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Book Meets Wall: A New Record

19 Dec 2008

Once upon a time, I used to finish every book I started.  No.  Matter.  How.  Painful.  The compulsion to read to the end was greater than mental and emotional self-preservation.

Then one day I put down a book while two-thirds through the story.  And the world didn’t end.  There was relief, even a little giddiness, at being able to free myself from another time-consuming, unhealthy habit.  While I do still try to finish 99.9% of the books I pick up, I’m more willing to toss a book aside if the characters or plot tick me off.

Yesterday, I opened a book by an author whom I trusted to entertain me for a few hours.  (I wouldn’t pay hard cover prices for her, otherwise.)  By page 18, I wanted to reach inside the book and smack the heroine upside the head–but that might knock out what little sense she had.  I’m told this woman is intelligent, but after coming across a dead body, this personal PR rep picks up the murder weapon, gets the victim’s blood on herself, is seen by a witness, runs away from the scene because she thinks she can take down the killer, and gets knocked out for her efforts.  All by page 18.  Then I closed the book and tested its aerial capabilities.  (It was lacking there too.)

I don’t think I’m a demanding reader.  I can handle heroines who start off clueless, inept, selfish, etc. and experience character growth through the story (in fact, one of my favorite books is SEP’s Ain’t She Sweet), but I expect a base level of intelligence from the protagonists.  Otherwise, I’m going to wonder if the characters can chew gum and breathe at the same time.


Words to describe my reaction?  Let’s say incredulous and cheated and stop there because I like to keep the profanity to a minimum on this blog.

As of today, I no longer read any paranormal romance authors.  *sigh*  So, I’m down to romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Lisa Kleypas historical romances.

I’m so hitting Wal-Mart tomorrow to stock up on Harlequin categories.  A few Presents and maybe an Intrigue or two will make me feel better.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 Dec 2008 9:55 AM

    Have you tried Lara Adrian? KISS OF MIDNIGHT is one of my favorite books ever, and I’m not a fan of paranormal. The heroine witnesses a murder in the opening scene and is savvy enough to 1. stay alive and 2. take a photo with her camera phone.

  2. Ann Bruce permalink
    19 Dec 2008 11:55 AM

    @Jill Sorenson: I picked up one of her books last year, but couldn’t even bring myself to open it. I think I’m burned out on fangs and fur and black leather action pants. It’ll be at least a year before the thought of a paranormal or urban fantasy doesn’t make me cringe.

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