Unpopular Opinion Time: Books I Hate That Most People Love

Soooo I’ve promised this for a long time and I figured now was as good a time as any (before I chicken out again 😉). I basically went through Goodreads and found a whole bunch of popular and well-loved books that I hated. I quickly realised I have a *ton* of unpopular opinions- which is why I tried to pick the ones that would be the most controversial, cos that’s just how I roll 😉 Plus, I wanted to go with some books I’ve never talked about on the blog before that could get people very angry… Ah well, what’s the worst that can happen? (she says as she ducks behind a pile of books and bananas) Let’s do this! (also, fair warning, I may or may not have been in a right mood when I wrote this, so prepare yourself for some harsh opinions cos I was clearly RARING TO GO!)

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The_Eye_of_the_World_UKEye of the World- I’m about to have my fantasy credentials taken away for this one, but I’ve never made a secret of the fact I don’t like Jordan’s writing style. Stillll it is one of those stalwart books of the genre and it makes me feel a little guilty that I’m not well-versed in it. On the positive side (which you’re not going to get much of in this post 😉) I have heard amazing things about the audiobook narration and I’m sorely tempted to give it another try!

The_Wise_Man's_Fear_UK_coverWise Man’s Fear– this one hurts, because I genuinely loved Name of the Wind, so it was as much of a surprise to me as all the other fans that I didn’t like the sequel at all. What made it even worse for me was realising how people’s critiques of the first one (which I turned a blind eye to) could easily be applied here: especially that Kvothe is an annoying Marty Stu. And the plot- oh the plot… just endlessly recounting his *unbelievable* exploits. It was unbearable. Hopefully, this is just a terrible case of middle book syndrome and when we (eventually) get the finale it’ll make up for this one (but I won’t hold my breath). Oof the gloves came off there- let’s move quickly onto something that will surely not make people angry at all…

handmaid's taleHandmaid’s Tale– yes, I’m going there. Even though I’ve managed to go *years* on here without so much as sneezing in this book’s direction, I’m finally going to come out and say it: I don’t like the (purportedly modern classic) Handmaid’s Tale. Now, I’m going to try and soften the blow a little and say that Atwood can definitely write. Plus, I didn’t completely despise it when I first read it- mostly I was just confused that my teacher had recommended it… buuut over time I’ve developed a (perhaps irrational) hatred for it. Because there are some serious flaws with this book and the more I think about it, the more it drives me crazy. Maybe it’s cos I love fantasy, but the world building is r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s. I mean, why-oh-why in a patriarchal society that values the family, would they take a mother away from her husband and child!?! The logical plot would be either forcing a single woman into this situation OR making a miserable wife stay married to her husband (incidentally, A Thousand Splendid Suns, based on actual historical events of what happens under oppressive theocratic rule, managed to explore both these possibilities). Also, HOW?! How has any of this come about?!!? You can’t just say that the government collapsed overnight and leave it at that. And I just didn’t feel like this was in touch with the religious theology it was trying to respond to. I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief here. Dragons make more sense to me.

queen of air and darkness bookQueen of Air and Darkness– well, it makes sense that the rating is so high, cos most lukewarm fans have stopped reading by now… more fool me that I kept on with it! Because I made the mistake of thinking this would actually fulfil the premise of this trilogy and not just be filler for another series- silly me! Forgive my harshness, I was so dissatisfied with these books and I’m still a little salty about it.

darkest mindsThe Darkest Minds– for me this can be summarised as: underwhelming. To me, it’s awfully similar to Shatter Me (I’d say emphasis on the awful, but it’s a bit too boring for that moniker). Still, I see on goodreads that others got a lot more out of this series. Plus, I know my sister loved it, so there you go, I probably should have asked her why before doing this post 😉

long-way-to-a-small-and-angry-planetLong Way to a Small and Angry Planet– am I missing something?! Why is this book so loved? For me, I felt like nothing happened, it was irritatingly preachy about overly simplistic ideas and the reptile sex made me feel icky. But clearly, I’m in the minority with this opinion! So, I guess go forth and multiply with this weird alien-book-baby.

 

foxhole courtFoxhole Court– I’m always amazed at how popular this is. Especially cos it’s got so much of the things that the people who love it usually hate (rapey vibes). In all honesty though, I have respect for how well this indie series has been received. I mean, it’s pretty cool of the community to make this book such a success out of nowhere. It’s not for me though and I don’t get the hype.

looking for alaskaLooking for Alaska– okay admittedly, part of the reason I’m mentioning this book is because it makes a change from dragging on TFIOS, which has similar issues in terms of pretentious writing style (oopsie, did it again). I don’t know why, but to me this felt a bit self-indulgent and like a nothing kind of a book. Personally, I found it even more disappointing that it had a very similar (spoiler warning) love interest dies at the end plot. I felt like Green had just one type of story to tell- and it’s not the story for me.

wonder womanWonder Woman– again, am I missing something? I wasn’t planning on trying this- but so many people said it was good. It wasn’t. This was a very lacklustre superhero book by an amazing author (which makes it worse, cos she’s capable of doing SO MUCH BETTER!!)

 

gormenghastGormenghast– ahhh such a huge disappointment! I’d heard such amazing things, I bought the entire trilogy (and read it all). Overly descriptive and far less impressive in the political shenanigans department than I was expecting, this wasn’t nearly as impressive as I was led to believe.

 

beautiful disasterBeautiful Disaster– I wasn’t actually sure about including this in the post, because I didn’t feel the need to revisit this romance after I reviewed it… then I saw the rating and thought why the hell not. Interestingly, I’ve seen some rants over the years slating this book (for allegedly abusive content), but that wasn’t my takeaway. Sure, I hated the characters, but really it’s the absurd quick-pace structure that did this book in for me.

Okay- dare I ask- have a just dragged one of your favourite books? Any chance you agree with me on one of these? Let me know in the comments!

100 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion Time: Books I Hate That Most People Love

  1. I don’t like The Handmaids Tale either. My husband is the one who recommended it to me. He loves it. I was still a radical feminist back when I read it too. Idk, maybe it’s just because I hate almost all dystopia anyway, but it seemed so freaking over the top to me. Even back when I still believed in ‘the patriarchy’ I was like “Wow, hyperbole, much?” It just all seemed very far-fetched and shock-value-y. I know she says she based everything in that book on real world events, but really, anybody can cherrypick the most shocking examples to create a narrative that just doesn’t fit with the modern Western world at all.

    I gotta disagree with you on Eye of the World though. I love it. But I get why some people can’t get into it. Jordan is really long-winded and a brutal editor probably could have chopped all of his books down to a more reasonable length.

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    1. Yeah, I was never a radical feminist, but I was a leftist and totally get what you’re saying! Cos even if I was on board with a lot of her ideas, it just seemed too far fetched to me. Completely agree!

      Haha no worries. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the series and it makes me wish I liked it! It’s really just the writing style I can’t get into (and I always have this feeling I should try again with it!)

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  2. I haven’t read that many books on this list, but I agree sooooooo much with The Wise Man’s Fear! That book basically went nowhere, or so it felt like to me, and Kvothe is actually quite unlikable. Rothfuss’s BEAUTIFUL writing (and some intriguing mysteries and secondary characters) mask it a bit, but this series seems to have some series plot issues to me.

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    1. Ahh yes!! I really feel like I wasted my time with it. And rothfuss really does write beautifully- which makes it even more of a shame! But yeah, I’m worried about where the rest of the series is going, because that entire book was fluff that went nowhere

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  3. Unpopular opinion: I think the Handmaids Tale is considered a classic because it plays so well as a political bogeyman. It’s not a bad book to me but it feels very… empty and yeah, doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it.
    Becky Chambers books are iffy but they do have super pretty covers though!

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  4. You didn’t drag any of my favorites, a few I enjoyed, but none of my favorites. Whew! I liked Alaska, but I never understood the undying love people had for it. It’s wasn’t bad, but I would say it was probably my least favorite of Green’s books (An Abundance of Katherines is my fave, go figure).

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  5. I love unpopular opinion posts! LoL I’ve only read Handmaid’s Tale out of all these, and I am right there with you. I did not enjoy the writing, though. And I thought that a very cursory familiarity with the Bible would point out many inconsistencies with both the reader and within the characters. All in all, meh.

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  6. I haven’t read any of these and I guess first time feel good saying that. 😅 I still want to read Handmaid’s tale but I’ll read it after The Thousand Splendid suns because I already have it and as you said it represent the theme better. And Cassandra Clare, maybe! I still need to catch up and it might take a year or more! let’s see how I feel about it by that time. Great post!

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  7. Well, totally agree about Angry Planet. That was a book that pandered to certain political idealogues and I predict it will be forgotten in the next 10 years or so, 25 tops.

    However, The Wheel of Time is another matter. But honestly, I’ve arrived at the point in life where I just don’t care what others think about Book X. I like it and that’s good enough for me 😉

    But I do agree with Entropy above that a brutal editor could have really streamlined the series…

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    1. Yeah I definitely think that!

      When it comes to the wheel of time, I have heard more about the series and I do like the ideas/want to try it again. I just think I might have to do it on audio (though I’m not sure the writing style agrees with me) but yeah, it could’ve done with more editing

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  8. I have not read many of these so I can’t really say I have much of an opinion on most of those. I agree that John Green’s books are very much same same and I am not a fan of Looking for Alaska either. I did enjoy TFIOS though and also really liked Paper Towns, but I was definitely in a phase. With a bit of distance, none of those books were groundbreaking.
    As for Darkest Minds – definitely underwhelming!
    I haven’t read Handmaid’s Tale, but I love the show (although there are some episodes I get really annoyed at) – did you ever watch it? Because all the background stuff is included and it makes sense as far as such a terrible world can exist and make sense.

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    1. Yeah I think I liked looking for Alaska less than TFIOS just cos I read it second (and one of the reasons I didn’t like TFIOS was cos I’d read similar other books)
      Yes!!
      No I’ve never watched- honestly just cos I don’t like the book enough to try, but that does make sense. It’s good that they developed all that stuff

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      1. Totally makes sense. I think I read them in the following order: TFIOS, Paper Towns, Alaska (and PT and Alaska is basically the same book) and finished it with An Abundance of Katherines, which I think I liked cause it was at least a little different.
        The show is really great! It messes with your head, especially when you binge it. I went around having to hold back in order not to say stupid shit like “blessed be the fruit” or “may the Lord open” out loud 😅

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  9. Haven’t read any of these, don’t plan to, but thoroughly enjoying the snark!

    I have read some other stuff by Atwood and I agree she’s an amazing writer. But as a conservative Christian, I promise promise promise we don’t intend to take over the country and turn it into a patriarchal dystopia!

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  10. I’ve only read Handmaid’s Tale and Looking for Alaska on this list, but I fully agree with both! I never really got the hype of either, and, especially on Alaska’s part, I didn’t really get what was so revolutionary about them…

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  11. Ugh. Handmaid’s Tale. I’m glad I read it but I really didn’t like it. I ended up with more questions than answers and not in a good way, if you know what I mean. It seemed over the top (and that’s from someone who loves reading witchy cozy mysteries) 😂
    I’m kinda curious about Testaments but quite frankly I don’t think I want to invest the time and certainly can find other books to spend the money on!

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  12. I’ve only read a few of the books on this list. I enjoyed Wonder Women and I’m pretty sure I’ve read Looking for Alaska but I don’t remember it. I read The Darkest Minds series last year and absolutely loved every one of them except for the 4th book I despise that one lol.

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  13. Ugh, I can’t stand the Handmaiden’s Tale either! I am especially sick of feminists extolling it as a warning for an inevitable future if we continue the way we’re going. Excuse me, what? How in the hell would anything like this world EVER happen? It just … doesn’t make sense. And I hate that she uses religion as her scapegoat. There is nothing even resembling Christianity in this novel. Kind of like Pullman, she obviously hates religion but doesn’t understand it very well. I enjoyed it the first time I read it, probably because it was one of the first dystopias I ever read, but later that year I watched Children of Men, which takes a similar premise and does it SO MUCH BETTER.

    Also, yes, The Wise Man’s Fear was sooooooo dull. And we’ve been waiting for book 3 for so long that at this point I don’t even know if I’ll read it.

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    1. I completely agree with you! And yeah, I’m not religious, but it’s pretty clueless about what religious people are actually like and doesn’t understand Christianity at all. I think you summed it up- she (like Pullman) she uses it as a scapegoat. Yeah that makes sense. And I totally agree with you on children of men.

      Yes!!! Ahh I know what you mean! I’m still interested, cos I liked the first one so much and the premise had me hooked, but I can see why interest would wane

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  14. I confess I haven’t heard of most of those (I was off the literary radar for a l o n g time after changing jobs and having to drive to work instead of commute by train.) Gormenghast, I read to the end – all of them – because I was young and had all the time in the world and it was what I did back then. It bored me senseless (I must have been to finish it). Mind you, so did The Lord of the Rings, although I read it three times – because everyone did. I preferred the Hobbit – Gollum in that was the stuff of nightmares. I recognised him. Tolkien had a fertile imagination and the languages were amazing, but his prose was somewhat turgid – you had to get past it to enjoy his world.
    I digress. I did read THe Handmaid before it was a TV series. It helped pass a train journey or two.

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    1. That makes total sense (and a lot of these aren’t all that literary 😉)
      I hear you! I read it to the end too (though, I did think it got a bit better, with the weird last book, but it still wasn’t the amazing story I felt I was promised 😉) ah that’s fair (personally I prefer the Hobbit, especially cos the prose is more fun there)
      Hahaha!

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  15. I completely share your views on The Wheel of Time. And I’ve actually read it all (in audio), just to be able to say how I dislike it as someone who know the entire thing! After some time, my efforts to finish were mostly fuelled by rage 😉

    Seth Dickinson’s Traitor is a book hugely popular a few years ago I really hated… despite liking the premise a lot, that made the disappointment more bitter.

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  16. I’ve never made any secret about my utter hatred of The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve read it three times, twice for A levels and then again a couple of years ago just to see if my opinion had changed and I hated more the third time than the first.

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  17. TOTALLY agree about Handmaid’s Tale and Looking for Alaska! It seems like John Green can only write one kind of story, and no matter how you spin the characters, it always sucks! And I didn’t make it through more than a few pages of Handmaid’s Tale, because the author’s own premise made literally no sense, and I just couldn’t see how she was going to turn that around!

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  18. The Handmaiden’s Tale was the only book I’ve read from your list. I somewhat enjoyed it—I love dystopian fiction—but found it hard to suspend disbelief. I also wondered how it all came about, and wished it had been explained. I didn’t like it well enough to watch the series, though.

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  19. You’ll get no argument from me about Gormenghast. By the time I got to the end I still didn’t know what it was really all about. My choice would include Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit…….now it’s my turn to duck behind the cushion and await the brickbats flying my way

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    1. Totally hear you there!! hahaha well I won’t agree with you on that (the hobbit is one of my favourites) *but* I do understand- Tolkien’s writing style (and subject matter) isn’t for everyone and that’s okay with me (even if I love it 😉 )

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  20. I disliked Looking For Alaska as well. I stuck with it until the end, but it was kind of a nothing book to me. I didn’t even like the titular character and the pretentiousness of it all was hard to get past. At least with TFIOS it made sense that the character spoke and acted the way they did. They were taken out of school at an early age and educated privately so it made sense they didn’t converse in the same way that normal teens do. In LFA, however, there really isn’t much of an excuse.

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    1. Yeah I totally hear you there- it felt like a nothing book for me as well. And yeah, I found both of Green’s books really pretentious tbh (*ducks from fans*) I mean, it did make more sense in TFIOS… I just didn’t like it. But it felt worse in Looking for Alaska, cos there was no reason for it, like you said.

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  21. I have to agree with you about Looking For Alaska. I think my teenage self wanted to like them cause everyone else did, but there was something about the writing that made me feel very disconnected to the book.

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  22. Lol, my unpopular opinion would be that I don’t like the audio version of Wheel of Time. It seriously bored me. But I enjoyed the first 2 or 3 books. I’m also not a big fan of Jordan’s writing, but I decided to give his work another try so I’m currently rereading the WOT.

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  23. Great list! Lol I’ll have to update mine in the near future. I still want to try the eye of the world a TV series is in the works. But I SO AGREE with wiseman’s fear! I have no idea why the author wrote the sequel as he did. NOTHING HAPPENS lol! You hit the nail on the head. I also wonder if the third book is ever gonna come out :p

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  24. Great list. Not every book is for every reader, I’m sure there are some that I hated that a lot of people love (Fevre Dream by Martin comes right to mind). I did love a couple of these on your list though, Wise Man’s Fear being one of them but honestly criticisms of that book are totally valid, I just tend to overlook a lot of the things people complain about with that one for some reason LOL. 🙂

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  25. I’ve managed to live so far without reading any of these books, but at least they made for an entertaining post!

    “I quickly realised I have a *ton* of unpopular opinions- which is why I tried to pick the ones that would be the most controversial, cos that’s just how I roll 😉.”
    😂

    “I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief here. Dragons make more sense to me.”
    I have a rough relationship with suspension of disbelief too. Dragons or time travel have a right to exist, and the latter entertains me to no end; but your plot or world-building must have logical foundations…

    “the reptile sex made me feel icky. But clearly, I’m in the minority with this opinion!”
    I absolutely endorse this opinion 😖 😂.

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  26. Completely agree that the government suddenly collapsing without being given a proper explanation of how it collapsed was a bit frustrating, it would have been interesting to find out more how it happened. I don’t know if much logic was placed as it was to what extent can we make women miserable? How far can we push it? I personally found the fact that we only got Offred’s POV meant that I didn’t enjoy it as much, but I hear The Testaments covers the POV’s of the aunts (I think that’s what they’re called), who, though terrifying, I found fascinating.

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