Apologies if this song is now stuck in your head after reading the title.
Apologies if it wasn’t stuck in your head because you didn’t understand the reference, and now is, after clicking the video. Heh.
Anyway, this morning, my friend I were talking about the dreams we had last night and then the conversation turned to a discussion about books. As it does. In particular, we talked about the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi and how we both could never finish it because the writing put us off. I barely managed to get through the first few chapters of the second book, while my friend managed to get to the end of the same book.
I think anyone who’s read the books will understand what I mean about the writing. I distinctly remember reading the protagonist describing the love interest’s eyes and saying how she’d “like to cry into them”, and me thinking, “wtf.” I guess it was supposed to highlight their beauty and emphasise her attraction to him but all it did was make me grimace. There were moments of brilliance and there were moments of ridiculousness, but in the end, it was metaphor overload. It got me thinking about the thing that keeps readers hooked on a book.
With Shatter Me, I thought the premise had a lot going for it, but the writing put me off. I’ve had instances where the reverse is true and the writing is “okay” but I’ve locked myself in my room, grudgingly eaten meals and stayed up until the early morning just to finish it. In those instances, it was the plot and the themes and the characters that shone, allowing me to overlook the writing. I would describe that reading sensation as the words melting away from the page to reveal the images.
So my question is:
What keeps you hooked on a book?
Or, in reference to the title of this blog:
What keeps you booked?