Thursday, March 12, 2009

Exceptions to the Rules

Hey, you know I couldn't do such a negative post without doing a positive one! Although I previously listed styles of books that I don't really like very much, there are always exceptions to those rules, proving that, once again, writing trumps all:

  • Books where the author talks to the reader. I was a bit too quick on The Tale of Desperaux. While I still dislike the author-talking-to-the-reader bit, I'm loving the introduction of the rats and Roscuro's conflict with light, and I'm starting to find this story glued to my hands... (Also: I secretly kind of like it when Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte talk to me from their books. Makes me feel personal.)
  • Books where the solution to a problem is found in another person (i.e. my world revolves around him!). Ah, Twilight. My relationship with you is so love-hate. Because even though I really dislike this trope....I really did like Twilight. I couldn't put it down. I hated it while I was reading it, but I still couldn't put it down. Also: An Abundance of Katherine's sort of did this, but in such a brilliant way that I sort of loved it.
  • Books where the solution to the problem could happen if the character just said something. But....well....that's the basis for Pride and Prejudice, isn't it? And Romeo and Juliet? And don't all books do this to some degree? It IS the secrets that drive a plot forward, often enough.
I apparently like to argue with myself. But that's the nature of books and reading! A really brilliant book is the one you expect to hate...but end up loving. I refused to read the Harry Potter books for years on the basis that the story (boy discovers he's a wizard) had SO been done before. When I did read them, I ate them up, eventually becoming that weird 20-something waiting in line with the teens and tweens on midnight on release day for the next book.

We all have a certain "style" of books that doesn't match our style. For some people, it's a genre (I hate sci fi!)*. For some, it's a style (ugh, first person!)*. I even have a friend who will only read a book if a female is the main character. But despite your preferences, I'm willing to bet there's at least one book out there in that style you hate that, once you gave that book a chance, you actually kind of liked. Maybe it even became your favorite book...

So, what style do you hate...but what book do you love despite that?

*Those are not my sentiments. I used them as examples only.
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