Frustrating Reading Moments  #writers #AmReading #books

Novels That Tore My Heart Out & Left Me For Dead-2

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Here are some of my favourite frustrating reading moments.

1. A plot twist – you have to be kidding me?  You realise you have been the victim of a cunning plot twist and go into book shock. This can be both frustrating (and pleasurable) if you never saw it coming and you spent half the book on a wild goose chase.  If you like amazing twists read ‘I let you go’ by Clare Mackintosh. The plot twist experience leaves you flicking back through the book trying to find the point where the author pulled the wool over your eyes, whilst muttering  “who does that author think he / she is pulling a stunt like that?”

2. What a naff ending! The book has had you gripped for hours / days. The characters are alive in your head and the amazing plot has turned you into a quivering wreck. Then the author ends it in a really naff and weak way – aghhhh! This is very frustrating! Its like the author took you and your emotions on a drive and just left you by the side of the road. Cue – throw book at wall!

3. Get out of my head! The characters of the book you have read hang around in your head for days after. Its like they take up residence in your mind for days after the book has finished. This can be frustrating especially if you are a writer as whatever you do you can’t seem to get someone else’s characters out of your head.

4. R.I.P main character – sigh! Hang on I still have 20 pages to go! This is where you endure the death of main character well before the end of the book. This is frustrating as it leaves less important characters to contemplate his / her demise and it gets painfully dull. You then enter book limbo land where you spend your time thinking “should I just stop reading it now?”

5. Anyone seen my favourite character? This is where there is a disappearance of a beloved character for a much-too-big a chunk of the story. Can be frustrating when you become emotionally attached to these characters in the early part and you spend the rest of the book waiting for their return. 

6. Do I carry on reading this dull book or shall I watch some paint dry instead? I always feel like I should finish a book, its like I owe it to the author but there are some books out there which test my boredom limits. This is frustrating because you have usually invested your time and money (unless it was freebie on Kindle) into this book. 

7. This character is seriously doing my head in! I had to mention this. We all have our favourite frustrating book characters, those that drive us up the wall with their behaviour, irritating ways and tiresome habits. They are needed in books, don’t get me wrong but some really wind me up. I am not going to give you a huge list as some of my frustrating characters could be ones you all love (but I can’t help myself – Amy March – Little Women, Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter, Bella Swan – Twilight, Theon Greyjoy – Game of Thrones, Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre,  Ashley Wilkes and Scarlett O’Hara – Gone With The Wind). 

8. Oh please go get a room! This is where two characters have the hots for each other and the author painfully strings out their lusting for each other.  If it gets really bad you may find yourself shouting at the book ‘just go get a room and let’s move on!’

Let me know any of your reading frustrations!

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

64 thoughts on “Frustrating Reading Moments  #writers #AmReading #books

  1. EDWARD ROCHESTER, for sure. I mean what the hell is he playing at and who does he think he is? Stop playing games Teddy, tell her you love her and stop trying to belittle the poor woman…he is lucky she came back for him….

  2. Picking up a book because everyone and their dentist is raving about it and then being left wondering if everyone and their dentist is mental because it turns out the book is crap. Although for the most recent time this happened I should have known better and was entirely expecting it to happen so shame on me really.

    1. I did think of this scenario! I had this with ‘Shades of Grey’ – I found it too repetitive – all that lip biting, am surprised she had lips left! Good comment – thx for dropping by

  3. Some books suffer from this –

    Start with a bombastic prologue (preferably kill someone, amid a lot of mystery) but make the middle unbearably boring so that I don’t care about the mystery anymore.

  4. Lol too funny…oh my gosh…I can’t even say the one where the main character dies… But I still have not read the final book and its been a year…bleh…

  5. What if you can’t stand the main character? Not only that, but you can’t empathize with them either. You could care less if they solve the mystery, end up dead, or hit by a bus. Or, when a secondary character is more interesting than the main character, and you wait for them to come back “on the page” because otherwise the story just isn’t working as well as should.

      1. I do, but the author is a friend. Don’t want to bash his book publicly. Others have loved it. I just don’t like the MC. I can’t help it!

  6. Number six happens more often these days. Between reading rave reviews and picking up a particular book I can’t wait to dig into, it’s slow going for 50 page, 100 pages, 150. What the heck is everyone raving a.b.o.u.t.? (Insert quiet scream here.) o_O

      1. I used to force myself to read the whole book too at first then I stopped at 150, then 100. I keep saying one more page. One more… I paid good money for my books–so okay they come from a charity bookstore and the prices are a steal–it just allows me to buy MORE books. 😀

  7. Numbers 2 and 3 usually go hand and hand for me. The ending is terrible so I spend the rest of my day’s brain power thinking up a better way to end the character’s poorly ended tale. Point taken on number 5, I shall work on that…hint hint 😉

      1. Because I can’t stand that kind of disappointment I try to make it a point to write believable endings that aren’t contrived. I mean I don’t want to always wrap things up in a perfect bow, but a nice tight shoe lace is a good thing too.

      2. I agree, I like everything to be resolved and believable by the end of a story, and it can’t all be depressing either. There has to be at least a little light and happiness.

      1. She is well I assure you. You will just have to read chapters 12 thru 17 to find out more. She would hate for me to give you spoilers, because then you would be tempted not to read and her story would not receive the help it needs. That would be oh so tragic 😉

  8. One reading frustration for me is when a book doesn’t give enough character development–especially with my favorite character. The book either gives little development to its characters, or focuses only on certains characters instead of the one I really like. *sigh*

  9. Oh I love a twist in my reading but I really hate the naff ending especially for those stories that have offered so much in the run-up. I also hate those narrators that digress down blind-alleys – no need and it just makes me think the author was pumping up their word count that day!

  10. One of my frustrations is so much description that my mind starts to wander. I like an author to describe the setting so I know where I’m at, but I don’t need to know the color of every lamp or every detail of a painting on the wall. And like you, I don’t want to be bored. Give me good pacing. Make me keep turning the pages. If the tension isn’t building and nothing seems to be happening, I’ll stop reading. I used to feel guilty about that, but I don’t anymore. There are too many great books out there to read to spend time on one that isn’t doing it for me. 🙂

    Great post!

  11. Naff endings are my major gripe: soggy summarising and damp squibs; meh-moments; everything tied up with a nice, neat bow, or everything left hanging. Worst of all is when the author has written a great story but has not a clue how to end it, so it just… fizzles out. Great post!

  12. Predictability. When I can see the end coming, or what’s going to happen next. That leads to a sigh-worthy moment. I can relate to all of the above. So I’m wondering, are we expecting too much from the books we read, to be disappointed/frustrated so often?

    1. Agree Phoenixgrey85 (I always love it when you join a debate) but we all live that ‘golden book’ moment where you transported off to somewhere else..

      1. Oh yes. The disappointments are working that moment when it clicks and you are somewhere else, transported away on dragon’s wings. 🙂

  13. Life is too short to persevere with reading something you don’t like. If a novel doesn’t grab me in the first chapter, I dump it, which means I’m beginning to behave like the average publisher’s or literary agent’s reader. The older I become, the more impatient I am with badly written novels. If the main character is annoying, then they’ve had it.
    The plus side of this is that when I pick up a novel that does grab me in the first chapter, then I am overcome with jubilation. This happened to me yesterday with “Wool” by Hugh Howey. I am not surprised that he made it into the Amazon Top 10 as a self-published author. And it’s the first in a trilogy … yippee 😀
    PS I’m glad I was more patient a few years ago when I picked up “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” as the first fifty pages were so heavy going, but Mister told me it got better, so I ended up reading the whole trilogy in two months.

  14. I just hate it when everything is as predictable as Christmas Day mass. Every character, every plot twist, every idea is a cliche that’s been done more times than kids refusing to go to bed at night. It’s all so boring. I can deal with most things, but that…..ugh.

  15. Agree with so many of these! Love your “go into book shock” idea: I do it often! Have to agree with number 3: I read The Goldfinch about three months ago and I’m still grieving for the characters, that I won’t get to spend any more time with them. I can’t wait for a few months down the line to read it again……other frustrations….like you say, carry on or not with a dull book? Life’s too short and all that but someone wrote the damn things so solidarity means I usually end up carrying on, begrudgingly, dreaming of better books 😦 I also really hate it when Amazon reviews convince me to part with hard earned money and the book falls under the ‘begrudgingly finished it’ category….

      1. Oh, you too…’s a whirlwind and I fell in love with the three main characters, all of them, wholly and utterly head over heels in love. Especially Boris. I miss them. So much 😦

  16. Hilarious. Every writer should read and take note! And by the way, if anyone else hates Mr. Rochester, tell me about it. He’s the villain in my sequel to Jane Eyre. And Bertha ‘ s daughter returns…

  17. I always love your visuals. They’re so professional looking. I borrow mine from google and I’m no techie so the credit never shows up on my page. I hope they’re flattered rather than in suing me for money I don’t have mindset.

    1. I feel you on the victimizing book shock. I lol’d all over the place.
    2. In elementary school I would beg for writing time and all of my endings were, “and then she woke up.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That’s what I begged for. I was the worst offender of the naff ending and that is now what I will refer to it as with all credit given to you ha!
    7. Fermina Daza – Love in the Time of Cholera. Girlfriend is a sociopath.
    8. I hate book porn! If it can’t stay in the same paragraph, let alone the same chapter, someone needs a chill pill


  18. I have experienced some of these lately – hope no one does with my books 🙂
    Regarding the comments that reading some books is like watching paint dry – there is a possible positive spin on that. It is really handy to get those sorts of book in audiobook form – perfect for helping you get to sleep… (I recently ‘read’ an audiobook by GH that completely cured my insomnia).

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