Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why am I not shivering with antici........ ....... ...... pation? (Part 1)

If y'all can remember back to three or four weeks ago, there was a time when I was reading one book a week. I can happily say that that time has returned, and, starting this Friday, I will be reviewing one book a week again. Since the theme of my new novel is a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, for those of who aren't aware) romance, the books will all be of the romance genre (YA, adult, mystery, dytopian, contemporary, classics etc) and/or have LGBT themes. I'm pretty super excited about this, as it means I'll get to read a large variety of books instead of just dystopians. This also means a greater variety for you guys to see reviewed! WOOHOO!

Now, back to the title of this blog, the book I'm reading now, Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue, is leaving me very conflicted. The characters are amazing, Donoghue's style is beautiful, the scenes and sentences are vivid and real. I like it, I really really do, but as much as I want to see what happens to the characters, there's not a lot of...suspence. I'm not shivering with antici.... .... .... pation. The tension within the scenes is good, but I'm not really feeling the tension between scenes.

The culprit, I think I've disovered, is that the side-flap story tells it all. "Mary Saunders' lust for linen and lace leads her to a life of prostitution... A dangerous misstep sents her fleeing to a middleclass household where she becomes a seamstress [for Mrs. Jones]... Mary becomes a close confidante of Mrs. Jones...but her desire for a better life leads her back to prostitution." In addition to this, the prologue tells of Mary being locked in a jail cell and waiting to be hanged.

I was intruiged by the story, which is why I started reading it even though it doesn't fit into any of the above categories, but now there's a part of me that feels like everything that's been told is affecting all that is to come. I know that Mary's a prostitute, then she's not, then she goes back to it, and that she'll never get the life she's dreaming of, because then she gets caught and will probably get hanged. I'm just 120 pages, slightly over 1/3 of the way, through the story, and knowing all of that already is a bit too much.

Now, granted, this may be because I just finished going through a Sarah Waters craze, and I consider Sarah Waters to be one of the great mistresses of plot twists, but still...I feel I would be enjoying the story so much more if I knew a bit less to start.

As I come to think of it, this isn't a problem reserved for back cover stories either. If you tell too much too early in a book, there will be problems. If you start a novel leading with what seems like a predictable plot, telling what the character wants and how they plan and how they're going to get it, you loose the questioning that the readers should be doing on the way. Actually...expect a post on this tomorrow. Shivering in Anticipation, Part Two.
What do you think? Has anyone else encountered this problem?

<3 Gina Blechman

~The Night Watch by Sarah Waters to be reviewed on Friday~


  1. OMG Sarah Waters... I freaking love her. Have you read all of her books? They're all absolutely fabulous.

  2. Hehehe, love your Rocky Horror quote in the title :)

  3. I have to admit I didn't know what LGBT actually stood for! I had a general idea from book blurbs and yes, haven't read any!

  4. I just did a review of Room by the same author on my blog. I was a bit underwhelmed after all the hype the book has received.

    I know what you mean, it's the sdame with movie trailers that give away too much trying to entice you to buy a ticket.

    I think sometimes they are so focused on selling the story to you they don't care if they spoil the actual reading experience. That's modern commerce for you.

    Moody Writing