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!

Was Wonder Woman Wonderful?

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Well, *unpopular opinion alert*, no it wasn’t. In fact, if this book had a special ability, I’d say it was in the power to send me to sleep. Before I get into all the reasons why I thought this was super dull, I do want to add that I don’t see this book as a reflection of the author and nor does it affect the respect I have for Bardugo in general.

That said, there was literally nothing I liked about this book. To me, it was a cheap cash grab attempt to jump on the superhero bandwagon. It was sadly a waste of Bardugo’s talent, with writing that was surprisingly lacklustre and missing the author’s usual flair. If it had been any other name slapped on the cover, I wouldn’t have known the difference.

The plot was tremendously predictable, cliché and uninteresting. I wouldn’t say this is thanks to it doing things wrong, it simply doesn’t do much right. There were, happily, some good throwaway lines about Spartan myths just being Athenian propaganda- yet there are better books on Greek myths that are far more engaging. Indeed, there are also far superior superhero stories. A lot of this felt like the 70s Superman movies with constant “what are you?”s- which isn’t a terrible thing in and of itself, it just added to that unoriginal vibe.

Unfortunately this wasn’t helped by the flat, cardboard cut-out characters, who were impossible to connect to. In another instance of trying to milk the reader for all they’re worth, the book feature the stereotypical STRONG women characters. Alas, I’m past the point of being easily sold on the kickass woman + female friendship = banking a pay check formula. It’s simply not enough for me anymore since everyone and their mother is doing it- which maybe we should see as progress, instead of getting mad at me in the comments for not being on board 😉 Frankly, Diana was a stereotypical Mary Sue: impossibly strong and with the only weakness of being too compassionate (which turns out to be her greatest strength *surprise surprise*). Alia was supposed to be smart, yet I never saw any evidence for that and quickly grew bored of her.

And the villain- man, that was in equal parts disappointingly obvious and lousy. Frankly, that was the LAST STRAW for me. Until that “reveal” I was gonna give it 2 bananas, but after that I could only spare…

1/5 bananas

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Evidently that left a lot to be desired- but I wasn’t done with Wonder Woman yet and decided to *finally* watch the movie everyone’s been raving about as the only decent DC film this decade. So how did that measure up?

Wonder Woman_(2017_film)

Eh- it was okay. Better than the book (though that’s not hard)- but still not anything compared to the Marvel movies (there I said it). To me, it was a poor (wo)man’s Captain America/Thor- though not as good in exploring the concepts of myths and war.

Now believe me, I get that the mythology has to be revamped for the comics, but C’MON the background of this story was Lucifer vs God- this is straight out of the Bible not Greek mythology. Which feels like a waste and meant it failed to bring anything spectacular or *new* to the story.

There were ups and downs to this. The plot was okay, with some emotional moments, but soooo predictable. Gal Godot put in an entertaining performance, the cinematography was especially strong, yet the soundtrack was not utilised properly (it kinda came and went at random intervals). Worst of all, there were I kept joking were “pause for ideological commentary” that ruined the pacing and took me out of the movie.

wonderwomanNone of this was helped by the fact that Wonder Woman Mary Sue had no character arc. Oh, sorry, I can’t see her as an actual character, because, AGAIN SHE IS PERFECT AND HAS NO FLAWS. She’s a little bit of a fish out of water, but in the end, that’s just a surface level issue that doesn’t get in the way. Having her be so overpowered for me removed any tension and meant she had no room for improvement. To be charitable to the story, the mc doesn’t have to have an arc and you could say she inspires the people around her. Except this wasn’t satisfying to me, given the fact some of her mistakes were detrimental and simply brushed under the rug. For instance, *spoilers ahead* when she stops to save a village, she doesn’t care that this interferes with their covert op AND blames everyone else when its blown up anyway, EVEN THOUGH she was the one to make the detour and slow down the mission (also she has no idea how to be a spy). The problem here isn’t that she makes mistakes- it’s that they’re played off as everyone else’s fault (again, Mary Sue can’t have flaws, that’d be sexist!). Plus, even if she’s wrong about who Ares is, it doesn’t matter because she’s basically right in the end. This not only stops her from learning and developing as a character, but also means she’s a terrible teacher figure, and any development of other characters feels unearned. Consequently, when Steve sacrifices himself, it doesn’t feel like it’s because Wonder Woman taught him something. And it also seems illogical that Diana uses that moment as inspiration, since she’s already internalised the idea that humanity is basically good.

Overall, I felt this had some funny aspects and kept me mildly entertained, but I still thought it was massively overrated.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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Alright- dare I ask- what do you think of Wonder Woman? Love, hate or meh? Let me know in the comments!