck. Possibly the worst book I read in 2013.

    After reading the other comments, two authors popped in my head. John Green–loved TFiOS. I tried Looking for Alaska after that; not a fan. I even picked up An Abundance of Katherines and I ended up abandoning that book. Rainbow Rowell–loved Eleanor & Park. I tried Attachments and then abandoned it.

    I hate being disappointed! Last weekend at Mini-Con, one of the authors brought up The Maze Runner. Based on her comments, I actually removed it from my bookshelf when I got home. 🙂

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    • Nicole

      I was more okay with Seeker than most people were, but I definitely didn’t love it. I actually liked The 5th Wave, though – funny how that works sometimes. I think TFioS is the only Green book I’ve read. I loved it, but it hasn’t really stuck in my head as an all-time favorite like it has for most people. I still plan to read another one of his books, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  14. S. J. Pajonas

    Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb here, because in general, as an author, I do not speak ill of other people’s books. *clears throat* But this was me with Allegiant, and I was so angry, I cried and stopped reading at 30%. Then I went online, spoiled the ending for myself, and never looked back. I even have trouble believing it was written by her because comparing the final book with the first, the styles were so different, it was shocking.

    Anyway, I now am wary of series… AND I WRITE THEM! Lol. So I’m also VERY careful while writing them. I have a few close friends who have read every book, and when it came to the last book in the series, I gave it to them and I wanted their complete and honest feedback especially “Do I deliver on everything I promised?” Because to not deliver is failure, as far as I’m concerned.

    I feel ya as both a reader and a writer 🙂

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Get FACE TIME for only 99¢… or FREE!
    • Nicole

      I totally understand how it would be hard to critique other people’s books when you’re writing yourself. Puts you in kind of a tricky position. I think I was one of the only people in the world who actually really loved Allegiance. I read all three books right in a row, so the momentum built for me, up to that final moment. And I was pretty happy with it. (And also incredibly sad, of course). But I definitely seem to be in the minority on that one.

      Speaking of your last book – I just downloaded it and can’t wait to jump in!! 🙂

  15. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I love this! I have a post that is kind of along these lines scheduled for next week, but it is a bit different (thank goodness). This is just… awful when it happens. The same thing happened to me for a blog tour recently. (As in, yesterday, if you are curious- hell, I’ll even link the commentluv to it 😉 ) It’s even harder when you have committed to promoting it, and you were just so SURE you’d love it. I was in denial too! I… haven’t found acceptance with most of mine yet. Especially those series enders you speak of. That is the absolute WORST. Because you have invested so much in the story, the characters, the world, and then… Allegiant 😉 (Kidding- kind of?) I can handle a book letting me down. But there are a few series that I don’t think I will ever recover from fully (the aforementioned Divergent, Delirium, Dustland… UGH). Anyway, while I loved this post, I have to go cry over some bad books now 😀

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Becoming Jinn Excerpt and Giveaway!
    • Nicole

      Yep – I think you know that that’s what happened to me too. I still posted my review, since it was an Edelweiss book, but I struggled with pulling out of the tour and posting a negative review. Ugh!

  16. Manda

    Haha spot on! This happened to me with Erika Johansen’s debut novel, The Queen of the Tearling. Seems like everyone else loved it so much, PLUS Emma Watson will be starring in it… and then the book was a let-down for me. It was odd ’cause I could still find so many positive points about the book, and I kept rationalizing it, trying to make myself like it more than I actually did… but what can you do. Can’t lie to my heart. It’s not you, baby, it’s me.

    Manda recently posted: The Invasion of the Tearling
    • Nicole

      I haven’t read that one yet. But, yeah, you’re right – sometimes a book works for seemingly everyone else, but for some reason it just doesn’t work for you. what can you do?

    • Nicole

      Whereas, for some reason, I had very little in the way of expectations when it came to Grave Mercy and I really loved it. Funny how that works sometimes, right?

  17. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    I hate it when this happens, *especially* if it’s a series ender. One in particular made me super angry, and I still have reached the “acceptance” stage.
    I had really high hopes for The Witch Hunter, but I ended up feeling pretty meh about it. It sucked because I was just so ready to love it. :/

    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted: Top Ten Inspiring Book Quotes
  18. C.J. @ ebookclassics

    Heh heh, Landline was my first Rainbow Rowell book too and I thought it was great. I love this post because I have a bad habit of getting so excited about a book and being let down. One book that I really wanted to love was TFIOS, but I thought it was just okay. But I just watched movie and it was amazing, so now I’m a bit confused over whether I was too hard on the book and should re-read it.

  19. Tracy Krimmer

    I’m with S.J., that, as an author, I don’t want to specifically call out any books. There are, however, quite a few I was underwhelmed with. Sometimes all the hype actually turns me away from the book. I have actually never read a Nicholas Sparks book. Am I the only one? :/

    Tracy Krimmer recently posted: K is for Kindle!

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