You may have noticed you don't see many book reviews on my blog any more though I used to do them with some regularity. The problem is I've become so critical of what I see as flaws in the beginning of the book, I won't finish it. I've picked up a dozen new books over the last few months and had to put them down again because I just couldn't find the hook to get me into the story.
One thing that's an automatic fail for me is not being able to keep a character description the same. If you can't remember what your character looked like from the first chapter you described her in to the sixth chapter of the book, how do I know that you're going to be able to keep the rest of your details straight? Not to mention this particular author (no I'm not saying who) was talking about the same place she started out at but ended up describing it in two different ways which were totally opposite of each other.
Another book I read, I managed to get all the way to the end, but it's not one I'm going to read again. In this one, the character knew everything he needed to know, could hack without getting caught, could memorize things months in advance and not forget them even though he's had no use for the information until the point he needs it. He always carries just what he needs, even if there's no plausible reason he'd have it. The story was good, but there were so many problems with this that I put it down several times before I finally finished it.
Some books I'll get through them halfway before I realize I don't care what happens to the characters. If you've managed to lose me at that point, I'm not likely to pick your book back up. Or get other books in the series. I'm sorry, but if you can't keep my interest in the characters I'm not going to waste my time. The same thing goes for plot. If the plot is either too simple and I've guessed at the ending within the first five chapters, or so confusing I have no idea what's going on and have to go back to previously read chapters to figure it out (*cough GRRM cough*), I'm probably not going to finish it.
That doesn't mean I haven't read some good books. The problem is they're all old favorites that I know I like. Though one series I didn't realize how badly the author screwed up her own timeline so I ended up returning those to the library without finishing the trilogy. I liked the characters, but when they refer to events that they couldn't have been around for or were supposedly much earlier than they were even alive, it gets difficult to get past that.
I have over 200 books on my TBR list, most of which I read on my phone or computer (Kindle app FTW). If I can't stay interested in a book, I'm not going to keep reading. I've got too many to go through. I also spend time picking up free books on Amazon. I do read the sample before I get them, but just because the beginning is good doesn't mean it's going to be good all the way through. I've put down quite a number of books from there because of that.
Are there things when you read a book that you absolutely can't ignore? What are some things that get you to put a book down and not return to it? Or are you one of those who finishes a book no matter how awful you might think it is?