Sep 9, 2013

Posted by in Question | 9 Comments

Question – How Do You Deal With “Book Disappointment”? Part One – Books Recommended By A Friend

Question Visual Again

We have all been there.

We get a tweet/email/facebook message/text/frantic phone call from one of our best reading friends telling us how we just have to absolutely must gotta  MUST read the book she just finished because she knows we would LOVE it and it’s the best book ever.

Her enthusiasm is contagious and you decide to drop everything you are reading and buy the book she suggested.  You open it filled with excitement and anticipation.

And when you finish it you discover…it sucked.

You have just experienced book disappointment.  How do you deal?

  • Do you cuss your friend out telling her you have no idea how you are friends?
  • Do you do you ignore it but keep scratching that empty space in your chest because you can’t help but feel empty by all those hours you just wasted and will never get back?
  • Do you lie, telling your friend it was the best book ever and if they end up making it into a movie you suddenly develop a three month long migraine in order to avoid seeing it with her?
  • Do you *gasp* tell her the truth?  And if you do, do you tone down the truth because you feel as though you would hurt her feelings if you didn’t say you loved the book as much as she did?

I am honest but I don’t dwell.  I don’t call the recommender names to their face nor do I consider suggesting a psychiatric evaluation much.  I tell them it wasn’t for me or if my friend is a bit on the emotional side when it comes to her books, I will tell her that I loved this part and that part but not so much this part and that part.  Then I quickly let it go.  I try not to talk about the book with my friend ever again and rapidly change the subject if ever the book comes up in conversation.  But I have to say that this has not happened much to me.  I am pretty confident in my reading preferences and I am not afraid to tell someone that I just don’t see myself enjoying the book they are recommending, if that is how I feel about it.  But still, if my friend is super bummed I won’t even give it a try, I’ll tell her I’ll keep it in mind/write it on my ‘to check out later’ list…then quickly forget about it.  😉

What about you?  How do you deal with book disappointment?



  1. …and what do you do if she WROTE the book?!?!

  2. hehe…well, since you and I NEVER agree on books (ahem….contemporary romances) this seems very apropos.

    But you know, that’s just part of it. Every one reads a book from a different perspective and that perspective changes from day to day. That’s simply the nature of the beast so I just laugh it off…as a reader AND as an author.

    Great post, Julie! smiles….

  3. At least you FINISHED the book. It’s even worse to realize before you get to the end and can’t decide which is more awful—forcing yourself through hours of unpleasantness, or coping with your friend’s insistence that if you’d just read a little further you would have loved it. I hate leaving stories midstream, but lately I’d rather do that than endure books that feel wrong. And in answer to your question, I’m inclined to be gently honest with the recommender, but much more cautious about the person’s future suggestions.

  4. I handle it almost exactly like you do Julie. I’m a compulsive confessor and a terrible liar, but I hate the idea of hurting anyone’s feelings, or splashing ice water on their bubbling enthusiasm. So I tell my friends nicely that the book didn’t quite resonate with me in the same way. I find something (ANYTHING!) I liked about the book, and mention that, then a few things I didn’t like. Then I turn the focus on them and encourage them to talk about what they liked most about it. I like to figure out what they look for and enjoy in books to help me better filter recommendations from them in the future. For example – one of the ladies in my reading club is very forgiving of weak, victim heroines (which I can’t stand), and she loves sappy romance arcs with oh-so-very-perfect heroes. So if I ever hear her describe a romance as sweet, or a heroine as “a little weak” (which does for me now because she knows my hated of this type of character), then I know I should probably avoid that book.

    Great question!! 🙂

  5. I avoid them at all costs!! LOL, Just kidding. 🙂 I tell them in a nice way why it didn’t work for me. When I recommend a book I always tell them, download the free sample first, I’m always afraid they won’t love it as much as I did 🙁

  6. So far the only book that came close was Darkfever…. All the OMFG this is so good. When I finished I thought why is everyone so in love with this series. I liked it but it was not OMFG I LOVE IT. Then I read the 2nd book and I was hooked. After I did a re-read of Darkfever I love it now.

    I’ve read a few others that I liked but didn’t LOVE them like others but I’ve not had a true book disappointment moment YET.

  7. AH yes, you’re right, it happens. I confess when it’s like that I try to understand why the person loved it so much because I’m curious to see if it’s something I missed. And well, like you I only say it wasn’t for me but I’m happy my friend loved it. At last I tried…

  8. I really do wonder if they read the same book I did, when I can’t feel the love. I do have a best friend who loves to read too, and we recommend books to each other all the time. Sometimes it is good, sometimes not, but we are honest with each other, but don’t really go in it in dept about the why.

  9. I usually try to figure out what I missed? There are two series that so many people love. Gena Showalter’s Lord of the Underworld and also Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. There is such a huge fan following and they have been recommended to me time and time again. So I purchased the entire series in both cases (because I LOVE to read an entire series back to back) and was disappointed and somewhat pissed off after each book. What the hell am I missing?
    I really reaalllly hated Gena’s books and invested and read 5 in a row before I threw in the towel.
    For the Sherrilyn books, I read the first 2 and stopped. I didnt want to waste much more time.

    So I guess I do give it my best shot and then grumble at the end. I review to say why I didnt like them and then move on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *