Saturday, May 5, 2012

Just Meh

I picked up this book a few weeks ago (whose title and author shall remain nameless).  It had all the earmarks of being something I'd love.  First off, it's a suspense.  Second, it's near-future - which I love.  Plus, it has big ideas that I'm sympathetic toward (as opposed to big ideas that make me want to gag).

I tried to read it.  I slogged through 211 pages for petesakes.  And that took me 2 weeks.  Meanwhile my TBR pile was growing and beginning to get a mite testy that it was being neglected.  Yesterday, I made myself pick the damn thing up again.  I read two pages before putting it back down again.  At that point, I admitted defeat.

You know me - I hate not finishing a book I put so much time and effort (and money - since it was a hardcover) into.  That's part of the reason why I tried so hard to finish this damn thing.  I wanted to love it. In the end, though, I just didn't.  And here's the thing.  I didn't hate it either.  It was just 'meh'.

And I can't put my finger on exactly why it was just meh.

Maybe it was that the characters felt flat to me.  Maybe it was that early on, I could see where the story was going.  Maybe it was that I had such hopes for this novel that I oversold it to myself and then it under-delivered.  :shrug:

I kept reading, hoping the characters would do something to make me love them or hate them or feel something for them.  I read on praying to the reading gods that the author would do something unexpected to make the story sing.  I pushed ahead dreaming that the story would live up to my expectations.  And I wasted two weeks and 211 pages doing it.

Today I'll be moving on.  I have a whole piles of works by awesome authors I know won't disappoint me.  Hell, the new Allison Brennan alone should pull me out of the malaise this book put me into.  If that doesn't work, I have Kevin Hearne, Laura Griffin, Nancy Holzner, Gini Koch, Justin Gustainis, Monica McCarty, David Farland - to name a few - to brighten my spirits.

Unless it wasn't that author and it was me.  Gack, what a depressing thought.

What about you?  Ever read a book that was 'just meh'?  How long do you usually last before you give up on a story?

And don't forget to enter my 30,000 Pageviews Contest.  You have until the 10th.


  1. Yes, this has happened to me before. Personally, I think it's a 'mood' thing. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for a certain genre and any other genre just isn't going to cut it. This also happens when I've been reading too much. Like you, I'll have authors I love and binge on their books- hitting a lucky streak and loving five books in a row and then when I try to get 'into' a different author's writing or pacing it just doesn't always work for me. I imagine this is how agents must feel:)

  2. I used to force myself to finish a book I didn't like, but not anymore. Once university hit and I realized how precious my free time was, I stopped making myself read things I didn't enjoy. I generally read until page 50, but if that special spark is missing, I put it down. My mum will ALWAYS try the book after me (and she does force herself to read the whole thing), but I've never been wrong about a book.

    For the books I didn't enjoy, I bring to the used bookstore. I don't get much for them (generally I just get credit to that store), but I figure that way someone else will have a chance to read it. And who knows, that person might love the book! =)

    Btw, I just read The Saint by Monica McCarty (I was holding off on it because I knew the second I started it, I'd read the whole thing LOL), and it did not disappoint. It was AMAZING! I can't wait for her next one =)

  3. Yes, I have put down books before... life is short, and there are soo many great books and authors out there that are begging to be adored... I just don't have the patience for a book I don't enjoy.

    I will admit, though, that sometimes its just that the authors writing style is a tad dry for me. I like to feel an emotional/intimate connection with my story/characters. I don't like to feel like I'm hovering just out of reach of the story, but IN it. That is usually what makes me say it's time to move on. :)

  4. That's been happening to me a lot lately. I usually give it 75-100 pages, and then stop. Sometimes I force myself to read the whole thing, but lately I've been kind of like you - why waste my time when I'm not going to love it? There are so many others I want to read.

  5. How did I miss this?

    I always abandon books - usually, like Natalie, around the 50 page mark. I figure if you haven't hooked me by then, you never will! I totally understand the reason why agents request 30 pages!

    Hope you get into something better, B.E. - nothing worse than being disappointed in a book and then picking up an equally less-then-stellar right after.

    Happy Reading :)