I Just Finished a Book I Hated

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And I’m not mad at anybody—not even myself. Sure, there’s the part of me that wishes I’d been reading something spectacular instead of something that wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I mean, I do only have so much time to read these days. It’s coveted time. However, as a writer myself, I’ve realized that reading books that rub you the wrong way (insert Fifty Shades of Grey joke here) can teach you a thing or two.

For example, with this new book, nearly every line was a sarcastic joke. No, I’m serious. It was a collection of one liners with a pretty weak storyline weaving them together. Don’t get me wrong, I love comedy. And puns are a guilty pleasure for me—just ask my boyfriend. I also understand that some of it was supposed to be satiric, but…sigh…it was just too much.

It reminded me of a particularly painful first date I went on eons ago when I thought online dating was a good idea. Sarcasm and hyperbole dripped from my date’s mouth all night. It was exasperating, because I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking, oh, 100% of the time. At the end of the date, I was so confused. Did that dude like me? Clear. As. Mud.

And this novel was supposed to be written from the perspective of a guy who was head over heels in love—well, maybe lust—with this girl. As a female reader, it was depressing. The way this guy viewed the world and women—everything was a caricature. None of it seemed real. (Maybe that was the point, but I missed it?).

All the reviews on the book cover touted it as this amazing look into the minds of men…Oh God, I hope that’s not the case. I sincerely hope it’s not how anyone sees the world.

So, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, Um, she seems kind of upset she read it. I mean, I know a rant when I see one.

And I totally get that. But here’s the thing. This isn’t just a rant. It’s a learning curve for me. That writing style and approach made me cringe. And now I’ll never use it. When I’m creating punny or sarcastic prose going forward, I’ll be well aware of how much is too much. I’ll never write a character like the main character in this novel. I’ll focus on strong storylines.

So, while reading this book wasn’t entirely enjoyable, I did learn a thing or two about what not to do. And those little snippets of wisdom will make my writing practice that much better.

Okay, who’s got a good book recommendation? I need a different kind of inspiration now!

 

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