Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Three Strikes and You're DNF (Did Not Finish)

If I get far enough in a so-so book, I'll often force myself to finish it for the sake of completing my annual Goodreads Reading Challenge. However, if a book is bad enough in the beginning, it goes in the Did Not Finish pile (though I remove unfinished books from my Goodreads collection). Here are three reasons why I recently set a book aside:

1. Cliched characters.
2. Poor handling of POV--The viewpoint character didn't just see other characters' body language but also knew the mixed feelings that created them.
3. Plot holes--This particular book was a cozy mystery. Even though the POV character had just arrived in a small village, well after a murder had been committed and with documentation to prove she'd been traveling, the local police still suspected her of the crime, and it was strongly suggested that they would be able to convict her. No one suggests she hire a lawyer, so naturally, even though other characters tell the protagonist to do nothing, she decides to investigate the crime herself. I don't see many cozy mysteries that mention lawyers, and there obviously needs to be a reason why the main character becomes the detective. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief in this case.

I should point out that almost all the reviews for this book on Amazon and Goodreads are positive. Several reviewers mentioned that they liked a snarky side character, so perhaps he kept them reading.

What makes you set a book aside? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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