Thursday, April 5, 2018

Why I Gave Up -- A Failed Reading Challenge

When I set out to read more vampire books in the hopes of finding something similar to Twilight (to catch up on what & why, please read THIS), it had been my intention to blog about each book as I finished them. And I was doing well for a while--I read and blogged about The Vampire Diaries. (Here, here, and here) But then I moved onto the next book on my list and ooohhhh boy!

I'm one of those people who, when I start a book, I have to finish it. I always hold out hope it might get better, or that I might change my mind and start to like the story. After years of reading, I should know myself better by now. lol. If I'm not fully engaged by chapter three (five at the most) then it's safe to say I won't suddenly become engaged. I'm also one of those people who has a high tolerance for stuff--violence, cursing, sex, etc--but I do have some limits, which I'll get into here in a minute.

I have (easily) put down the last two books I've read and labeled them as DNF (did not finish).

After I reached my limit with The Vampire Diaries, I moved on to My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking. It was a little...harsher than Twilight and TVD in terms of the main characters attitude and internal dialogue. But that didn't really bother me once the initial shock of it wore off. For the most part, I was engaged in the story. The pacing was a bit fast, and I was bummed there wasn't much in terms of high school setting / drama / conflict. I was able to get past that, though. What I couldn't get past was.... {{SPOILER ALERT}}.... The hero killed a dog.

The hero and heroine were walking in the park and were attacked by a rabid dog. The hero stops the dog from attacking the heroine and then kills the dog. The hero gets bitten, but heals quickly and has no real side effects, which clues in the heroine that something is off. Now, I fully get what the author was doing. The hero is a vampire, and so the author was looking for a unique way to show he's different, because let's be honest, in terms of vampire fiction, everything has been done to death. Pun intended ;-) But this rubbed me the wrong way. It was completely gratuitous, in my opinion. So, I stopped reading and moved on to the next book....

Laney (The Brookehaven Vampires #1) by Joann I. Martin Sowles. I didn't make it past chapter three. The premise of this one is great, and I was really excited at first because it seemed to have the nice, slow burn that I loved so much in Twilight. But the writing itself is...bad. Allow me to show you...

Chapter 1 -- "Oh, my!" Professor McBaldy Bald said all frantic-like, with his bird face and balding head.

Chapter 1 (same page) -- I just stared at Beautiful Boy, amazed by his beauty...

Now, I don't point these out to poke fun, but rather to show the quality of the writing. There was a lot of time spent on descriptions of rooms and furniture and driving and not nearly enough time on dialogue or characterization. The entire opening was like this, and I'm going to guess the rest of the book is, too, and I just can't. Yeah, I know Twilight droned on in places and there was a lot of telling, too, but it worked in that book because we were moving toward something. In this book, it felt like it was all there simply for filler, that it served no real purpose. *shrugs* If that makes me a writing / book snob, then so be it.

So, there are two more books on my list, and I'm admittedly weary to dive into them. I think, for the time being, I'm going to put them on hold and move on to other books on my TBR pile. Don't worry--I'll continue to blog about random things :-)