Thursday, April 14, 2016

Literary Life: You've Lost that Loving Feeling

I had a really tough reading experience recently. There is an author who has a series of books that I loved very intensely as a teen. I have read them multiple times, I own each book in the series, and I have shared them with several people.

The series is finished, but the author has recently written some new books. I picked up the most recent book and I was excited to meet some new characters and go on some new adventures.

But I hated it.


I tried, for 200 pages or so. Surely it would get better. I loved this author. I loved her previous series. Didn't I owe her some form of allegiance?

But I reached a point where I couldn't do it anymore. I knew how the story was going to end. The dynamic between the protagonists was terribly frustrating. I knew that there was going to be 300 more pages of me not really caring about these characters or what happened to them.

So I stopped reading. I put the book in the donation pile instead of adding it to the bookshelf next to the other books by the same author.


Where do you draw the line? What does it take for you to DNF a beloved author?

24 comments:

  1. Oh, what a bummer, especially when you feel like you can trust them to put out engaging stories!

    In the end, though, I'm glad you didn't let allegiance to this author get in the way of dumping a book you just didn't jive with.

    I feel like I author-hop a lot, so I can't think of a specific time this has happened to me!

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    1. I'm trying to get much better at the art of the DNF. I just really had trouble with this one because of our history!

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  2. Funny gifs. Ha! But, so disappointing. I especially hate it when you are building up the excitement and hype--and then you crash down.

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    1. It was disappointing, but I guess our tastes and the style of writers change with time!

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  3. I don't DNF books all that often, so I do not run into this a lot. As for disappointing books by favorite authors, I still read them but recognize that they are not the author's best work. You can still love the author but dislike books that they write.

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    1. That's a good point. Not liking this one didn't take away my love for the earlier books!

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  4. Aw that is a really sucky feeling, but it happens.

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    1. More time for other books, right? :)

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  5. I stopped reading a favorite author once when she started to systematically ruin the life of one of my favorite characters. I still haven't forgiven her for that one.

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    1. Oh no. That would make put a book down too!

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  6. UGH that's the worst feeling ever. It's like being stabbed in the back by a trusted friend. It's actually not like that at all, but it certainly feels like it. Still, I DNF books ALL.THE.TIME. Too many books on the TBR pile, so I've got no time to waste on a book that just doesn't deserve my precious reading time. ;)

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    1. Haha, it definitely feels like a betrayal! It's so true though, that life is too short for bad or even so-so books.

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  7. Aww, bummer! I'm way better about putting down books I'm not enjoying now than I used to be. There are just too many amazing books out there to continue with something I'm not getting any enjoyment out of. I've found that I've grown out of a lot of authors I used to read, especially in college; maybe that's what happened here?

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    1. It's possible. I also feel like there was a real shift in the way characters were portrayed. While in previous books, they had a lot going on and were strong, independent characters, this book featured two characters who were bizarrely obsessed with getting married.

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  8. Oh that's disappointing. I struggle with DNFing books, so if I thought something was a sure thing, and then this happened - I would be so mad!

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    1. I guess that makes reading a little more thrilling? You never know which book will be a keeper and which will be a dud!

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  9. I'm sorry you din't like the authors new book. Very frustrating.

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    1. It was frustrating. Maybe it means I need to re-read my favorite series instead of trying the new books!

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  10. Actually I have been learning the fine art of DNF more so recently. I've gotten into much more library books (therefore free and no commitment to have to finish them). I tend to be impulsive and scoop up handfuls of books, sometimes new to me authors whose writing styles aren't my cup of tea.

    I understand your frustration! You want more of that great experience you had before and now you are being denied it. Luckily there are plenty more fish (or books) in the sea to choose from!

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    1. Yes, I think library books are the easiest ones to DNF! When they are my books that I've purchased, I struggle a bit more to pass them along without reading them.

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  11. Oh no! I always avoid re-reading teen favorites for fear I won't love them anymore, but I have recently picked up a book by an author I loved as a teen and been disappointed by it. I think because it was about a character who had grown up, I expected the tone of the series to have become more adult and it still felt very YA.

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    1. That's fair. It's interesting to see which books are still good as adults and which are best read as kids or teens.

      I've reread the series that I loved and they held up pretty well. I guess this is my lesson to stick with them instead of the new books!

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  12. I'm pretty heartless when it comes to DNFing. If it's not working, it's not working. And then I'll hope that it was an "off" book and the next will be better. ;)

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    1. That's a good philosophy. I'm working on being better at it...I think I'm too stubborn for my own good!

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