A few days ago, I had the urge to write a book review. The challenge: Choose a lesser known book outside my genre and critically read it for review. I chose a Sci-fi mystery novel, written by a local man I met a few years back. As a writer, I was happy to meet a local author that was making a go at his dream. He seemed nice, so my partner so I picked up two of his books. My partner is the Sci-fi aficionado so the books went to his book queue and drifted from my consciousness, until looking for a book to review. Browsing a bookshelf, one caught my eye. It seemed to have potential to both challenge me and expand my reading comfort zone. Unfortunately, This book did both, but not in the way I had hoped.
At the start, I was almost tingly. I sat filled with anticipation of a good reading session. I love reading and have been known to spend insane amounts of time reading books that catch me. Three pages later, the thought of reading the remaining 258 pages made me want to beat myself over the head with a nail filled Dr Seuss book. I had never disliked a book so quickly. I felt I needed to continue on to understand why, to give the book a fighting chance. Kin to eating a glass filled mud pie, I continued reading until the 6th chapter. At this point, I could no longer rationalize reading in hopes the story would pick up. Whether there was some disconnect between his writing or my reading, I am unsure. I felt nothing, the book was empty of all that I loved about stories.
Questioning my partner about the book, he admitted to making it though only the first chapter before sentencing it to the bookshelf abyss. This created a moral dilemma. Do I continue? Must I muster though, only to give it a bashing review? It had definitely been a challenge to read and, I suppose, it brought me out of my reading comfort zone. So, Mission accomplished?
As a writer, reading another person’s work is like hearing another opinion. Sometimes they a similar to yours but often they are different. Maybe the writer is great for some readers but not for me, we simply don’t make a good literary couple. I wish them infinite success, as long as I never have to read another one of their books! 🙂