Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What a character!

Last month I took a week-long vacation with my hubby and 3 kids to the paradise of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.  It was beautiful and relaxing (well, I did say I brought all 3 of my kids, so sort of relaxing) and was a great memory for all of us.  Whenever I go on a long vacation I plan out my book selection very carefully, so I will be thoroughly entertained and engrossed in the books- they need to be beach vacation worthy on all accounts.  

With that said, I added two more titles to my kindle before I left, then set out for some interrupted, distracted reading time (enter 3 kids again).

One book I picked was written by a very well-known author, and it hadn't been out for too long.  It had gotten great reviews, and I had read some things by him in the past that I really enjoyed, so I thought I was going to be set.  
I sat down to read and after being mildly entertained for a few reading sessions I would shut the cover of my kindle in annoyance, open it again and give it another hopeful, maybe even desperate try, then shut it again.  I couldn't go on anymore.  There was so much potential with the storyline that I really wanted to find out how it all ended, but something in particular was making me crazy.  

That something was the characters.  Or the shear number of characters, or the lack of character development, or the constant POV shifting between the characters.  Just when I would begin to be interested in a character and their part of the story, the author would yank them away, and plop another in front of my face.  And this teasing author did this OVER and OVER.  It felt like I was watching t.v. with a channel surfer-"Hey! I was watching that!" 

I guess it really got to me because when I invest time into a book, I really want to be able to connect and get interested in the characters.  I want to know them, feel for them, love them, or even hate them.  I want to feel something.   If I can't feel for them, then why do I want to read their story?  
Characters should feel real. I love when I can picture their appearance, the sound of their voice, the way they stand, or how they like to talk with their hands.  I want the characters to feel so real, that maybe I have to remind myself what I read was just a book, not an excerpt out of my life story. 

For the record I did finish the story, and when I say finish I mean skimmed through the last half because I did want to know how it ended, and I left feeling very unsatisfied.  

Is there a particular thing that you just can't get past when reading a book?

What is your annoyance/pet-peeve when you are reading a novel?  What causes you to shut the book before you finish?


  1. I feel like you HAVE to be talking about Game of Thrones, because that's how I felt! Just UGH! Of course, maybe not. But still, your pet peeves are my pet peeves. I need to know and love and get mad at and forgive the characters. If I can't connect with them, I'm done.

  2. I agree that that’s one of my pet peeves- the constant character shifting. I also have a hard time getting into sci fi books that plunk you in the middle of a world with complex made-up terminology and just kind of assume that you’ll figure it out as you go along. Sometimes it’s easy to figure out, often it’s not and I end up just feeling dumb. I also hate it when authors have the main characters think and fret and analyze everything to death. Those are my pet peeves!

  3. I don't like flashbacks. Tell the story from start to finish. I can also get bogged down, and bored with, too much description. Keep the story moving. But, that's just me!

  4. I am not a fan of flashbacks but sometimes you just have to put up with it

  5. I agree with all of these! Does that make me too picky?? Maybe. Overall I think a good book doesn't have to be so complicated. Just tell us a good story. :)



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