Monday, September 20, 2010

The ‘IT’ Factor – Debut Author X

I had a book selected for this week’s blog. Honestly, I did. But after struggling for almost two weeks to read it and finding I was only half-way through by Saturday, I admitted defeat. This book was a wall-banger for me. Or it would have been if I wasn’t (trying to) read it on my Kindle. My husband would kill me if I started throwing expensive electronic devices and leaving dents in the drywall.

I know what you’re saying. I’ve been critical before on my IT Factor posts. True, but I like to think of it as being brutally honest. *G* While every book I’ve read so far may not be a keeper for me, I believe I’ve found something to like or at least admire in every one of them. Not so with this book. So, since mama always said, “If you can’t say something nice…” Well, I am going to say something but since I don’t believe in blatant author bashing, I’ll go so far as to not name the author or the book out of consideration. Hopefully you can learn from Author X’s mistakes.

The Pros:

  • There weren’t any. Seriously. I really tried to find something—anything—to like about this book and I couldn’t.

The Cons:

  • The story never grabbed me. I know a book is good if my family suffers because I can’t stop reading it. Laundry doesn’t get done, the kids have to make their own PB&Js for dinner, and the dogs are lucky if I get up off the couch to let them go out to pee. With this novel, the Kindle mocked me every time I walked past it, saying, “Come on. You know you need to finish reading this book for the blog.” Instead, I’d run into the next room and vacuum the dust bunnies out from under the furniture or something equally as appalling. And if you know me, I’ll do just about anything to avoid housework—except read more of this book.

  • I never fell in love with the hero. Sure, I was *told* he was sexy and mysterious. How could he not be with his wavy black hair, ripped bod, and riding around on that badass motorcycle in a floor-length, black leather coat? Which apparently was the dress code for all the members of his little supernatural troupe—every single one of them sported one at one time or another. (Can you say cliché?). The reason I read romance is to experience the rush of attraction, chemistry and lust that comes with meeting someone special. I want the excitement, the butterflies in the stomach. I want to experience that falling in love feeling I had with my husband 20 years ago every time I meet a new hero in a book. Unfortunately, the author failed miserably at this.

  • I never identified with the heroine. In the first half of the book, she didn’t do much except get saved by the hero, then hem and haw about why she was attracted to this guy. Should she sleep with him or not? Should she date him or not? Hmmm, grab a daisy and start plucking petals, why don’t you? That’s as much thought as she put into it.

  • The author used the soul mate crutch. Now, I have nothing against the soul mate plot device—I’ve used it myself. What I do have a problem with is when an author uses this as the ONLY reason the characters fall in love, sometimes even before they know each other’s middle names. “Oh, they’re soul mates, so she has to fall in love with him.” “She’s his long, lost reincarnated love, so he must be in love with her.” So, after four dates and a month later, they’re in love with each other. A month that the reader doesn’t get to experience because the author skips over it entirely. After all, they’re soul mates so why bother showing it since it’s a given they’ll end up together anyway. So they meet, they hop into bed, and the next thing we know, they’re talking white picket fences. Where’s the struggle? Where’s the chemistry and romance? Where’s the discovery of what makes that person so special? Since the author skipped that whole part, let’s just say I wasn’t *feeling the love.*

  • Lack of craft. This book read like someone cut out major scenes and forgot to put them back in. There were several awkward conversations going on where the heroine (and me, the reader) had no clue what they were talking about. One minute everyone’s joking around and in the next scene they’re at each other’s throats. Something obviously happened in between, but darned if I knew what it was. Apparently the author was trying to be mysterious and keep us guessing. Didn’t work. It just annoyed the heck out of me.

The ‘IT’ Factor:

So by now you’re asking if this book was sooo bad, how in the world did it get published? To be honest, it has gotten a few good reviews mixed in with the bad. Some people out there have liked it. But without giving too much away, I’ll tell you that this book did not go through the normal submission process. No agent repped it. This book wasn’t a buried gem pulled from the slush pile. This book wasn’t pitched to marketing by an editor who loved it. No, this book came in through the backdoor and due to certain circumstances, the publisher was obligated to publish it. ‘Nuff said.


  1. Lori,
    I guess you can learn from bad books as well as from great ones, but I'm glad you read this one instead of me. :) May your next read be awesome.

  2. Are black full length coats even safe on a motorcycle?

  3. >Are black full length coats even safe on a motorcycle?

    *snicker* I had the same thought. I'd be roadkill in a heartbeat if I tried wearing one on a Harley.