Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rough Beginnings

So, in the last 2-3 months, I've been doing a lot of reading. I find, actually, that the amount of reading I do is directly related to how my writing is going at any given time.

Reading a lot? The writing isn't usually going so well.

Not reading? Yeah, I'm using pounding the keys pretty hardcore.

Thankfully, the pendulum is currently swinging towards writing. But as I said, I've been reading many a' book these past months. Some books I've absolutely loved. Some I made it through, perhaps a little begrudgingly. Others I could barely get past the first chapter without wanting to give up. Ever find that happens to you? Unfortunately, I've never really developed a knack for giving up on a book, even if it doesn't snare me right away. I guess I'm an optimist that way. I push through, hoping beyond hope that it will get better. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. But regardless, if I start it, I finish. I'm seeking help. If anyone knows of a good support group for this ailment, please speak up.

Anyway, I wanted to share a few examples.

Yeah, this one shocked me too. It's the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series, and I REALLY enjoyed the first three. I can't tell you how difficult it was for me to get all the way through it. I started and gave up on it at least 4 times, never making it past the first 150-200 pages before calling it quits. Thing is, everyone kept telling me how good the next 2 books were, so I was HIGHLY motivated to push through. But I just couldn't. It bored me senseless. That said, I finally read it from start to finish. It did get better for me the further into the book I got. I don't think there's anything to really fault with the book itself--it just didn't float my boat like the others had.

I went on to finish the series. It was a pretty dang good series, all-around. No idea why 4 hung me up for so long.

Honestly, I don't think I got past the first chapter before calling it quits on this book the first time. I've tried reading other books by Larbalestier and ran into similar issues. There's something with the cadence of her writing that just doesn't jive with my inner ear. I get tripped up, frustrated, and generally speaking, annoyed as all hell when I try to read her work. Again, this says nothing about the storylines--I tried reading her Magic or Madness trilogy and had the same issue. A few pages in, my head was splitting and I had to just call it a no-go--so I can't speak to whether they're good books or not. That's not the issue.

At any rate, I finally read all of HTDYF, and....*drum roll* I actually really enjoyed it. Now, it definitely took me a minute to sink into the cadence of Larbalestier's writing, but I did. The story was pretty dang entertaining in the end. Glad I pushed through. Ah, the rewards of perseverance.

Where do I begin? I hated everything about this book right from the get go. The writing was fine, the setting pretty dang interesting...but the characters? Good gawd. I wanted to hurt them. No, make that beat the ever-lovin' you know what out of them. They were seriously that annoying. I pushed through, pushed through--basically because I have a friend who swears this series is the best love story ever to grace this world. I found the pair annoying and selfish beyond all measure. Oh, did I mention they weren't all that bright, either?


Anyway, I finished. And do you know what I did then? I went and bought the second book in the series.

Yeah, don't ask. I don't know if I could explain my range of emotions about this sudden turn of events.

And finally, my current read.

Y'all. I hate this book. HATE IT. I'm a little more than halfway finished, and I swear, the only way I'm getting through it is by squinting and letting the words blur together. I then proceed to dart my eyes across the page like a gerbil on crack. Ugh. I dread going to bed each night because I know I'll feel compelled to crack it open and read at least 20 pages. 20 pages is doable. 20 pages won't break my spirit or rip away a piece of my soul. I hope.

LOL. Seriously, though.. It just doesn't float my boat. I was so extremely intrigued at first and the premise itself is amazing. I'm just lost and overwhelmed by the world building and all the political stuff and Animals and animals...and yeah, don't get me started. No offense if you really enjoyed this book--it's just not singing for me.

Ah well, you can't win them all. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about some books that I've read and LOVED recently.


Sarah Meral said...

Let me know, if you find a support group for not being able to stop reading a book . I am the same, I am always thinking that maybe the book will get good in the end :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, thank you! Finally someone else who understands! I couldn't even finish Wicked it was boring and annoying me so much. The premise was such a good one but it got bogged down by not just world building but characters who don't really do anything and who don't even seem to have any connections to each other! Ugh.

I don't know any of the other books... I just read Neil Gaiman's Fortunately the Milk (which I loved), and Chuck Wendig's Under the Empyrean Sky (which I enjoyed but if I had known, I would have waited until all three books were out and read the trilogy in one sitting. I don't like pointless cliffhangers [s]).

Jennifer Hendren said...

@Sarah -- LOL! Will do. ;)

Jennifer Hendren said...


Oh thank you, in return!! I was seriously worried it was me. I pick it up, and every night the cover flashes at me. *sold a bazillion and one copies worldwide*

I was beginning to panic that I'd bring down the flying monkeys for disparaging this book.

Yanno, I've had the Graveyard Book on my shelf forever. Started it and never got far. Maybe I'll pick that back up one of these days. :)