Monday, January 6, 2014

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

by Megan S.

I broke up with a certain wizard yesterday.  I've been trying to make our relationship work for a few years now and it's going nowhere.  I've tried, really.  I've devoted countless hours to him yet it's the same story every time.  I'm trying to save the world, but I'm practically on my own!  My weakling friends try to help, but I push them away for their own good!  Things keep getting shittier and more complicated, but I'm sure I can solve it the same way I always do

Enough was enough! I had to break up with his urban fantasy series.

I'm loyal to a fault. If I liked the first few books in a series, I'll keep reading them even when I get bored.  Why?  Because I'm nostalgic.  I'm either fond of the hero, the world she lives in, or (shhh! don't tell anyone) 'shipping a one true pairing.  I continue reading the series because it's comfortable and finding a new, better one can mean kissing a lot of toads. 

It's easier for me to dump a book if I haven't invested much time in it.  If the novel doesn't draw me in the first fifty pages, I move on to the next like a callous playboy.  I will force myself to read more if it's a popular book like The Bone Season.  There has to be a reason it's so highly recommended, right?  I had read such good reviews before it came out so I was convinced I was missing something and persevered through a hundred godawful pages before confirming it was total crap. I can't tell you how relieved I was to ditch that fictional albatross around my neck.

It wasn't always so easy for me to move on.  The guilt of leaving a novel unfinished would weigh heavily on me.  Books were meant to be finished.  It was a notion instilled in me in school, one that was hard to break.  But the thing was, I wasn't reading for school, was I?  I was reading for fun, not self-flagellation.  There was no reason to suffer through a chore of a story if wasn't for some great work of cultural importance or my grade depended on it.

No, when reading a book becomes a dreaded chore, it's time to let it go.  I carried around that massive tome of an urban fantasy for a solid month without slogging through more than a page a day before I realized it was finally time to give up on wizard Harry Dresden.  Don't let yourself be guilted in to reading something that bores you to tears, even if you've loved the series in the past.  It's not worth denying yourself when there are so many other fish in the sea... or books in the library.

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  1. Don't worry, Harry. You can still be my wizard boyfriend.

    I refuse to read the third Divergent book, which people I trust absolutely loathed. I'd rather make up my own ending, thanks.

  2. I made it to somewhere in the fifth Harry Dresden book, and can't make myself open it again. I just can't take it anymore either.

  3. Oh thank goodness! I dumped Harry after rereading the series twice & never getting past book six. I felt such guilt! But then again, I dumped Anita Blake & Sookie Stackhouse too. It's not them, it's me.

  4. Dumped Anita Blake when it became clear that she was only in it for the sex and that her "good little christian" spiel was only an act.
    I wanted a real good girl for once!

  5. I went through the same thing with Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. The vampires no longer had unique personalities. They started to become self-righteous and the personalities blurred together. Not to mention there were glaring continuity errors (i.e. Lestat's left eye gets ripped out and later it's the right, and this isn't once, it's all through them...) I didn't kick Lestat to the curb until Fred Saberhagen's version of Dracula came along. He had the traditional Dracula powers, was fierce, actually liked what he was, and his adventures actually were unique.

  6. If Vamps are your thing, you can't do much better than Barbara Hamilton. She's amazing.

  7. That's interesting! For me the series really picked up at book 12. I'd liked them before but I loved them after that one. I have a couple series like that I'm just done with too and sometimes it's ones that everyone else really loves.

  8. if you didnt read past book six you missed so much awesome stuff its not funny. the first 6 were good but dead beat on were amazing. t rexes, gods, fallen angels, actual angels, a battle royale between vamps, soldiers, wizards, warriors, faeries, werewolves, humans, monsters, and so much more.

  9. I agee and I'm a little sorry to say that my most recent read was Changes. It took me months to get to it and I have no enthusiasm to read Cold Days. Or Side Jobs. They're sitting here due to borrowing them from a friend but... the love is gone. I may have to set them aside and imagine in my head that the series ended with Harry falling into Lake Michigan and dying, putting an end to a rather shitty sort of lonely life.

    But I know that I probably won't. Something Changed for me after reading Changes, heh heh, and I long for the wizard Harry who was a paranormal investigator. This new SUFFERING HARRY is something new, and while I appreciate the twists and turns, I feel as if something is missing. Doesn't make the series any less good, it's just not what I want right now as a reader.