Falling Flat

I recently read a popular book by an award winning author. It was terrible.

I’m choosing not to name the book, because I realize that my opinion is just that. But that experience, the one of having high expectations for a book and having them fall utterly and completely flat, has affected me as both a reader and a writer.

As a reader and book consumer, I feel gipped. The money and time I spent on this book could’ve gone to an awesome debut book, but this one grabbed my attention because of the hype. Sometimes a great concept just isn’t enough. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, the relationships all felt forced and fake, and every problem was solved easily and unbelievably.

As a writer, I wondered if an author reaches a status of success in which editors hold back the red pens. If this had been the author’s debut novel, would it have been published at all? Or are my feelings just a matter of subjective taste, like so much of the industry seems to be? Goodreads ratings range from mostly four stars to a hand full with one star; the latter nearly all agreed with my assessment. But I’ve also found books that I loved with those outlier one star ratings, too.

As I move forward to the next stage with my work-in-progress, I’m trying to take that to heart. This industry is subjective because of widely varying tastes. If I find a few people who love this one, and are willing to take it on, great! And if not, I’ll just write better next time with the lessons I’ve learned.

Music for today: Out of the Black by Royal Blood

2 Responses
  1. I know Amazon lets you return Kindle books, but I've only ever done it once. Ironically, the book I read last year that made me really angry by how bad it was, I'd bought the hardcover because I'd loved the first in the series. But the second one was so bad that it actually retroactively tainted the first book, which I had thought was nearly perfect until then. Ha!

  2. Yep, this was a hardcover. I could've bought two paperbacks for that price! I hesitate to write a bad review, though, because if I try to summarize the concept, it sounds awesome. It was the execution that was so poor.

Leave a Reply

Laurie A. Dennison

I write books for young adults. I love books with complicated relationships, traveling, and alternative and indie music.

Learn More