Twists and Surprises

Friday, the day of my gut-wrenchingly difficult physiology and pharmacology exam, marked the end of my university semester. I decided to celebrate by spending a book voucher and doing nothing on Saturday but read. I bought the latest Janet Evanovich and the 1st To Die by James Patterson. I’ve read all of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series but I’ve never read anything of James Patterson’s and I was inspired to partly because of his guest appearances on Castle and partly because I’m moving out of the fantasy genre as I own pretty much everything in stock.

First up was Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich. I’m starting to not enjoy her latest work as much. She went downhill about book 10, picked up for what I think was books 15-16 and now is starting back down the downhill slope. She has great characters, but they sometimes seem like they’re just caricatures of themselves acting the way they do because it’s expected, rather than to serve any purpose to the storyline or character development. I don’t know whether it’s because I did that Creative Writing course, but I found fault with some of the scenes and structure. But the worst part was that I guess exactly who the killer was almost straight away so there was no twist, surprise or shock waiting for me at the climax.

Then I read 1st to Die. And yes, I did read both books in their entirety in a single day. About two-thirds of the way through the book, when the real sex of the killer is revealed I also guessed who it was. I took a break to feed little Squiggle when there was about 75 pages left and said to my husband “I bet it’s totally X. It’s building up like it’s Y, but I’d make it X”. I was right. There was a slight twist behind the killer’s motivation that I didn’t see though, so I felt a bit more satisfied at the end of this one. Plus a love interest dies. I always like it when authors kill important characters.

What I’m really wondering though, is have I really read that many books and watched that many TV shows that nothing comes as a surprise to me anymore? Does this happen to anyone else? If anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to read them!

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