Scenes or moments that will turn a book around…

by Maryse on February 24, 2016 · 24 comments

in Book Recommendations, Editorial

You know when you’re reading a book, and you’re enjoying it (or maybe you’re not) but you’re intrigued enough to stick with it? Whether it be because of adamant recommendations, or that “feeling” that something big is about to happen that will totally turn this book around, or “make” the story, you are in it for the long haul!

And then it happens. That *thing* that takes the story (or writing) from eh (or even good!)… to OMG EVERYONE HAS TO READ THIS!!!

It can be because of a clever twist that you didn’t see coming, or the characters that you might not have been connecting to, that suddenly become real. A conversation, a thought, a reaction…

bev: I can be slightly off on the emotions & angst too. In that everyone will be talking about a scene or book just leaving them sobbing or find it really profound. And I will read it and be all……eh & huh. Then there will be these little moments that others don’t seem to react to that just slay me.

There was a book we BR on here where the heroine hears a recording of a voice of someone she cared for that was gone. It was a signal she was finally safe. Killed me. I know that feeling of hearing some ones voice who is gone. So maybe that is why.But I don’t know that others responded to it that way.

Yes bev!!! EXACTLY! I can absolutely fall in love with a book that I was just liking… depending on a scene (or moment). Of course, that doesn’t mean that an amazing scene will make me love a book I’m not enjoying much, but it sure helps me remember it!

It’s happened to me quite a few times, in fact. Thinking, as I was reading, that it was a 3 or 4 star (depending on the book), and maybe even one that I was contemplating putting down (*gasp*!!) to becoming a book that I 5-starred and adamantly love to this day!

The one that stands out the most to me (that had my jaw dropping in delight) was Arsen. A broken love story by Mia Asher. Yep… this one is considered a “cult classic” in our reading groups with the whole the marital turmoil/temptation love story trope. And at first, the bad-boy famous guy/married woman interactions had me huffing in exasperation and even rolling my eyes. At first, it felt a little… cliche. But it was a certain interaction between the husband and the wife (and then EVERYTHING thereafter) that had my stomach in knots and my heart aching. I WAS IN and it didn’t let me down once we hit that “part”.

Another one that did that exact same thing to me, was actually a series. Book #1 (Dark Light by S.L. Jennings) was entertaining enough, but another one that felt too… “usual” for me to flip over it. Until I reached the end of book #1 (WHOA!), and had to jump into book #2 WHICH BLEW MY MIND!!! Oh the angst!!!!! I was aghast, and thrilled with the dilemma all at the same time. I was in love, I was hurting, and I was finally… HER.

The Play by Karina Halle had her typical awesome Karina Halle feel (she’s absolutely one of my FAVORITE authors), and while this one had all of the makings of fun (and angst!!) considering the brooding-moody hero (and his dark backstory) and the outgoing heroine (that was SO into him). But it was actually hard for me to get into… at first. It was safe, and pretty traditional by way of “contemporary romance”. I was a bit bummed in fact, ’cause if anyone “goes there”, it’s THIS author. And then… OMG SHE WENT THERE. BLEW my mind, because I was sure she was going to keep this one “sweet and safe” with just a hint of “bad boy ‘tude but HECK NO. In fact I was shocked at just how hard she let it rip. LOL!!!

Another book that had me LOVING the exquisite prose (it was obvious the author’s writing was sophisticated and rich), but that I had a hard time getting into, was Suanne Laqueur’s “The Man I Love”. From the numerous characters thrown at us right off the bat, to the artsy/almost pretentious feel of the backdrop to the book (the majority of the cast being ballet dancers), I thought I’d never connect to seemingly perfect characters like these. Until it got REAL. AND OMG I never wanted to put it down. I devoured the entire trilogy and each book got better and better. While the beauty of ballet is a big part of the trilogy, it is the personal lives of the characters, and the tragedies and circumstances that make this a story for ALL of us to fall apart over, and fall in love with. And a few of our fellow readers felt the exact same thing I did (from start to finish)

Sharon: *holding head down in shame* I just cannot get into The Man I Love. I’m barely in (5%) and, nothing. Tell me I am just being – insert adjective here – cause I feel like I am just disappointing myself. It picks up?

and then…

Sharon: I am thoroughly past any boring parts and am just being destroyed by The Man I Love. This one is going to hurt when it’s all over.

Jeannie: I definitely agree with you on The Man I Love, although the moment came later for me, probably because I knew what to expect. Without giving anything away, it was a pivotal moment, but one that happened a little later on.

See? It’s happened to you too, hasn’t it?

So tell me… what book were you “meh” about until it hit that part? I’ll add ‘em to this list! :D

DanielleBright Side it started out slow, The Edge of Never too i almost put both down then hit the omg moments was sucked in. Now they’re my top 5 all time favs

Maryse: YES!!!! This is SO true!

Danielle: The books that have the story come out of left field & blow you away are the best

Maryse: Agreed! They become unforgettable!

Kaycee: Mine was more a line rather than a whole scene. I was a bit *meh* with the first chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey (even thought about not reading any more) but then I got to the elevator bit right at the end of chapter 1 … “Anastasia,” he says as a farewell. “Christian,” I reply. And mercifully the doors close. I WAS HOOKED!!!

bev: I want to say Going the Distance. Just as a whole it snuck up on me. The characters were so resistant and closed up it took me a while to realize I was completely invested. I can’t remember what exactly was happening in the scene, but the H&h were teasing or something and I found I had read it with a silly smile on my face. And apparently Jellicoe Road. *whispers* 40% . 40% for Amy, lol. I probably shouldn’t give up on books so soon. For me It ws just a couple chapters in after I got over my confusion.

Amy: And yes, Jellicoe Road definitely had that “turning point” for me where I was hooked from that point on. Oh, my heart.

Jacee: For sure Jellicoe Road. It was slow and I wasn’t sure what was going on and then I hit a certain part in the book. I was like what?!? Suddenly all the pieces fell into place. I read it again right after I finished. I fell in love with it just for that moment in the book.

Amy: Yes, Jacee! *points to Jacee* Did you hear that, Maryse? Just sayin’. :P

Maryse: *sigh* Jellicoe Road and me… I’m annoyed at it. LOL! But then you guys keep going and saying things like that, and I KNOW I’m missing out…

bev: *gasp* …… ……. *gasp*

Maryse: LOL!!!!

bev: Jellicoe loves you Maryse.

Maryse: Okay… I’m going back in. I’m almost at the 40-something % so I can’t stop now. Now that I have a good “marker” of when I will be sucked in, I feel better.

Jeannie: The other book that comes to mind is Present Perfect (Perfect series Book 1) by Alison G. Bailey. I was getting annoyed and frustrated by the h, and things were just plodding along, and then something happened that changed everything and I was IN. It turned out to be one of my favorite books and one that definitely stayed with me.

AmyRainfall…I was really liking that book but was feeling kind of bummed that the twist had been revealed early on, and then BA-BAM!!! I was knocked on my a$$ and my heart was broken and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sob but I LOVED it. *peeks around for Fabi*

Lisa: Even though I’m basically a coward when it comes to intense angst, the books that have given me ‘the moment’ usually involve a turning point where you just can’t see how relationships or story lines will be resolved. BadgerHow to Kill a Rock Star and God Shaped Hole: A Novel come to mind. As a reader you are madly trying to think through every scenario, looking for the best outcome but begrudgingly knowing you’re unlikely to get it. Those books stay with me

Sherry: I had one of those moments in the first 15% of The Perfect Life by Erin Noelle….So far so good

Stephanie: For me, it’s the Original Sinners series. Book 1 was ok but I kept going and I think that after you put all 4 together, it turned into one of my favorite series. I can’t get enough now. I NEED MORE!

Maryse: Stephanie!! I stopped after book #1. I liked it, but I didn’t flip out enough to continue the series, but OMG people sure LOVE it like crazy. So this is good to know. :D

           

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

kaycee February 24, 2016 at 7:53 PM

Mine was more a line rather than a whole scene. I was a bit *meh* with the first chapter of 50 Shades of Grey (even thought about not reading any more) but then I got to the elevator bit right at the end of chapter 1 … “Anastasia,” he says as a farewell.
“Christian,” I reply. And mercifully the doors close.
I WAS HOOKED!!!

bev February 24, 2016 at 7:54 PM

I’m having a hard time thinking of one. Blame iton after work blame. Or at least one that had a distinct moment. But I want to say Going the Distance. Just as a whole it snuck up on me. The characters were so resistant and closed up it took me a while to realize I was completely invested. I can’t remember what exactly was happening in the scene, but the H&h were teasing or something and I found I had read it with a silly smile on my face.
And apparently Jellicoe Road. *whispers* 40% .
40% for Amy, lol. I probably shouldn’t give up on books so soon.
For me It ws just a couple chapters in after I got over my confusion.

bev February 24, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Blame it on after work brain. *sigh*

Lisa February 24, 2016 at 8:57 PM

I’m intrigued by Bev’s comment about being ‘slightly off in the emotions and angst’ and not always feeling moments in the same way as other readers.
I agree and think as readers we each bring our own ‘lens’ to stories and characters which is influenced by our own RL experiences, values, beliefs and attitudes and this in turn influences how we react to story lines, angst or emotion.
Just as we all have different triggers and hard limits in books – some won’t read about cheating or don’t handle intense angst (puts hand up) but others need to have that level of emotion in a book to find that moment that turns a book around.
My bravest moment in reading was the Captive in the Dark series because it held so many triggers for me and had some HUGE OMG, WTF moments. And it is only because it is fiction/fantasy that as a reader I could handle such content. In the Real World I would be appalled by a scenario where the h falls for someone like Caleb the H – who wouldn’t. In just the same way we can read about iffy consent in sex scenes – because it’s not REAL.
Even though I’m basically a coward when it comes to intense angst, the books that have given me ‘the moment’ usually involve a turning point where you just can’t see how relationships or story lines will be resolved. Badger HtKaRS and God-Shaped Hole come to mind. As a reader you are madly trying to think through every scenario, looking for the best outcome but begrudgingly knowing you’re unlikely to get it. Those books stay with me

Lisa February 24, 2016 at 8:58 PM

Wow…sorry. That was a rant…(word vomit).

Amy February 24, 2016 at 10:56 PM

Rainfall…I was really liking that book but was feeling kind of bummed that the twist had been revealed early on, and then BA-BAM!!! I was knocked on my a$$ and my heart was broken and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sob but I LOVED it. *peeks around for Fabi*

And yes, Jellicoe Road definitely had that “turning point” for me where I was hooked from that point on. Oh, my heart.

Fabi February 25, 2016 at 8:24 AM

Rainfall!!!!

*not gonna rant – not gonna rant – not gonna rant*

you mean, mean girls

Jacee February 25, 2016 at 10:41 AM

For sure Jellicoe Road. It was slow and I wasn’t sure what was going on and then I hit a certain part in the book. I was like what?!? Suddenly all the pieces fell into place. I read it again right after I finished. I fell in love with it just for that moment in the book.

Amy February 25, 2016 at 11:18 AM

*hugs Fabi*

*snickers into Fabi’s shoulder* ;)

Yes, Jacee! *points to Jacee* Did you hear that, Maryse? Just sayin’. :P

Jeannie Smith February 25, 2016 at 11:19 AM

I definitely agree with you on The Man I Love, although the moment came later for me, probably because I knew what to expect. Without giving anything away, it was a pivotal moment, but one that happened a little later on. The other book that comes to mind is Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey. I was getting annoyed and frustrated by the h, and things were just plodding along, and then something happened that changed everything and I was IN. It turned out to be one of my favorite books and one that definitely stayed with me.

Maryse February 25, 2016 at 3:32 PM

*sigh*

Jellicoe Road and me… I’m annoyed at it. LOL!

But then you guys keep going and saying things like that and I KNOW I’m missing out…

bev February 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM

*gasp*
……
…….
*gasp*

Maryse February 25, 2016 at 4:01 PM

LOL!!!!!!! :P

bev February 25, 2016 at 4:02 PM

Jellicoe loves you Maryse.

Maryse February 25, 2016 at 4:09 PM

Okay… I’m going back in. I’m almost at the 40-something % so I can’t stop now. Now that I have a good “marker” of when I will be sucked in, I feel better.

bev February 25, 2016 at 4:12 PM

A good relationship takes work.
;-)

Maryse February 25, 2016 at 4:37 PM

It does… it will make it worth it. ;)

Stephanie February 25, 2016 at 5:54 PM

For me, it’s the Original Sinners series. Book 1 was ok but I kept going and I think that after you put all 4 together, it turned into one of my favorite series. I can’t get enough now. I NEED MORE!

Maryse February 25, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Stephanie!! I stopped after book #1. I liked it, but I didn’t flip out enough to continue the series, but OMG people sure LOVE it like crazy.

So this is good to know. :D

Rebecca February 25, 2016 at 7:33 PM

I agree with Stephanie’s feelings on The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz. Book 1, I didn’t love. But by book 2, I was like, Holy Shit! I’d read menáge, but never read m/m before, and it was such a beautiful love story! And you seriously go into this dark, underground, completely taboo world throughout all the books, and I just adored Nora as a character, biggest girl crush. I reread The Siren last year, and after knowing the direction of the rest of the series, I appreciated it with new eyes just how brilliant it actually was, and I was ruined for other books for a long time. This series is at the top of my very favourites tree..
For those that never did go on to read book 2, I feel you easily can without having to reread The Siren. Books 2-4 is really the series, I view The Siren as like a prequel.

Rebecca February 25, 2016 at 8:13 PM

Archers Voice, by Mia Sheridan! When you learnt that thing about Archer (avoiding spoiler!) and it becomes a whole new level of communication.

And the same with Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, for pretty much the same reason.

Ashley February 25, 2016 at 8:21 PM

Mine was This Man. I tried so hard to DNF during book one. I hated the psycho hero. I thought he was insane, offensive & ridiculous. But my BRs wouldn’t let me quit. It was figurative gunpoint to make me keep reading. By ehhh 50% of book two I FINALLY saw the humor in his countdowns & “Sense-Effs” and eventually was cackling w laughter at his antics. Book be I rated 1 star. Book 3 I gave 4.5. I still am not sure it should take that much time in a series to begin to remotely like it, but nevertheless that was my total about face.

bev February 25, 2016 at 8:35 PM

Now I feel like one of those people that won’t let others divorce.
You’ll be resent reading it.

Fabi February 25, 2016 at 10:43 PM

Oh yes, yes Rebecca. I agree with both of those.

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