Monday, June 29, 2009

two thumbs down

So, what is it for you that makes or breaks a book? For me it's not always a plot hole or anything major. It's more about the little things.

I was reading a story the other day and I realized I had no interest in finishing it. Why? Because the heroine was too perfect. It took me several chapters to realize that's what was bothering me though. The writing is good, the hero sexy, the plot interesting, but I just couldn't stand to see one more reference about how GORGEOUS this woman was. It finally got to be too much. I put the book down and moved on.

I don't know. I guess I'm somewhat disappointed in myself because I feel shallow for hating the book simply because of that one issue. I've read lots of books with hot, sexy, beautiful heroines. For the most part the heroine's description is mentioned somewhere, but it's not thrown in your face multiple times. Usually I could care less what she looks like. I'm more interested in the developing relationship.

Shouldn't I still read the book though? It's not like it's a bad storyline. As always, I won't give up on this author. I didn't like this one story, that doesn't mean I'll hate them all.

This got me thinking, which is never good. LOL Have you ever read one little thing in a book and it ruined the entire thing for you? Not even a big thing, just something small. Am I shallow for hating this book based on the heroine's GORGEOUS looks?? I feel horrible here!


Regina Carlysle said...

Ha. Have to laugh and looooove this post because this is true for lots of us, I think. We're human and have idiosyncracies. Repetitive stuff about how GORGEOUS the heroine is drives me bonkers!!!! She has pretty, gorgeous, beautiful blue eyes blah blah blah. Or her HAIR. YEESH. One of my biggest pet peeves is this along with the fashion. Goofy looking, antiquated fashions that could be found at the local Wal Mart or in fasion mag circa 1976 will completely lose me as a reader. I don't care how skillful the writer is, if her hair is feathered like Farrah's or heavily permed, I cringe. I completely forget about the great story and can't let go of how the heroine/hero is dressed.

Shallow? Maybe. But it's my little peeve.

Kelley Nyrae said...

It drives me crazy when I hear about one thing over and over. It makes it hard to read. I also like imperfect characters. I don't want either the hero or heroine to be too perfect.

Jake - but not the one said...

I think for me it is flat story telling. And maybe that's what you're talking about, too, Anne. The same words repeated too often lose their punch, and become flat and listless. Listless writing is just not worth reading.


BrennaLyons said...

Any repetition gets annoying, all the more so when it's about perfection. I've often said that the only perfect character that works is one where the perfection is a flaw. I've written one like that, though the character wasn't the H or H. He was a secondary love interest that the heroine decides not to stay with. He's described as "annoyingly" perfect.

Should you finish the book? IMO, no. If you're not enjoying it... If you have lost the zest for reading it, stop. You're not under obligation to read it, unless you're judging it for a contest or something. If it's a book you purchased, you've already done your part in contributing to the author's royalties. You don't owe the author finishing a book you're not really enjoying. If anything, pass it along to the library, a friend who might enjoy it or something similar.


Wendi Zwaduk said...

There's nothng to feel bad about. Sometimes writers get so hooked on making the characters so desireable that they forget that we all have QUIRKS. Now that being said, there are some quirks that are downright ugly, such as a potential couple trying to fall in love and all they do is argue -snarky arguing, not banter - or a woman/man who is so totally perfect they seem god/goddess like. Ick.

I see where you're coming from.

It's all good.

conb00 said...

A good post.I'm a reader and what I don't like is if the book is too wordy I wont finish it. wordy is boring!! or if it takes 5 or 6 chapters to get to the sex now thats a disappointment,exspecially if it's suppose to be erotica romance. or if they go on and on about the same thing chapter after chapter tends to turn me off. I go for the fast pace and on the edge of your seat type of book.I perfer reading erotica romance short novels or long.If the story doesn't get my attention in the first 3 chapters I either skip through the pages or stop reading it and go to the next book to read.

Molly Daniels said...

What drives me crazy is when the couple is constantly interrupted when they begin to act on their attraction to each other. I guess I was just too impulsive...I can't fathom that type of sexual frustration!

But at the other end of the spectrum, I can't fathom jumping each other's bones after meeting 5 minutes prior, either. I like sex scenes which make SENSE in the relationship, not just 'okay...need a sex can I get them together ASAP?' type of thing.

Am I making any sense?

Kris Norris said...

I'm sort of an extremist at this. I don't even want you to tell me too much about what any of the characters look like. Give me the basics, and maybe a bit more, then leave it. I'll picture the hero, etc the way I want. And please, I beg you, stop telling me the exact size of her breasts! I don't care what cup size she is, really. I hardly think it's a vital piece of information, unless breast surgery is part of the plot. And you can only have someone tell you about the "jade green eyes" so many times.
See, you're not alone. But now I feel compelled to make sure I haven't borken any of these rules, lol.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the repetative "gorgeous," etc., being a turn-off, but I also hate it when the author messes up in his/her own story! Such as, "this was the second time...." and three or four pages later, or even a chapter later, that author says "this was the first time {hero/heron} had been in this place...." or they change the color of a character's eyes mid-story, then change them back, AAARRRGGGG!

Anne Rainey said...

Regina and Kelley--One very popular writer used to write ALL her heroines as 'mousy'. It got so annoying! The clothes she'd put them in were so butt ugly, then she'd pair them with devastatingly hansome men...yeah, right. I got fed up and stopped reading her books. Mostly because I felt she purposely made her heroines look horrid. There's gotta be a nice balance, ya know? How about a regular gal? Someone who has a few flaws, but she still has her good points too!

Anne Rainey said...

Jake--That was definitely the problem with this one. It was like the author didn't know what else to say so she just kept saying the same thing. BORING! LOL

Brenna--I did stop. I guess I'm a little confused though because I see her name a lot and she's clearly doing better than some really good authors I've read. Though, I don't know how that's possible. Maybe I need to read another of her books. Maybe this one was just a 'miss'.

Anne Rainey said...

Wendi--OOOOH, I hate the constant arguing! I can't remember the book title, but I read something like this recently and I just got so damn tired of the constant bitching I threw the damn book in the trash. Argh! If I'd wanted arguing I'd visit my parents! LOL

con--I hear you about the erotic romance books that don't give you a love scene until the middle of the book. That's annoying!

Anne Rainey said...

Molly--For me it depends. Some authors can handle what I like to call 'sudden sex' well. Like a chance meeting with a strnager in a hotel bar, they both give into their desires, then later they realize they're going to have to work together and keep their hands off each other while they do it. That's a scenario that works for me. But tossing them into bed without some REASON seems lame.

Kris--As I sit here I'm wondering 'did I do this in any of my books?' LOL Truthfully, instant attraction is expected. The hero seeing she's got great legs, or a nice ass, that's realistic. But page after page of 'Gorgeous' tells me they have nothing else going for them other than looks. It reminds of that couple you see at the gym. They look perfect. Perfect hair, perfect bodies, they even sweat perfect. But to me all I see is shallow shallow shallow. Sometimes it's the imperfect features that are sexy. Like the scar on my husband's hand. Or they way he frowns when he's thinking about something. You know what I mean?

Anne Rainey said...

Anon--I read one VERY popular author recently who screwed up like this and somehow it made me feel better. Like if she can make that kind of mistake there's hope of us little people! LOL