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Top Ten Tuesdays #4: Why Didn’t I Quit While I Was Ahead?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I don’t quit a lot of things… but there are a ton of bookish things I should quit. Series I wish I would have never finished reading. Books I wish I would have walked away from. Books I wish I had never have read. I don’t know if I’ll have a full theme, but I certainly can come up with several idea.

Books To Read If You Like…

1. James Patterson books

2. Alex Cross series

3. The Women’s Murder Club series

Let’s be honest. For years, James has been getting away with having ghost writers and co-authors write the majority of his books. Yes, I’m aware he gives them an outline, but the truth is, his books have been slowly circling the drain for awhile now. Writing so many books/series a year, has left his book lacking the one thing they had in the beginning: original and/or interesting bad guys.

Now, he’s not only recycling story lines, he’s recycling characters. There is nothing original going on in his adult mysteries anymore. Many of them should have ended years ago and yet, he keeps on slaughtering that cash cow. I would much rather have one grade A quality book from the James Patterson I used to love, than all of these knock offs. I don’t blame the co-authors, because they are doing their jobs. I blame the man who cares more about his brand and less about the quality of his product.

4. House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Seven years ago, when I was in the midst of my vampire stage, I discovered these colorful books. Initially I loved the easiness of the plot, the way the Zoey and her friends were modern teenagers. I especially enjoyed the Casts mixing multiple mythologies in order to offer a new twist on vampires. And then I grew up.

I don’t know about what time it was, but I began to despise these books. Probably around the time it jumped from only Zoey’s point of view to also include Stevie Rae’s. But even before then, I was becoming tired of the same constant pop culture references, the constant need to talk about Zoey’s brown pop and how snotty she gets when she cries and Damien’s constant vocabulary lessons.

The books began to quickly spiral out of control, becoming less and less appealing as the story lines became more and bizarre. And yet… did I quit this series?

I’m embarrassed to say no. I am in fact, still rereading it so I know what happened leading up to the final book, which I still haven’t read. Someone… please explain to me this insanity? Or shoot me?

5. L.J. Smith books

6. The Vampire Diaries

For those of you who don’t recognize the name immediately, L.J. Smith is the author of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, among other series. I discovered her during my vampire stage and let’s just say, she and I have two separate beliefs on how literature should work.

The first and foremost point is, L.J. Smith believes in Happily Ever Afters… EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not only that, but for anyone who read the original four books of The Vampire Diaries, you know, she believes in ultra-cheesy Happily Ever Afters. The only thing the original ending was missing was a unicorn sliding down a rainbow into a leprechaun’s pot of gold.

So of course this means I never read any of her books again, right?

No… as I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I have a serious problem with series and like the House of Night series, once I started her series, I followed each of them through to the end. To be fair, some were done better than others. Some I didn’t even mind the endings, because they weren’t too perfect. But still, if I had to listen my top ten authors based on writing talent and ability… well, let’s just say L.J. Smith would probably be somewhere around the bottom. Not quite as low as E.L. James because she has some great ideas and I loved some of the things she tried. But definitely not making the top ten list of anything positive.

7. Sookie Stackhouse Series

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sookie Stackhouse. Who am I kidding, I loved her so much I roleplayed her for several years. But the series really began taking a dive around book ten. I’m not sure entirely what happened, but here are some of my speculations.

  1.  Charlaine Harris let the popularity of True Blood affect her books. It’s extremely evident in how hard she begins to try to push Bill as a redeemable character. And as someone who didn’t fault him for the animalistic crazed behavior that occurred in the trunk, that’s saying something. Truth is, I liked Bill on True Blood far more than in the books.
  2. Charlaine really really didn’t understand her audience. I don’t mean she didn’t understand who she wanted to write for. That was apparent. I mean, she didn’t understand who was actually reading these books. This is seen best when you see her disgust for Eric and Sookie shippers and how her “elite” group bullied them.
  3. Charlaine Harris lost perspective of what she wanted for the ending. She knew what ending she wanted, but somewhere along the lines, the story began to lead in a different direction and she waited far too long to correct it. Instead, the readers are left with a slapped together pairing that hadn’t so much as shared a kiss, let alone anything resembling sexual interest in one another, in over seven books. Thus leading to their bodies sliding together like wet seals…. I kid you not. That is how their sex scene is described in the book.

Once again, I stuck it out. Though unlike the first couple I’ve put on this list, I really liked the world she created. I really liked the main character and the prospects she had. So at least my continuing of the series was out of my own interest and not because of my OCD about finishing series.

8. Fifty Shades of Shit Grey

I’ve been in the world of role play and I’ve even dabbled in fan fiction myself. So you’d think I’d be supportive of this book, right? Nope.

I cannot in good conscious enjoy a book where a man stalks a woman and she finds it sexy. I cannot enjoy a book where he pulls out her tampon, so they can have sex (you can have sex, just let her handle her own business. She’s a big girl. She got it in there all by herself, she doesn’t need your help getting it out.) I also am not a fan of someone trying to enforce a contract on an inexperienced woman, meanwhile continuously having sex with her before the contract is even signed, since you said you won’t have sex until it is.

The writing itself wouldn’t be so horrible if it wasn’t so damn degrading. And I’m not talking about BDSM. I’m talking about how E.L. James wants to paint this unhealthy obsession of his as a love story. When you love someone so much you begin stalking them, that’s not love, it’s a felony.

But will I finish reading this trilogy (oh God… and the crap book from his point of view?)? Probably only so I can truly analyze this series that has so many people’s panties in a twist. Because trust me, I am not reading it for the sex scenes. I’ve experienced hotter moments in my bath tub and read better written scenes by amateurs.

9. My Childhood Reread

For years, my friend, Ashley and I have been talking about how much we would love to go back and read books from our childhood. Finally, this year I decided to stop talking about it and start doing it….

I’m not so sure that was a good thing. For one, I’ve discovered that there was nothing scary or even creepy about Goosebumps. Granted I was six or seven when I read them, but come on… there has to be one thing, right? Two, the girls from The Baby-Sitters Club were not as mature as I remember them being… Nor were they really that good of baby-sitters, especially if they are yelling at the kids to shut up and what not…

Needless to say, my reread has left the adult in me very sad to realize these books no longer hold the same kind of magical appeal they once did. But should I give up completely? I don’t know. True I won’t be able to recapture my childhood, but there are those brief moments where I spot the things that made me enjoy these books so much. So maybe… that’s what makes it all worth while

10. SERIES!!!!

I don’t know why I am so determined to read series over stand alone books. I suppose I could psychoanalyze myself and say it stems from a childhood need to have something I could depend on, while the rest of my life was undependable. But honestly, I think I’m a lazy reader. In fact, I know I am.

I am not the kind of person who enjoys change. Like many of you, I like what I like and that’s it. But worse than that, I find it hard to go out of my comfort zone and discover new authors and new books. With the exception of the times I go into a store and take a picture of book covers that capture my attention and my recent Netgalley requests, I haven’t truly gone out of my way to find new books since 2007. That was back in vampire stage and though I found some great books, I also found several books that didn’t pan out that well. But the thing is, they all wound up being series. I suppose I enjoy the prospect of having a new book to continue a story I already know and enjoy, as opposed to trying to find a new one.

Anyways, that’s all I have for today folks! Leave me a link to your Top Ten in the comments below. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been quitting or should have been quitting.

About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

7 comments on “Top Ten Tuesdays #4: Why Didn’t I Quit While I Was Ahead?

  1. Hi! Fifty Shade of Shit. hahaha. I love it. 🙂
    My TTT
    Leslie

  2. Part of my criticism with series these days is how many times we see to get “series-itus.” I love a good series but I want there to be a good reason to come back to the characters and/or universe. I hate it when you read a book that feels like it’s being stretched from one book to two, three, four or twelve.

    Oh and I haven’t read Shades of Grey, but I laughed at your clever use of the line through.

    • I feel the same way, actually. For example, I loved the second book in the Alex Cross series and maybe if I had read it earlier, I would have been more accepting of the downward spiral. But when it goes from having one of my favorite literary bad guys to one of the worst books I’ve read from him, I can’t help but wonder why I bother.

      I’ve yet to find an author who can maintain their series as close to as good as the first or second book. Some get some momentum in the end of a series, but it’s amazing how fast a series can turn to crap.

  3. Your comments on Fifty Shades had me laughing – you speak total truth. My TTT

  4. Yep! I’m STILL mad I finished 50 Shades! The whole time I was reading it I KNEW it was TERRIBLE and unhealthy and the worst representation of BDSM out there but I just couldn’t. stop. It was like a train wreck. I couldn’t look away. But at least now I’m able to participate in conversations about it. So there’s that.

  5. That 50 Shades title though… had me in a laughing fit lol ! I’ve recently acquired the first book in the sookie stackhouse series… let’s see how that goes

    Here’s my list that’s full of supernatural gifs … 10 Reasons why I’ve stopped lending out books

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