That just sounds really negative doesn’t it? I apologize, but it’s unpopular opinions time. I’ve been browsing book blogs for some time and watching booktube videos and there are definitely some books that come up often. One side of me feels like I need to run out and read all of these books because they’re so well loved, but let’s be realistic here. There are so many incredible books released every month, and don’t even get me started on the classics, that I’ll likely never get the chance to read in my lifetime. So why waste some of that precious time reading books that I’m not terribly interested in?
So! Taking a look at some popular books I had to really sort out the ones that from the book’s synopsis, I actually don’t feel all that compelled to read them. I thought it’d be fun to talk about them and why I don’t feel they would appeal to me personally.
Now keep in mind that just because a book ends up on this list does not mean that I think the book or author are bad, not at all. My mind can always be changed, and who knows where I’ll be in the future? I didn’t think that I’d ever read The Hunger Games when someone first told me about it and now it’s one of my favorite books, anything is possible.
With all that out of the way, let’s get started.
Eat, Pray, Love
My goodness this book got HUGE, the movie was HUGE, when they came out Eat, Pray, Love was EVERYWHERE. It’s still a book that I hear commonly brought up for how influential it was and how many middle aged women, unhappy with their marriages, ran off and traveled the world in search of love. While I haven’t read the book nor have I seen the movie, I did read this book’s “sequel,” a book called Committed. It was assigned reading for class (one about feminism, mind you) and from the book description it had actually sounded alright. As I was reading it I could, for the most part, appreciate her points about marriage and found her battle to find a home for her and her lover, Felipe. At the time that I read it I was contemplating marriage and whether or not it would be something I’d want at the time, so Committed came up at an interesting point in my life.
I don’t think that I like Elizabeth Gilbert very much. Don’t get me wrong, she’s actually a talented writer that will keep you turning the page. It was her attitude and the way that she views other people and cultures, she comes off a little bit entitled and selfish to me. It felt like people were entertainment for her and she overly romanticized other races and cultures, in a way exotifying them. Exoticism is a tricky subject because it involves the commodification of culture, which is a pretty slippery slope.
Gilbert makes her privilege extremely clear in her writing and still somehow finds reasons to complain. As a minority woman that has dealt with people getting downright fetishistic about my race, Gilbert’s memoirs are just a hard no for me.
This is a pretty big one for me and I actually have two reasons why this book isn’t all that appealing to me. I know this book has some very dedicated fans so please don’t be mad about this. The first is that it sounds like a reality tv show, which I no longer watch and have no interest in. I used to watch reality tv waaaaaaay back as a teenager when there was nothing else on television, and now I really just don’t watch much tv at all anymore. I’m also a very big fan of the dystopia genre and this one just feels like a watered down “dystopia light” to me. The synopsis just doesn’t sound like it would suit my tastes.
The second reason, which is what helped cement my disinterest in the book, is some of the Goodreads controversy surrounding this book and it’s author. To be specific, there was a case where the author and her agent talked trash about a reviewer that didn’t like the book, actively encouraging fans and clients to ‘like’ positive reviews on Goodreads to bury the negative ones. Said reviewer got inundated with harassment from angry fans and the whole thing kind of blew up. Even though the author has since apologized after screenshots were posted, it still rubs me the wrong way. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s just bad behavior all around and it sort of pushed me away from reading the book. I don’t condone harassment toward any author or reviewer even if they can come off a little rude in their reviews (and in this case the reviewer wasn’t rude at all). I like to believe the book community is better than that.
I know that this book has been hailed as an amazing romance and Nicholas Sparks is wildly popular, with roughly half of his books getting film adaptations. Maybe it’s just me and not being that big into contemporary stories but I have little to no interest in reading any of Sparks’ work. I watched A Walk to Remember in theaters as a teen, I cried, and then forgot about it pretty quickly. *shrugs*
Now I do own one of his books, Dear John, which I only have because I won a book stack giveaway from the lovely Jen @ Life Within Pages. The synopsis for this one actually does sound intriguing and so I may be eating my words here if I end up loving that book.
I know this is the one that many of you expected and were probably waiting for. What book is bigger than Twilight, the book that helped shape the YA book industry into what it is today? I have so many friends that LOVE this series, both the book and the movies, and my best friend is probably glaring at me from across her computer screen (I’m sorry).
When Twilight mania was at it’s peak with the release of the first film I was in my twenties and was a new mom. I was juggling a lot of things and didn’t have all that much interest in YA books at the time, and definitely not paranormal romance. For those that know me, that probably sounds insane because I had a serious obsession with vampires as a teenager. I don’t know what it is, but it was just never all that appealing to me. I certainly tried, though, and watched the first and third movies and I just couldn’t get into them. As I get older, the likelihood of me ever reading Twilight dwindles. Maybe someday if I’m bored enough I’ll get around to it for fun, but as of right now it’s just one of those major trends that I missed and I’m not all that broken up about it.
Fifty Shades of Grey
I don’t have a problem with erotic romance nor do I have a problem with BDSM. I have read a handful of BDSM novels and can appreciate them for what they are, even if it’s not my preferred subgenre. So the kinks aren’t the issue at all for me, it’s the romantic aspects of the novel that I take severe issue with.
I’ve read enough articles about the series, including some very heartfelt rants from friends of mine that are very much in the BDSM community that were offended by the portrayal of BDSM in the book. Relationships that involve BDSM are built on trust between both partners while the romance in Fifty Shades appears to veer into unhealthy and abusive territory. As a victim of domestic abuse I can’t condone a book series that glorifies it under the guise of kink, it’s quite frankly irresponsible.
Also, given the fact that I have little to no interest in Twilight, Fifth Shades of Grey to a degree got lumped into the same category considering the fact that it famously started off as Twilight fan fiction.
Are there any books on the list that you think I should give in and read?
Let me know in the comment section below!
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