It’s been fun but I think it’s time to breakup…
I’ve been contemplating breaking up with an author lately. You see I like their work, I’ve read several books of theirs, I even came close to loving one book but overall I realize I’m disappointed more than pleased. I think the author is just not for me. Thankfully I’m not too terribly invested so I think the breakup will be mild and easy.
Yet what about those authors that you want to love everything they write yet you just can’t? There are a few authors that whenever I see their name I want their books. I don’t even need to know what the books are about. I don’t read the blurbs, check out the cover art … I just want whatever they’ve written. Yet sometimes these authors let me down. I know they do. I can tell by the consistent middle of the road ratings I give them. However I just can’t stop wanting their books. It’s a double edged sword. I don’t think the author is for me but I want them to be!
I wonder when do you know to break up with an author or even worse, a series?
I’ve clung to favored series long, long after their expiration point. I finally do give up (LKH, JD Robb, Janet Evanovich, Frank Herbert) when I’m disappointed by numerous books in a row. Though I hated Lover Enshrined so frickin’ much that I’ve not been able to pick up another JR Ward book and I loved that BDB series.
But my point is that giving up on an author or series is painful and a tough decision. You want to love it, you want to continue but the disappointment or ultimately lack of enjoyment makes it impossible.
So my question is when do you give up?
When are the issues too much so you simply have to breakup, no matter how painful?
Also what’s been your worst book/author/series breakup?
19 thoughts on “It’s time to breakup”
Ooohhhh – Stephanie Plum. Yeah, we broke up around ‘Eleven on Top’ when Stephanie broke up with Joe Morelli for the 3893474937 time. I am looking forward to the Katherine Heigl movie though, if only because it will remind me why I initially loved the series.
As for Anita Blake … she and I are still on speaking terms, barely. Lately, when I read her books I spend more time scoffing and muttering than enjoying. Actually, I have more fun writing negative reviews than I do reading the actual book. What was the point of ‘Flirt’? Seriously. Waste of paper.
I have said goodbye to Nora Roberts though. I haven’t read anything of hers recently that I enjoyed as much as ‘The Mackade Brothers’. And I get mildly embarrassed reading her books on public transport – they’re just such a chick lit romance cliche.
Oh dear number books. I used to like them but I gave up around where you did. I just kept thinking that while it was great at the start of the series when she was “plump” and hapless, I wondered why all the men actually wanted her by the 10th/11th book. No thanks.
As for LKH. How can you still be wedded to that series? You made it to Flirt? I think I gave up around Harlequin and though I read the first 6 books of the Merry Gentry series they all sucked. Seriously sucked.
Ahh NR. I loved her back in the day but she is quite a re-tread at this point and I’ve outgrown her. Sad because now she’s so mainstream no one gives you grief. Yet I was mocked when I did read her. *mutter*
Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series.
I loved Scarpetta when it first began. I thought it was a series with a wonderfully unique and groundbreaking character. But over time Cornwell seemed to get tired of it all, and it showed. The characters became so awful and stilted and finally so fucking horrible it was a torture to read each new book. I kept being Homer Simpson chasing the runaway pig “It’s still good! It’s still good!” even though I knew I was deluding myself. And Lucy became a sociopath and Marino tried to rape Scarpetta, and finally I just went “enough is enough”.
Unfortunately I have become so soured by the series that I cannot even read the earlier books because I know how the characters become completely awful people you wish would just be killed off by the killers they chase.
Oh, thanks for the updates there Sean. I used to love that series but seems thankfully drifted away before all that clusterfuckery you mentioned. My memories are still positive and pure. 🙂
I’m with both of you on the PC series. It was truly sensational when it started. I drifted away like Tam before it got to that point but I’m horrified. I was getting bored with the direction the series was taking and I’m glad now. I can’t believe an author would ruin her own series that way. *growl*
Thanks for the update, definitely not going back to it now.
I don’t tend to break up in a dramatic way, I just kind of drift away, stop calling (at the bookstore) so to speak. I have a similar response to a couple of authors as you mentioned in the second case. Maybe I really enjoyed their work when I started this journey and now, I keep thinking I should still enjoy them the same way and sometimes I do but sometimes I don’t. So I just stop calling, make excuses to not get together with the book. I’m a bad reader-girlfriend.
That’s usually how it is for me. I just kind of outgrow a series. I love it love it love it (BDB, Kenyon, that other with crazy Nix, etc.) and then I find something else new and shiny and I leave the others in the dust. I don’t remember which BDB I stopped at. Perhaps V and his ghostie woman or Butch and his dishrag woman. Either way, that was before I even discovered m/m but I KNEW it was wrong not to have them together. Yes, I hold a grudge and will never get over it. LOL
It happens, we all move on, outgrow and new fans I’m sure come in and discover new series. I read about 10 Kenyon books in 2 weeks because I’d never heard of her back in my mystery-reading days, so there are folks like me who take up where I leave off I’m sure.
Yea that’s a really good point. There are always new readers who discover our old favorites. For some series I’m like you Tam but that’s more for authors. I tend to stay very loyal to an author for a long time. I read everything they’ve written and then when I’m done. I tend to be done. I drift away, I forget to pick up their new release, or by the time I remember it’s meh. I keep the author on my shelf thinking I’ll go back to them but I rarely do.
It’s time to clean out all those old authors I won’t go back to. So sad.
I gave up on LKH when her books turned into total Mary Sue fests. I’m continuing with the BDB… with reservations. It’s sad that the two pieces of BDB fan fiction I’ve read recently were more satisfying than the actual books! I just realized I haven’t read the last couple Stephanie Plum books – guess I’m done with that stagnant mess. I gave up on Kim Morrison’s Rachel Morgan books when she killed off my favorite character. I’ve been known to stop reading a series when the author relies too heavily on cliffhangers (I’m looking at you, Karen Marie Moning).
Oh LKH has always been a Mary Sue moment but you’re right that her later works didn’t even try to hide it.
I haven’t read any BDB fan fiction but it’s better than the books link me up. I still haven’t ventured there after book 6 and I’m afraid to – truth be told. I can’t believe the Plum books are still even going on. Stick a fork in them (and the JD Robb ones).
Eh there are so many series that to break up with one leaves another 10 to try out. At least we’re not alone for long.
This is how things should’ve gone with Butch and V. 🙂
I broke up with Jeff Lyndsey’s after Dexter Book 4. It started with book 3, when there was suddenly all this supernatural stuff going on that there wasn’t a hint of in books 1 & 2. I’ve nothing against supernatural elements in books of course, but only if they’re there from the start, not suddenly dropped in out of nowhere 3 books in. It felt like a bait and switch. I did read the next one, but somehow the magic was gone. I didn’t trust the writer any more.
The TV show on the other hand I’m still all over!
I’ve never actually gotten into either the books or the TV show. I considered watching it but when I heard that some teenagers decided to re-enact one of the episodes I was too disgusted to watch it. I do know it’s very popular.
I kind of broke up with BDB but then I heard about Team Qhuay and I actually picked up the other books (although not Lover Unleashed yet) – I still have to wade through Lover Enshrined (and I’m not looking forward to it) but I understand I need to get the world building bits in so I can follow the story. I am looking forward to the “novella” Ward is planning for Team Qhuay – it’s just that LE is staring at me. A lot.
I’ve never read Anita Blake or Scarpetta and I still enjoy Nora Roberts and I adore the JD Robb series – am I banned now? 😀
I’m thinking about breaking up with the Chicagoland Vampire series – I heard that bk4 has a massive cliffhanger-y thing at the end which will drive romance fans crazy – I have pre-ordered Drink Deep whic comes out in November and I am saving Hard Bitten to read at the same time – if it works out in that book, I might (but only might) decide to stick with it but if it doesn’t, its OVER!
hehe You’re not banned. Some *cough* people still enjoy the Robb series. I don’t understand you but I don’t have to either :D.
Oooh good luck with the Chicago series. I gave up on that one already. Hopefully you’ll have better luck.
I used to devour everything that Stephen King published, or at least try to keep up with each one of his releases. And then I hit a wall, I think it was with The Tommyknockers – hated that book. I walked away for a few years and then picked him up again with Needful Things. I still enjoy him as an author, I’m just much more selective about which of his novels I read.
I too joined the many disappointed with the BDB. After the train wreck of Lover Unbound I remained hopeful and did read the next one Lover Enshrined but continued feeling disappointed so I walked away for a few years. Funny enough, quite recently I return to read Lover Avenged and Lover Mine out of sheer curiosity but I think that was my last attempt – I’ve laid this series to rest for good. IMHO Lover Unbound was a missed opportunity that cannot be regained via future books in the series. The series just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
I think it’s natural and even healthy to sometimes walk away from beloved authors. We grow in our reading tastes and sometimes we outgrow the author. I don’t have the expectation that I will love every book a favourite author publishes, I think that’s unfair to the author. I also don’t want to put that type of pressure on myself as a reader. And unless I’m really disappointed overall (e.g. BDB) I’ll usually stick with an author I like, or take a break from them knowing I’ll eventually return, but be more selective about what I read by said author.
Like many readers, I love reading new (to me) authors, that sense of discovery is a thrill. So I try to look at it as the glass being half full as opposed to half empty – constantly seeking to expand my horizons with new authors more so than being too preoccupied over dumping the old ones. Hope that makes sense?
No I think that’s the appropriate way to look at it. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that I used to love a particular author but no longer read them. Just like one day I’ll outgrow many of the authors I enjoy now and move on to new ones. It’s the cycle of reading. There will be those rare books that span the test of time but really those are the exception rather than the rule.
It’s not bad that to move on to a new author because as someone else pointed out, there’s always someone behind you coming along and discovering that author for the first time. There are so many authors and books in existence that I think readers HAVE to change, grow, and move on to experience more things. If you want to read a wide variety then you have to let go and see what else there is. It’s not a bad thing at all, you’re right.
I’m still hanging out with Anita. She does frustrate me FREQUENTLY but I just take a break and read something else for while. I’ve found that I’m just too darn invested in the world Hamilton built and partially in love with some of her secondary characters, to break it off. There is good and bad, but she always brings me out of the mediocre funk.
I broke up with Anita when everyone started charing her bed. I liked that she was independent in the beginning, that she tried to not be too into the power games of the different paranormal species but eventually it just all turned out into a big orgie and it felt like there was not integrity left.
I agree Scarpetta never really turned out the same after the “death” of her partner.
Stephen KIng I left when the kids in IT all had to sleep with the girl to find their way home (sick!).
I broke up violently with Robin Hobb when she let Burrish die alone and miraculously saving everyone else. I was not happy to see the Fool leave either. Hated that ending
I tend to break up with authors (especially romance authors) who are too fond of master/slave stpries without handling that well. Unfortunately those that seem to have a hard time leaving that topic alone are those that don’t handle it well.