Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Just Don't Get It

The film adaptation of Stephanie Meyers book The Host will be hitting theatres soon (I don't know exactly when, but I assume soon because people are talking about it on the social media sites).  And seeing a Twitter page about it this morning made me realize something.

I just don't get the attraction.

I tried to read The Host.  I really did.  My daughter loves the book and I hadn't read anything by Stephanie Meyers yet, so I sat down and made a concerted effort to read it.  And I managed to slog through about a third of that paperweight before I finally gave up.  The Kid said I was almost to where it starts to get good.  A third of the way through and it starts to get good? 


I thought we writers were supposed to make sure it 'got good' in the first few pages.  Hook the reader and then keep them hooked all the way through the book.  Right?  Am I missing something?

Now, I have nothing against Ms. Meyers.  She's wildly popular and that's awesome.  Someday I hope to glean a bit of the popularity for myself.  And I have nothing against the book itself.  It wasn't for me.  And the reading of it was long enough ago that I don't remember exactly what turned me off... unsympathetic characters perhaps?  :shrug:  I just didn't get into it.

And that's the way this writing biz goes sometimes.  Some people love you and some people don't. Hell, that's the way life goes.  And that's okay.

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone in their right minds would willingly read James Joyce.  :shudder:  Or why the public school system feels the need to force feed Catcher in the Rye to impressionable minds.  (As an aside, I loved the fact that in Conspiracy Theory, the government uses Catcher in the Rye to brainwash their assassins and then uses it to track them - because they've all got a compulsion to buy the book wherever they are.)

But I digress. 

Maybe the popularity of The Host was based on the public's love of the Twilight books.  (Still haven't tried reading one of those.  I saw parts of a couple of the movies and... meh.)  :shrug:  The reading public wants what it wants.  And I'm guessing I'm not in the majority.

And for the record, I never got the people's love for Gone With the Wind either (the movie, not the book - which I haven't read yet either).

Don't mind me.  I'm just rambling this morning.  What about you, though?  If you've read The Host, what am I missing?  Is there some other book or movie that's popular but you just don't get why?  On the other hand, is there some book or movie you just love never became wildly popular, and you don't understand why?

(Play nice, folks.  Saying you didn't like something is fine as long as you don't get nasty about it.  And no arguments in the comments, folks.  We'll just agree to disagree and keep those disagreements to ourselves, eh?)


  1. Honestly, I have THE HOST on my bookshelf but I've never tried to read it. I'm pretty sure it was a gift from someone, but I can't remember who. Anyway, this happens to me all the time. When I do give in and read a wildly popular book, I end up not liking it. This happens a lot with romance novels, actually. I'm very picky about what I like and don't like, which can make it difficult to find new authors *sighs*

  2. I mean, she's right — it does start to get interesting after the first third — but yeah, I've never understood why it didn't just start on the page I finally got pulled in by either. Always assumed the success of Twilight meant there was little editorial input maybe. Not sure!


  3. Haven't drunk the Twilight Kool-aid so I'm not going to waste my $$ on The Host. The other big publishing phenom I don't get is that whole 50 variations on a neutral color gig. I'm sorry. Something that starts out as BAD fanfiction (poorly written, edited, and not even *that* good on the "down and dirty") just doesn't deserve the hype.

    Ah well. Different strokes. I'm not about to tell someone what they can or cannot like and read.

  4. LOL, my DH read the Twilight books and liked them (he's an old-time vampire/Bela Lugosi fan) but he couldn't finish The Host either.

    I'm with you on Catcher in the Rye.

    I tried to read The Kite Runner three times and never got through it.

    Last year I read Gone Girl (at the urging of my agent) and I can't remember when I've absolutely hated a book so much.

    I'm sure that somewhere someone hates my books just as much! :-)

  5. The movie "Gone With the Wind" never interested me until I read the book. And I only read the book because it was worth 3 books in my HS English class. This was at a time when I would spend months reading a book and I read that one in 10 days. It was definitely a record for me (at the time, of course). I loved it! There is so much more in that book than the movie could ever show!

    As for "The Host," I read it. Yes, it took me awhile to get into it, too, but I loved all the Twilight books (read them 4 times each), so I had no problem sticking with it. I can't say the beginning is bad, it's just slow setting up stuff.

    And, as for a book (series) I haven't read, but everyone else seems to? I can readily admit I am not a Harry Potter fan. Those books never interested me, and I slept through the first movie. I just don't see what all the hoopla is about.

  6. KD still insists it's an awesome book, Natalie, so don't take my word for it.

    And she was glad to see you agreed with her, Mia. She agreed with you that they should've started the book at the grabbier place.

    LOL, Silver... Twilight Kool-Aid. Yeah, I didn't get the lure of the 50 hues of colorless either. To each her own.

    Oh, JB. I remember you talking about Gone Girl. And if there is someone who hates your books, they really aren't worth knowing, imo. Dislike? Didn't grab? I could get past that, but hate... nope, don't wanna know 'em.

  7. You must've commented while I was typing my comment, Stacy. And your comment proves my point that everyone's tastes are different. I love HP, but you don't, and that's okay. My mom couldn't get past the first book - and she only read that because she'd gotten it for my daughter (if I remember correctly.)

  8. I LOVE it!!! (though I was like that with Twilight...didn't really get into it) It may not be a classic, but it is sooo worth it! I read the first Act and was pretty non-committal, but once I hit that first big twist I stayed up and finished the whole novel in one night; I didn't go to bed until 5am! (I do think the slow set up was a flaw in the modern market, but it all ties together SO WELL in the end... and it makes you love the characters that much more.:) *but I'm biased, because I LOVE IT* It was one of those books that made me feel a bit childish in my enjoyment-- I was a kid at Christmas there for the final Act.:D

  9. I read the opening page of the Host and wasn't hooked, but I am really curious about the concept of the book, so maybe I'll give it another try. Sometimes you have to give it a few chapters.

    I used to be more snarky about this author, but now I just give her kudos for writing stuff that people really like to read.

  10. Hey Casey, I think it's awesome when anyone gets that excited about any book. =o)

    That's it exactly, Lydia. I definitely give Ms. Meyers kudos for her success - even if I'm not a fan.

  11. Lydia, and B.E., I agree, I think any author that makes people (especially young people)excited about reading is doing good. I like that outlook. :)