The Round Table: Falling Out of Love With a Book

July 17, 2013 Round Table 11

Have you ever loved a book or a series so very much and thought it was perfect only to change your mind a year after you read it? I find myself contemplating the fate of a once beloved book. What makes us change our minds? Does it have to do with our emotions at the time of reading or is it due to a moment in our lives?

The series in question won’t be mentioned here, although a few close friends have listened to my frustration. Part of the reason why I’m disenchanted is because of the author’s fans. Let’s call this author V. There are two types; the first is the casual reader and the second is rabid. By rabid I mean they treat V like they are some type of God and heaven forbid you besmirch V’s name. The other reason I’m disillusioned is because I feel betrayed, not by the author, but the readers who once use to talk to me about the series. Since voicing my unhappiness, I’ve been marked with the scarlet letter of A for abandoned which is still better than the fate of poor Hester Prynne.

A very good friend asked me to think about what made me love the book in the first place. I loved that V used aspects of history, literature, as well as art in the first two books. I loved the angle of long lost lovers being reunited and even though they had a few setbacks on their journey to be together, they had their hope and dreams to hang on to. You know that feeling of utter love and happiness? That the book was entirely perfect and no other book could measure up to its awesomeness? V’s books were like that. I felt like I was floating every time I cracked it open and would spend hours rereading my favorite passages. I loved talking about the books with others and seeing what they thought about the villain or the almost forced upon love triangle. In a nutshell I WAS IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. If I could, I would have shouted it from the rooftops. I mean I loved this book so much that when V’s assistant held a contest to help spread the word about the book, I went and bought special markers and made a fan sign on the back of my windshield and drove around town. I’d show you the picture but then you’d know the name of the book. I know you’re wondering if I won. Yes, I won a pair of coffee mugs that I use to hold my pens.

Recently during a reread, I found the characters to be obnoxious. Our hero is suppose to be about 30 or so and I find him too arrogant and speaking older than he is. Our heroine is weak and annoying and I just couldn’t stand her. The dialogue? So very much clichéd and I could see the plot twists a mile away (something I can’t quite believe I didn’t catch before). So when I see people talk about how amazing this book is, etc I want to tell them to get glasses and reread because it’s not that great of a book. I’ve read better.

I had such high expectations for the reread. I kept thinking it was me. It had to be me in that moment where I lost my sanity and it was all okay. It had to be because I loved the hero and everything he stood for. I cheered when he saved the heroine from an attempted rape and knew right then and there that no one would stand in their way. It turns out during the reread I hated it. How could a book I loved so much suddenly be horrible? Why was I alone in feeling this?

I’ve been thinking long on hard about breaking up with authors and their series. V is scheduled to conclude the series later this year and I can’t summon the energy to be excited or have the interest to read. If by chance V should publish another book in the future, I doubt I’ll be reading it. Maybe in the end I’ve grown away from V and their writing. Perhaps their writing wasn’t all that great to begin with, but just a moment in my life where everything was good and I associated V’s books with that moment. Or maybe it has to do with my disappointment in finding out V’s books had once been (insert your choice of fandom) fan fiction. So I have to say to V and the hero of the books, “Sorry. I thought it was me, but it turns out it was you.”

Therefore my friends, I ask you, can you fall in love again with a book / series long after you’ve fallen out of love?

11 Responses to “The Round Table: Falling Out of Love With a Book”

  1. Shirene.dft

    The amazing thing about books is that when you read one it maybe the perfect time for the story & you. I know exactly which story you are referring to and I felt similar heart strings being plucked in part because of my current situation and history. All I can say is don’t give up on an author because you fell out of love once and don’t let other readers dictate how you feel about a book/author. Just a suggestion or two from another reviewer.

    • Jessica

      I appreciate your comment and agree about not letting others dictate how you feel about a book. I’ll reread the series as we get closer to a release date for the 3rd book and see what my thoughts are then. 🙂

  2. Cerian Halford

    I’m so very curious which book you’re talking about now! But I’ve had the same thing happen with some books. I couldn’t agree more about the rabid fans, I definitely find it a bit off-putting. I used to be a huge Twilight fan, but I reread them about a year ago and really didn’t like them. I sold the books at a carboot sale, and it felt like the end of an era lol
    Cerian Halford recently posted…WWW Wednesday #19My Profile

    • Jessica

      Total love for me when I read it and didn’t know it had been fan fiction. Someone sent me the original ff and I compared the two and was disappointed it read pretty much the same as the book. Something I’ve learned since then all ff from this particular book that has been pulled to published seems to read that way. Which is one reason I tend to stay way from books that have come from it. I have nothing against the author who has been kind to me, but I think I’ve officially fallen out of love. :/

  3. Cee

    I think it’s hard to fall back in love with a book after falling out of love. Life experience and reading other books tend to open people’s eyes on the problematic/annoying things in a book. And people tend to like different things when the months (or years) pass by. People may find another book that does a better or exceptional job at portraying a similar situation or stronger characters than the book you had originally loved.

    I always worry that I will happen to me. (I’m sure it has already.)
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    • Jessica

      I agree with what you say. It’s like falling in love with a place or even a film and realizing months even years later that nothing is as you remember it to be. It’s strange how you can fall out of love with a book but several others that you love, you still do. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll reread these two at much later date and see how I feel then.

  4. Octavia

    Have I told you how utterly awesome you are today?!

    I just wrote a review for a book that has this exact same issue! I loved the 1st book and expected the second to have the same effect only to crack it open and despise a story with characters that I once loved!

    You, my dear, are amazing just for bringing this topic up!
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  5. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I re-read many books, but I haven’t experienced this so far. Some of them have been ulltime favorites for a long time now and I don’t think I could ever unlove them, but I can see why it happens. Sometimes a book is just perfect for that time and place and sometimes we’re just blind for things we dislike later. I don’t think you can fall in love with a book you disliked the second time. I think we will remember the things we disliked and we will see them over and over again. Great topic!
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  6. Cayce

    Interesting. Usually when I fall in love with a book, I stay in love forever. The intensity of my feelings might dim a little as time passes though.
    It’s different with series/trilogies. It happens quite often that I fall in love with book 1, but the next one(s) disappoint me so much that I fall out of love completely.
    It happened with the Sookie Stackhouse series. (I abandoned it after book #11) I also abandoned the Anita Blake series when it became PWP (porn without plot). And I don’t think I could fall in love with them again.
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  7. Rebecca

    Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to happen to me very often. If something is my favorite, I usually buy it if I haven’t already just so I can go back to it from time to time and re-read my favorite parts. I can’t honestly say I’ve gone from loving a book to hating it. The only thing I can think of in this department is Twilight. When it first became popular, I was pretty much obsessed with it. But now that everyone and their brother knows about its existence and either flails about it or bashes it, it’s lost some of its appeal. I kind of want it to go back to the way it was years ago before a lot of people knew about it. In this case, the fan thing has definitely helped take away from my enjoyment. Lovely post!
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