When a Book is Disappointing

Thankfully, my read list so far this year is full of books I actually enjoyed. But I recently finished a book I was not happy with. I was disappointed.

This hasn’t happened to me in awhile, which is why I’m so overcome . . . hah! It’s not that dramatic. But it was the second in a series I had been waiting on, and I had really liked the first book!

WHAT DISAPPOINTS ME ABOUT A BOOK?

THE BOOK WAS NOT AS ADVERTISED

A lot of times this is the fault of the marketing department, not the author. The summary, cover, and the way it’s advertised has left me with an impression on what type of book it is and the actual turns out to be something different. This isn’t terrible all of the time, but it is disappointing when I in the mood for a particular kind of book.

RIDICULOUS PLOT TWISTS

There are times, I think, when a book doesn’t turn out the way a reader wants that that is not a critique or a mark against the author, but a personal opinion, based on what the reader wanted from the book. Then, there are other times, like when an author throws in a ridiculous plot twist that upends everything the author had done before in favor of a more negative or melodramatic ending, then that frustration is totally warranted. When the character is compromised, or the story weakened for a plot twist, the book loses it’s power.

WHEN THE BOOK FIZZLES OUT

Sometimes the end of a book is just as important as the beginning. I’ve read abrupt endings that were superb, and then there were abrupt endings that made go, “What, that’s it?!”. Then there’s the Russian doll ending (I may have just made that up). Ending after ending after – surprise! Another ending! Then there’s the book I read recently, where the ending left me questioning whether the series was going to continue and also just fell flat. With a series, not every ending has to be a cliffhanger, but, in my opinion, there should be an ending that should at least garner some interest.

WEIRDNESS FOR THE SAKE OF WEIRDNESS

I love a weird character, or just a weird setting or plot point, especially when it’s done well, but weird should be in small doses. What I mean by that, is books with weird settings where you don’t even know what’s up or down, and super quirky characters with weird habits who get themselves into weird situations for weird reasons. See. Too much weird. Let’s tone it down a little.

Photo by Blake Weyland on Unsplash

I could go on

But I prefer not to.

Personally, my first instinct when a book disappoints me is not to give a review. Not only do I simply want to keep the posts and reviews on this blog positive, but sometimes – maybe, often – my disappointment stems from a personal opinion rather than a legitimate critique. If I truly don’t like a book, I usually don’t finish it, which means I definitely don’t give a review of it. Reviewing books you haven’t finished is, to me, an unfair and ultimately pointless gesture.

WHAT MAKES A DISAPPOINTING BOOK FOR YOU? WHAT MAKES YOU NOT WANT TO PICK UP A BOOK? WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER TRYING TO READ SOMETHING LIKE IT AGAIN?

Let me know in the comments. Happy Reading!

*Originally posted on previous blog January 22, 2020

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