...I'm a book snob.
I think it all started when Eragon came out and got really hyped up. A large part of that, I do believe, was that the kid who wrote it was pretty young. Impressive! I thought to myself. If he can do it, and get published, there's hope for me!
Then I read the book.
I will say that I enjoyed it enough. I didn't feel the need to put it down and forsake ever finishing it. However, it was painfully obvious to me that it was written by someone young, both for the grammatical mistakes and for the genericÂ plot line. And then I found out that, well, originally he was published because his parents owned the publishing company. So much for that!
Flash forward to the Twilight craze. I read excerpts, and could not understand what the hype was all about. You want a sexy vampire novel? Go read Anne Rice's earlier books! At one point, I was in a Borders (remember those?) and they were playing one of the Twilight audiobooks. I had to walk out, because it was just so cheesy and painful.
Is this really what the young adults are reading?! I wondered.
I've always read above my reading level. I can remember teachers saying, incredulously, "you're reading that?!" when I was in elementary school. But I was shocked that Twilight managed to be what got so popular. Maybe I have high standards, but really? There are so many better books aimed at that age group!
I did end up listening to the audiobook of Stephanie Meyer's other novel, The Host. It didn't make me want to chuck the CDs out the window, but only because I was usually driving while listening. I think that if I had been actually reading a text version I would have been nitpicking every awkward sentence and poor attempt at mundane characterization.
And now we have 50 Shades of Gray. While not work safe at all, I've decided that the best way to "enjoy" that book is to watch the video of Gilbert Gottfried reading parts. (Seriously, do not click that link if there are children present.)
It's not even the subject matter that offends me. (Here's a fun fact-- I used to work at kink conventions. The more you know!) In fact, the subject matter bothers me not because I find it offensive, but because it paints that particular community in the wrong light... and is also just plain incorrectly or dangerously done, in some ways. But the writing itself, from all of the excerpts I've seen, is absolutely atrocious. Apparently, this author really had some bizarre obsession with cliche inner goddesses parading about with pompoms.
And so, I'll admit it. I'm a literary snob. (Don't worry, I hate some of the "classics", too. Don't even get me started on Hemingway.) I cannot help it, and when certain people claim that their most favoritest books are Twilight or 50 Shades of Bad Writing, I cannot help but get a little bit judgmental. You may as well just stick to reading the tabloids... the writing might actually be better, at least.