We all have our personal quirks – things that just light our fire or work our nerves like nails on chalkboard…
Hey, we’re all human.
I try to be as honest as I can (with myself and those very few people who read my reviews) about how I feel about the books I read. I really try to take as much time as I can to discover what it is I like or dislike about any particular book. Being honest with myself requires me to own up to some of my personal quirks.
So today I want to talk about my issue(s) with deception.
Wikipedia defines deception (beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification and subterfuge) as:
“acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth (as in half-truths or omission). Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand, as well as distraction, camouflage, or concealment. There is also self-deception, as in bad faith.
Deception is a major relational transgression that often leads to feelings of betrayal and distrust between relational partners. Deception violates relational rules and is considered to be a negative violation of expectations. Most people expect friends, relational partners, and even strangers to be truthful most of the time. If people expected most conversations to be untruthful, talking and communicating with others would require distraction and misdirection to acquire reliable information. A significant amount of deception occurs between romantic and relational partners.”
I really have a problem with deception in books. I know that there’s a significant amount of deception in real life – look at politicians – but for some reason I have a [larger] problem with deception in most books. Especially in Romance books. I have such a problem with deception that – depending on the level of deception – I avoid the book. I’ve not read quite a few books because they were based on or in deception. I’ve also DNF’d books and/or skipped whole sections of text.
I can’t say that I avoid all books with deception in them – some books/storylines require deception for plot reasons – but it still makes me a little squirmy. I’m less squirmy when it’s the bad guy being deceived…but it’s rare for me not to feel at least the twinges of squirmy-ness when this particular plotline/trope is used.
I just finished reading A Lot Like Love by Julie James. In this book the heroine assists the FBI in deceiving someone she knows rather well. The reasons for the deception are good (and legal) and she’s doing a good thing…but I skipped the section where the actual deception takes place. I have plans to go back to read that entire section (now that I’ve completed the book!) but it felt weird at the time. I can also admit that the deception ruined some of the book for me. Twitchy feelings made me put the book down more than once. I only persevered because Julie James had already earned my trust [as an author] with the other books in her series.
It’s my personal thing – I don’t really know anyone who feels the same way that I do. But hey, I’m honest about what I like, what I don’t like…and why.