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!

Monthly Monkey Mini Review – February

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Yay- it’s February- which means I get to do one of my favourite posts of the month! The Mini Reviews!! (yes, I like this cos I’m lazy about reviewing, don’t judge!) The vast majority of books I read last month were good, so these are mostly positive- enjoy!

homegoing

Homegoing– this was such a beautiful book. It reminded me of a parable, yet was very much grounded in realism. It built up pictures of worlds, people, stories. Telling the story of an African family across continents and over the course of centuries is no small feat. I will say that, due to its scope, there were a lot of people to keep track of and I puzzled over that at first- which in turn distracted me from the story. That said I truly believe this book, with its epic proportions and stunning prose, will go down in history as one of the great American novels. And I don’t say that lightly at all- I was simply awed by it and would hazard a guess that this will be a future classic. There’s so much to analyse here and it was endlessly quotable. So why the short review? Quite simply, once I got into it I was too swept up to write proper notes- sorry!

I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw this first, so I’m sorry to that person because their review was very striking and made me instantly put it on my tbr. Still, there are loads of excellent, full reviews out there for this- I recommend Zezee’s.

/5 bananas

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and then there were none

And Then There Were None– I was absolutely gripped from the opening all the way to the end. Layer upon layer of intrigue and suspicion built up over the course of the novel- with spooky, biblical overtones and clever connections drawn. Oh so much cleverness! Everything from the concept to the who-actually-dunnit to the psychological elements was so well thought out. I did end up questioning the motive- which while it made sense in the context of the book, made me puzzle over the realism when I turned the last page. Overall though I loved it! Very entertaining read.

Side Note: before I read this someone told me not to google the original title, which of course I went and did… bloody hell.

/5 bananas

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foxhole court

Foxhole Court– ahh the inevitable monthly stinker- and I have only myself to blame for this. I saw a negative (but very well done) review for this over on Angelica’s blog– but because I am a curious berk, was struggling with a combination of slumpy blues and boredom, I had to check it out. Lo and behold… it was free on kindle. BEWARE FREE KINDLE BOOKS everybody. As promised, this was *bad*. After the first 10% had nothing but exposition, over description and the cheesiest of one liners, I was ready to call it a day. Then it got weird. Just so, so much weirdness. I don’t even know how to explain- so I’m gonna try listing it:

  • Bizarre fights for no reason- don’t worry though, they’re just for *tension*
  • The most unnecessarily complicated, confusing family dynamics
  • The WORST fake sport ever- it’s football meets hockey meets tennis meets who the fuck cares it’s not like it’s been well thought out. Plus it’s co-ed because who gives a shit about biology when you can make a stand for “equality”- even if it’s a contact sport and without magical powers you’re basically arguing for men to beat the shit out of women… let that sink in.
  • Athletes on hard drugs and getting withdrawal symptoms for not taking said drugs enough
  • Also drugs that make *no sense* (no antipsychotics don’t make you high- are you for real?!)
  • Casual rape threats- that no one bats an eye at
  • Actual sexual assault (again, no one cares)

O-kay so I think that’s got everything covered. Don’t get why this is a thing. I will say that my bemusement drove me through the book in the midst of a terrible reading slump- so it had that going for it I guess- and why (even though I’m having serious doubts about this having written the review) I’m giving it:

2/5 bananas

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crystal storm

Crystal Storm– I had surprisingly mixed feelings about this one- which is not what you want for a 5th book. First of all, it’s beginning to suffer from plausibility problems. Yes, I know it’s fantasy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be so unbelievable- sorry but how many times can these characters be captured and recaptured? Also, we’re at book five and not one of the characters has ever come up with a halfway decent plan beyond “we must steal the magical kindred!” Seriously- that’s only ever made things worse- TRY SOMETHING ELSE DAMMIT! I also don’t like highlight for spoilers: that the evil dude is now evil cos he took a magical potion to forget love or whatever- people don’t need magical potions to be bad, just sayin’. And last complaint (I swear!) I hate that everyone that dies ends up alive, cos it really removes a lot of the stakes from the story.

With all that said, I did still end up thoroughly entertained, especially in the last quarter. The climax especially elevated the whole book from blah and made it pretty worthwhile. I’m still loving a lot of the characters and am looking forward to the last book (also a little part of me wants it to be over)

Side Note: Would you believe I’ve reviewed none of these books before? Not even in a mini review. I blame the fact that I started reading them long before I had a blog. Ah well, c’est la vie.

3½/5 bananas

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As always, have you read any of these? What did you think of them? And have you ever read a crap book just cos you’re in a slump? Let me know in the comments!

And for anyone that notices, hope you don’t mind that these mini reviews were slightly longer than usual!