24 August 2010

Expectation

Note: In this post I discuss around a spoiler for Queen of Song and Souls (CL Wilson). I don't specify the spoiler per say, but...you may infer from the post something of its nature...

Remember my post on peeking? When y'all admonished me for...ummm...peeking *grin* Well, I picked up Queen of Song and Souls (CL Wilson) from the library the other week, and as is my want when doing so I was flitting through it. And flitting is fine, right? Ah, but the temptation to peek is there...you can see where this is going, can't you? I succumbed, and got my heart smashed to pieces by an event right at the end of the book. Yes, I know, I was peeking at the end of the book, so I got my just desserts, right?

The problem is, I can't forget what I learnt. And...now I'm not sure if I still want to read the book. I'm angry. I wanted...that particular issue to have a resolution. I should qualify that statement by saying I wanted a happy resolution (which is not what happened at all), although I think that should be a given considering I'm reading a romance. Or am I? Would you classify this series as romance or romantic fantasy? And if the latter, should I perhaps not have any expectations as far as happy resolutions go? (In all honesty I wouldn't if it were a straight fantasy novel.) Because in a romance, shouldn't I be expecting happiness? For everyone? (And now I feel like I'm channeling Carrie from Sex & The City with all the questions :)

So, how do you feel about a book when you expect one thing and get something entirely different (and not in a good way)? Should we, as reader, be expecting certain things from a book that has been classified in a certain way? (Yes, this is that age old question - is a romance a romance when there is no HEA - rephrased :) And in spite of this....lack of resolution should I read this book?

14 comments:

  1. I'm a peeker too...

    I will say the event you are referring to plays a big role in the beginning of book five - BIG ROLE. There is a purpose to this event.....

    And I've only read 1/3 of bk 5, but omg....the things that have happened. So I say you must read bk 4!

    In more general terms, I love the unexpected in books!! When not so good things happen, I get angry, I may throw a book, but overall, it is worth it :)

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  2. I'm a peeker, too and it makes me mad at myself EVERY STINKIN' TIME! I don't know why I continue to do it. :(

    I have come to expect this series to be a romantic fantasy, so the couple better have an HEA by the time the last book ends. That's all I'm saying. I am a bit behind in this series, but I'm going to try very hard not to peek.

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  3. There's a reason I don't peek or flit. :)

    But I do get very upset if there's an unexpected and bad event... and often I quit reading the series at that point. (I'm looking at you, Kim Harrison!)

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  4. I'm not a peeker because I like to be surprised. But... not with the lack of a HEA! For me, a romance isn't a romance without one, it's just a love story (I think I quoted one of Shawn Lane's characters from her Only Forever series just now, lol).

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  5. I'm sure I mentioned this before, but I peeked at the end of either New Moon or Eclipse--I can't even remember anymore--and inferred from that that Bella turned into a werewolf. Oh noes! I spent the entire book in an agony of horrors over how this terrible event would happen and what it would mean for B&E's relationship. And then it didn't happen. lol

    But on the plus side, I think that might have made the book better. ;)

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  6. Mandi - *thinks* OK. Not quite sure what the purpose of said event was (unless it was to break my heart), but I'll trust you on this and read the fourth book :)

    Christine - I get mad at myself too...but I keep doing it! GRRR! Saying that, I did avoid a spoiler-filled review of the fifth book so maybe I'm learning :)

    Chris - I should so follow your example :) And to be honest, this event was almost a deal-breaker, but Mandi has convinced me to keep going, so I will. Am trying to think if there is an event that has led me to walk away from a series...

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  7. Janna - exactly! HEA...or perhaps an HFN are a prerequisite IMHO for a romance. This series is, I think, romantic fantasy (hence the event), but...I am still holding out hope for a HEA. I don't think it will be easy though... *worries*

    heidenkind - ROFLOL! That is brilliant. And you raise a great point, something that IIRC Kerry mentioned when we were discussing this event yesterday - events out of context are quite the same thing when read in context :)

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  8. I'm an end reader and it drives me crazy that I do it too. Since I read pretty much nothing but romance, it's not like I don't know there's going to be a HEA. But one time - ONE TIME when I peeked, it turned out the hero who was a bit of an antihero - think Phantom like - died and the heroine went of with the nobler more secondary hero (and no, it wasn't The Phantom of the Opera, I can't remember the title) so now I do it all the time. And the one book that didn't end so well? no, I didn't read the middle part.
    One of the good things/bad things I've discovered about reading on an ereader is that it's way too much work to skip to the end so I haven't been able to peek.

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  9. Oh interesting question!

    Let me see if I can answer it :grin:

    (Being way behind in reading this series, I am trying not to imagine what on earth you were hinting at (gah!) so I'll extrapolate, all hypothetical-like, okay?)

    Let's say that there is a romantic relationship that is at least one of the main threads, if not the concrete focus, in a series of books. As long as said relationship progresses (grows, evolves, grows closer) towards a HEA in the last book, I would have no qualms reading all the books.

    My fear would be two-fold: that the publisher stopped publishing the series before that last book *wail of despair* or that the author decided to off one of the main characters (Karin Slaughter, looking at you).

    Now, if a book is labeled as a romance--not romantic fiction, mind you, but romance--then by all that's holy I definitely expect the end to have a convincing happy ending. I don't need the walk down the aisle or the baby birth epilogue, but I do need to be able to believe that these characters will be able to face what life throws at them and at their bond, together.

    This is a clear distinction, for me, from the fairy tale happily ever after: I want to know that the relationship and the feelings between these characters are strong enough to withstand real life, with its struggles and worries, insomnia, over-work, crazy family members, etc.--as opposed to riding on a white horse in a forever-blissful state of happiness.

    Did that make any sense?




    As for peeking... well, it tends to ruin unexpected twists, doesn't it?

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  10. I'm a peeker, with no guilty feelings.

    I bought this book... paperback, no less and skimmed through. I never read the entire book and promptly gave it away. It could've been have the size and she could've wrapped things up.

    It seemed like a lot of unnecessary words and situations and I gave up on this series. I was pretty angry not because I peeked, but because it so disappointing what I did read. I loved the first 2 books, was meh on the third and finally just gave up with the fourth. I was glad I didn't waste more time on it than I did. That would've really had me pissed.

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  11. Kristie - I understand completely. Getting burned like that, you'd need to check to make sure...right? *grin* And yes, eBooks make it so much harder to peek...I should read more eBooks!

    azteclady - yes, that all made perfect sense. If it helps this...issue is not to do with the main characters. It still made my blood boil though, but after reading Mandi's comment I'm going to give the author the benefit of the doubt :)

    Mariana - I like that no guilt attitude :) Sorry to hear this series didn't work for you. I'm going to see how I feel about this book, but...The Lord of the White Hell just appeared so it's going straight to the top of the list!

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  12. Oh honey! NEVER FLIT OR PEEK! lol I've found in the past that it only leads to disappointment. I need to read the entire book from front to back so that I have all of the background. That way I can figure out that some things happen for a reason. Read the book and then see if you're still angry. :)

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  13. OMG! All you flitters and peekers! I am having an anxiety attack right now from all of you! Orannia, you should still read the book. You don't know how they got to this point. You could feel hugely satisfied in some way from the action of the book, in spite of the end.

    I will admit to sometimes flitting in the middle, but I always stop myself.

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  14. Tracy - wise words. Oh so wise words! And once I finish my Ships of Merrior chapter set (hopefully by tomorrow) I'll be picking up QOSAS.

    Carolyn - I know, I'm bad... *hides* I'm going to read the book. It's a pretty big thing, so I don't think I'll be happy - I can't see how the author can redeem it in any way, but...we'll see.

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