Please understand, I do enjoy reading. Finding a novel that grabs the imagination like Velcro and keeps your mind engaged all the way to "The End" is a sweet experience. Unfortunately, the author of the novel that I abandoned failed to do that, at least for me. Since I have far less time for pleasure reading than I'd like, there's simply no reason to waste pleasure-reading time on books that don't capture my imagination.
I pondered the cause of my apathy. Was there no action? Sure, there was action, including a a couple chapters with explosions, a chase scene, a kidnapping, the sinking of a boat, and other dangers. Was the grammar or other style flawed? No, the grammar, punctuation, and style were all fine. I never spotted a single error in mechanics.
The shortcoming was in the main character. Although the hero was handsome, intelligent, and brave, the author had given no reason for me to cheer for this person. I had no reason to care whether he survived or not. What were the hero's goals and aspirations in life? Beats me. What did he think about? Again, no clue. The reader simply followed this guy from one page to the next, watching him face problems and escape dangers, but never truly caring about him as a human being. On the screen of my mind, I "watched" his exploits, but the author gave no insight into the character's mind and soul.
I'm thankful for this experience. As a writer, I too must bring my characters to life in such a way that readers will care, will want to know whether they succeed or fail, whether they live or die. If we writers fail to accomplish that, then we will have no readers. Our fiction will become pointless.
Have you ever read (or at least started) a book that you purposely decided not to finish? If so, what did you find lacking?