I feel like I was hit with a real epiphany last week. It’s going to sound really silly since I’ve been reading books for like forty-five years or so. Granted, many of those years were spent reading required books for English or text books. (Yep, I’m one of those that read every page of the assignments in college … what can I say?) But through the years it’s been mostly just me and whatever books I found at the library. But this interesting lightbulb moment had to do with my reading habits.
You see for the last month or so I’ve been pushing myself through this book that the world LOVES THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. It’s the beginning of a series and people can’t get read the three books fast enough. Me? Did I mention I’ve been slogging through it for the better part of November? I wasn’t even invested in the story until 200 pages into it. Then the next 300 or so were really good as they actually solved a murder and went after a very bad guy. But then … it just kept going … and going … and going. I gave up. With about 60 pages to go I had no desire to finish it. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I like this book? My extended family is filled with readers but none of them live close enough for me to ask what made them LOVE this story. Because I just can’t figure it out.
Now I don’t consider myself a slouch in the brains department. I enjoy many genres of books. I’ve read through most of the John Grisham novels in the library and really enjoyed them. And this weekend while I was traveling I was enjoying an Iris Johansen audio book in the car. Lots of intrigue and murders and mystery and a love story. Yep, the main characters are running for their lives (as they do in most Johansen novels) and the sexual tension was electrifying. I cared what happened to the characters. In the book I slogged through last month … not so much. The main characters could have fallen off the face of the earth and I would have shrugged and thought “another one down”.
And there was the epiphany. I REALLY enjoy a story with some intense action and … romance. Stop laughing. Really. Stop. It’s not that funny that a romance author could be so daft about her own choice of reading material. I know, I know, this shouldn’t have been like this ZOMG! moment, but it was. I mean all my books don’t have to have the main characters falling in love … they can already be married … no, I’m just kidding. I’ve read and enjoyed stories that don’t center around a romance, but there was something that made me connect and stay engaged. But then that’s a Writing 101 basic. Create characters your readers want to cheer on to the end.
I’m just wondering what other people found so engaging with the Tattoo story. Because it bummed me out that I missed it. I do understand not every book is everyone’s cup of tea, but I usually enjoy the stories my family recommends. So what about you … have you tried a story that the world LOVED and you didn’t enjoy it?
Oh, and just one aside since I’m doing a sort of review blog … Mr. Nina and I saw THE TOURIST with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie this weekend and LOVED IT! If you like a little suspense with your romantic comedy/action movies than I can’t recommend it enough!