I'll tell you what book that is at the end, but for now, I want to list off some reasons I was having such a hard time with the books I kept trying. Some I may name, others not. I'm not here to slam authors or their works.
First, there was an indie book I discovered through...somewhere. Probably one of the ebook promotion newsletters I subscribe to. It's a YA and the main character is overweight. There are a lot of "issues" YA books out there, but this is one issue I haven't seen tackled before. Eating disorders, yes, but fat-shaming, no. I was really hoping for great, emotional, well-handled writing. Instead, I got angsty, annoying, and frankly the thing that has become a major pet peeve: mixing in other "issues" because apparently having a single focus isn't good enough for readers, or maybe isn't impressive enough to publishers? I don't know. All I can say is, if your book is about a girl dealing with being overweight, you don't need to work in that her bff is getting beaten up by her stepfather. You do not need to cover every possible struggle a teen may have to deal with in one book.
|Read THIS one, and skip the sequel!|
Another book I attempted to read was a YA with a 15-yr-old male character that was written in a voice I'd have placed with a 11-yr-old. He was naive, cried way too easily, and didn't relate to people at all on the level his age would dictate. Even an immature 15-yr-old wouldn't act like this (and I know--I have a 14 yr old son). This guy was supposed to be really smart, too. But he acts lost at all times. Also, the pacing of the book was wrong. Too much focused on describing details the reader doesn't need, and not enough actually telling the story.
So, I tried reading a different YA, this time with a female protag. Started off okay. Not angsty--instead a normal, average girl. But everything just started happening too fast. Barely introduced to her life, then she receives a strange magical object in the mail, is instantly affected, descriptions zoom past, hardly any reaction from the character other than being breathless. Couldn't we have had some hesitation? Not just dive in and wow? Readers need anticipation and suspense, not just action.
Man, does it feel good to finally have a book worth reading in my hands again!