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Teenage Musings / August 19, 2013

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Today on Teenage Musings, I feel honoured to host Jack’s very first discussion post! I think this is a great topic and something I’ve thought about more and more, as, like Jack, I’ve read books I’ve disliked. Read what Jack thinks and join in on the discussion!

Discussion Post by Jack

Do Authors Deserve a Second Chance?

I’ve been dealing with that question a lot recently, after reading a good few books that I disliked quite a bit. Is it a difficult question to answer? In my opinion, yes, it is. And I think there are people who could easily answer the question of whether a reader should allow themselves to read another book by an author whom they may have had trouble with in the past while reading their previous books. But when I try to answer this question, I end up confusing myself because there are so many different answers, and my head gets a bit jumbled! So when it comes down to it, I can’t give you a direct answer. All I can say is that, for me, it really depends. Let me elaborate…

Ok, let’s not kid ourselves here. There have been times where I’ve read a book and all I want to do is smash my head through a wall. And although you may not have been in a situation as serious, there is bound to be a book in which you’ve read and were completely disgusted by. So the question is, should we take the risk and try another one of their novels? It’s a big risk, because we don’t have the time to waste reading books we don’t enjoy. Is it worth it? So I think we can all relate to this question, but in different ways. Let’s pretend you just read a book and completely and utterly hated it. Now, does the author of that book deserve a second chance?

No way in hell! Wow, that’s a bit harsh, but I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been there myself. Now lets discuss the reasons you might never give a certain author another chance. I think if I’m certain that I’ll never read a book by a certain author, it would have to have something to do with the writing. The writing is not only the author’s signature, chance to show off how unique and different they are compared to other writers, but you can’t enjoy a book if the writing is choppy and doesn’t glide the reader along. The writing is arguably the most important aspect of a novel, so if it’s poor them everything is ruined. Plus, if it’s the author’s style of writing that you really dislike, then it’s probably a good idea to stay away from any of their other novels.

Hmm, I’m not quite sure, maybe? Now this is quite a difficult situation to be in, unsure of whether to take the risk and give the author another chance. But again, it depends of what aspects of the book you disliked. I find myself in this situation mostly when the plot didn’t really agree with me. If you found the plot unoriginal, or just plain boring, there still might be hope for your relationship with the authors books! It may have been a lousy idea for a story line, but does it take away from how good an author he/she is? Think about that and if the answer is no, then I’m sorry but I think the risk isn’t worth it. But if you answered yes, then maybe, just maybe, you could give another one of their novels a try and, you never know, you might actually enjoy it!

Sure, why not? You’re obviously someone who has a lot of time on their hands for reading, so therefore I despise you. Why not? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because you HATED the first book you read of theirs?

Yes, I always give authors another chance just to make sure. Aww, how nice of you! I’m sure the author would appreciate that, but obviously you’re not in the same boat as we are. You didn’t want to smash your head through a wall, did you? Ah, I guessed it. Sorry, this post is only for people who read a book that they absolutely hated, so shoo! But seriously, I think it’s pretty fair to give authors one more chance to see if they actually did write some good books.

So there’s a couple of answers you could come across as you battle with the question of whether authors deserve a second chance. I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences with books I disliked and how I decided what to do. Here are a few examples:

Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge: It’s no secret that I really disliked this novel, and I think it’s the author’s debut. But I no for sure that I won’t be reading another novel by this author again. There wasn’t one thing I liked about it, and to be honest I don’t even know how I finished it, but I do wish the author well as I think some other readers might enjoy her books, but they certainly aren’t for me.

Chasing The Dark by Sam Hepburn:I was only sixty pages in when I had to put this novel down. After having a completely unrealistic and annoying story line, I just didn’t think I could handle reading the whole novel. The style of writing was something that really bugged me in this novel, so I don’t think I’ll be reading another novel by this author again.

Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie: Girl, Missing is one of my favourite books, and it holds so many childhood memories for me. So when I finally decided to pick up the sequel I was so disappointed I was almost reduced to tears. This was one of the worst sequels I’ve ever read. It just felt sloppy and rushed, and the storyline was just terrible and negative. Sophie McKenzie is such a talented and popular author, I expected so much more from her. With that said, I still think I’ll finish the series and read the last book in the last book in the trilogy one day, because I do like McKenzie’s writing, just not in Sister, Missing.

So there you have it, just a few of my experiences. I hope my thoughts have helped you make the big decision in deciding whether an author deserves a second chance. After everything, I think it really does just depend. It depends on how much you disliked the book, your experiences with that author in the past, how passionate you are about a certain genre. It can be very confusing, as I said at the beginning, and sometimes if you don’t give the author a second chance, you’ll never know. What do you think? Do authors deserve a second chance? Do you agree with what I said?

7 Responses to Teenage Musings: Do Authors Deserve a Second Chance?

  1. Emma Haughton says:

    Difficult one, Jack. I am a writer, so I have very mixed feelings on this, but I'll respond with my reader head on. I think it depends why you hated a book. If you think the writer has a poor style or grasp of their craft, then personally I wouldn't bother with another of their books. However, if it was just something about the plot or the characterisation, I might. For instance, I absolutely loved Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. So I read her previous novel and enjoyed that too. So I read her first one and dropped it half way through. Had I started with that first novel, I might never have given Gone Girl a chance, and it's one of my favourite books of all time.

    As a writer, I think you have to accept that you can't please everyone. And not every book will please even your most ardent fans. And writers need to listen to why readers might hate a particular book, because those reasons may be good ones.

  2. Helen says:

    Definitely a good question! I had an experience lately that really opened my eyes. I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil and was IN LOVE with that book. So I grabbed another book by her – Possess and instantly expected to love it as well. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed at all. Like the comment above says, if I had read them in reverse order and then never given a second chance after Possess, I never would have gotten to Ten – which I enjoyed so much more! I do think authors deserve a second chance… a third chance is where I draw the line 😉
    My recent post Dudes: Remember the love.

  3. Charli says:

    Great post Jack! Well, with me, it can depend. If it's an author I love and one book is dodgy, then yeah. If I'm reading a book of an author that I haven't read before then I normally wouldn't, unless it was because of the genre.

    My recent post Review: What's Left of Me (Buddy Read with Ruby @ Feed Me Books Now!!!)

  4. Nikki says:

    I think it's always worth giving an author a second chance, especially if they're a new author, or if the book you'd read is either their debut or one of their earlier works, as there's always the chance they've improved. I do find that I'm less tolerant of 'second chance books', however: if I haven't seen an improvement, and think the second book is going to go the same way as the first, I'm much more likely to DNF it, and write that author off.

  5. SnugglingontheSofa says:

    What an awesome topic! I think its very difficult. As bloggers, we inevitably have a massive to-read pile. Why would we waste time on a book that more likely than not we are not going to enjoy? I think authors DESERVE a second chance, but I honestly dont think I have time to give it to them. The only exception I think if the genre is completely different or literally everyone is raving about it.
    My recent post Book Review: Hurt

  6. Julianne says:

    Excellent discussion idea. For me it depends on why I didn't like that book. If it seems really badly written, or if the author is pushing a point of view that makes me uncomfortable, then I won't try them again. If I didn't like the main character or the ending, but from a technical point of view it was fine, I'll probably try another book. I won't rush to get another book by that author though, because there are so many books by authors that I have loved in the past to read!
    My recent post Book Review: Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

  7. Pingback: Bookish Recap: August 18th – 24th | A Bookish Heart

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