This entire weekend has pretty much been a “nope” for me. I had plans both days that got cancelled because we are in the midst of an ice storm. I actually first saw this tag a few months ago and I liked it because it reminded me of the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. It may be a bit weird, but I tend to like the more negative tags sometimes because it is fun to see some of the opinions that people might not share because of the potential for backlash. Plus, a negative tag seems to be a good fit for a gloomy “spring” day. This tag was originated by A Booktube Book, and the original video can be found here.
1. NOPE. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.
I have to go with Requiem by Lauren Oliver. This it the third book in the Delirium trilogy, which I picked up because the concept seemed very interesting. The series is set in a world where love is viewed as a disease, and at age 18 people are expected to be cured by the government. The cure stops you from feeling love, and instead you are matched to someone to marry. The first book was great, and I even enjoyed the next two, as the main character Lena joins a resistance movement to rebel against the government. Unfortunately, the ending to this series was completely underwhelming and anticlimactic. It was a very strange way to end, and it was unfortunate since the rest of the series was pretty good.
2. NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.
Danielle Parkman from Saving Max. This book was so frustrating because it could have been amazing, but the main character Danielle was so annoying. Aside from the fact that the book is written in a very awkward tense, Danielle makes ridiculous decisions. She would literally be thinking “I really shouldn’t be doing this” as she proceeds to do exactly that. The book is about Danielle trying to prove that her son, Max, who is on the autism spectrum, did not kill another patient at the psychiatric facility where he is living.
Max was actually an equally irritating character because despite being labelled as having ASD, there was absolutely nothing in the text to support this. He was very skilled with computers, and there were a few mentions early on of aggressive outbursts that Danielle could not manage at home, hence why he was moved to the psychiatric facility. His behaviour is told to us but never really shown on the page, since these events happened before the story starts.
The entire book hinges on the premise that Danielle disagrees with the professionals’ assessment that Max is violent and dangerous, but the majority of the plot focuses on her taking matters into her own hands and trying to find evidence on her own. Never mind the fact that Danielle herself is a lawyer, and should therefore be well aware of proper procedures for acquiring admissible evidence. I think what was most frustrating for me about this book is that the ending was actually brilliant, and it’s the kind of book I really could have loved if the characters weren’t so frustrating.
3. NOPE. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.
I’ve mentioned this one recently, but I would have to go with the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. The first book was great, the second was mediocre…and the third was good, but a completely separate story from the rest of the series. It literally felt like I was reading some kind of companion novel that just so happened to involve the same characters. I wouldn’t say that this trilogy isn’t worth reading at all, but I found it a bit odd that there’s so much hype around it when it’s so hit-or-miss.
4. NOPE. Popular pairing: A “ship” you don’t support.
Cassia and Ky from the Matched trilogy. I don’t know if they count as a popular ship, but I couldn’t by into them at all. Their relationship was rushed, and the characters were so underdeveloped that I couldn’t really see how or why they ended up together in the first place. I also can’t say I really support Bella and Edward or Bella and Jacob from the Twilight series, but that’s mostly because I didn’t like Bella as a character at all.
I’m sure I’ll get hate for this one, but I have trouble supporting Aristotle and Dante in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I think I need to re-read this one because I feel like I missed something when I first read it. I got the impression at the end that literally the only reason Ari went for Dante at all is because his parents basically said to him “Don’t you realize you’re in love with him?” It seemed like he was pushed into it before he was ready. I actually think these two would be very cute together and I want to support them, but the way it was written struck me the wrong way. To be fair, I read the book pretty quickly and may have rushed a bit so I might have missed something.
5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.
I didn’t like the plot twist in We Were Liars because I didn’t find it shocking at all. I predicted it very early on (and the characters’ actions toward the end would definitely qualify for the next question as well).
In terms of an ending I didn’t see coming, I definitely didn’t expect the ending of My Sister’s Keeper, although I’m one of the few who actually thought it was very fitting. The movie ending was a whole other kind of “nope.”
6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE.
Thea in Who R U Really? The entire book is premised on the idea of 14-year-old Thea making bad decisions when it comes to the “boy” she met online, so in this case, it actually worked well for the story. That just doesn’t excuse the fact that her decisions were terrible. I get that she’s young, and I especially get that it can be hard to believe that your online friend isn’t who he says he is, but she had so many warning signs that she chose to just ignore and one particular decision toward the end of the book was especially stupid!
7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.
I wouldn’t really say never to anything, but I generally avoid non-fiction because I find it boring. I rarely read horror. I’m also really not interested in Christian fiction or anything else with heavy religious themes.
8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition
I hate mass market paperbacks because I find them so awkward to hold because of the size. I get that they are supposed to be more convenient, but I tend to find them annoying. I also very rarely listen to audiobooks because I find I often tend to tune them out, and I don’t read e-books because it’s hard for me to focus on reading on a screen for a long time.
9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE.
Insta-love frustrates me. It’s one thing if it’s just a crush or initial attraction, but I find it very hard to believe that people will be so deeply in love that they are willing to do anything for each other after meeting once, when they barely even know each other.
I’m not a fan of love triangles unless they are very, very well-written (and this is often not the case). It’s usually way too easy to predict who the person will choose, so the triangle ends up being pretty unnecessary.
Poorly represented mental health conditions, especially when the condition is only mentioned when convenient to the plot and does not seem to exist otherwise, or when falling in love magically cures the person.
10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.
I’m really sick of hearing about Rick Riordan’s books absolutely everywhere. I’m sure they are great, but it’s getting to the point where the hype alone has completely put me off even considering them.
11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.
It really bugs me when authors choose to write their book in epistolary format (ie. letters, diary entries), but where the entire book is just one massive letter that covers absolutely everything that was said and done in perfect detail. It ruins my immersion because it seems so unrealistic. No one can possibly record every single detail like that. For example, in Stolen: A Letter to My Captor, the book consists of 300 pages of a single letter, detailing absolutely everything from the moment Gemma was kidnapped. I think I would even accept it a little more if it was divided into multiple, still very detailed letters because then at least it seems a tiny bit more realistic. It just seems pointless to me to call a book epistolary, and then mask the entire text as one long letter.
12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.
Not a fan of Jacob or Edward in Twilight at all. I also didn’t really think Alaska in Looking for Alaska or Margo in Paper Towns were very viable love interests.
13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE.
I think the one and only book I would truly say this for is What If…Everyone Knew Your Name by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James. This is the only book I have ever abandoned, and with good reason. It is a YA choose-your-own-adventure story that follows a girl named Haley through her first time in a public high school. The reader can make choices for Haley about who to hang out with, what classes to take, what extracurricular activities to pick, etc. The problem is, the book is so poorly structured that the “choose-your-own” style does not really work.
The only reason I picked this book up at all was because I was at the library with an individual I support who was doing her work placement, and I needed something to read while she was doing her task. This book looked quick and fun. I quickly realized that it really just didn’t work at all. Choosing one path often brought me to pages that referenced characters I hadn’t met at all or events I hadn’t read, so it was a bit confusing to follow. The paths all seemed intertwined to the point where there wasn’t much purpose it picking between them, since everything referred back to each other anyway. I abandoned this book when I was about halfway through, and have no desire to try it again at all. It’s also apparently part of a series of 8, so I hope some of the logistical issues get worked out later on in the series.
14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.
Dolores Umbridge. Also, Abigail from Little Girls was pretty terrifying.
15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.
Many of the deaths in Harry Potter.
16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.
Honestly, Stephen King. I tried two books, and wasn’t that impressed with either of them. I wouldn’t necessarily say I had a bad experience, but it was enough to decide that his books weren’t for me.