It usually doesn’t take many pages of reading before you know you’ve hit a goldmine – – those books with plot and characters that reach out and grab you practically from the start. Magic spools across the pages, transporting you to another world and, for a while, nothing else matters. Forget the laundry waiting to be done, the errands you were set on running, phone calls waiting to be returned or even the latest home improvement project (we do a lot of those at my house)!
Ditto watching TV. Television completely lost me when it ventured into the “reality” realm, but that’s a subject (rant, actually) for another post. This one is about books. Favorite books that inspire the conflict of I-want-to-reach-the-end-but -I-don’t-want-it-to-be-over.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve become involved in a novel, eager to learn how everything works out, but saddened when I do because I’ve reached the end of the story. It’s that feeling of anticipating Christmas for weeks and, then in a flash, it’s gone. The glow is still there but I want to spin back the clock and wallow in the magic all over again.
By the same token, I have a few all-time favorite books that didn’t conjure that same feeling. “The Terror” by Dan Simmons is one of the best novels I’ve read (if not THE best) but I was satisfied when I reached the end. Maybe it was the length (close to 800 pages) or that the story had been expertly twisted in every conceivable direction. I journeyed with the characters, immersed myself in the setting, and was satisfied by the author’s resolutions. Amazing tale, one I highly recommend. I will always be in awe of that book.
When I DO want a book to continue, it isn’t because I’ve found the ending unsatisfying, but because I’m not ready to part with the characters. Case in point – – I just finished Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, Books 1 and 2 of the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I couldn’t wait to reach the end of the second novel, biting my fingernails along the way, anxious to discover how everything worked out. And now that it’s over I’m disappointed there is nothing more. How will I survive without angelic Nephilim, colorful Downworlders and Victorian-era Mundanes?
I know Clockwork Princess is coming in November/December, but I’m impatient. Tessa, Will, and, especially Jem, have become family to me. I’ve hurt with them, laughed with them, fallen in love when they did, and defied impossible odds at their sides. I rushed to reach the conclusion but, now that I have, I’m like a kid who gobbled up all the candy and still wants more. And that translates into some freaking good candy, let me tell you! :)Fortunately, I have the Mortal Instruments series waiting in the wings (next on my list) but I’m saddened I need to leave the friends I made in the Infernal Devices.
Good books are forever-treasures, we can revisit time and again, whenever we want. I do it often with those novels I love most.
What are some of your favorites — stories that stay with you long after you’ve finished them? There’s nothing like a good read or a good recommendation!