by Anna Sugden
No, not writing disappointment ... not another rejection ... at least, not yet *g*.
I'm talking today about reading disappointment. Last week should have been a great reading week. Lots of travel, so plenty of uninterrupted time to focus on books. I'd deliberately saved up the new books by some of my absolute favourite authors. You know how it is, you've snapped up the latest in their series, are desperate to get stuck in, but common sense prevails and you decide to hold on until you can read the book from cover to cover.
So, what went wrong?
I didn't enjoy the books.
Reading a disappointing book is hard enough - these days, with so many books to read and so little spare time, I discard disappointing books quite quickly. If they're by new authors, I'm loathe to try them again.
But, when the book is by someone whose writing you normally love - it's a real blow. I'm deliberately not naming names, as I don't think that's fair (after all, it's only my humble opinion). I am going to share with you what didn't work. And a dilemma I have.
The first author is one who normally writes great contemporary romances with fabulous characters. She always gives them real depth, so you can empathise with them and their conflicts. This latest book, though, her characters were unappealing and seemed 2-dimensional. Honestly, I didn't really care if their conflict was resolved.
The second is an awesome romantic suspense writer, who always keeps me on the edge of my seat and who manages to surprise me with her plot twists. This book had an unappealing premise to start with, but because I loved the rest of the series, I soldiered on. Sadly, this plot was a real let-down. A lot of information dumped and repeated and no clever twists. The villain was obvious from the first mention and the denouement was weak.
Similarly, a normally entertaining writer of an amateur sleuth series slipped up in her latest. I'd actually ignored the damning reviews on this one. I have to say - sadly - the reviews were right.
The fourth was a paranormal writer whose last book was one of the best I've ever read. Great characters, atmospheric writing, wonderful descriptions and very clever adaptation of well-known themes. I'd hunted around to get this latest book as, for some reason, it was hard to find. Sadly, I wish I hadn't bothered as everything that had been so great about the last book was decidely missing in this one.
Finally, a historical author who writes entertaining stories which are incredibly satisfying, as the emotional journeys her characters take are compelling. Not this time. The ending of a satisfactory book (not bad, just not outstanding) was a total and utter cop-out! It was like she'd realised she had five more pages to go and rushed to finish the book.
The last time this happened, I was extremely grateful to the talented Rhonda Nelson and her book, The Future Widows Club, for saving me.
This time, thank goodness, my faith was restored by the next three books I read - Into The Fire by Suzanne Brockmann, Tempting Evil by Allison Brennan and The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner - thank you, thank you, Suz, Allison and Lisa!!
Now, on to my dilemma. What do I do when the next book comes out by these favoured authors? Do I rush out and buy it, hoping that this last one was an unfortunate blip? After all, you can't expect every book to be brilliant ... Or can you? Do I wait, read the reviews and talk to pals about it? Or do I give up?
What would you do?
Have you read any disappointing books, lately? Please don't name names, just tell me what you found disappointing. And what you plan to do about reading more by that author. What about the wonderful author who rescued you and whose book restored your happiness?!