Monday, December 12, 2011

That Special Something

Several years ago, there was a debut book by a YA author that I absolutely loved. I initially borrowed it from the library and enjoyed it so much that I bought my own copy. And I loved it so much that I pre-ordered a copy of her second book. When the author’s second book came out a year later, I thought it was fine but it didn’t rock my world the way the first one did. I ended up picking up a copy of her third book at The Strand when it came out and waited a couple of weeks to read it. I thought the fourth book was better, skipped the fifth book and just picked up and put down the sixth book.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I flew through the author’s first book and then stalled on the later ones. The author is a very good technical writer with creative ideas and vivid imagination. I understood what she was trying to achieve in her plots, which were generally complex and well-thought out. I wondered if it was because of the diversity of the stories – each book is extremely different – but then I realized that there are other authors that I like who have written a diverse series of books.

I guess the best explanation that I have is that the author’s first book had that special something that hooked me from the first page. It’s a rare experience when that happens and a totally amazing one. For me, reading a book like that is like being entirely in the author’s head and living the plot. The author’s other books, for whatever reason, didn’t have that pull. It makes me sad.

What is a book that has that special something? Tell me in the box below and you can win a copy of In Darkness by Nick Lake.

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