Monday, June 11, 2012

The Anti-Book Review

So as many of you know, this blog started as a way to review the dozens of books I read every month.  But right now I'm broke and am not living all that conveniently to a library so I pretty much subside on free (or very, very cheap) Kindle books.  Yes, I know I could go over to the library on campus and borrow some things but I never think of it until after work and then it's too late so free Kindle books it is.

The issue with free and very cheap fiction Kindle books is that they fall into a very very narrow categories -
  • Non-fiction B.S. (Example: Einstein's Refrigerator: And Other Stories)
  • Really trashy romance (Example: Intentions of the Earl, Scandalous Sisters Book 1)
  • Christian romance (Example: Paper Roses, Texas Dreams Book 1) No trash here, by the way.  These always sneak up you on!
  • Old classics that I've read 100 times and have no reason to review because you've also read them 100 times (Example: Anne of Green Gables)
Now don't get me wrong, I have been known to read all of these categories and have been reading a lot of all of these lately.  In fact, all of these examples came off of books currently loaded on my Kindle.  But they sure as heck are not worth reviewing on any sort of blog.

Every summer I got through a slew of really trashy, female-centered, romance mystery books.  They are the definition of "chick lit" and really, as embarrassing as this should be, I cannot get enough of them.  There isn't much in this world that is more fulfilling than sitting on my porch with a (insert name of favorite summer drink of the moment here) reading a book that I know I will finish in one sitting.  These books tend to have quirky female characters who get caught up in some sort of misadventure that usually involves a hunky cop /  fireman / other man in uniform (which I for one cannot get enough of).  Basically, they're the perfect beach read even if you aren't at the beach.

However, in the last couple of months I have read a number of these books that give me pause and cause me to vent here.

If you've taken the time to write 200 pages and gotten us wrapped up in the mystery and romance, why do you think it's appropriate to wrap up the storyline in a matter of 3 or 4 pages?!  If it was worth taking an entire book to lead up to the climax (literally and figuratively in most cases), what part of the author in your thought you should sum up the who-done-it story and the romantic relationship in a very brief, almost breezy ending?!

I won't share a specific story that does that because that's not the point.  I've read 3 or 4 series - not just individual books, but installments in a series - lately where this is the problem.  Every book leads into this huge climax and then the author gets tired of writing this particular story so they wrap it up in 3 or 4 pages and then expects us to want to keep reading the next book.  Which I suppose works, because usually I'm so confused by the quick wrap up that I end up reading more, hoping it will be explained in the next book.  (It never is, by the way.)

Just a tip to any authors out there reading this: 
Women want to savor things.  We eat ice cream slowly so as to taste every single bite.  We sip fine wine.  We take long, hot bubble bathes and revel in the relaxation.  We like leisurely strolls through the mall. window shopping for things we can never afford. 

We want the same thing in our books.  We lived and breathed the characters right up to the end.  Don't disappoint us by whisking dessert away before we've had time to digest it.

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