Saturday, May 13, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 94: Giving Authors a Second Chance


Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @


For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.


This Week's Question

If you read a book you ended up
hating, would you stay away from
future books by that author,
or would you give them
a second chance?

(Submitted  by Maria  @ 



My Answer

I have actually been generous and open-minded enough to give an author a second chance on one occasion. You will be reading about this further down in this post. It did NOT end well. 

In one case in particular not that long ago, I actually had the opportunity to give an author a second chance, and decided not to. As I think back on this now, I do feel a bit guilty. Then again, since time is SO precious, it seems a waste to try again with an author who has already disappointed you once. 

The author in question was Stephanie Laurens, and the book was titled The Lady's Command. It just didn't grab me at all. The characters were flat and unrealistic, while the plot was VERY slow. I had reviewed this novel for a blog tour, and was very honest in my review. Well, when I was given the opportunity to review another romance novel by Laurens, I turned it down.

There was another romance author whose novel was also a disappointment -- Lisa Kleypas. Her novel, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, did not appeal to me at all, even though I liked the characters. The plot wasn't too bad, either. The problem was that the two romantic leads met, and started a relationship, while one of them was in a relationship with someone else. I have no tolerance or sympathy for cheaters, so that was that.

In the case of Kleypas, I might give her another chance. I did like her writing, and her characters were realistically depicted. In contrast, I did not like Laurens's writing, and her characters, as I mentioned above, did not strike me as very realistic.

So now I've arrived at this revelation: I will be more willing to "forgive" an author for a disappointing book if at least some of the book's elements are appealing to me. I will engage in "trade-offs", so to speak, lol. If a book has great characters and plot, then I will give the author another chance, even if I might not like the writing style per se. On the other hand, no matter how great the characters, plot, and/or writing, I will not tolerate or be interested in certain topics or themes. If any of these are included in the book, I will not continue to read it, and will probably never pick up another book by that author again.

The case is different when I've already read and liked one book by a particular author. If a subsequent book bombs, I will definitely still give that author a second chance. Here are two recent examples of this: The Last of August, by Brittany Cavallaro, and The Christmas Bridge, by Elyse Douglas.

In the case of Cavallaro, I had already read and GREATLY enjoyed her debut YA novel, A Study In Charlotte. Based on the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, I thought it was highly original, exciting, and suspenseful, with great character development throughout. The sequel, mentioned above, just totally disappointed me. It most certainly did NOT live up to the high bar set by the first book in the series.

In the case of Elyse Douglas (this is the pen name of a husband and wife writing team), I had read a previous novel, The Christmas Town, which I adored! The  Christmas Bridge -- which was not a sequel, as the authors had not started a series -- just totally infuriated me! Had it been a printed book instead of an ebook, I would probably have thrown it against the wall! This novel also involved cheating, and it was even WORSE than the situation in the Kleypas novel. Furthermore, the plot made no sense whatsoever. The novel read like two books crammed into one.   

Since I have already read previous novels by both of these authors, I am not at all hesitant to pick up a future book of theirs. I already know that they can write novels that will engage me, that will make me want to turn pages. BUT. If these two writers again disappoint me, then that will definitely be IT. I will never be interested in reading one of their books again.

I really made a BIG mistake once, when I decided to give an author a second chance. The book in question was Angel Star, a YA paranormal novel by Jennifer Murgia. I TOTALLY disliked it, so much so that I only gave it ONE star. Heck, I RARELY give a book only one star! Well, unbelievably enough, I did give this author a second chance, and read the sequel, Lemniscate..... OMG. Yup, this was another ONE-STAR read! 

Then there was the case of the Fallen books, a YA series by Lauren Kate. The first novel, Fallen, was just GREAT! I LOVED the plot, the writing, and the characters! I gave this book five stars. I had mixed feelings about the second book, Torment, to which I gave three stars. Incredibly, the third book, Passion, was REALLY good, so I gave it five stars. And then the fourth, and last book, came along.... Rapture. This book totally DESTROYED the entire series for me, and I gave it two stars. (I didn't give it one star because I really liked the writing, lol.) There were a couple of REALLY objectionable things about the plot, one of which was a TOTALLY UNNECESSARY blood sacrifice, aka MURDER. I then wished I had NEVER read the three previous books. I got rid of the entire series through a couple of giveaways on my YA blog, A Night's Dream of Books.

So this is what came of "giving an author a second chance"! In the case of this series, I gave the author TWO "second chances". Lol.

I guess the whole thing is just VERY unpredictable.... Even if an author has delighted a reader once, there is absolutely NO guarantee that they will do so again, even after the reader has given them more than ONE second chance. However, I do think the odds tend to be more favorable once a reader has already sampled, and liked, one or more books by a specific writer. 

Of course, I could go on giving more examples, but, in the interest of not making this post too long, I will stop here.

If anyone is interested in reading any of the reviews of the books mentioned above, they're available on my "Book Reviews" page, which you can quickly access HERE. 
                      


What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 








17 comments:

  1. Whew...finally getting around to visiting blogs.

    AWESOME comments.

    I always love how you are so detailed and give examples. THANKS.

    I give a book 100 pages and might try another book unless the first one had a subject that was offensive. I have had a few of those and refused to continue.

    Have a great day, Maria.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Awwww.....THANK YOU FOR BEING SO SWEET!! <3 <3 <3

      I think your idea of giving a book 100 pages, and then calling it quits if it doesn't interest you, is a GREAT one. By doing this you avoid wasting too much on a book that will most likely NEVER grab your attention and keep it!

      In the past, I have usually seen a book through to the bitter end, but I recently decided to stop doing that! Lol. Time is just TOO precious to waste! So, of the books I mentioned in this post, I did NOT finish three of them -- "Christmas at Friday Harbor", "The Last of August", and "The Christmas Bridge", although, with the last one, I skimmed around, and then peeked at the ending. Lol.

      I couldn't BELIEVE how Lauren Kate ruined her entire series for me, with the very last book! However, I should have known something like that would happen, just from reading the second book in the series, "Torment". She had an angel and a demon in a romantic relationship. I know you don't read paranormal romance, but I love it. However, this pairing was a bit much for me to take. I should have stopped reading the series right there! Oh, well.....

      Hope you have a GREAT day, too, Elizabeth!! Happy Hopping, to you as well!!

      HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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    2. Thanks for the Mother's Day Greetings and a terrific reply to my comment.

      Delete
    3. Awwww....you're SO sweet!! You're VERY WELCOME!!!! And THANK YOU for the nice compliment!! YOU ROCK!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

      Delete
  2. Great post Maria.

    I tend research an author's books and try to start off with the book that I think will appeal to me the most. I agree that there needs to be something good about the first book in order for me to read another.

    I think that this topic illustrates the point that even the best authors can be terribly inconsistent. I a cannot imagine the work and energy that it takes to write a novel. It seems like it is so difficult to get it right.

    I am thinking about Frank Herbert and how I read a few really bad books, The Dosad Experiment and Whipping Star by him. As I think that many of his other books are brilliant, I am glad that I did not begin with those two and then stop altogether.

    It is so discouraging to enjoy the books in a series only to run into a latter entry that just does not work.

    Have a great weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thank you so much for the compliment!! <3 :)

      You know, that's a TERRIFIC idea you had!! I should do the same thing. That way, I won't be disappointed. Heck, I should do this even before signing up for blog tours. It's not the first time I do so, only to find out, when I read the excerpt they send me, that the book is HORRIBLE.

      You're SO right that even the best authors can disappoint a reader!! I've heard GREAT things about "Dune" and other Herbert books, and yet, you've come across a couple of duds. *shakes head in disbelief* And yeah, it's a good thing you didn't start off with those two books! Lol.

      Writing a novel sure does take a LOT of work and energy! I know, because I've tried to write one a few times.... somehow, I can't keep the momentum going. Maybe one of these days I will. Who knows?

      Yes, it's VERY discouraging to enjoy the first two or three books in a series, and then....a REAL DUD comes along. It ruins the ENTIRE series! AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

      Thanks for the WONDERFUL comment!! Hope you have a GREAT weekend, too!! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to any of your female relatives that are moms!! <3 :)

      Delete
  3. Yes! There are far too many great books and too little time to waste on second chances and mehs.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Brooke!

      Glad you agree! And I'm no longer willing to see a book through "to the bitter end". Lol. I have been DNF'ing books lately!

      Thanks for commenting!! :) :) :)

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  4. With so many books out there to read, it can be hard to justify reading an author we've had a bad experience with before. And yet, I hate to judge an author by just one book. I've run into enough situations where I end up liking an author's work the more I read it. Especially if it's a series. Of course, these aren't usually cases of my hating or necessarily disliking a book . . . Just a case of me liking something about it enough to want to continue and the series getting better as it goes.

    I can't say I have ever really hated a book per say. And definitely none that I would have finished. I generally don't finish books I am not enjoying. Although I have read my share of "meh" books--ones that are just okay. Like you, if there's some element I do like, I might give the author another try. If it's writing style, I'm likely to drag my feet before trying something else--if I ever do. Too many other books out there I want to read, after all.

    I hope you have a wonderful week, Maria. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Wendy!

      I used to read even books I didn't like all the way to the end. More recently, though, I've started to just drop books I'm not enjoying. I used to finish them because I kept hoping they would somehow get better as I went along, but that was just never the case. So now I don't finish them. I still give the book as much of a chance as possible, lol. I tend to read at least 200 to 300 pages. But I won't go any further if I don't like the book.

      It's very rare for me to give a book only one star, so yeah, that tells you how much I disliked it!

      It's good that you're willing to give an author you're reading for the first time another chance. If I were as fast a reader as you, I'd do that, too. But I'm not....lol.

      Hope you have a wonderful week, as well, Wendy!! Thanks for always dropping by and leaving such GREAT comments on this post!! HUGS TO YOU & MOUSE!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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  5. I have a lot of variables when it comes to second chances, but if the writer is bad at writing structurally that is a definite run the other way for me. :)

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    1. Hi, La, La!

      Yeah, I have some "trade-offs" myself. But I definitely agree with you about "writing structurally". I would run the other way, too!!

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)

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  6. You just made me realize that this argument is definitely genre-based as well. If it was a romance novel that I didn't care for, there is no way that I will read another one by the same author. I love mystery/thriller books, but if you don't grab my attention and keep it, I won't read another one of your books either....

    After reading so many opinions on this one, I came to the conclusion that it is actually only in general fiction that I will give the author another chance. It is a "difficult" genre, because it can be so diverse! So I guess we have to be more lenient.

    Thanks for making all of us think a bit!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Mareli!

      Interesting point you've just made! I love romance, but those who don't regularly read this genre might not be interested in giving a romance author another chance. As for mysteries and thrillers, I don't usually read those genres. I do want to read Agatha Christie, as I've heard SO MANY GREAT THINGS about her!! Beyond that, my absolute favorite is Sherlock Holmes, so I'll read just about ANYTHING related to him!

      The thing about mysteries and thrillers is that, by the nature of these genres, they MUST keep a reader's interest. If this doesn't happen with a particular book, then that author is defeating the whole purpose! Lol.

      For this blog, I tend to read more genre fiction, such as Young Adult, paranormal romance, historical romance, contemporary romance, and urban fantasy, as well as "regular" fantasy. I don't normally like what you call "general fiction".

      You're very welcome for the post!! Thanks for always leaving such GREAT comments on my BBH posts!! Hope you're having a TERRIFIC week!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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  7. We are learning to DNF because you're exactly right; time is precious, and we don't want to spend it reading a book we're not enjoying when we could be reading a book we love. We have given authors second chances; and sometimes we're glad we did, and sometimes we're not. Because I gave a certain author a second chance and it blew my mind how much she had improved from the previous book that I read and despised, I will try to give authors a second chance when time allows. Great question! As always, we love your answer! Wonderful post, Maria *TACKLE HUGS* <3 <3 <3

    ~Michele & Mckenzie

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    1. Hi, Michele & Mckenzie, you WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!!!

      I'm learning to DNF myself. I have in the past continued to read books I wasn't enjoying, and it's really not worth it. I guess I was hoping for some sort of 'miracle' that would magically turn the book into a pleasant read. Lol!!!!! Of course, THAT didn't happen!

      You're right -- sometimes a writer WILL surprise a reader by producing a MUCH better book later on in their career. I can't remember ever coming across any such authors, though.

      Thanks so much for the compliments!! You two are SO SWEET!!

      Thank you for dropping by and leaving such a WONDERFUL comment!!! *TACKLE HUGS BACK* <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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