Point of no return

Banquet of LiesBefore I get to my post today, the cover of my upcoming novel, Banquet of Lies (due out on 22 October 2013) was finalized last week, and I’m thrilled to share it. Isn’t it pretty? 🙂

Now on to the usual program. I was reading a book over the weekend, and really enjoying it. I got to about the 80% mark, and the heroine did something so dumb, I stopped reading. I put the book down, unable to continue, because it was like a train wreck happening with people I knew and liked involved, and I didn’t want to put myself through it. Kudos to the author. I loved those characters. I cared about them. And then she made one of them do something out of character, and really stupid, just to add more angst and tension to the plot.

I really felt betrayed as a reader and won’t finish it.

I’ve read other books by this author in the past and this is the first time I’ve been so disappointed, so I’ll read her again, but I was really annoyed, and hated not knowing how it ended, but I wasn’t prepared to go there.

Usually I stop reading MUCH sooner than the 80% mark. I mean, if you’ve got that far, you’ll keep going, generally, unless it really is a misstep, like in the case above. But the book I moved on to, I stopped reading before Chapter Two really got going. I love dark books, but I don’t like depressing books. This one was way over the dark line into depressing. If I want to get depressed, I just need to watch the news on TV, thanks.

So, I’m interested. If a book isn’t doing it for you, for whatever reason, at what point do you throw in the towel? And what hot buttons do you have that once pushed, mean you can’t go on with a story?

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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14 Responses to Point of no return

  1. Kristine Radgman says:

    I love the dress on the cover

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Another wonderful cover!

    Two weeks ago, I started 2 good books. I even recommended the first one to a friend. I loved the writing, and the characters had depth, and then…for the first, the heroine also did something stupid. Like you, I felt it was for plot purposes. I was about 1/3 through, but I just stopped reading it.

    For the second one, I just got tired of the angst the heroine was feeling. I know people with a lot more problems than the heroine, and they don’t angst about it constantly. It’s pretty close to self-pity. (The hero was angsty, too.) I didn’t read the end of neither of these books. I was disappointed and won’t read future books by either author.

  3. What a gorgeous cover, Michelle!!
    You have really had some beautiful ones ;).
    As for things that make me stop reading, the main one has to do with feeling some empathy toward the characters. If they’re completely unlikable to me, then I give up. Most likely, though, if I start to dislike them but the plot has something of interest for me still, I’ll just begin skimming.
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Cover Reveal: A Summer in Europe…in Polish!

  4. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Love the cover! Nice to look forward to another release.

    As for when do I throw in the towel? When I can’t stomach it any longer. Often about a 1/3 in. Characterization is hugely important and the actions HAVE to make sense – or I’ll toss it.

    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Haunted by Death

  5. Amy says:

    Very pretty cover, Michelle! For me, I can’t always tell if it is the mood I am in or if it is the book. I also feel weird when everyone else raves about a book but I just think it is okay. I start to wonder if I have missed something. The worst one for me was when I was reading a paranormal/fantasy romance and it was so over the top lame that I just couldn’t muster through it. I think I got about 50 pages in (thinking I gave it a chance at least) and then was relieved when I decided not to finish it. I was rolling my eyes all the time. Other times I have stopped when a sex scene is thrown in at the oddest places and uses very foul descriptive terms. I just can’t get into that. Also, like Marilyn I will skim through things to finish a book if I want to know how the story ends.

    For me, I find that if I don’t mix up my genres in romance I get bored easily. Recently I went from Paranormal Romance to Contemporary Romance to Romantic Suspense to Historical Western and I liked them all because they were all so different.

  6. Amy Atwell says:

    Very intriguing cover, Michelle!

    For years I believed that if I started a book then, by heaven, I needed to finish it. Well, no more. Time is so precious and there are SO many books, that if the characters lose my interest, I just have to bail. The most memorable one was a few years. It was a book about 4 sisters, and the author felt the need to remind the reader constantly of the basic descriptors that made each sister unique. So, one sister was beautiful. She knew she was a beautiful–she was a professional model!–but she was tired of hearing it. Her mother thought she was beautiful, her sisters thought she was beautiful, her boyfriend thought she was beautiful. And if you’re as bored with this paragraph as I was reading these repeated messages of how stunningly beautiful she was, then you’ll understand why I stopped reading. It was, in fact, the first paperback I tossed into a wastebin. It hurt a little doing it, but I did it.

    For me as a reader, establish the character and then the character just BE.
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Guilty Pleasures

  7. Love that cover!
    I’m bad and if a book doesn’t draw me in the first few pages, I’m done. Sometimes I do go back and give it another go though.

    • Thanks, Lori.

      Yes, it sometimes takes me only a page or two, but I very rarely go back to it. The few times I have, I’ve had the same reaction all over again. LOL!

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