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!

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…

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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:

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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!

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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)

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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(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… 😉

Book Sacrifice Tag

I must love courting controversy or something- cos I am pretty excited to do this tag- even though it’ll probably get me into trouble…. Ah well, c’est la vie! Anyway, I’ve always loved this tag, so thank you so much to A Novel Glimpse for tagging me to do it! Alrighty then- let’s get to it!

  1. An Over-Hyped Book:

Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

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Okay, okay- this is going to come as a shock to some people, but I didn’t like the Fault In Our Stars. Just be appeased by my casual reference to the book and *look away now*- cos damn that is a dumb reference. What? You’re not supposed to be reading this! Fine, if you’re still reading this, and haven’t turned away in disgust, then here are my reasons for not liking Fault In Our Stars:

  1. It’s obvious- I guessed what was gonna happen when they introduced Augustus as “in remission”- I mean, I’ve read other books about cancer before- heck I’ve read other books before period- it may as well have been a big neon sign HE’S GONNA DIE!
  2. Even if it wasn’t obvious, I didn’t connect with the characters enough to care. Because they all spoke in the most stilted unnatural way and were so far from actually being humans, I couldn’t relate- at all.
  3. In fact, the whole thing slaps you round the face with pretentious “metaphors”- and if that wasn’t bad the characters themselves described their own actions as metaphors- ughh get the sick bucket quick!
  4. The kiss in the Anne Frank house was distasteful. I don’t know what kind of weird wish fulfilment was going on here- but why on earth did Green think it should be applauded? Having cancer does not give you the excuse to be disrespectful about holocaust victims. I don’t have the faintest idea why Green drew parallels here- but it was so inappropriate.

I could go on, but I think I may have pissed off TFIOS fans enough for one day….

  1. A Sequel:

Situation: torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

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I know I’ve used this before too, but I have to pick any Twilight sequel. Surprising as this might be I didn’t totally hate the first one- and if it had ended at that my ire for the series wouldn’t have grown into fully fledged disgust. Cos that series got progressively more dumb. I mean this is how the rest of the series goes:

Sequel 1: “Oh no Edward broke up with me!! Let’s do reckless things and talk to myself so he’ll come back to me- no I’m not crazy. I’m just so in loooovvee- whine whine whine. Ooh evil vampire council has basically decreed we must be together for eternity- that’s convenient.”

Sequel 2: “Ahh the dastardly vampire council might attack us! And the murder rate is up in Seattle. But never mind all that- I don’t want to get married to the man I love- I just want him to turn me into a vampire- wah! And also I kind of sort of like Jacob enough to string him along- and that’s fine cos he won’t take no for an answer anyway.”

Sequel 3: “Yay I’m married. Oh and now I’m preggars- whoops. Oh, the babies just ripped itself out of me- how lovely. And now I’m a vampire. Oh my former beau Jacob is in love with my baby- wait what??!!!?!? Never mind that- the evil vampire council are coming… oh wait, forget it, they left again. Let’s not worry about the creepy pedophilia shall we…”

Ok on second thoughts, my final choice is Breaking Dawn cos- eww.

(and yes I totally got carried away with that)

  1. A Classic:

Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

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I would love to throw As I Lay Dying at my English Professor. In fact I would also like to see it drown and set fire to it! Words cannot express how much I hate this book- which is probably appropriate since it’s partly about how words can’t express things. Why did Faulkner write a book if he hated words so much? Why didn’t he just paint a picture? Or bake a cake? Anything other than write this stupid pretentious drivel.

  1. A Least Favorite Book:

Situation: apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?

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Fifty Shades of Grey- is any explanation really needed?

Right, so I probably made that more controversial than it needed to be… whoops. 

At this stage, I’m not sure who’s done this already, so feel free to ignore, but I tag:

A Bibliophile’s Obsession

Codie

Rose Read

yourdaughter’sbookshelf

hashtaglovebooks

Marie

Kat

Embuhlee

booksandbakes

Art and Soul

Musings of a girl

The Book Finch

Eve Messenger

The Book and the Bone

The Paper Dragon

Quirky Book Nerd

And anyone that hasn’t done this and wants to!

The Fault In Our Stars- Book Review

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars(With Spoilers)

Ok, for all you fangirls out there, I’m going to start out by saying I did not hate this book. I just didn’t like it. For the most hyped book of the year, I was expecting so much more. I have to admit I was bitterly disappointed. It’s got to be one of the most overrated books I have ever read.

On top of that- it is fundamentally unoriginal. There are loads of other books about cancer out there and I’m afraid this just did not stand out. Not that I mind unoriginality- but I do expect books that are unoriginal to be better (in some small way) than all the others that have come before.

It was just completely unsurprising. In fact, that was one of my biggest disappointments. The emotional impact of Augustus’ death depended too much on how shocking it was supposed to be- but since I predicted it from the start, his death had no impact on me whatsoever.

Even that would not have mattered so much if I had grown to love the characters, but I did not care for them at all. They do not speak like normal teenagers- or even normal adults. For that reason, I found it impossible to relate to them. And on top of that they all sound exactly the same- like barely differentiated versions of the same person- which just made them seem really unbelievable as characters.

On top of that, the whole book is just far too pretentious and trying too hard to be deep- I mean for goodness sakes, the whole metaphor thing was totally in your face! As with loads of other books that try too hard, (I’m noticing a trend here), it actually ends up being offensive. I’m talking, of course, about the make-out session in the Anne Frank Museum. Sorry to disappoint all those avid fans out there, but this was totally not “okay”. Dying does not give you an excuse to disrespect the dead. And who is John Green to decide what Anne Frank would have wanted? It was just completely tasteless and trite.

Other than that, the plot felt a bit boring and pointless. I feel like one of the main failings of the book is that it began without any hope- the fact that the main character was terminal from the outset made it clear the book wasn’t going anywhere. I expect a book to take me on an emotional journey, not plod along at the same depressing tempo. This book just went nowhere.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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