Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why I Stopped Reading This Book

I was reading a middle grade novel up until yesterday afternoon.  It was probably around page 115 when I finally had enough and I put the book down and said, "No more, I can't take it."

I respect my fellow writer, and that book is that author's pride and joy.  There is a whole series based off those same characters, and maybe the series gets better, heck, maybe even this same book gets better if I just flip the page, but I don't want to.

I can see reasons that the book is so successful, at least in small doses because there are some good parts.  I normally get through a book like this in a day or two, but I had been reading it on and off for a week.  I just couldn't get into it.  I had given up a few days earlier, but yesterday I renewed my vigor and forced myself to read some more.  I read a good chapter and started thinking, "Alright, here it's starting to get good," and then BAM!  Villain infodump.  Then I closed the book for the final time.

Main reasons for putting it down:

Multiple POV
-I really despise multiple POV when you hear one character's thoughts in a paragraph and then the next one you hear the other character's thoughts.  It always feels jarring, no matter who writes it.  Fablehaven did a good job with this: Seth and Kendra both had their own POV but it was either separated by chapter, or a clear break in the same chapter.  When they were both in a scene together you only got one POV, not two.

Maybe later in this book there is something that absolutely couldn't be done without multiple POV, but I'm not going to read that far to find out.  Think of Harry Potter: it's all from Harry's perspective (for the most part).  As for his good friend Ron Weasley, I didn't know exactly what he was thinking all the time, but the author usually made it clear enough that I got the idea.

Data Dump
This was the final straw for me in this book, information on the villain came in the form of a data dump.  Tons of information TOLD to the reader, not shown within a few paragraphs.  It's boring and reads like a textbook. 

This is just my opinion.  Now that I got thinking about Harry Potter...maybe I should read one...

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