When you don’t ‘get it’

As a writer and lover of books, I do a lot of reading. Some books I read for pure enjoyment; others I read to study the author’s style. Some I read because the author is a personal or cyber friend and I want to support them. Some I read because they come highly recommended from other friends and reviewers.

Sometimes the books click. And sometimes they don’t.

This post is about the ones that don’t. One in particular, no matter how hard I tried I just didn’t ‘get it’. The reviews, and there were hundreds, were all either five or four star crowdreviews. The author is respectable and likable and has a good following so the book hadn’t been penned by someone who just threw something out there.

But I didn’t ‘get it’.  The reviews glowed with praise. I went back and re-read the reviews to make sure we were talking about the same book.  I even re-read some of the book (which I couldn’t finish) to see if I had ‘missed something’ — like maybe a disclaimer saying the author was experiment with a new style. Show don’t tell, point of view, dialogue that actually sounds real. Nope. All the things that transcends genres, all the things that were drilled into my head years ago as a new writer were thrown out the window. But apparently I was the only one who noticed.

in-friends-as-Monica-Rachel-jennifer-aniston-and-courteney-cox-9580692-465-337Remember the sitcom Friends? Remember the episode where Rachel can’t see her baby in the ultrasound? The doctor and Ross are ooohhhing and ahhhing over the tiny shrimp like baby, while Rachel pretended to “see it” only to break down, sobbing, she couldn’t ‘see it’. It made her feel like a failure as a mother before the baby was even born. The scene was hilarious, and oh so real.

Sometimes it ‘clicks’ and sometimes it just doesn’t. Are there books out there that you just don’t get?


  1. I’ll try to put this to good use immediately.

  2. It’s a pluraese to find someone who can think so clearly

  3. Lynn, great post. I think that’s why they art subjective. That’s why when a movie gets a bad review, I make a point to go see it because chances are I’ll like it. As far as writing, I couldn’t see what the big deal was about Gone Girl, until I heard it on Audio. And then the words were just lyrical and made sense to me. I also wonder if mood or an event has something to do with how people perceive a book or a movie. If you’re heartbroken, and you watch a comedy, the humor may fall flat. If you’re in a grouchy mood, that comedy might actually lift your spirit. Back to subjectivity and it depends. Rachel is not alone and neither are you!

    • So true, Donnell. Last year I gushed over wanting to see Le Miz the movie so much my daughter went with me one afternoon. We laughed ourselves silly!

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