When books traumatize you instead of entertain you

I thought of this a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have the drive to actually write it up and post it. However, something happened today that made me think of it again. Also, my sister basically forced me to write something yesterday and it has all my writing juices flowing. I guess it’s about time I used my blog for something other than SLS; although, I’m told it’s perfectly fine that my blog is only that.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a book by one of my favorite authors. The synopsis had me intrigued and I couldn’t wait to dive into it. That feeling was very short lived. I had a hard time reading it and it made me anxious. I thought at first that I was simply in one of my moods, but it became increasingly clear that it was the book. It only took about a hundred pages before I finally realized why.

It was the premise and ultimately the bad guy. It brought back a time in my life that still manages to haunt me to this day. I decided to keep reading, but the more I did it, the more anxious I became. I started leaving the book at home, rather than taking it to read during lunch. On Saturday mornings, when I’m normally excited to get a few pages in, I glanced at it and then walked away. It wasn’t until today that I decided to pick up another book. It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a book that didn’t make me want to crawl out of my skin.

It does trouble me, though. Part of me wants to read it. I want to face those demons head on and exorcise them. But is that really the way to do it? Do I really want to go through that just for a story? I’ve done it before. I read a book called Sharp Objects, and even though I knew it was traumatizing me, I ended up finishing it. It’s the first book that I ever truly felt like flinging across the room when I was finished. I’m not even happy that I read it, to be honest.

It’s hard for me to leave a book unfinished. I’ve only abandoned a few books in my life and it’s hard to know if I’m making the right decision. Do I keep traumatizing myself in the hopes that some part of that hell will be put to rest? Or do I let it go?

I’m interested to know what you think, since we are a writing community. Do you read books that traumatize you, or do you move on to other things?

I’d love to hear from you!

Teaser Tuesday – Darkfall

I finally decided to try a different book since I was having such a hard time finishing the one I was working on.  I’m not sure this one is a whole lot better; I’m not much of a creature fan and I happened to pick up a book by Dean Koontz that is about creatures.  I haven’t made it far enough to find out if they are aliens or some sort of other thing, but I’ve made it far enough to be pretty grossed out.

Darkfall

That doesn’t stop me from wanting to keep reading, though.  I love the way Dean Koontz writes and Darkfall is no exception, even though he is pretty descriptive about scary creatures in walls and under beds.

My quote comes from page 10, which tells you I haven’t made it all that far, but I am making progress.  A little progress is better than lugging a book around I never actually pick up and read, though.

I hope you enjoy the teaser!

“Wasn’t she the woman of the house now, and hadn’t she been the woman of the house for more than a year and a half, ever since her mother died?  After about ten minutes, she managed to shame herself into switching off the lamp and lying down.”


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!