LET’S DISCUSS…ARE “TWISTY” PUBLISHING BUZZWORDS STILL HOT…OR NOT

MY THOUGHTS…

I feel a change in the air…the publishing air that is…and it involves the ever-present marketing blurbs for books. Those hook-the-reader tantalizers that have, since the publication and sky rocketing popularity of Gone Girl in 2012, inundated us with buzzwords like “twisty,” “unreliable narrator,” and psychological (fill in the blank). It would seem that readers and publishers alike couldn’t get enough of the “girl” who…lost her memory, had her child kidnapped, killed her husband, drank too much, lied about her identity…and on and on. We get it, she’s unreliable and can’t be trusted. But is she on her way out?
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This premise has been so popular that an entire publishing subgenre exists based on it. But…there seems to be a subtle shift happening among readers (well, at least me and maybe a couple others), one involving reverse psychology if you will. I, for one, have learned the hard way to run (metaphorically speaking) the other way when I see any of the above mentioned buzzwords in a book’s blurb. Let me give you an example. A book is compared to Gone Girl which yes I really enjoyed and/or said book is touted as having “twists I won’t see coming,” and that’s it, I was hooked.  I must read this book and be dazzled off my feet by the very best plot surprises I never saw coming.

Then,  I read it and find out that there are no twists or that I could see them coming from a mile away.
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Disappointment ensues. I’ve went round and round this “twisty” curve one too many times that now I’m at the point that if I see those words in a book’s marketing I decide NOT to read it. I know, this may seem harsh, what about all the potentially amazing books I’m missing out on? I’ll take my chances. I don’t think I’m alone, however, because I’m hearing whispers among my reading friends and fellow book bloggers who’re taking the same stance.

But wait, there’s a publishing light at the end of this twisty tunnel I believe and it involves letting a book stand on its own…no Gone Girl comparisons, no use of the word “twisty” or “unreliable narrator”. Sound too simple? It’s not. It’s pure genius in my opinion and it’s working its magic. I recently read and loved Laura Lippman’s new book Sunburn and Sally Hepworth’s The Family Next Door that made no mention of those trendy buzzwords in either book’s marketing but absolutely turned out to be full of unexpected surprises and narrators who were rather untrustworthy. Yes, I think the tide’s a turnin.

What do you think? Am I the only one with these thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts about whether these publishing buzzwords still pull you in or drive you away?! 

 

JUNE READING WRAP UP & BLOGGING CHANGES ON THE HORIZON

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Happy 4th of July to all in the US and Happy Monday to everyone else in other parts of the world! Welcome to my first monthly wrap up post since I started blogging last Sept. I decided to put this one together to share what has perhaps been my best reading month in terms of the number of books I’ve read (13) BUT the worst reading month for me in terms of the most amount of average to below average reads (5), DNF’s (Did Not Finish) (2) and just plain struggles with my picky mood reading kicking into high gear. Along with my reading struggles I’ve had some blogging ones as well which I’ll share with you at the end. With regards to reading, I’m not sure if I’ve just had too many new releases that didn’t hit the mark for me and had I been able to read a writing sample on Netgalley I wouldn’t have requested them, but I’ve had better luck this month with older books I’ve featured on my TBT post and one surprise book a publisher sent that I probably wouldn’t have requested but ended up absolutely loving!

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BOOK READ IN JUNE 

Trophy Son  By Douglas Brunt ( A 5 star surprise that ended up being a page turner)

The Marsh King’s Daughter By Karen Dionne ( Loved by so many others, this fell very                  short for me and was one of my 2 star reads this month)

The Last Place You Look By Kristen Lepionka ( A solid, well-written debut mystery with a likable main character, 4 stars)

It Happens In the Hamptons by Holly Peterson ( My book club’s pick for June, other than the setting there wasn’t much I enjoyed about this debut, 2 stars)

Favorite Sons By Robin Yocum ( An enjoyable coming of age mystery by one of my new favorite authors, 4 Stars)

Wolves in the Dark By Gunnar Staaleson ( Another great Orenda book, I enjoyed more of Varg Veum and the stellar mystery that I couldn’t solve, 4 stars)

My Sunshine Away By M.O Walsh ( A TBT older pick, I loved the 80s time period, the coming of age plot and the mystery, 4.5 stars)

Final Girls By Riley Sager ( Another one getting rave reviews that just didn’t work for me. I found the plot unbelievable and the characters unlikeable, 2 Stars)

The Bright Hour By Nina Riggs ( My first 5 star memoir this year, I loved everything about this book)

The Weight of Lies By Emily Carpenter ( This was an ok read for me, I couldn’t connect that well with the main character and I had trouble with the alternating timeframes,  3 stars)

The Salt House By Lisa Duffy (Another average read, I expected to like this more than I did. I wasn’t crazy about the characters or the way the plot played out, 3 Stars)

Let the Dead Speak By Jane Casey (I loved this latest Maeve and Josh mystery, as always Jane Casey is a stellar writer and I was stumped by the mystery. Love this series SO much, 4 Stars)

Match Me if You Can By Susan Elizabeth Phillips (This was a fun, witty, romantic comedy with excellent dialogue and characters, loved it, 4 stars)

THE UNFORTUNATE DID NOT FINISH’S FOR JUNE

The Fourth Monkey By J.D. Barker (This is probably my most disappointing DNF ever because I couldn’t wait to read this, however, it was too over the top in the graphic violence for me and I decided to put it down)

The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon ( I thought the pace was slow and I didn’t care for the diary flashbacks, gave up at 22%)

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH

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** The Bright Hour is a super close second for favorite of June**

So there you have it, my first wrap up! I’d love to hear your thoughts, do any of these make your favorite lists this month? Is anyone else having reading struggles or issues with your mood dictating your reading? I’d love to know how you handle this.

BLOGGING STRUGGLES & CHANGES

If you’re still with me, I’d like to take a quick minute and share with you my recent blogging struggles before I finish this post.  Since I started blogging last Sept, I have thoroughly enjoyed finding so many awesome blogs to follow and I’ve loved reading everyone’s posts and reviews, sharing, and commenting every day of the week for the most part. What I’ve found lately, however, is that I can no longer keep up the pace of reading, sharing, commenting on blog posts, and then social media on top of that…and I’m not even on Facebook!  For me, if I’m going to share a review, I want to read it first and that often leads to me commenting because the number one thing I love about blogging is chatting with fellow readers. So, what I’ve discovered is that I’m often spending 2-3 hours a day (sometimes more) reading, sharing, and commenting on just blog posts then add twitter and instagram on top of that and what I’ve discovered is that my reading is suffering greatly as my days have gotten busier overall. After much thought, I’ve decided that, for me, commenting and interacting is the most important part of blogging and my favorite thing to do, so with that being said, I’m going to be focusing mostly on doing that in the future while still occasionally sharing posts just not on a daily basis. I apologize if I miss sharing posts that I normally would’ve shared in the past, I just hope you all know it’s not personal, I just need a new plan that works for me so I can avoid the dreaded “blogger burnout” and also get back to more reading so I can continue to shout about the great books I come across. Thanks for sticking with this super long post!! I’ve noticed there’s others out there possibly experiencing the same feelings and struggles I am and I’d love to hear how you’re handling it…please leave me a comment and let’s discuss!!

HAPPY READING & HAPPY JULY!