Sunday, May 20, 2012

Books With Heart

I recently finished a book that was not my cup of tea, but I resisted the impulse to write a bad review. Now that I know firsthand how much work goes into writing and finding a publisher, I feel a kinship with anyone who has embarked on the journey. After all, it's only my opinion. This novel may be exactly what another reader is looking for.

 While plodding through the pages, I wished for some cream and sugar to add to the plot. With a a little more umph, this book could have been great. Here's where it fell short:

 1. The heroine has lost her mother, but I never really felt her pain. I'd be willing to bet the author has never lost her own mother, or conducted in-depth research about that kind of devastating loss.

 2. The plot was predictable. I knew very early on that the teenager would grow to love the father she never knew, and get the attention of the cute boy in the end. Because the stakes were never high enough, or a happy ending really in question, there was no compelling reason to keep reading.

 I think writing a book full of heart is painful. You have to open up a vein and bleed all over the page, but those are the kinds of books that a reader will never forget.

 My favorite book with heart is THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson. What's yours?


  1. I NEVER post a bad or so-so review. If I am moved to post, it's because I like-love a book. I figure I don't need to be a fouling spice in the grueling stew that is life.
    I may be propelled to post a negative review of something I consider deceptive and seriously harmful to health. Mercifully, these are far and few that I can’t remember actually reading enough of such to be qualified to comment.

  2. I have posted mediocre reviews but that was before I'd tried to write a novel myself. It's a lot harder than it looks and it takes far longer to write one than to read one. That's what I keep telling my non-writing friends.

  3. If you don't cry when you're writing it, your reader probably won't either.

  4. I really like that you didn't share the title of this novel, Shannon. And I agree that if the stakes are not high enough, it's hard to keep reading, especially if things are predictable. We all love a good read, but sometimes we learn from the disappointing ones.

  5. Totally agree, Donna! And Cindy, I don't need the bad karma from slamming another writer. Better to just see what I can learn from the book and move on.

  6. I loved THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. I plan on rereading it.

    I believe if a topic is emotional the reader should be impacted in some way.

  7. Oh The Sky is Everywhere is my favorite too!

  8. Jandy Nelson experienced a devastating loss, the death of a friend that she considered like a sister. That kind of authentic pain bleeds onto the page of her book.