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?