Awhile back, I was hiding out from the aspiring authors at a writers’ conference (social as I am, I need SOME breaks), and reading the ARC for a much hyped young adult novel that was yet to be published. It was one of those novels with a huge six-figure advance, oodles of promotion, and people lined up ready to call it the second coming of great literature.
It started off strong, and I was pretty hooked. About 100 pages in, I started to have questions. So. Many. Questions. It was a fantasy novel set in a universe entirely created by the author. A world in which nothing made any sense. The world-building was scattershot at best, but based on the beginning of the book, I was ready to stick it out. After all, everyone loved this book, so I was sure it would get better.
It didn’t. Around 200 pages in, I was so frustrated that I hurled the book across the hotel room. I’ve heard people say they threw a book across the room. I had never believed people actually did it. And I had certainly never done so myself.
What killed me was the wasted promise. It’s one thing for a book to just be terrible. But for something to start out fantastic and devolve into stupidity is infuriating. For it to happen in a book getting a ginormous push? That made me want to start throwing pies at all involved—the author, the editor, the agent. Somebody should have realized that the book was constructed on a foundation of sand. And yet. And yet.
Imagine my delight when the book came out and became a bestseller. I mean, it’s possible I’m wrong about its qualities… No, you’re right. I couldn’t be wrong. Too unlike me!
What about all of you? Have you ever gotten so mad you literally threw a book across the room? And do name names–just because I have to be discreet doesn’t mean you do!