How Important Is A Plot Twist?

I’m beginning to find it more difficult to find books that shock, scare or surprise me, one of my priorities when choosing what to read. I love trying to guess endings and I’m always happiest when I fail to do so.

I agree with the notion that when a book announces a twist, shocking revelation or surprise ending they’ve already eliminated those exact qualities.
We’re prepared for what’s to come and immediately start picking up on any hints and red herrings subconsciously, if not on purpose.

However, there needs to be connections to the end result earlier in the book to make them feasible. When a surprise comes straight out of left field and has no build up it feels lazy and sometimes makes no sense at all.
It’s a very nuanced art and (I assume) extremely difficult to balance the right amount of direction without paving the way to an obvious conclusion.

Often I’ll see reviewers rave about how they ‘never saw it coming’ and secretly roll my eyes, but I’ve also been amazed by revelations other readers had easily predicted.

For me a plot twist is a major factor in any suspense, crime or thriller novel. Done wrong it can leave me indifferent to the books other redeeming qualities. Done right it can rocket a mediocre read to much higher standing.

How do you feel about plot twists?

Do you have any good examples I should read?

Reading Wrap-Up 18/02

A successful week of reading!

Last week I was house bound, the latest theory from several doctor appointments is that I have gall stones. My diagnosis has changed 3 times so I’m waiting on an ultrasound to confirm. During that time I was unable to move around or eat, so what else could I do but read!?
I devoured SIX books! That’s huge for me, I usually have too many time constraints to manage more than 3 on a good week.

So! If I could take a moment to brag, here’s what I read last week… Continue reading “Reading Wrap-Up 18/02”

2018 -Books I Meant To Read

In August last year I had my 30th birthday and left my long time career as a fashion retail manager, between these two major events I cashed in HARD on gift vouchers from my loving family and colleagues. I spent these entirely on books -obviously- nobody expected any less of me. 

Suddenly my (already extremely long) TBR list was growing at lightning speed! This meant that many of the books I’d been looking forward to got lost amongst over fifty new purchases. Of course my monster TBR increased again over the festive period and I even reached the stage where I wanted for nothing! Upcoming releases excepted. 

I’ve made it through the entire first month of the year with almost no purchases! That’s a first for me. Instead, I’m focusing on #SeriesToFinish and a backlist I’m quite certain would beat me in a fist fight.

Here are *just a few* releases I own but didn’t get around to reading last year… Continue reading “2018 -Books I Meant To Read”

8 Best and Worst Fictional Endings

Happily ever after? What do I look for in an ending and which book finales did I love/hate most?

The most important parts of a fiction book for me are the opening chapter and the last quarter.
I like to be thrown into action or posed a question for the initial hook. I will read a book without these elements, I consider myself a slightly varied reader, but I do prefer them to be there.
For me however, an impactful(!?) ending is non negotiable. I need the pacing to accelerate, big reveals or shocking twists. In my opinion the best books are the ones with plots that are unpredictable but still feasible.

I like to challenge my brain. Untangling a maze of misleads and consequences can tether me to a book for hours on end, just don’t throw in a wild card with no previous ties to characters or story line- that infuriates me, it feels lazy.

A brilliant ending can turn the tide of my favour for any book. I’ll forget all about any moments I spent drifting off or dragging my eyes across the page. An initially bad book can become a decent slow-burner if the pay off at the end feels worth the time invested in earlier details.

I can sacrifice action if the character development is intricate but there still has to be some sort of BANG towards the end. Nothing worse than a book that fizzles out leaving you wondering why you cared. Even predictable but well written reveals or events are preferable to me than none at all.

Here are just a few books with (spoiler free) endings I’ve loved or hated:
Continue reading “8 Best and Worst Fictional Endings”

Do You Re-read Books?

Do you read books more than once? Find out why I can’t.

In my adult life I’m not sure I’ve ever re-read a book. I’ve tried, but never completed any. As a child I made my parents read me the same bath time story every Sunday, as a teenager I was often grounded with nothing but books I already owned to entertain me. Now with an endless supply and instant access to new books I still see so many bloggers talking about re-reading but I can’t seem to do it, lately I’ve been wondering why? Here’s my reasoning…

Continue reading “Do You Re-read Books?”