Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Results Are In

The results of the Goodreads Choice Awards were just released today. I still think it's ridiculous to have to wait a week for the results when the whole thing's automated anyway, but maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they didn't actually have all the results tallied immediately (even though the longest we had to wait for results between rounds was a day). Maybe it wasn't just a ploy to keep the anticipation building for a week (during which I almost forgot all about the awards). Who knows?

Anyway, I noticed that in the Mystery & Thriller category, Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, blew everyone else out of the water. A lot of categories had clear runaway winners, but Gone Girl beat the first runner up by over 20,000 votes. The only category with a bigger margin of victory was YA Fiction, where John Green's The Fault in Our Stars beat the next closest nominee by 28,000 votes.

(On a side note, this isn't very surprising. John Green is supposed to be amazing. The only reason I've never read anything from him is because I don't really care for contemporary young adult. When I read YA, I'm reading YA fantasy, or YA science fiction, for the incredibly imaginative stories that seem to be lacking in adult fiction. Not to say, of course, that there are no good speculative fiction stories in adult fiction, but so often when I read a summary of a book and think, "Wow, that's pretty cool, I'd like to read that," it's YA. It's very disheartening, not because there's anything wrong with YA, but because I personally could do without the YA-ness of it . . . but that's a post for another day.)

Getting back to Gone Girl . . . it came in with 27,502 votes. The second place book had 6,364 votes. (My vote -- Bloodline, by James Rollins -- came in eighth with 3,371 votes, but I'll get to that later.) This really isn't that surprising either. Gone Girl was THE "it" book this summer. And I'm not even saying that it's not a good book because I'm sure it is. It just drives me batty hearing about it everywhere because I am fairly certain that I wouldn't enjoy it. I read another of Gillian Flynn's books -- Dark Places -- and I could tell she was a talented author, but I came away unsatisfied with the book because of the characters, and nothing I've read about Gone Girl leads me to believe my reaction to this one would be any different. I'm hoping that now that 2012 is coming to an end, I won't have to hear about it all the time anymore. Because every time I do, I feel the urge to read it, just so I know what all the buzz is about, despite the fact that I don't think I'd like it. And it bothers me, because with so many other books I want to read, why should I feel pressured, by myself or anyone else, into reading this one? But . . . that's another post for another day.

I'm trying not to be annoyed at the fact that you KNOW the only reason it got that many votes is because so many more people read it than any of the other nominees, including lots of people who aren't normally mystery/thriller fans. I shouldn't judge, because I did the same thing with Bloodline.

I voted for Bloodline in all three rounds. And yes, it's impossible to say "I think this is the best of all these books" when I haven't read all of the others, and that's the reason I haven't voted for Goodreads Choice Awards in past years. But this year, I decided to accept the fact that this is a popularity contest and take part in it. Because you know what? James Rollins is a great thriller author. If my vote helps to bring him to more readers' attention, I'm not going to feel sorry about it.

Not only that, but I gave Bloodline 5 stars. I don't have many 5-star books. So even if I DID read all the other nominees, I'd say the chances of liking one of those books better is probably fairly slim.

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