Note that this is VERY UNUSUAL FOR ME. I am an utter book addict. I normally pick up the next book within about a minute of finishing the last one. I have to limit my supply of novels on hand, or my cat and husband will both die of neglect. I am not terribly picky. Really, any sort of basic fiction will do.
Where am I finding these disappointing books, then? I'm getting them for free (through Amazon) because the publishers think they're sure-fire awesome, and worth spending big money to give lots of ARCs away.
This leads me to believe that (at least certain) publishers have a vastly different idea of what makes a novel awesome than I do... and considering the number of highly successful books I've adored over the years, I'm disturbed.
These novels I've been reading are all literary SF/F, often debuts. They all show great voice, great settings, and a lot of fine detail. No question the authors are very talented.
Unfortunately, these novels are also convoluted, disgusting, and/or depressing. THIS IS NOT WHY I READ. I want to be thrilled and entertained and swept away. I don't want vivid descriptions of bodily fluids, no matter how much artistry is employed. I really, really don't.
Without any evidence at all, I suspect that this kind of writing is what really wakes up a poor, jaded, slush-reading publishing-person. And I totally get that... but... it's making this reader not want to read any more.
It seems like all the fun stories with heart have moved to the YA shelves.