My little problem: Insight #1

Last week, I wrote about this little problem I’m having. I can’t seem to finish some of the books I start and I’m trying to figure out why . Below is a list of all the books I’ve started since the beginning of the year and can’t seem to finish. 4 out of 5 of these books are straight up Romances. The Queen of All That Dies is Fantasy but can certainly claim Romance as a sub-genre.

  1. Never Seduce a Scot: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs by Maya Banks
  2. The Gamble (Colorado Mountain Series Book 1) by Kristen Ashley
  3. Until November (Until Series Book 1) by Aurora Rose Reynolds
  4. Easy (Contours of the Heart Book 1) by Tammara Webber
  5. The Queen of All That Dies (The Fallen World Book 1) by Laura Thalassa

Below are the main reasons why I couldn’t continue reading these five books.

My reason for abandoning Never Seduce a Scot is simple. I really dislike the main characters, Eveline and Graeme. I think they’re both weak and annoying. Graeme is supposed to be a highland laird, an alpha male-type figure with confidence and a hard hand. But he’s not. At all. Eveline is supposed to be a clever lady who managed to overcome a major weakness and win the laird’s heart. She turns out to be relatively clever but she’s soft and weirdly gullible. Basically, it got to a point where I couldn’t look past either Graeme’s nor Eveline’s annoyingness, so I abandoned the book. There was nothing wrong with the writing and the story in general was intriguing, but nothing could make up for the main characters’ lacking personalities.

Kristen Ashley’s writing in The Gamble is alllll over the place and I find I have to really concentrate in order to follow the story. Reading a good book should be effortless; as an author, you don’t want your readers critiquing your writing as they read along. It not only hinders your reputation, it also detracts from the story, which is the ultimate purpose for writing in the first place. I thought the premise was good and I like the two main characters, but Ashley’s writing made it too hard to continue.

I already wrote a post on Until November and why I can’t get past chapter 4. You can find the full post here, but generally, I find Ms. Reynold’s writing quite bad. I really like the premise of the story, as well as the characters, but her writing is too weirdly detailed and formal for me to comfortably drop into the story. There were a few lines, mentioned in the full post, that put me over the edge and I just had to stop reading even though I wanted to go on. It’s frustrating when you really want to like a book but the writing is just so bad that you dread to continue.

Easy was not the book I was hoping it would be. It got rave reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon so I was really excited to read it. Webber’s writing was fine and I generally liked the leading lady, Jacqueline, but man oh man was the main guy a bore! Lucas was one of the most boring males I’ve read in a while. He’s supposed to be this complicated, dark guy with a messed up past, and maybe he is and I’m just not seeing it. Maybe Webber was going for the silent, brooding type, but instead Lucas came off as flat and uninteresting. I couldn’t understand the connection between Jacqueline and Lucas, maybe except in a physical sense, and honestly, he just came off as kind of stalker-ish. But besides Lucas, Webber did a great job addressing a very sensitive and important topic in a realistic way and she kept the story moving at a good pace. Next time, she just needs to create a more interesting hero.

Lastly, The Queen of All That Dies is just all around bizarre. I like Thalassa’s writing style and she knows how to keep readers interested but her two main characters are both extremely weak. Serenity is supposed to be this tough, war-hardened young woman with a chip on her shoulder, but she comes off as incredibly weak and kind of perverse for wanting to be with the guy who decimated her entire world. Montes, the evil king/Serenity’s love interest, has no redeeming qualities as of 60% through the book, yet Serenity continues to make a fool of herself for him. Serenity comes off as a nonsensical girl who is easily persuaded by a pretty face (which just happens to belong to the man responsible for millions of deaths and terrible waste). Montes is a pervy guy with a love for death and destruction. Normally, the bad guy’s redeeming qualities are displayed at some point during the story but Thalassa doesn’t show them by the time Serenity and Montes get married and have “relations,” which makes it really really hard to enjoy their growing affection toward each other.

I have different reasons for abandoning each of these five books which makes it hard to determine what I should watch out for when choosing books to read. I’ve learned to read samples of books that look interesting so I can determine if the writing style is for me. But it’s hard to determine if you’re going to like the main characters if you’re only able to sample the first chapter or two. You can only learn so much from the synopsis and reviews. And sometimes you can’t even trust reviews, as I learned from Easy. Maybe my expectations are too high, or maybe the quality of writing is diminishing due to how easy it is to publish a book these days. Either way, you can’t be too careful when determining the books you read. Who wants to waste time and money on crappy storytelling? But on the bright side, you certainly learn to avoid certain writing mistakes by reading books like these!holly

 

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