Recently, I have been feeling a bit grumpy when it comes to reading. I can’t say it’s a slump because I’m still reading books at pretty much the same rate I always have. But, picking those books up just isn’t giving me the thrill it once did, even with some of my favourite authors.
I’ve been scratching my head as to the why a fair bit and I think I’ve come to a conclusion that too many of the people in the pages are grumpy, ornery or just down-right angry and it’s beginning to rub off on me. The Dark Lake, which I read not so long ago is a case in point. Whilst I liked the story, I didn’t like the main character, Gemma. She was generally an unhappy person and that unhappiness rubbed off on the people in her life. I think it rubbed off on me as well because she is still floating around my brain, popping up unexpectedly and making me go grrr just at the thought of how she behaved.
Then there’s Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh, an author I love for her clever plots. Rating wise, this would be up there for me. I just wish I hadn’t felt so annoyed by the central character Anna, another one who won’t quite let me go and keeps rearing up as I read my current book because I am seeing similarities.
And just to show it’s not only female character that are driving me potty, there was The Killer is Dying by possibly my favourite of favourite authors, James Sallis. There, all three central characters left me groaning in frustration and one I could have just done without altogether.
Partly why I’m feeling grumpy I think is that unless I like the characters I struggle to truly love any book. It feels like forever since I have just fallen headlong into a read and lost myself.
As well as that, though, I think I am just a bit fed up of reading about people who are damaged, who have baggage, and who seem to be determined to make silly mistakes and hurt people around them.
In crime fiction, it seems that every female detective has to be unloved and unlovable. She can’t have friends, can’t have a life and can’t take care of herself. All she can do is focus on the crime at hand. There is a similar trend with male detectives (with the added annoyance that the older, uglier and drunker they are, the more attractive the females on the team find them).
I would love to read something different, and not just by going outside my favourite genres. It would be nice to have a female detective with a good home life, a place she could escape at the end of the day, or to find an attractive young woman who didn’t immediately give up her common sense because a rich handsome man whisked her off her feet but trust that if he seems to be up to something dodgy, he probably is.
Now, you might say that where would the stories be then and you are probably right. But it doesn’t stop me complaining or going Grrr Arrgh!
What about you, do you find characters can have an effect on how you are feeling? Or should I just go and watch some TV for a while and give up on books till I feel more zen?
This post is linking in with Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Start’s at Midnight for their 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge. Head over to their sites to see what other book bloggers are discussing.