Monday, October 11, 2010

Not Liking the Award Winning

MENTAL STATUS: "Groovy". Feeling great! Thanks for all the get-wells. :)

So last week, we had a little discussion about books in my critique forum. None of my crit partners are on GoodReads so we were recommending books to each other and talking about books we were disappointed in.

After one of my crit partners talked about how much she disliked this one book, I decided to do her the biggest favor ever and recommend a great one. A book I knew for sure she would love as much as I did.

However, it didn't go as well as I had hoped...


Me: Oh, you didn't like ABC book? Yes, not her best, but you should read XYZ book because it's really cute and even won a RITA.


Her: XYZ book? Is that the one with the hero who is A and the heroine who is B? Yeah, I read that already. Hated it.

Me: (scratching head and squinting at the screen. She couldn't have written "hated it". No. She must have misspelled "loved it") Um, are you sure we're talking about the same book?

Her: Yes. I'm sure. Hated it.


Me: (cringing again at the word hated. How can that be? This book won the RITA for goodness sakes!) Um, but didn't you like it when the heroine met the hero and---

Her: NO.

Me: B--B--But...

Her: Trust me, Jenn. Read it and didn't find it amusing at all.

Not at all?

My poor critique partner had to put up with at least five more minutes of "Really?" "Are you sure?" "Not even when this and this happened?" "Are you pulling my leg?" "Really, really?"


Because obviously if I loved a book and it won the RITA, wouldn't it stand to reason that she should love the book too?

Well, of course the answer is no. Everybody has different tastes.

I don't know why at the time I couldn't wrap my mind around that fact. (Actually, I'm still shocked. LOL) But just because a book wins an award--even if it's the BIGGEST award for romance writing ever--it doesn't automatically guarantee a person will love the book. (For those of you who don't know, the RITA award is the equivalent to the Oscar for romance writing.)


And for the record, I, personally, have never disliked a book that won a RITA. Nope. It's never happened. But I have disliked many movies that have won Oscars...

Here are a few:

American Beauty totally didn't get what the hype was about this one

Fargo I was NOT amused by this film at all. The acting was excellent but the story horrified me.

Leaving Las Vegas Holy Snikes! Nicolas Cage played an alcoholic and I was ready to start drinking halfway through this movie too. TOTALLY depressing.

Those are just a few examples of award-winning movies that everybody else seemed to love and gush over and I DID NOT. Just another prime example of how subjective books, movies and art are. One of these days, I will remember that. :)

How about you?
Did you ever dislike a book that won a RITA or some other kind of award?
Have you ever disliked a movie that won an Oscar?

47 comments:

Jen Daiker said...

LOLOL I loved Fargo. Just proves we really are different, but I think that's what makes the world tick!

I am one that normally isn't a fan of those movies who won the Oscars, I think it might be the hype that ruins it for me. As for Rita winnings I don't know if I've read a Rita novel, however I'd love for you to share a few for me to check out!! If you ever post on it let me know!!!

I hope your friend finds a book that she'll be sure to enjoy!

Diane said...

Most books I can find some redeeming quality in..... as for movies, it is so political and the crazy ones win that Hollywood wants to promote. Rant over.... :O)

Liza said...

I tend to get frustrated with the movies that were adapted from books...it's a given that a movie can never be as deep as the book, but it drives me crazy when they change the plot line. I didn't like American Beauty either. Hmmm, maybe I should read the book you recommended.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Interesting conversation w/ your friend. Oh sure, I've disliked movies and books that have won awards. Things are so subjective and I do think hype and politics play into things at times too.
~ Wendy

Joanna St. James said...

have not seen any of these movies but u know this also goes for editors or agents, your book is not just to their taste.

Amie B said...

i've never seen any of those movies! that must say something...

i'm always shocked when my friends/crit partners don't love a book as much as i do.

i say it's good - they must love it too!

Jules said...

LOL, "American Beauty" I still do not get it! I laugh every time I hear the title of this movie :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Vicki Rocho said...

I don't pay any attention to whether the books I read win an award or not...so I can't answer that one

Movies though...there are a lot I just don't get the hype. The one everyone I know loves and I never made it past the first 40 mins was "Brother Where Art Thou?" Often it depends on my introduction though. Seeing it in a full theater vs. at home with a thousand distractions might make a huge difference.

Linda Kage said...

I totally agree with Leaving Las Vegas. Never saw Fargo. I don't know about American Beauty. There's just something about it that sticks with me even though it was really strange.

I try to recommend books to my sister that later she's like, WHY did you make me read that? Hmm, because I totally loved it maybe.

It's easy to see how subjective opinions are when I look at my reviews on Goodreads too. Most times I get four or five stars, then a two-star will pop up. Yikes.

Terri Tiffany said...

It is all so subjective! My friend just recommended me a book to read--she RAVED about it-- I finally took it out of the libary--read three pages and set it down.I though it was awful and we usually think alike. I hated the voice and the way it rambled.
(like me)
Anyways--what one person loves, another won't.
PS I am finishing Jody's book by tomorrow--then I start on yours:)))

Em-Musing said...

I'm with you on Leaving Las Vegas. At my writers retreat recently, one of the writers fessed up that she hated Gone with the Wind. OMG! And no amount of . . . but? but? but? could change her mind.

Joanne said...

Definitely. Even when I read more than one book by an author, some will really read well for me, and others pale by comparison. The arts really are so subjective, we all have to form our own personal opinions.

Lydia Kang said...

You know, I did like these movies but I didn't love them. I'll certainly never want to see them again. The movies I love are the ones I'll see over and over again. Usually depressing ones are NOT on that list!

Carol Kilgore said...

Oh, yes. I'm with you. I seem to like things most critics and reviewers don't and love things they pan. Not always, but about half the time. As to the movies you mentioned, I'm two out of three. I loved Fargo.

Laura Marcella said...

Oh, sure, I've read books and have seen movies that won awards, and sometimes I think another book or movie should've won instead. The art world truly is subjective! All the different thoughts and views and opinions is what makes it so great, though.

I wouldn't want to be on the panels that decide who or what wins awards. It must be so hard because there are many deserving winners and you can only pick one! It would stress me out, lol.

Meg said...

I liked American Beauty. Like Vicki, I couldn't get into Brother Where Art Thou? My husband loves that movie, I just don't get it. Why?

I have experienced someone recommending books to me that I didn't like. I get bored super quick with books, if you don't have me by the end of the first page and then I see no reason to continue.

Megan

Michelle McLean said...

LOL I've had that happen to me many times. :D As for movies, oh yeah. In fact, I tend to find that if the critics love it, I'm going to hate it, and vice versa. Not always the case, but because of this, I rarely listen to the critics. :D

Bossy Betty said...

I am always amazed when someone does not agree with my opinion! What are they thinking? It didn't win an Oscar, but I HATED "Knocked Up' and couldn't figure out why others liked it.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, goes to show you that even the best authors don't appeal to everyone. As a natural people-pleaser, that's a tough idea for me to wrap my brain around. :)

blueviolet said...

Sometimes I think that the build-up on certain books can do nothing but cause me to be disappointed, and I often am.

Patti Lacy said...

Oh, this happens all the time. I LOVE the sense that we all have such divergent, eclectic tastes. There are usually those elite reviewers who see eye to eye, literally, with me on reads!

A great rule of thumb is to gather several raves, then skim a few chapters before you shell out your $$$.

Great post on a hard subject...

Blessings, dear one.
Patti

Katie Ganshert said...

Just goes to show how incredibly subjective all this is! It seems like I NEVER like the movies that win the Oscars.

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, everyone has different tastes. For example, I actually enjoyed Fargo and American Beauty. Now I will agree with you on Leaving Las Vegas. DEPRESSING!!!!

Jamie Grey said...

It always amazes me that people I think I have so much in common with and will love what I do absolutely HATE things that I recommend! And vice versa. I can't tell you how many "big" books I've tried to read and hated.

LOL - I have to be honest, I haven't seen any of those Oscar movies (and it looks like I'm not missing much!) Great post!

Jen Chandler said...

This is too funny! I'm always excited about books that no one I know has ever read (or sometimes heard of)!

As for the Oscars and movies...let's just say I think those voters must be smoking something. Most of the movies that win I've never heard of and the ones that I have that do win, I hated. Hmmm...a conspiracy methinks.

Jen

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Yes and yes! I get so disappointed when I recommend a book to someone that I absolutely loved and they don't enjoy it as much. Passing on brilliant books is one of my joys and I always want people to see the same brilliance in a book that I did. But...readers all different people and I guess, for writers, that's a good thing.

Conda V. Douglas said...

What a useful post for remembering how we're all very different--so easy to fall into the trap of my friend is like me...

December said...

LOL - Yes. There's this Sparkly Vampire series people went batty for, and I just couldn't understand it. (ha ha - batty. Nice.)

Carolyn V. said...

Oh yes. There are a couple out there. I'm keeping them secret because I know I have friends who love them. ;)

Jessica Nelson said...

That's so funny how subjectivity works! I have this fave CBA author and I started talking with a fellow blogger, only to discover that the blogger didn't get into the author's stories AT ALL.
I was scratching my head too. LOL

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Definitely! It's so funny how subjectivity works both ways. :0)

Laura Pauling said...

There are def. books that have won awards that I love and others that I stopped reading half way through. It's def. subjective!

Rula Sinara said...

I can't say that I've watched or read every movie or book that has won an award. However, I do have favorites that didn't win anything to my dismay.

As for your cp not liking the same book, I can totally relate. I can't get my sisters to read ANY of the books I love. They don't even get past 5 pages before giving up. Very frustrating when you're dying to share a great book!

Penny Dune said...

I agree with all the movies you mentioned. ESPECIALLY American Beauty. *thumbsdown* Kevin Spacey is one of my least favorite actors. :P

The subjectivity gives us hope.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, loads! And I didn't like Fargo either, but it's so subjective, isn't it?

I've tried to read a lot of the Man Booker prizes and just... couldn't. They didn't resonate with me at all.

Joanna St. James said...

Hey Jen u have an award on my blog I couldn't find ur email address

Elle Strauss said...

This happens to me all the time, but I'm the one who tends to not like books others are raving about :)

T. Anne said...

Oh gosh yes! All. The Time. But then I do have peculiar taste. ;)

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm not a Nicholas Sparks fan. There, I've said it. I realize I'm probably the only woman on the planet, but I just can't read his books without grinding my teeth in annoyance.

Oh, and I disliked Shakespeare in Love.

This was a really cute post!

Paul Yarbrough, Author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Zannini said...

Totally agree with you on the movies.

I must be missing something in the translation.

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Kym McNabney said...

Honestly, I don’t keep up with winnings. Heck, I rarely, and I do mean rarely, watch TV, read the newspaper, or listen to the radio. Yep, that’s me. I do however watch DVD’s, listen to CD’s and read something that intrigues me when it pops up on my screen when I pull up the internet.

Yes, books, movies, and even music are subjective…to a point. But I also have to say that really bad writing is bad writing, and I would think most would recognize or at least feel the effects from it. I often have to wonder how some books have been published, as well as when I go back and reread some of my own writing, what the heck was I thinking.

On the flip side, there are many wonderful stories out there, very well written, leaving a profound impact. You have to wonder how one couldn’t recognize good writing when they see it as well as not recognizing bad writing when they read it. I guess it all goes back to being subjective. Just one more reason why we shouldn’t bash others writing…at least publicly.

Do onto others the way you’d want others to do unto you. We can speak truth without being hurtful.

Love your post. Thanks for sharing and reminding me that it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

Patti said...

That's why there's so many different types of books and movies. Everyone's different. I hate horror films. I don't see the point to them.

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