Book-Talk Monday: Is it the book, or is it just me that’s so meh?
The two books that I just finished over the weekend have me thinking about similarities in the books we choose to read, whether it be actual similarities in the stories or similarities in the way that we as readers and react to them because of our own emotional or physical states. For example: I just finished reading two historical romance novels by two different authors published by two different publishers a few years apart. One had a medieval setting; the other had a mid-18th century setting. One had a hero who could only find love for the heroine by controlling her; the other had a hero who felt no qualms about seducing his brother’s fiancée. (Obviously, I’m using the term “hero” a bit loosely here—really, there wasn’t much heroic about these two male protagonists.) The medieval was written by an author who was new to me; the other is the second book in a series I have been looking forward to reading because I enjoyed the first book so much.
But I had the same issues with both books. The heroines were too perfect to be likable (even after sleeping with her fiancé’s brother, “Lady Perfect,” as the hero called her, seemingly remained guiltless and above reproach—and of course everything worked out perfectly for her with few to no consequences) and the heroes both had issues and did things that made them distasteful. I never felt any chemistry between the two couples except for the kind of chemistry that usually indicates these people should stay as far away from each other as possible.
This made me wonder—did I have the same reaction to both of these books because of my current mental and physical state; or, had I read these books separately at different times when I was in a better mood or not quite so exhausted, would I have liked these books better?
Now, I could go through and reread these books as a critical reading, really break them down and figure out what makes them tick and why I reacted to them the way I did. However, I’m really not that interested. And besides, one was a library book which I’ve already returned, and the other was an audiobook. So it’s not like I can do any underlining or highlighting or sticking Post-it Notes on them. I picked up both of these books because they were highly recommended and/or had high-rated reviews on romance review blogs that I trust.
This does not mean I won’t read the next book in the one series, or that I won’t read anything else by this new to me author. The writing in itself was good. It was the characters, the situations, and the storylines that I didn’t connect with. I have to give each author at least one more shot before I decide to give up on them.
What’s the point of this blog post? have no idea. This was what I happened to be thinking about in the car yesterday driving home from Arkansas.