One lovely afternoon while procrastinating on BookTube, this young blogger stumbled across reviews for the latest Rick Riordan book. Even though this person (aka me) no longer finds enjoyment out of Riordan’s writing, I watched the review, and I must admit… I’m confused.
All I’ve heard is raving reviews and comments, when I couldn’t even finish The Hidden Oracle (or whatever the actual title was, I can’t remember if that’s the book or series title), and it led me to think about why.
OUTGROWING THE AUTHOR
Obviously, humans age and mature over time, and your own personal taste for what you like to read changes along with that. However, content inside of a book doesn’t age. Surprise surprise, it’s exactly the same as the day you bought it! Therefore, it’s 100% possible for you to outgrow an author’s writing style.
Let’s take a little ponder down memory lane, the Rick Riordan memory lane to be exact. I honestly don’t know the first time I read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for the first time, but I know I was young. I also know I still love that series to this day (my poor copy of The Lightning Thief is so beat up, I’m afraid it’s going to fall apart). I did read The Heroes of Olympus as they came out, but at this point that was a long time ago.
However, the last book in that series (Blood of Olympus) is what I now believe to mark the end of the Riordan Reign. I remember being so disappointed by the ending and how ridiculous it was, because a nosebleed, really? Yes, The Kane Chronicles came out before these, but I could never get into those to begin with. Along comes Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, I read it. It was okay, I didn’t feel attached it. Then, as you know, The Trials of Apollo/The Hidden Oracle was the first Riordan book I ever DNFed.
For me, Riordan is the prime example of outgrowing an author. I simply became knowledgeable enough to know his plot line before even reading the book, the pop-culture references were no longer funny, but actually quite annoying, and the characters lacked depth.
However, where I’m confused is how I can’t stand his latest books, and yet the original PJO series remains one of my favorite series after all these years. Now is where I ask your opinion, do you think it’s possible for an author to decline in their writing? Can the author outgrow you?
PERHAPS I’VE GOTTEN PICKIER?
There is also the case that it’s in no way the author, and simply it’s me. I’ve been reading for a very long time, so I know what I like in a book. Especially since I’ve started blogging and writing reviews, it’s much easier for my brain to analytically read/think about a book and pick out specifically what I like, and what I don’t.
So, as I continue to read, am I pickier about what I want from a book? The straightforward answer is of course. I obviously have expectations for a book to uphold, and while it doesn’t have to meet every single one, the most important to me is that a book has to make me think.
To put it simply, I want a book that is fun to read, but also can stomp on my heart a little, and make me think about what’s happening in the world around me.
HOW BLOGGING HAS IMPACTED OUTGROWING AUTHORS
It’s funny to be honest, Blood of Olympus marked the decline of Riordan in my mind, and it’s actually the first Riordan book I reviewed on my blog. All the others I haven’t enjoyed are also ones that have been reviewed via blogging.
One word for Riordan’s writing style/books is fun. With blogging, when I’m taking that “fun” and putting it under microscope, it highly lacks in other departments, especially in his latest installments. I don’t believe that blogging has made me cynical, but rather it’s forced me to put what I’m reading in perspective. It’s almost like writing a review for a book by a certain author is answering your own question of whether this author is truly right for you or not.
Now it’s your turn! What’s an author that you believe you’ve outgrown as a reader? Have you found an impact on the authors you enjoy that came from blogging? Do you believe it’s possible for an author to outgrow you? Let me know down in the comments, I’d love to hear you opinion.