I've been dithering over writing this post, partly because I don't want to prejudice the book I am about to discuss in any way (because I've come to the realization that my issue with the book is 'just me') and partly because...because this post exposes me...and it's very hard not to think like prey.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary:
Expectation • noun 1 belief that something will happen or be the case. 2 a thing that is expected to happen.
Relatively straightforward, yes? No. Because one may have expectation without fulfilment. And in case you are wondering where this is going, there is method to my madness...well, according to me there is *grin*
Earlier this year I read a book *shock horror* The basic premise of this book is this: the heroine (who as a child was sexually abused, developed a drug addiction and spent almost a year living on the streets) meets the hero. As a result of the abuse the heroine experienced, she avoids touch (and sex). Hero recognizes that there is an issue and tries to move slowly. Then, out of what seems (to me) like the blue, the heroine points out that's she not weak, and sex ensues. We move from just kissing to sex...and there are NO PROBLEMS as a result of the abuse? No flashbacks, no psychological issues that manifest physically (yes, I am referring to sexual dysfunction disorders), NOTHING? All the foreshadowing - the fear in the heroine's eyes when the hero first touched her, the issues that arose in previous relationships - went NOWHERE! WTF?
Honestly...I feel cheated. Cheated on behalf of the heroine...because it's like - find hero, trust hero, HEA (apart from the external conflict, but more on that later). We never get to experience the heroine's journey...her struggle. I also feel cheated on behalf of me. *deep breath* I have a sexual dysfunction disorder. I know that even if I find my other half [insert equivalent term here] (and considering said disorder it will need to be the right one and not just 'someone') it will take time and patience. (And no, that's not my opinion but the opinion of two experts.) It won't suddenly BE GONE! No miracles (unfortunately). I picked up the book, noted the foreshadowing and started feeling...hopeful. Hopeful that for once I would be able to relate to a heroine on a more intimate level. Hopeful that...others would read the book and realize that sexual dysfunction disorders exist and that they can't be fixed with the wave of a wand. I've only ever found one romance novel that discusses a sexual function disorder and only one that discusses anorgasmia - that's it! So yes, I was hopeful....I was expectant! I really thought the author was going to allow us to experience what it is like to have your body react anathema to what it is supposed too. But...no. Instead, the heroine is miraculously cured and we get not one but two stalkers. What is it with stalkers anyway? Why do we have to have extraneous conflict?
To be fair, maybe I read more into the foreshadowing than the author intended...and more than others not sitting where I am noted. And maybe it wasn't the author's intention to follow through with the foreshadowing. After all, it's a romance novel. Who wants to read about a heroine who can't have sex? Apart from me that is.
So, yes, I feel cheated. Not angry...but disappointed. And yes, in case you were wondering, the book was a DNF. And yes, I deliberately haven't mentioned the name of the book, although I am sure most of you know which book I am referring too (or can work it out). Do I want to read another book by this author? Yes. Because I am very sure that my issue with the book is due to who I am...and what baggage I bring with me when I travel into the realm created by the author.
So, have you ever found yourself unable to finish a book not because of the characters, the author's execution of the plot or his/her writing style but because of the baggage you brought with you?