So there's this one YA book which has an amazing and interesting hook. I started reading it (what else can you do with a book?) Got through the first fifty or so pages. Everything seemed fine. But, I'll admit, I was wondering if anything was ever going to happen. I had a quick peek at the end (I'm SO SORRY about this fault of mine. I'm really trying to fix myself, but I generally can only read books with happy endings, and something told me this book wouldn't have a happy ending.)
My instinct was right. The love interest (I don't know if it's a spoiler if you have no idea what book I'm talking about, but I've always wanted to say this so REALLY MILD SPOILER ALERT) dies.
But to my amazement, this book is the start of a trilogy. I looked up the second book. I accidentally read something about the second book (because not everyone on the internet wants to write SPOILER ALERT as much as me.)
In the second book, the main character moves on to another love interest.
But BOOM. The love interest in the first book ISN'T ACTUALLY DEAD and he comes back SO THERE CAN BE A LOVE TRIANGLE.
I was so shocked when I (cheat) read the end. I could have cried over this character (I didn't, but that's probably because I didn't get far enough into the book to care about him.) This could have been a book which stayed with me, for the originality, for the brilliant twist which really drove in the author's message about love.
But no. The character WASN'T ACTUALLY DEAD and he was brought back so the author could have a love triangle. Seriously, it's like the worst pull-the-rug-from-out-under-you-reader's-feet in the world.
I understand red herrings and the like. But this was like emotional cheating. It would be like that guy in The Titanic dying, everyone crying, but OH WAIT, he's not dead.
I couldn't finish the book. Which made me really sad, because it seemed to have an interesting idea behind it. I just felt so cheated by the author that I couldn't trust him/her anymore.
As a writer, the most important thing is your reader's trust (you know, amongst other important factors like interest and stuff.) Your reader trusts you to take them on an adventure, to make them forget the real world, to excite them. I suppose this is why the whole "I had this amazing adventure but I woke up and it was all a dream" is so frowned upon. The author cheats the reader, and thereby loses their trust.
Is feeling cheated by the author a big deal to you? Have you ever actually felt cheated by a book/film/whatever?
(And in case you were wondering, that book is now sitting in a corner, never to be read by me. Which is a shame, because it had such an amazing hook and the writing was great.)
(UPDATE: I just checked my stats page, which I hardly ever do and I'VE HAD OVER 10,000 HITS SINCE I STARTED BLOGGING IN JULY!!!! This probably isn't a big deal to super people with that many hits in an hour, but people are reading ME!!! This makes me happy. (Oh and HI ASTHA.) )