i’ve noticed over the past few months that i have become more critical of the novels i read. i used to be quite easy to please. Some action, a decent plot line and a little romance i was wooed. these days i also require decent writing, a cast of characters that is either diverse or well thought out (they can be shallow if the story allows it.) and continuity. this last one can littlerally drive me to stop reading a book.
recently i tried to read the new novel Feed by Mira Grant. i went in with no background on the author but have since learned that she has infact been published before and has quite a few novels under here belt. this utterly surprised me. I know for a fact (since i work in a bookstore) that this book sells really well. that alone was one of the things that lead me to buy it. now, i’m not a grammar snob by any means though i do believe if you’ve been published you should have proper gammar (*cough* fifty shades*cough*) but apprently at some point in the last few months bad storytelling began to really piss me off.
if you know nothing of Feed let me give you a break down of what i know so far. its about a 20-somthing girl George and her same-age adoptive brother who both live with their adoptive parents. the parents care only about ratings for their blogs, on which life for these young adults and their civilization is built after the spread of the zombie plague. they have a bouncy blonde friend named Buffy (to which only she understands the refrence) and spend most of their free time (which seems like A LOT) rideing around in a van or a motorcycle. Only George get the motorcycle though.
i’m only about 80 pages in and so far George has explained that she has a rare condition caused by the zombie plague which has permanently dilated her pupils. this means she is extremely sensitive to sunlight but has awesome night vision and has to wear sunglasses all the time. this would be cool if George would stop acting like a 40 year old with no life and a contast whine. she complains about EVERY thing, from her “brother” (who she is constant in reminding us is only “like” a brother and isn’t actually her brother) to her parents lack of love. i can tell you as a kid that was not hugged a lot as a child that it seriously has never bothered me enough to monologue about it, and i monologue about a lot of things so that’s saying something. she finds things to gripe about and this makes the story feel like being stuck next to the whiny stranger on a bus that you wish would just shut up. then we get to the actual writing.
i’m sure someone once told Mira Grant the infamous Show don’t Tell that every writer must know, but i get the distinct feeling she either didn’t care or couldn’t. the protaganist George tells you everything you need to know, right down to what her brother says. seriously. not even joking here.
i was so choked when i realized it wasn’t getting better. at first i blamed it on introduction and th need to introduce the characters and plot but by 80 pages in i realized it should have let up. Shaun (the Brother) should have been able to talk for himself and why couldn’t Buffy mention why she wears the clothing she wears? Does anyone else ever get to talk in this book? i know it’s written in first person but that’s no excuse for poor writing.
so i decided i was done, at least for now, with Feed. i made the mistake of trying Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier next. it opens with a crying girl being comforted by a boy over leaving another girl to grow up alone and the severe heartache she feels. i actually felt my eyes roll on that one. Now i’m not saying she’s not devastated or that she shouldn’t been, but clearly by the short bout of dialogue the man is just as close to the girl as the crying girl, so why isn’t he as devastated? am i to believe that only women are affected by leaving love ones behind? i stopped asking questions and put the book down.
i’d love to read just one book where the author doesn’t Mary Sue the crap out of it. Feed reaks of Mary sue-ing and i can barely read it. the sad part is I’ve read fanfics that are Mary Sues that actually still manage to capture me but i’m starting to wonder if Fifty Shades had a bigger impact on quality of novels then we think.
if you have a opinion on this feel free to share.