April 18, 2006

Fiction turn-ons and turn-offs

I started reading a book several days ago. This one's been sitting on the shelf for three years, waiting to be read. Yes, three years. I picked it up at a book carnival the summer that I was pregnant with Elijah and never got around to reading it.

I was a few chapters into it and decided to bring it along for the roadtrip. Over the weekend I read through about 3/4 of it. On the way back home I determined to finish it.

I picked up where I'd left off. I had trouble getting into the book from the very beginning. I just didn't "click" with the characters. I kept getting confused about who was whom. And to my dismay, the plot was totally predictable. Not fun.

I want to be surprised. Thrilled. Ecstatic. Breathless. But I wasn't. I kept thinking, Yep, I knew that was coming. I really dislike reading such books. I don't want to be able to figure out what's going to happen next. I want to be stunned. The ending of the book was a surprise, but I didn't feel closure in the way it ended. Another thing I dislike. When I reach the end, I want to feel like it's done.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being SUPER! 10 being BLECH!), I'd probably rate it about a 4. It had a good premise, but was so predictable that it bored me. The only reason I read it all the way through is because I don't like to start a book and not finish it. I won't give away the title or the author, because I respect her and her work. I just thought it might be an interesting discussion.

What draws you into fiction? What turns you off?