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A welcome second chance… Or a recipe for disaster?

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Dead To Me.

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Sara Reyes | I'm Pissed and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore!

Got your attention on that title. It's been another interesting week with book discussions, perhaps because we had two great meetings back-to-back we were able to get into longer and better conversations about books. And the theme I heard the most, besides the absolutely delicious strawberry dessert made by Mindy all low-cal, was readers tired of being angry at books. Now don't despair authors, no one has said they'd hunt you down and shoot you in your sleep or anything really nutty, just an overall frustration at investing in a book and being sorely disappointed. So after reflection and there are only so many 'heated' discussions I can take, I thought perhaps we should dissect this reader dilemma.

Books read this week, all good for me:
Buy Your Copy today
Pre-order Your Copy today
Buy Your Copy today

First problem -- voice changes. What do you do when it's been a long time between books or worse, they go back and re-visit old friends and completely change their sound, ideas, and personalities? Forgiveness is divine I said and was soundly hushed.

Second problem -- character killed off Ooh, this one is generally the kiss of death to the readers I know. Kill off a youngish character at your own peril. Some club members are still irate over a death in a book at least 10 years ago. I mean, seriously, some readers bear longer grudges than the woman and her Seiko! Trust me on this one!

Third problem -- the characters are tired, the plot seemed phoned-in, we've read this before Oh, dear, what happens when it's obvious the shark was jumped a few books previously? Continue to pick up the book? Use the library? Give it a miss? Time is too short to waste and too many other books out there to read is what I think.

Fourth problem -- judging a book by the cover, but it's really crappy. You can throw a whole bunch of problems in this topic: hair, eye-color and general physique mismatch, cartoony cover and serious material, serious material and humorous content, or worse, dog / cat on cover and NO ANIMAL IN THE BOOK! Can you tell this really was a HOT button topic? I mean, who knew animals had such a following to generate feelings of betrayal if a cute dog is on the cover but not in the book. And let's not even go to dog-on-cover-cat-in-book debacles! Shudder. That was a loud discussion!

So, now, it's your turn. WHAT do you do when you feel "betrayed by a book?" Do you actually throw the book against a wall, or in the case of one reader, rip the ear buds out and bounce off the dash of car? Do you give the author another chance? Do you give the series a chance? What's YOUR solution?

Well, until next time... Sara ReyesGet out there and READ a book...
Sara Reyes
DFW Tea Readers Group
Join us at Readers 'n 'ritas November 13-15, 2009!

And of course, comments are welcome AND rewarded! I'm not sure what's in this weekend's Fresh Fiction blog bag, but let's think about this: been to two signings this week, always buy books, hmm, might be something "interesting" to win! Yah never know!




38 comments posted.

Re: Sara Reyes | I'm Pissed and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore!

I get really annoyed when a book's plot is too obvious. I'll read the book hoping that the plot will surprise me and by the end be so mad that I spent hours reading something that I already knew!
I don't actually abuse the book afterwards though. I'll make an angry face and slide it in on my bookshelf.
If the book was well written then I'll generally give the author another change.
I'll only give the series another chance if the blurb on the next book is extrememly alluring.
(Sierra Pendleton 3:34am April 18, 2009)

Sorry for the typo!
(Sierra Pendleton 3:34am April 18, 2009)

I so agree with many of the peeves posted so far, especially the phoned-in one. Two of my once favorite authors (I won't name names) seem to have become a victim of their own success because their books have become increasingly predictable and tired. And yet I still buy them, hoping for a return to what I loved.

I also hate loose ends. Sometimes when I'm reading a book, something will seem important (to me, at least) and I will look forward to the resolution of this plot point but it is never revisited. That irks me to no end.
(Michelle St. James 5:52am April 18, 2009)

I agree with the general idea of being tired of some books. Don't have a good storyline so fill it with sex? That does not endear an an author to me when they seem to just be copying one another just because readers like sex in books. I still read for enjoyment of the characters and a worthwhile storyline. There are many really, really, good authors out there who can combine eroticism, great characters and great dialogue. I agree with Michelle about plot points that pique my interest then never get mentioned again. As to Sierra's comment, I agree to a point about predictability. Some books are predictable but many authors craft the story well enough to enjoy it. The thing I really despise? Books that don't end. They're part of a series and we have to buy the next one to find out what happens. I won't do it. Give me a beginning, middle and end. I won't pick up another book from an author who leaves me hanging.
(Dee Dailey 9:04am April 18, 2009)

I just finished the 4th and last book in a series and while I enjoyed the book, I was very disappointed with the way it ended. Since it was the ending of a very connected series, I expected a lovely wrap-up at the ending. But the 4 friends didn't get together, there wasn't the usual wedding, or a passing on of a magical item which was an integral part of the 4 stories. If you are going to write a connected series, there should be a satisfying ending that ties up loose strings.
(Cheryl Castings 9:28am April 18, 2009)

I agree with Cheryl's comment I also dislike reading a book that seems to be going one direction and the last page seems to come from some other author i.e., the murderer was a man who wasn't even mentioned anywhere else in the book - or just mentioned in passing.
(Karin Tillotson 9:58am April 18, 2009)

I agree with Pat. One of the authors I'm addicted to lately has two male characters in each book that are hunting vampires together even though one is a vamp himself. The storylines are simple but the characters themselves are excellent. A story doesn't have to be an epic novel to hold my interest, it just has to have that sense of consistency. A couple great characters don't even have to have a villain all the time to hold my interest. Sort of like the old TV shows many of us over 40 liked, there are central characters we tune in to see all the time because we adore them no matter what adventure they're involved in.
(Dee Dailey 10:44am April 18, 2009)

covers I can forgive the author, mostly, as the covers aren't theirs as much and the book usually lives or dies by the cover. I'm also one of those that don't care for loose ends. As a rule 3 or 4 in a series is about my limit after that I also might pickup another at the UBS just to see what's going on LOL
(Barbs Ferris 10:55am April 18, 2009)

I don't like to read the same old plot. I love the surprise of something new. I do like having characters who are in multiple books, as long as their character is fully developed. I do want loose ends tied up unless they are to be solved in the next book.
(Kathy Crouch 11:39am April 18, 2009)

I hate when couples break up over really stupid misunderstandings. And if I'm really irritated, then yes, I have actually thrown a book (but it was in the trash, not against the wall).
(Jody Faltys 1:07pm April 18, 2009)

I have a few peeves that no one has mentioned. I love a GOOD romantic comedy, but lately it seems that the comedy goes beyond funny into inane. I have a book for review right now that I am having a difficult time plowing through because of its inanity. It is the 3rd book of a series, and I have not read the first two, so a lot of the "jokes" fall flat on me.

Another thing - again, I truly love a good romance tale, but I want committment and love, don't indiscriminate sex that fills up 5-6 pages in great detail. If I want to read erotica -- which I don't -- there are a lot of titles and authors out there to choose from.

Book covers are just that to me. I read the back blurb first,that's the way I've discovered new authors in the past. Have to admit, tho, that I usually stick with authors I have some familiarity with.
(Betty Cox 1:19pm April 18, 2009)

At dinner on Wednesday the discussion led me to believe that many of us are happy with multiple story lines. I think too many story lines means the author simply couldn't make
up enough of one or two for a full book, so threw in some others. Sometimes I feel as though the multiple storylines cheat some of the characters from being able to fully have
their story told, and therefore I feel cheated.

I want the characters I love to have their stories told, and sometimes that does mean an extra story line, but don't do it if you're going to give a half hearted attempt is my thought,
but since I'm not an author I really don't know what might or might not be possible!
(Sandi Shilhanek 1:41pm April 18, 2009)

When I feel betrayed by a book, maybe it's a series that has gone off the deep end, then I'm much more cautious about buying anymore books from that author. I'll usually wait to read reviews before I purchase another book in the series.
(Leslie Gladnick 2:47pm April 18, 2009)

Unfortunately a lot of the authors are force to go in a different direction at the insistance of their publishers. They will no publish the book saying it doesn't really meat the going fad. I will admit not always but when an author who has repeatedly brought great reading and sudden there is a dud, this is often the case.
(Paula Blair 2:58pm April 18, 2009)

I have my own favorite author's but I almost always check reviews before I buy a book. A few months ago I bought a book that came with a guantee if I didn't like it I could get my money back. I bought it because I like the author, unfortunately it was a paranormal and I didn't realize it. I sent it back in and got my money back. I won't give up on an author though because of one bad book.
(Judy Anderson 5:08pm April 18, 2009)

I will never give up on an author because of a bad book. Gosh, I don't think I have ever run across a bad book by one of my favorite authors!;-)

One thing I don't like is when a book is a rip off of another book. Like the Harry Potter series. There sure were a lot of books that came out afterwards that ripped off the series.
(Michele Rioli 7:34pm April 18, 2009)

I'm a freelance copy editor and proofreader, so I think my pet peeve will probably be obvious! I feel really disappointed and even betrayed when I read a book by a favorite author with typos, bad grammar and punctuation (except in dialogue, obviously, when there is a little leeway), and my absolute biggest pet peeve--inconsistencies! For example, if a name is spelled "Sandra" on page 13 and "Saundra" on 113, I get pretty angry (especially if it is an expensive hard cover book). I feel like this does not fall under the authors' purview so much as the publishers, who frankly need to hire better copy editors or give copy editors better budgets so they can do justice to the authors' creations!
(Laura Quilling 8:20pm April 18, 2009)

I also wanted to comment on the "Fourth problem -- judging a book by the cover." I hope most people know how little input an author usually has when determining the cover of a book, but I agree that it is a huge problem! It is often very much as if the person designing the cover did not read the book--or even a few pages of the book--before beginning work on the covers. This seems to be especially prevalent in sci fi/fantasy and romantic fiction, and it even seems to occur with well-known, popular authors, authors that I think would be able to write "final approval" into their contracts but apparently cannot!
(Laura Quilling 8:30pm April 18, 2009)

I would like to bring up another peeve-mysteries outright,obviously and logically NOT revealing "The Villain" and the end of the book. My experience was with a Rex Stout book (Nero Wolfe) in which "The Villain" was never identified by name and obvious deduction. I was hesitant to read a mystery and this really put me off. Sure, I want to read a mystery to try to figure out who the Bad Guy is;but if i cannot puzzle it out,puh-lease(!) tell me.
(Dawn Raymer 9:20pm April 18, 2009)

if i come across a bad book, i would probably not purchase another by the same author. i tend to read reviews before i buy a book just to make sure it's something i'm going to like so i can avoid that problem.
(Tina Werner 9:25pm April 18, 2009)

Once, I tossed the book across the room. Another time, way back when I was in high school, I tossed the book on the floor and wrote a scathing review of it in my book report.
(Jacqueline Lam 9:50pm April 18, 2009)

I'll usually finish a book, even if it isn't
very good. If it is an author I'm not
familiar with, I'll probably not read
her/him again. Any author can have a
book that just doesn't click. If i've
liked them in the past, I'll still read
them. Titles - may draw me to the
book, but it is the cover blurb that
usually makes up my mind with a new
author. Sorry, but can we tone down
the sex a little. Things are getting a
little much on the covers and on the
pages. If I want Erotica I'll read it. I
don't. Five pages of in depth
description of a romp in bed isn't
necessary. It has almost become
refreshing to from "they kissed" to
"and next morning" in two paragraphs.
I want good characters, a good plot,
Laura mentioned typos, bad grammar,
etc. - can't agree more. One book I
read lately was so frustrating, I finally
took out a red pen and started to
correct it. It certainly detracted from
the story.
One last complaint. Lately I've read
several books that have been pretty
good until the end. The authors
spend time developing the characters,
and weaving a pretty good plot. The
suspense builds, then it seems like
they got tired of writing or decided
they had enough pages and just end
the story in a few pages _
confrontation, bad guy caught, hero
and heroine live happily ever after.
Very unsatisfying.
(Patricia Barraclough 11:50pm April 18, 2009)

Ihave my fav orite authors but have purched books by the cover too. Most of them were very good but some stunk. Evelyn Day
(Evelyn Day 12:14pm April 19, 2009)

When I find that an author's book sounds like the same old story I've read before, I give the book away, give the author one more chance and if it happens again, stop buying that author.
I usually buy books because I like the author. I never buy because of the cover.
(Carol Mintz 12:24pm April 19, 2009)

I will try to read enough of a book to be sure it doesn't get better as the story develops. If not, I put it aside and chalk it up to "at least I tried." There are too many truly good books out there to waste my time on one I simply can't get through.
(LuAnn Morgan 12:54pm April 19, 2009)

I read every day, revisiting old friends and discovering new ones. Life would be very
dull for me without them.
Thank you to all the authors that have given such joy.
(Elizabeth Parzino 1:27pm April 19, 2009)

I have only found one book that I truly did not like. I've had some that I did not enjoy but I finished them anyway. I do have my "auto buy" authors. While a cover will catch my eye, I do not buy a book just because of the cover.
(Phyllis Crabtree 2:47pm April 19, 2009)

I dislike an author that doesn't conclude the various story lines that were built up along the way. Maybe the editor decided it wasn't necessary and cut out just the pages I was wanting to read. I tend not to read those authors again.
(Betty Dennis 4:47pm April 19, 2009)

I hate when a character's name changes from book to book. Inez to Irene, etc...
(Donna Curran 6:03pm April 19, 2009)

I hate when all of a sudden the story wraps up quickly. The characters go through the entire book feeling one way and then suddenly have a change of heart in the last pages.

Another thing I hate is deceptive titles. Just this weekend I read a book (sort of). The title alluded to a them I love but in reality the book had a theme I hate. I read enough to figure out I was being rooked, flipped to the back to verify there wasn't a misunderstanding and then ditched the book. Very rare for me.
(Lynda Smith 8:05pm April 19, 2009)

As a major book collector/reader. I hate when an author changes the name of a older book and re-markets it. I think it is dishonest and fraudulant. and should be unacceptable in reputable publishers.
(Shirley Brewer 11:19am April 20, 2009)

I agree with #4 that I get annoyed if the cover doesn't match the facts of the story... but that won't make me not read the book or the author again. Two things will. 1. Total errors in the middle of the book with wrong character names as though another book got caught in a page...plus the fact that the heroine should have had a cell phone and it was as though that tool never existed. Didn't read that author for 4 years. 2. When the story gets lost in the sexual scenes... STOP - its supposed to be a plot not a chance for porn! There - that's my rant! *G*
(Martha Eskuchen 10:37pm April 20, 2009)

There's only been a coupla times that I've been so angry with a book I couldn't take it anymore; one, a LONG time ago, was so poorly written, that even the sage words of my 4th Grade teacher couldn't even save it. She said always give a book the first two chapters; if you still don't like it,then quit. I ended up literally tossing it away from me. Most of the time I just finish a book, even though I've lost interest. Another time, I was reading an anthology that I had completely wanted to read when I first read the cover, but it was from a different country/culture, and the language difference, especially the colloquial, that I literally threw the book at a wall.
(Kelli Jo Calvert 4:53pm April 23, 2009)

I get annoyed when an author who is primarly a contemp writer sets out to write a historical romance and the hero/heroine end up sounding like they are in the 21st century rather than the 19th. That bugs me...characters should be true to the time period!
(Karen Haas 1:42pm April 25, 2009)

I can only think of one book in the recent past that I took the book and fussed at it, wrote a horrible review of it and anyone willing to listen I told them how misleading, dissappointing and angered I was. I love paranormal and I believe in giving new authors a chance, but this lady got a book published that didn't have much to do with the back synopsis, no character developement at all, no feelings or passion in the very words written on the page and the ending (yes I read the whole bloody thing thinking it has to get better right??).. the last words there should have said I suck, I apologize and please let me give you your money back. She had other books, historical ones and the publisher must have said oh yes of course you can write a paranormal and lets publish it with out even freaking reading it!!! WRONG, it was just wrong!
I agree with mis-spelled names, typo's and especially if it is a hard cover, that is a big no no. If the guy on the front has brown hair, then in the story inside the book he better darn well have brown hair. You give the reader a visual and then to misrepresent the book, hello??How long does it take for someone to jot down model should have brown hair? Maybe ask the author, no do ask the author and they should have more say because it is their story, their baby and I bet they would do an awesome job representing their babies/books correctly!!
(Chris Jones 2:42pm April 29, 2009)

Wow, what a bunch of annoyed people! If I can't get into a book in the first 2 chapters ... I'm done with it. Otherwise I'll read it for the excellent plot, clever dialog or great descriptions.
(Sandy Miresse 11:26am July 19, 2009)

My own pet peeve is grammar--If the story is compelling, I can forgive lots of things, but grammatical errors and runon sentences in the first couple of pages shut me down. I'm not the grammar police by any means, but ater long experience as a reader, I have come to realize that carelessness with the actual writing is going to lead to carelessness with the story construction. Tell me your story, but proof it before it gets to the publisher, because the editors don't do that anymore.
(Janet Martin 11:41am May 7, 2011)

I'm a little confused about the dates of this blog, but thought I'd throw my comment in. The biggest disturbance I've ever had with a book is when one of the main characters died. It was very upsetting & I've never read another book by that author! A pet peeve is when some aspect of the story is just totally illogical or contradictory.
(Diane Sallans 5:54pm May 8, 2011)

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