Popular Books I Hated

A lot of these aren’t necessarily highly rated (most of these don’t have the best GR scores) they’ve just been read by *a lot* of people. But for the ones that are well loved- try not to crucify me for having a different opinion- thanks! The clue is in the title: these are not books that I liked, so don’t get upset that I didn’t like them. And if you think the title’s harsh, just consider the fact that I could’ve titled this “shit books that I hate” like Lily C on Youtube (really recommend by the way).

Fifty Shades of Gray– let’s start with the obvious one. I can’t be diplomatic about this: I think Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the most loathsome books of all time. In fact, it’s my quintissential example of a bad book (so thanks for being that I guess, everyone needs a go-to bad book). I mean, you’re free to like it, whatever floats your boat, but it’s objectively awful: badly written, has a bad plot (*ahem* no plot), bad romance (not the ra ra ooh la la kind), bad sex, bad characters, bad messages. Just bad. It reads like it was written on a Blackberry when the author did her groceries… and I know for a fact half of that statement is 100% true. *Sigh*.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin– I started my book blog to complain about this book- no joke! (so I guess I owe it a vote of thanks, cos I don’t think I’d ever have plucked up the courage to get going otherwise). This was my first review (not the best review, but whatever)- I was bored for huge parts of it and when I wasn’t bored I was raging.

Da Vinci Code– I don’t really need to explain this one. It’s a dumb book. The plot is dumb, the characters are dumb and the writing is dumb (also I read this when I was thirteen and it made me lose faith in adult’s taste in books for a good five years).

The Selection– I feel like this is low hanging fruit at this stage. I hated the characters and if I’d heard of the bachelor before I’d read it, I never would’ve picked it up, cos this not. a. good. idea. Plus, America (the character not the place) sucks.

As I Lay Dying– this book basically explains why I hate postmodernist claptrap: it’s illogical, it makes no sense and the people peddling it are out of their mind with pretentiousness (and that’s me being generous).

Nutshell– bravo for butchering Shakespeare! (*sarcasm detected*) Perhaps I wouldn’t have hated this up-itself book so much if it hadn’t been a retelling of Hamlet- oh the folly of writing such crap and calling it intellectual. Then again, it’s also really crass, so I don’t think it could have stood on its own merit anyway.

Lolita– I don’t despise Lolita- it is at least well written. But it is also completely disgusting and I hated every second of my experience with it. I would have happily DNF’d this if it hadn’t been for a class.

The Sun is Also a Star– this is probably the highest rated book on GR to make it onto this list- I just… hated it. The premise is stupid and basically reads like instalove on acid. And the female lead rubbed me the wrong way.

The Fault in Our Stars– yep grab your torches and pitchforks! This isn’t the worst book on here, but I still didn’t like this book. It was predictable, the characters didn’t talk like normal human beings let alone teens and some of the *oh-look-at-this-symbolism* went too far- that scene where they’re snogging in the Anne Frank museum is in poor taste.

The Eye of the World– I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I really didn’t like this and I don’t think anything’s going to change my mind. It’s dull and full of infodumps and feels like a ripoff of far better fantasy. I have never looked at the page count more for any other book.

Girl with a Pearl Earring– way to ruin a great painting with stupid internal monologues and presumptive bilge. The worst thing about this is that the mc’s voice and story doesn’t even fit with the feel of the painting. It doesn’t capture any of the essence of Vermeer’s artistry and feels like it’s piggybacking off of a much finer piece of work.

Okay, so agree or disagree with my list? Do you hate any popular books? Let me know in the comments!

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185 thoughts on “Popular Books I Hated

  1. Jessica Triepel says:

    I love that you hate fifty shades of grey, and I haven’t even read it, but people with good taste have convinced me that it isn’t worth the bother anyway! The da Vinci code.. I hated the movie, thought it was exceedingly stupid, so if it’s anything like the book, I won’t be adding that one to my own tbr list. As for what I hate: well, Shakespeare. I cannot stand it. When I was a kid, I really wanted to read his works, convinced that he must have been an amazing writer. Never got to read it in English classes, but in my last two years of highschool I finally achieved my goal and not only read Shakespeare, but acted in plays in my drama classes. Other than Macbeth, I hated everything, despite really wanting to love it. And I that’s poetry. A bunch of pretentious crap! There may be exceptions, but I just loath it. Writing with a poetic flair is fine, just not poetry. Except music lyrics. That’s where I draw the line. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hehe totally not worth reading 😉 I only read it to see what all the fuss was about and I have never been more dismayed that a book was popular before or since 😉 yeah the story is exceptionally dumb- I never bothered to watch the movie cos I didn’t like it. Ah that’s a pity about Shakespeare- but at least you were okay with Macbeth 😉

      Like

  2. Samantha Duffy says:

    I completely agree with you about The Sun is Also a Star. HATED it (AND Everywhere Everywhere). I felt like the plots of both those books were just so far fetched that is was hard to get behind. and Truthfully, both main characters rubbed me the wrong way (in both books).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bellawilfer7 says:

    What a great list 🙂

    Completely agreed on The Da Vinci Code and Fifty Shades… They’re just not great…

    Read “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” ages ago and hardly remember anything other than at one point the heroine chops vegetables and arranges them by color…? So I don’t really have an opinion on that one.

    I thought Lolita was very well written and in many ways abhorrent, but so well written… Argh… It’s a twisted book. Wonder if Is should read “Teaching Lolita in Teheran” as I’ve heard that’s very good…

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you agree!

      Ah fair enough- I do remember that scene- it was very vivid. Tbh, it’s not a bad book, I just hate it as an interpretation of the painting.

      So agree with you there! I do want to read that too though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Writes Things says:

    I also wasn’t a fan of TFIoS! It was *fine* but it wasn’t that great. I read the Da Vinci code when I was like 14 and was like “I mean, it’s good for an adult book” lol. Idk how I’d feel about it if I read it now

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carrie says:

    I haven’t read a lot of these but the ones I had I didn’t hate but didn’t love either. I think if asked for a book that I’ve read and despised the first one always popping into my head is Stephanie Meyer’s Life and Death Twilight reimagining, that one was so terrible it was like she was making fun of her own books like others had done for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Margaret @ Weird Zeal says:

    UGH i had to read As I Lay Dying for a class in high school and it’s definitely one of my least favorite school books I’ve ever read. And I had to read Lolita for another class last year but I couldn’t even finish it, it made me so uncomfortable 😬

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Okay so there a couple books on this list that I love… but I am totally, 100% with on Fifty Shades of Grey (EW EW EW) and Da Vinci Code. Just. The. Worst.

    I really hate Isla and the Happily Ever After and everyone else LOVES it. I really like Stephanie Perkins books in general, but I just hated everything about that one. I thought the romance was stupid, I thought Isla was insufferably selfish and self involved in a way that was never addressed, and the sex – though fun to read about – was super unrealistic. Some teen girls out there going to be disappointed by the reality of teen boys after reading that, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hehe I’m glad you agree about Fifty Shades and Da Vinci code.

      hehe I actually always see Isla as hit and miss. I’m afraid I’m in the “hit” camp 😉 But I see your pov- especially about how unrealistic it was. hehe I think it helps that I wasn’t a teen when I read it (I think it’s funny but my jaded older self prefers things that are less realistic and more over-the-top romantic, whereas when I was younger I really didn’t like stuff like that 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Cahleen @ The Alt Story says:

    Seriously about the Da Vinci Code! Why was it so popular??? I’m also laughing over here that you started your blog so you could complain. Good for you! The only thing I may disagree with you on is The Girl with the Pearl Earring, but I read it when I was in high school and had more patience for annoying things in books. I think I liked it, but maybe if I read it now I’d DNF. Hard to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      So agree!! hehehe thank you!! Ah fair enough- like I said, I don’t actually think that one is bad and is at least well written- I just had a problem with the author’s interpretation of Vermeer’s painting

      Like

  9. Amanda Hurych says:

    I actually really liked Nutshell. I liked Atonement a lot, and Nutshell was the first book I read after it. It was such a strange perspective. I have to admit, I kind of liked how stodgy and pretentious the unfortunate fetus came across.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Naty says:

    I’ve been on the fence about The Girl with the Pearl Earring, but this really made me think my choice of not reading it was quite right. I’d hate to have this beautiful painting ruined by a book…

    Also Lolita sounds like a terrible read.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kat Impossible says:

    If you thought America was bad in the Selection, you can be glad not to know her daughter. She is THE WORST!!!! I didn’t like that series all too much either.
    As for TFIOS, I actually enjoyed that book a lot, but I do agree that the Anne Frank house scene was a bad idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LizScanlon says:

    Loliiiitaaaa! hahaha I am so glad I didn’t have to read this for school! I totally dumped this book about 20% through.
    As for the others on the list- I don’t think I’ve read any of them and thanks to your list, I don’t feel compelled to add them to my tbr either! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nel says:

    Read 50 Shades to appease a friend. Didn’t like it though. And it was on scenario where the books were better than the movies which says a lot considering the books were so poorly written. I got the Da Vinci Code from a library sale but I never gave it a chance and based off your response, it was a good decision. The Fault in Our Stars was another one. I just looked at it, read the blurb and was like no. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. klkranesya says:

    Thank goodness there is someone else out there who hates the Da Vinci Code. I thought I was alone! Everyone looks at me like I’m crazy when scrunch up my face even at the mention of it!! You are now my favorite person ever for making feel so not alone! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The Laughable Baker says:

    I love your list! I don’t even dare go anywhere close to Fifty Shades, so I’m glad it’s at the top ha-ha! I sort of enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, but I felt you needed to be a lonely teen to really like it, and I am neither. As for The Da Vinci Code, boy, where to start! I read it very late, after all my colleagues had told me how amazing it was and it was an exercise in 0 brain waves. I literally had to stop thinking to make it through. And doesn’t it feel like a bad ripoff of Foucault’s Pendulum by Eco?
    By the way, is your name here inspired by the Discworld?

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you!! I totally get what you mean lol- I think you made a good choice 😉 And yeah that makes sense- I was a bit older when I read it to be fair. Yeah I really thought it wasn’t very good- although I haven’t read Foucault yet.
      And it was indeed! lovely to meet another Pratchett fan! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Laughable Baker says:

        I knew it 🙂 and I love it!
        You should really check out Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco is one of my favourite authors, he is smart and you can read that in his books. I can’t guarantee the English translation is good, I have found that certain languages, like Turkish for instance, don’t translate so well into English.

        Liked by 1 person

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