How Many Books Until You Give Up on an Author?

Sometimes a book just isn’t for you. But despite your dislike of the book, you feel you could try another book by the same author.

But sometimes an author just isn’t for you. You and the author’s style just don’t get along, and that carries over from book to book.

Antigoddess: Epic potential, but I couldn’t finish it.

Back in 2012 I read Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. I stopped reading 18% through because it felt so slow to me and I just wasn’t excited. The premise sounded AMAZING, but something about the way it was written just didn’t click with me.

Three Dark Crowns: It just couldn’t excite me.

Then, earlier this week, I cracked open one of my BookExpo America 2016 books, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Again, it had an awesome premise. But also once again, something about the way it was written just made me feel detached from the whole story. I read about 50 pages before putting it down for good.

Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t about Kendare Blake. So many people love her work and I’m sure she’s a wonderful author. She’s just not the author for me, and that’s okay. I’ve read two of her books now, and I think it’s time for me to accept that we just don’t click. We all have certain writing styles we resonate with, and hers just isn’t for me.

How many books does it take before you decide the author’s style just isn’t for you?

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  1. Oh, I liked Anna Dressed in Blood…lol. I have the other two books mentioned but not got to them yet. I normally give an author about two or three books. I figure if I just can’t get into her work even if they sound awesome then I should just not try any more as it’s not going to work.

    1. I know soooo many people who loved Anna Dressed in Blood (and Kendare Blake in general). I’m jealous!

  2. I’m pretty bad about giving up on authors. I read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater when I was younger and absolutely despised it, and decided then and there to never read anything by her. So even though she’s hugely popular and has a bunch of successful series I’ve never tried with her again. A bit unfair, but in the end you don’t want to read what you don’t want to read. So if there’s an author you don’t know you like, don’t read ’em! πŸ™‚

    But on the flipside when I like a book I’ll try and get my grubby hands on anything else the author has written.

    Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian recently posted: Bookish T-Shirts and Tank Tops – LT Librarian Apparel Grand Opening
    1. I’ve read two Maggie Stiefvater books and there was a third that I never finished. I don’t think her style is quite for me either!

  3. Two, at most! Right top off my head – Naomi Novik. Mesmerising writing, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get into her books.

    1. Aw bummer!

      There have definitely been cases for me where objectively I can see that the writing is glorious, but it just doesn’t work for me.

  4. Usually 2 is my limit- the first one may be an anomaly either due to my mood or something specific about that story, but if the second book doesn’t work for me, that is my cue to cut my losses and move on.

  5. One is enough for me.
    Writing style is like the soul of the author, it can’t change. So if you dislike one book, the possibility of loving the next is minimal.

    In my case, I can’t fall in love with Stormdancer series. It’s just not for me, I don’t mind descriptive things, but when it drags the story slow, that’s a very big problem.

    Interesting post πŸ™‚

    1. Ah yes, Stormdancer was definitely descriptive! I’m curious to see how Illuminae compares, given that it’s co-written. I wonder how that affects the writing style.

    1. Oh wow! That’s wonderful, Stacee!! I’m so glad you found that one perfect book. πŸ™‚

  6. I’ve only read her Anna Dressed in Blood duology, and I only liked the first one. The second one bothered me for many reasons. And her other books just didn’t appeal to me at all.

    But as for other others and how many books I give them before I give up, it depends on why I didn’t like the book. If it’s the writing, then I only give them one book as not many authors change their writing style for each book. But if it’s something else, like characters or plot then I give them at least 2-3 books.

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the second one. πŸ™ I hate it when that happens.

  7. I totally understand. I did love her ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD duology, and I’m really excited to read her other books, but I understand that not all people are gonna like her work–and as you said, that’s okay! There are plenty of other amazing books out there in the meantime πŸ˜€ Great post!!

    1. I know a lot of people who adored the Anna duology. I always intended on reading it but now I think I’ll have to give it a pass. πŸ™ I’m definitely jealous of anyone who loves Kendare Blake though because all of her books sound amazing. I wish I could get into them!

  8. I totally get it! For me, I’m kinda getting tired of Sarah J. Maas. I’m going to read ACOMAF, but if I don’t end up loving that one, I just thing I’m going to have to break up with her work. I have tried to read Heir of Fire 6 times and I never get past the first half. I just don’t like it at all and from what I’ve heard about the rest of that book and Queen of Shadows, I just don’t want to continue that series. And I hate that feeling, honestly. Because I would love nothing more than just join all the fangirls and squee about a book. But sometimes an author just isn’t for you (anymore).

    Bee @ Quite the Novel Idea recently posted: {Amy Reviews} Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios
    1. Ohh let me know what you think of ACOMAF! I’m actually very much in the same boat as you.

      Throne of Glass => LOVED
      Crown of Midnight => LOVED
      Heir of Fire => Really wasn’t a fan… 2 stars.
      Queen of Shadows => Only read like 10 pages and I just gave up.

      I started out loving it and then something happened and it just no longer worked for me.

      BUT! ACOMAF (and ACOTAR for that matter) feels completely different. It’s definitely a different style and oh my god I adored it so much. I hope you do too!!!

  9. Usually just the one is enough. Like with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the concept made me think I’d love it. I mean, love letters, past loves, Asian girl? Plus the cover was gorgeous! But nope, it fell flat for me.

    Sometimes, I do read more than one book β€”Β like with John Green’s books, because my friend swore by them and TFIOS hit me right in the feels. But the remaining books were just repetitive. Paper Towns was the hardest to get through. I was never more relieved when I finished my obligation to those books. I still haven’t bought Will Grayson, Will Grayson yet. I’m not sure if I’d actually read it!

    1. Aw I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I haven’t read it either but I think it’s sitting on my shelf somewhere. πŸ™‚ It looks so darling!

  10. Great question! I wrote a post awhile back about how I was breaking up with Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret). Everyone and their brother seems to love these books, but after reading 3, I just couldn’t stand them. And all for the same reason – I hated reading about all the mommy politics. It was exhausting. So, I guess my number is 3? But, I think it really depends on how popular the author is with others…if it’s someone that tons of people love, I’ll give it more chances (i.e. 3). But, if it’s a less beloved author, 1 failed book is enough to not try him/her again. Something about the whole “am I weird for not liking this thing everyone else likes?” thing…

    Sarah's Book Shelves recently posted: 2016 Summer Reading Guide
    1. Great points, Sarah! I think I agree with you on the author’s popularity. And that also made me realize that my number depends on the reason for not liking a book.

      With Kendare Blake, I didn’t actively DISLIKE any of the books. I just didn’t like them. I was more indifferent than anything else. So I gave her more chances.

      But there have been some books that I DESPISED rather than was indifferent about, and for those I’ll stop reading the author all together after just one book.

  11. Excellent post, Ashley! I have had this happen to me many times and honestly sometimes I just don’t like the book because of the story but the writing is really good and flows nicely. Or the characters drive me crazy but again the writing/dialogue is good. (Hoping this makes sense to other than just me…) I tend to always give the author at least one and sometimes two more chances, but if the characters continue to bug me or the topic does, then I give up no matter how good the rest is. The flow or dialogue alone cannot carry the book for me. I have to be somewhat invested in the characters or the storyline in order to keep my interest.

    1. Yes, I definitely need to be invested in the characters and story! (Ideally both πŸ˜‰ )

  12. I think 3 is a good number for me, because then I know I’ve really tried. Sometimes a book is not for you because you don’t mesh with the story or the characters – it happens. It can happen twice as well. But with three, I get a little antsy. That I think maybe the author is just not for me.

    It always depends, though. Sometimes I’ll give up on an author after one book, sometimes I REALLY want to like someone’s work so I’ll read more.

  13. I keep going, because I’m a masochist like that. I wish I could just stop, but there’s something about reading about how much everyone LOVES a certain author and so you keep reading that author to see if you’ve missed something?

    Though it paid off recently – Paige Toon has long been a favourite author of mine, but her past few books have been meh to say the least and I actually DNFed her last-but-one, because her heroine did my HEAD IN and I WAS SICK OF THE LOVE TRIANGLES. But, I bought her new book and read it when it came out and I loved it.

  14. TBH, sometimes I consider giving up on a book within the first couple of chapters. I’ve a feeling that if J.K. Rowling would’ve put The Casual Vacancy out before her Harry Potter series we probably wouldn’t be as obsessed with her today. Then there are those authors who write several books before they even get noticed – so I think that you shouldn’t give up on an author. You should just be patient with them, and hope that they find the genre, the characters that speak to them.

  15. Sometimes I’ll give up on an author after just one book. That’s usually because they’ll include lots of my pet peeves or their writing style isn’t for me, at all. But for the most part, I’ll try two books before I write off an author.

    I still have to read Anna Dressed in Blood, even though I’m not sure the book is for entirely for me either. My good friend, who’s ratings are really similar to mine, made me take some of her Kendare Blake books home with me. And I still haven’t picked them up yet to read and the next time we’re meeting up is around the 4th of July……eeks.

  16. Great post. You were even good to make it to 3 books by the author. Usually after the first try I just give up and move on as I know there are soo many others out there. About to give 3 dark crowns a try so I will share my thoughts on it.

  17. I was just thinking about this the other day — great discussion topic! Depending on how bad the first book I read is, I may give an author only one chance. If the first book is ok, I try a second book. The really concerning thing is when it’s an author you’ve love din the past but can’t stand all their recent releases — that is harder for me to give up although I’ve had to lately with JLA and Colleen Hoover

    Eva @ All Books Considered recently posted: Monthly Recap: May 2016
  18. I think it all depends on how much I enjoyed the novel. I’m not sure if I can keep John Green if I read one more book that I end up dislike by him, but I still plan on giving authors like Robin Talley a shot because I enjoyed the style, but not the story.

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