Every Christmas season I tend to stock up on books. In part because there’s a lot of free stuff and coupons going around so I head over to the ebook stores and start picking up stuff. The next thing I know, I’ve spent a bunch of money and have a huge batch of books to read. This year isn’t any different than any other and I’ve been wading through the books I got little at a time.
At 3 am this morning, I started having issues with my asthma so I sat up in bed, propped pillows behind me and started to read a book on my phone. It happened to be one of several books I’d bought that had like 300+ pages. I read one of the long suckers yesterday and it kept me entertained until the end. Pretty much all of the scenes advanced the story and the bantering between main characters was great. The book I picked up at 3 am has been touted as a great book by a wunderkind author. Now, I managed to pick up a couple of books with that rep over the weekend so I expected an amazing read out of both of them. I haven’t read the second one yet and I’m not quite finished with the first one. But…as I was reading I thought, do you see what I see?
See, when people make a lot of noise over a book and author, I expect to be held in thrall. I expect to fall in love. I expect to not fall asleep while reading it. And while this was a great book and one I’d read again, I just didn’t find it to be what others said it was. It has a lot of perfect elements and it’s absolutely one of my favorite kinds of books, but I had one problem with it. It didn’t need to be 300+ pages. It had a number of scenes that didn’t really advance the story. Without the gratuitous scenes (and no they were not sex scenes) the book probably would have been around 200 pages and wouldn’t have put me to sleep (during one of those scenes that wouldn’t actually be missed had it been left out.)
I’m not saying the author wasn’t good, but I wouldn’t categorize someone as a wunderkind when they have that many scenes that just aren’t necessary to tell the story. This is a newer author and I wonder if that’s why the story wasn’t tighter, but it doesn’t matter really because this is how the publisher put the book out. The editor obviously didn’t think the scenes were gratuitous as I did. At any rate, I was a little disappointed. But, overall I like the book a lot. I just felt like the Christmas song – Do You See What I See? Obviously, other people didn’t so I guess I’m in the minority there.
It’s not like authors don’t do this all the time, have scenes that aren’t necessary to the advancement of the story. We all do it. It’s just that some people do it more than others. Now, lately, the authors I see doing that are ones who are the NYT bestseller list and who apparently have gotten a little complacent. This author isn’t that high up the food chain yet and I feel like it’s more a newbie mistake rather than ego. But people are all different and not everyone sees things the same way. I’ll buy this author again. I just don’t see them as the out of this world writer others did.
Here’s another retro Marcus for this Christmas week Monday.
He’s so yummy! And a nice warm beach scene is perfect for Christmas week. Don’t forget to head over to my author blog this week for some really special authors giving away books. I have Desiree Holt today, Shoshanna Evers, Alix Rickloff, Lisa Fox, Selena Illyria, Jennifer Leeland and Z.A. Maxfield all coming up this week. Great authors, great books! Have a great Monday!