Top Five Divisive Books

So I’ve just got back from the polling station and it was as anti-climactic as ever. But my social media is still a massive battleground…

mean girls cafeteria.gif

Now since politics today is probably the most divisive topic out there (because if you don’t agree with me on everything you’re not a real *insert political affiliation* and you are an *insert insult here*) I thought I’d have a relaxing evening and talk about books that people get *really* up in arms over. These are the books with incredibly INTENSE fan bases and detractors- and my goodness- people have fought tooth and nail over them. So without further ado, this is my list of divisive books:

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

1. Harry Potter– ooh er- I’m nervous to even put this on the list- which oddly enough is why I have to include it. Because while many of us book bloggers are proud Potterheads or are friends with them, they are some of the most diehard fans out there. They will not brook even one iota of criticism for their beloved books and saying anything less than “the books are perfection and I want to kiss the feet of the goddess JK” is enough to get you excommunicated from bookish communities… Anyone not with them is a muggle and all that jazz. So yeah, Potterheads, I love ya, but you can be a bit scary!

twilight

2. Twilight– I think a lot of people have grown up about this one, so while there are still Twihards out there, they seem less inclined to stab you with a stake if you don’t happen to like sparkly vampires. But the main reason I included this on the list, is because it sparked the phenomenon of not only going after the non-sparkly-vampire-lovers (what’s the term for that? Normal? 😉 ) but also massive in-fighting. Before it was cool to fight over whether you shipped Gale/Peeta with Katniss Everdeen or Stephan/Damon with Elena, there were hordes of teens running round shouting “Edward!” “Jacob!” at each other. (Also “bite me Edward!”- seriously it was a weird time)

Throne_of_Glass_UK

3. Throne of Glass– so this book was a bit of a phenomenon in that first it was really popular to like it and then it was really popular to criticise- I don’t know if that was just me that noticed that? Either way, you guys know I fell in love with this series cos of the characters, but since it wasn’t instalove for me, I can see both sides of this argument. Either way, the reason it’s on this list is because I have seen plenty of passion when it comes to both its fans and its detractors. Fortunately that hasn’t devolved into anything truly nasty.

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

4. The Fault in Our Stars– so back when this blew up, I was into watching a lot of booktube, and yes, naturally the youtube comment sections are the cesspit of humanity, but I think this was the first time I saw people giving out death threats over a book. I get that people love John Green, I’ve been there, but man you don’t have to fight all his battles for him. If a few people don’t like his books, it’s no biggie. He’s still a bestselling author and I’m sure he can handle minor criticism from folks on the internet- just sayin’.

catcher in the rye

5. Catcher in the Rye– I had to squeeze at least one classic onto this list. Now I know this gets assigned at schools everywhere in the states, so a huge number of people have read it. What is phenomenal about this book is that *every time* I mention it, I get a chorus of “I love it” “I hate it” in the comments. It has to be one of the most “marmite” books ever- you either love it or you hate it.

marmite-404_685611c

(ok that may have just  been the most British reference ever)

Anyhoo- so do you agree or disagree with these choices? What books do you think are very divisive? Let me know in the comments! And can all the Twihards and Potterheads looking to lynch me get in line in an orderly fashion… 😉

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75 thoughts on “Top Five Divisive Books

  1. Nel says:

    I agree with your choices and I didn’t expect Throne of Glass to make your list but I’m glad I did cause I hated those books and I made the mistake of saying that once… I would also add Game of Thrones because ppl are insane over the books and the show; Outlander because I got blasted for saying the books were boring in a very LONG blog post; To Kill a Mockingbird and lastly anything by Anne Rice. It’s like a crime to say her books are bad ever.

    Liked by 3 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you!! Yes, I actually like it, but it is one of those books that’s very much love or hate it. Oh yes, you’re so right about both of those. I get blasted all the time for saying that the TV show is better. And yes, I agree with you on Outlander- the writing style is stilted. hahaha so true for both of those!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nel says:

        You aren’t alone! I think Game of Thrones and Outlander TV shows are better than the books. I’ve never read GoT and it’s not on my to do list in the forseeable future. As for Outlander, I lasted for 2 or 3 books I think and I was done but the emotional rollercoaster high I get from the show is just not something I would get from the books!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    Books can be really divisive I think because people are so passionate about them. I could say some things about Harry Potter… joking… I don’t need an angry mob on my blog… really a great list all joking aside, I didn’t know that about The Catcher in the Rye…The only classic I get hot about is Kim and that’s when people criticize Rudyard Kipling!

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Oh yes so true!! hahahaha I know right- it’s one of those things that can really get you in trouble 😉 Ah I haven’t read that one- but I do get that- I think it might be better if people tried to just appreciate the classic without getting too bogged down with the person behind it, but that’s just me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    I *adore* this list. Where do I even start on commenting?! Yes– Twilight is what gave us the screaming fights for ‘ships, for sure. I worked in a Starbucks near a movie theatre when those films were being released in the US… let me just say, I tried really hard not to work the shift before the midnight release of those books. The girls coming in for their caffeine were terrifying.

    I definitely witness ToG going from adored to central of criticism. This is one of the many reasons I don’t read series before they are published. I wait it out. I did recently read ToG, and let me just say… I won’t be continuing. When I gave it a two-star review my Goodreads blew up with comments. People are crazy in to their series.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much!!! Hahah I know right!!! I don’t know if they existed before that (probably somewhere on the internet that I wasn’t familiar with, because boy was I not familiar with that stuff as a teen) hahahahaha that’s hilarious!!

      Yes- it was strange- I think I was actually reading it when the hype had just happened, just before the critique and thought the first one was ok, but not great- but then I ended up getting addicted to the series- so I really understood both camps. But yeah, I saw what happened to other people that didn’t like it and was really surprised!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kristin says:

    Catcher in the Rye is such a marmite book. That’s a great way to describe it!

    Also, I agree with you about Harry Potter. I love the series but the diehard fans can be pretty intense!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bookstooge says:

    I actually don’t have an opinion about 3 of the 5. Potter was seriously over rated but whatever gets kids reading that isn’t filth, I’m all for it.
    Twilight on the other hand, showcased every possible bad decision a teen girl could possibly make and made those choices seem like a good thing. If I had a daughter who just HAD to read Twilight, I’d take her to morgue afterwards and show her reality of letting boys into her room…

    Liked by 4 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hehehe I agree- there are things about Potter that I like- but a child can critique it (I started at 10 😉 ) and while it’s an excellent tool to get children reading, I just wish people weren’t so hyperbolic about it (and I’ve probably said too much now… 😉 ) And yes, Twilight was utter trash. hehehe well bit dramatic, but I think she’d get a better idea about reality then 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Joelendil says:

    The only one of these I’ve actually read is Catcher (which I hated while at the same time being impressed with the author’s skill at making such a thoroughly believable yet obnoxious character). Short-term popularity (less than 25 years) seldom figures into whether I read a book. Maybe I’m just contrary, but I tend to avoid wildly popular books unless the plot/genre actually sounds interesting to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hahaha I can understand that- I do understand both sides of the Catcher debate- cos part of my reason for loving it was hating Holden (which obviously shows how weirdly my brain works) 😉 That’s a very good strategy! I think I get a lot of hit and miss books because, depending on my mood, I read a lot of hype books when they’re first popular!

      Like

  7. dragonsandzombies says:

    Yeah, I get this. Not a fan of Sarah J Maas and Twilight, but Harry Potter is always good to get back to! Saying that, I didn’t enjoy the last 2 books of the series very much anymore. Never read Catcher in the Rye!

    I get slightly irritated whenever people think they need to protect the books they like against negative reviews. It’s almost like they are offended^^ I once wrote a very negative review on the first book of the ‘Black Dagger’ series (its vampire soft porn) and a fan got really mad and started insulting me! I mean, it’s great that you are passionate about something, but wow! Let people have their opinion! 😀

    Marmite is like Vegemite then, yes? I LOVE vegemite! It just has to be eaten the right way 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah I get that- I think it’s one of those books that lends itself well to superfans- plus I do like a lot about it, so there’s that 😉 But I agree with you, I kind of grew out of it before the end, which was a shame.
      Ah I know right!! hahahaha I ,love how people will even get offended about a book like that. hahahaha I know right!!
      hahaha I think so… I don’t know what vegemite is really 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Anna @MyBookishDream says:

    I first read the title as “Top Five Diverse Books” and was seriously confused as to what was going on with the list! (I’m blaming it on the fact that I’m quiet sleep deprived at the moment.)
    I also very much agree with all of your choices! Great list! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Nathan says:

    Hmm. I agree with Harry Potter for sure; I loved it but recognize flaws. I would add Madame Bovery in my list. It is either love or hate and most the hate starts screaming overrated when it comes up.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Panic At The Bookstore says:

    Oh man I love this post! Potterhead and Twihard here but that’s all so true. I don’t find where Throne Of Glass fits in though but with all the other books- it’s black or white and no doubt has some of the craziest (me included) fans out here.
    I just uploaded a post on twilight- this isn’t a self promo but the coincidences man. -Avi

    Liked by 2 people

  11. daleydowning says:

    Oh, yes, the Twihard era is one that really needs to be held up among concerned parents’ groups as “the perfect example of how NOT to choose a boyfriend.” The thing that disappointed me the most about the ending to the series was that not only did she OF COURSE choose Edward, but she OF COURSE became a vampire, and OF COURSE she was the coolest vampire *ever* — which is a terrible message to send to young girls — see, being technically dead at 17 is fabulous! I never read “The Vampire Diaries,” but did watch some of the show, and I really appreciated the way those characters had massive struggles, and their immortality was far from peaches and cream. That’s much more realistic/helpful.

    And while I love Harry Potter, I am not going to beat the crap out of someone who doesn’t. As long as they remain respectful in their opinion, I see no reason to get mad. Neither do I see the need to kiss the ground Rowling walks on — she’s a very talented, thorough author, and I appreciate that, but she’s still only human and I will save the worship for actual divinity, thank you, folks. 😛

    The same goes for die-hard John Green fans — honestly, I don’t like his books, and it’s because I think they’re unrealistic, too pretentious, and just not very well written. But that’s also just my opinion, and I’m not about to tell anyone not to read his work — so they can just stick a fork in their arguments. A two way street, right?

    Honestly, I’ve never read “Catcher in the Rye” — nor wanted to, because I’ve read too many critiques of it that make it clear it’s an experiment in psychology/sociology, NOT a great work of literature. (I think that title should be reversed for Dickens, Poe, Hemingway, etc.) Luckily my high school never had to read Catcher!

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Haha so true about Twilight!! Yes I definitely agree- and even if Vampire Diaries did go off the rails, it did have more of a normal attitude to death and dying (and becoming/being a vampire was not cool). Plus even beyond that- there was no stalking/possessiveness/entirely being defined by your boyfriend which turned up in Twilight- gah those books!
      Haha yes, I actually like a lot of things about Harry Potter- but whenever I’ve critiqued parts of it (usually in real life) boy do people go a bit overboard. And as you said, I can respect an author without being reverential towards them! In fact, I’ve even critiqued my favourite authors before, because no one’s perfect and even if I love one book by someone, doesn’t mean they’re flawless all the time. I’m also not surprised when people don’t like the same things as me- it’s really not a big deal (I think someone once apologised to me for not liking Hardy cos they knew I loved it and I laughed because that’s so silly- of course I don’t care/expect everyone to like it). Hahaha so true!!
      Yes, yes and yes to *all* of those things!! But as you said, it’s just my/your/our opinion- it shouldn’t affect other people.
      Huh- I don’t think it’s really just an experiment in psychology- more an exploration of growing up and being a teenager in “modern” America- I think it’s just a quintessential coming of age story, told from more of a “Rebel without a Cause” slant, of the modern conception of a teenager… That said Holden Caulfield can be a bit whiny and I understand why some people don’t like that (even if in my opinion you eventually get to see where he’s coming from). hehehe so I think that probably clears up that I would put it in the great literature category, but not everyone has to agree with me. I didn’t read it till uni, but that’s cos I was in the English school system where the only American book you’re guaranteed to read is To Kill A Mockingbird 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. LizScanlon says:

    Great post, interesting list! I’ve only read Catcher and Twilight from the 5 though XD I didn’t know there was such a huge ‘hysteria’ involved with Twilight… probably because I was late to the scene and while it was popular I was busy working 55 hours a week and partying the rest of the time XD

    As for HP… while I’m all for the ‘don’t judge until you’ve tried’, I am not at all interested in reading the books.. I haven’t seen the movies either… I’m not saying that they’re crap, because I don’t know… but I simply have no wish to even try… I remember adding a girl on Goodreads, we seemed to have similar books, bit of banter, etc… and she declined my request. Which is grand- I decline people as well.. but because we had similar friends I noticed she had put up a status to the tune of- ‘how dare someone not like HP and why would I ever want to add someone like THAT to my friends list’… that made me realize I was better off without her banging on about HP every day in the feed XD

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you!! hahaha well trust me it was a good thing to miss!! I was in school when that phase hit, so I had nothing to do but observe the crazy phases people got into (mostly- that and actually study 😉 )
      Ahh that’s totally fair. I’m actually in an interesting position with it, cos while I liked it as a child, I also spent a huge amount of time critiquing it- but what I found as an adult was that raising even minor criticisms was socially unacceptable in some circles. hahaha that girl’s response is a perfect example of what I’m talking about- I definitely agree with you there lol!! XD

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Reader In A Reverie says:

    Great Post! I’ve seen lots of divisive comments on Harry Potter of course, but especially recently on Sarah J. Maas’s books and I’ve seen a few comments on twitter criticising people who say TOG/ACOTAR is one of their favourite series. I guess when series blows up and get really big, there is always bound to be some division in people’s opinions on it!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Marie says:

    This is such a great post! Sometimes bookworms can be a bit scary when we talk about their favorite books ahah. I know that I feel a bit sad whenever someone don’t like a book that I loved, yet I don’t feel like I can scream at them ahah. After all, we’re all entitled to our opinion about books 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much!!! hahahaha so true!!! hahhaa I’m the same as you. Usually for me, it’s more classics and I’ll normally shrug my shoulders at that (unless someone says something like, say, Shakespeare is objectively bad- in which case I’ll laugh) But yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion- especially when it comes to a matter of taste, cos it’s silly to argue about that!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

    Love this post!! These are all definitely very divisive books. I found the same thing with Throne of Glass btw – at first it seemed everyone loved it, and then at some point it felt like everyone was criticising it. Now all my friends seem to be either in the “love it” camp or the “it’s dreadful” camp, and never the twain shall meet 🙂

    The only one on your list that is likely to get my hackles raised when I hear criticism though is Harry Potter. Something in my brain just won’t accept Harry Potter criticism and wants to block my ears and sing loudly so I can’t hear it (I don’t though, I’m polite and nod and ignore it).

    I smiled at your description of the youtube comment sections as “the cesspit of humanity” – they really are so awful I actually don’t read them them anymore and actively avoid scrolling down.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you!!! Yes for sure!! I noticed that too. hahahha yes I see that *a lot* lol!!
      hahhaahaha yeah I thought some people might feel that way- which is ironically why I had to include it 😉 Funnily enough, even though I like it overall, I have still managed to gain the ire of Potterheads on occasion and it can be a scary thing 😉 If I ever accidentally get into one of those debates again, I’ll just roll my eyes and say “stupefy!”, in hope that they realise I’m not *the enemy* 😉
      hahaha yeah- it can be a biiiit extreme- best left alone/not taken seriously 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

        Oh dear, attracting the ire of Potterheads would not be fun! I don’t mind so much if people like it overall but criticise certain things – what I don’t like is when people try to tell me the whole series is rubbish/implausible/unjustly popular, or boast they haven’t even read it in an “I’m so cool because I haven’t read Harry Potter” way (it’s fine to not have read it, but it annoys me when people wear that as a badge of pride!) . Anyway, I like your ‘stupefy!’ response, I’ll remember that if I ever have to placate any fellow potter fans 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Ah well I definitely in the like it camp and get why it’s popular and to say it’s rubbish or implausible is just silly (I mean do they just not like books or something?!!) Haha yes they’re very similar to what I call the “never heard of it” brigade, you know people that like to boast ignorance 😉 hahaha thanks- I think it’ll work quite well!

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Lois says:

    I’m the oddball Brit in this situation cause I fall somewhere in the middle of the Marmite love it/hate it group haha. I’ve also not read a single Harry Potter book. I’ve been curious about the books but not enough to actually pick them up. The Throne of Glass fandom can be downright vicious at times and all the drama surrounding the books just put me off them completely, well, that and the character makeovers that happen in the books.
    I’ve had enough of politics to last me a lifetime right now. This bloody election is just a mess. We should have voted for Larry the cat haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hahaha yes, *lowers voice* I actually agree with you 😉 We should start a coalition of Brits-who-secretly-think-Marmite-is-meh 😉 But it is still a good analogy 😉 Ahh I get that- I actually think the books are fun- I just have had some criticisms over the years and have been *(loudly) shouted down for them, hence why I think the fans are *a bit* intense. I hope you enjoy them if you check them out! Ahh fair enough- I think I’ve largely avoided the drama (somehow!) but I get why that would be *massively* off-putting. Oh gosh I agree- I’m politics’d out right now! And YES Larry the cat for PM!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. 924COLLECTIVE says:

    We were overseas when the Harry Potter craze took hold.
    We asked our nephew (an avid reader) if he was into
    Harry Potter. He said No, he is into Percy Jackson, so I
    had to check it out. The first series is good fun, but the
    2nd series has multiple p.o.v. characters ( who are also
    people of color) It was refreshing to FINALLY see a Native
    American heroine! Piper has to be one of our favorite
    characters in the series. We need more People of Color
    in ALL realms of entertainment, this is 2017 not 1917.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jane the Raincity Librarian says:

    Oh yes, don’t get between a fan and their fandom! I was never really into the whole Harry Potter world, being a bit too old when the series first came out, but my friend actually did her graduating thesis on Harry Potter, so I made sure not to tell her I wasn’t much of a fan. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Zezee says:

    Yea, totally agree, especially about John Green’s book. Blew my mind that peeps take it so seriously (though I do take my HP seriously and think anyone who hates it is a close-minded miuggle….sometimes).

    Liked by 1 person

  20. booksthatwander says:

    this is such an interesting post! I love your topic. Though I never would have thought John Green or Catcher In The Rye…. But in that scenario, I wouldn’t say I’ve been part of the fandoms enough to notice? Do you find that? That you’d have to be a part of the fandom to notice how dedicated people are, or at least talk about it online?

    Whenever I read books and I really love them, I always discuss with my friends in person and never really socialise online. I guess I feel old when I say that haha, but a lot of die hard fans exist online or at least that’s where you find them. Up until recently I haven’t been a huge social media person

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much!! That’s fair. I just noticed as an outside observer. I’m not in fandoms personally, but I have seen it about online.

      hehe I can understand that- I’m still not hugely into social media, even if I have to use it to talk to some people 😉 . But yes, most die hard fans seem to exist online (or at least, the fans that are so serious about it that they would literally *die hard* for their favourite books 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Rachy-Lou says:

    13 Reasons Why seems to be the one that’s causing a few arguments recently with some people thinking it’s a great portrayal of a sensitive subject and some people thinking that Jay Asher is essentially the devil incarnate. Isn’t it funny how we all see different things? I love that

    Liked by 1 person

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