I first discovered this tag about a year ago, and spent hours on Youtube watching various vloggers videos (try saying that 5 times fast!) about it. I really enjoyed hearing everyone talk about some of their more “controversial” views about books, and I use that term loosely. I found it interesting that everyone found the need to explicitly state that they do not mean to offend anyone with their opinions of books, in case they say they hated someone else’s favourite. I can see why, since people can be extremely defensive over their favourite books, but I don’t think people should have to apologize for their opinions. I actually did this tag last year as part of a read-a-thon that my Goodreads group was doing. I think this is actually a tag that is worth re-doing every so often as you read more books.
Since I will probably have a few books for each question, I’m going to skip adding pictures this time and instead just link to the Goodreads page. This tag was started by TheBookArcher, and her video can be found here.
1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like
I have never been a big fan of the Twilight series. I thought the concept of the book had potential. I’m a huge Buffy fan, so it’s not like I’m inherently opposed to vampire-human stories. I just didn’t think this one was particularly well-done. It had so much potential, but I didn’t like the way the story was executed. I also read Inkheart last year, a book that I remember being very popular when I was younger. I could barely get through it! Much too slow-paced. I also wasn’t a big fan of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. Maybe I would have felt differently about it if I had read it when I was younger, but it was pretty mediocre to me.
2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes! I honestly can’t understand why people are so offended by this book. I can see why they are frustrated by the ending, but I think it is the only ending that really made sense and fit for the character. As I’ve said in previous posts, to me the point of the story was about people with disabilities having the right to choose — even if we don’t agree with their choice. I did not get any sense at all that the author was trying to suggest that disabled life is not worth living.
I don’t know if this qualifies as a book that everyone hates, but I also really loved 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I read it not too long after it first came out, and then I re-read it this year before watching the series. I always thought it was a pretty well-liked book, but I saw many more negative or mixed reviews this year. I thought it was a very well-done book, and an important one.
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like
I’m actually not usually too picky about who a character ends up with because I generally assume that the person they pick is who the author intended them to be with, and the book will naturally lead in that direction. The only time I remember being really thrown off was the ending of Mockingjay from The Hunger Games series. I was convinced that Katniss would have chosen the other person (is it still consider spoilers for a series that most people have read/watched already?). When I thought about it, her choice actually made more sense but I was so sure she would have chosen the other boy.
4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for
I rarely read horror or sci-fi. I don’t enjoy horror much because I find many of them too gory, and I’m too much of a coward for some of the more paranormal horror. I actually like sci-fi most of the time when I read it, but it is not something that I’m often in the mood for.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like
I didn’t really like Jacob Black in Twilight. I found him pretty annoying and didn’t really think he was that much better for Bella than Edward was. He was also quite pushy and seemed to guilt-trip her about her feelings for Edward. Plus the whole imprinting thing was very weird and off-putting. I mean, in the same vein, I wasn’t a big fan of Bella either. Bella was a bland character, and I hated how every boy at the school immediately seemed to have a crush on her.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into
Stephen King. To be fair, as I mentioned above, I’m not really a fan of his genre in general. I’ve now read two of his books (Carrie and Misery), and I wasn’t a huge fan of either of them. I’ve always heard about how amazing he is as an author, so maybe I’m just picking the wrong books to try, but I didn’t really connect with his writing style at all and I found both books pretty average.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)
There aren’t too many tropes that bother me since I tend to make a conscious effort to vary the books I read so I don’t read too many of a similar style/genre in a row. I don’t even mind love triangles if they are done well. Insta-love is a little more annoying. I have a hard time buying into the idea that people can fall in love before they really know each other, even in real life. I’m also getting a little tired of the “love fixes mental illness” trope, although I’m not sure it’s a real trope. In many YA books, characters who have a mental illness seem to be almost magically cured by being around their partner (ie. in Whisper to Me the main character hears voices, which are silent when her love interest is around). I also hate when characters constantly remind us of how plain/boring they are, and that’s why no one ever really notices them.
I’m not sure if this is considered a trope, but I’m really getting tired of all the “between the numbers” books or novellas for so many series now. The Lunar Chronicles is a big culprit for that, but many YA dystopians are as well. Even when the novellas are well-written, they always feel a bit pointless to me. If the author really wanted that part to be in the book, it would have been in there. I find it hard to figure out when to read the novellas in the course of the series — they often give spoilers for the next book, but reading them after the whole series is complete feels pointless. And in some cases (ie. Four, which offers some backstory and a few scenes from Divergent from Four’s perspective), they add very little.
8. A popular book or series you have no interest in reading
Last time I did this tag, my one and only response was Fifty Shades of Grey. Not even because of the explicit content, but because of how poorly written the book seems to be based on everything I’ve seen of it. I’m also pretty ambivalent about reading the Percy Jackson series. I never read it when I was younger, and although I keep hearing how great it is, I’ve pretty actively avoided it.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or TV show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
Definitely The Devil Wears Prada! I could barely get through the book, but I loved the movie. I’m not a fashion person, so reading about the different outfits didn’t interest me much. Seeing them on screen was fine since it was only for a few minutes. More recently, I read The DUFF. The movie was much better than I expected, but the book was a huge disappointment.