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10 Popular Books That Didn’t Win Me Over

On Reading

On Reading
I get book recommendations from all over – bloggers, librarians, random strangers … many have resulted in me being stuck in a time bubble reading while the outside World marches on. But some have left me scratching my head and wondering – is it me – because I just don’t get it! Here are some such books – popular with the masses and/ or critics, but not with me.

Weak Ending

Forever, Maggie Stiefvater. (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3). The first book in the series, Shiver, rocked me hard and good. So too did the second book, Linger, although not as much. But this, the 3rd and final installment … I just couldn’t deal. I was so over the obsessive “can’t live without each other” thing, and that ending – too convenient and unbelievable. I hate when characters or story lines are introduced with the SOLE reason of tying things up – especially when they play no other part in things.

Annoying Women

The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides. Chosen as one of the best books of 2011 by Amazon.com – but I slogged through the first 65 pages with it’s slow, tortuous pace and too many references to books I hadn’t read, didn’t care to read and had never heard of – but after that, the frequency of the references decreased (although there was still a LOT), the pace picked up and I started to enjoy the drama. The characters were flawed, relatable (to a point) and deftly developed and the plot was interesting – severe depression, and how it affects loved ones. Who can’t relate to loving someone you KNOW is all wrong for you?!

Among Others, Jo Walton. This book won both a Nebula and a Hugo Award, but let me tell you, the life of a 15 year old girl with very few friends is not very interesting to me. She (Mori) reads A LOT. The book has a GAZILLION references to science fiction & fantasy books and that I felt was the main point – sort of an homage to authors of old … something I’m sure sci-fi book lovers delighted in, but for us “toe-dippers” into the genre, was a tedious exercise to read through.

The Iron King, Julie Kagawa. I liked it, but really not enough to move on to book 2. The main character, Megan Chase, just sort-of went with the flow throughout the entire book, while the others did most of the work. Plus she acts gullible & naive … and just generally unlikable.

Insurgent, Veronica Roth. (Divergent #2). The explanation for “why” the dystopian society was divided the way it is seemed very weak. I don’t freaking get it! And Tris – she started acting like a bitch towards Four, which I hated.

Why We Broke Up, Daniel Handler. I am SO glad this book is short, otherwise I don’t think I would have made it through to the end. I accept the blame for even picking this up in the first place (damn you Amazon Best Books of 2012 So Far list) … I knew that I shouldn’t be reading a book about why a relationship that lasted less than 3 months, between 2 16-year olds ended!


 

Annoying Dude

Lover’s Dictionary, David Levithan. I thought this book was okay – but totally forgettable. Some of the anecdotes were cute & funny – many were not. Half-way through I was over it; I kept reading, not out out of interest, but just so I could finish.

Annoying Aliens

Embassytown, China Mieville. This book won a Locus Award for best science fiction novel, but I just couldn’t get into it. In typical Mieville style, EVERYTHING introduced in this novel is new – from the way humans live & travel, to how the Hosts go bat-shit crazy when a new Ambassador arrives in town. Mieville’s imagination is a Wonderland I tell you – but, it’s just too much for me to follow along.

Everybody’s Annoying

A Visit from the Goon Squad. I listened to this on audio which I don’t think was ideal for this book – not because of the narrator, but because of the way this book is written. The story is told from the point of view of many different characters that have a loose connection to the main 2 (Benny & Sasha). The narrator did a good job on changing her voice to suit each one BUT with so many people telling their own story, it was confusing and hard to figure out how they were related. So this Pulitzer Prize winner is just not my cup of tea.

I Just Didn’t Like It

Bossypants, Tina Fey. An “Audiobook of the Year & Best Audiobook Biography/Memoir” winner BUT I really didn’t enjoy the book that much. It was just okay, and honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m hard wired to finish a book I’ve started, I would have ditched it half-way through.


Have you read any of these books? Did you like it?

Tanya Patrice
Tanya is an avid reader - teenage boy wrangler - husband tamer - knowledge seeker.
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25 comments

  1. Haven’t read any of the books, and now don’t plan to either. They all sound annoying.

  2. Have you changed your email deliverer? I thought you disappeared from the blog zone. This past month it seems like I’ve been hit by a hacker via Google.

    Glad to see you are still around.

    1. @Bree glad to be back!

  3. I agree re: Bossypants. I mean, it’s fine, but not great.

    Why We Broke Up was absolutely annoying because I kept hoping the reason they broke up wasn’t the obvious one, and it was, and I wanted to punch everything.

    1. Exactly Akilah!

  4. I’ve only read two of these, but I completely agree with your analysis of them.

    A Visit From the Goon Squat — I did not enjoy this one at all. Right now, I can’t even tell you what it was about. I can only remember that it felt very choppy, and I did not enjoy the reading experience!

    Insurgent — this one was SUCH a let down. I know a lot of people did not like how it ended with the Tris dying, But I was really ok with that, It seemed very much in character. But like you, it was the whole explanation of WHY things were as they were and WHAT was out there. Seriously — THAT was what this led up to?! It took the whole series from ‘one of the best’ to ‘bleh’.

    1. Kim you know I agree!!!!

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  8. Lol. I understand how you feel. I haven’t read many of these. I understand about Insurgent.

  9. I totally agree about Iron King! I kind of liked Insurgent, but agree that some explanations were too weak. As for the Lover’s Dictionary, I started reading it and forgot to finish it, even though I thought it was sweet, so you probably have a point when you call it “forgettable”.

  10. I loved Shiver but was so disappointed in Linger I didn’t even bother with Forever. I bought The Marriage Plot and A Bvisitto the Goon Squad but haven’t read either yet.. The Iron Fey series grew on me, while I was never a real fan of Meghan I really enjoyed the world Kagawa created.

    Great post!

  11. Okay, I’ve only read a couple of these but I COMPLETELY agree with those two. Insurgent was such a disappointment after Divergent. I know Tris was going through a lot, but why didn’t she allow Four to be there for her instead of acting all bitchy like you said? And the explanation was weak. Agreed.

    And as for Iron King, I felt the same way. I tried the second book out, but then I gave up. I just wasn’t a fan of Megan in the second book and the series seems to be only going downhill. Not good.

    I’m sorry you didn’t like these! I actually had borrowed Why We Broke Up from the library but didn’t find the time to read it before I ran out of renewals. Now, I’m not so sure if I want to read it anymore.

  12. I haven’t read any of these books, and now I’m kinda glad. Thanks for the heads up!

  13. I know what you mean!! I think that’s why I’ve been in a funk lately. I’ve been trying to read things that other people have recommended and I’m just not digging ’em. I used to just go in to the library and pick up a book that looked interesting and not even care when it was published or if it’s supposed to be the next hot thing. I’d like to get back to that because that’s how I found so many jems before.

  14. I haven’t read any of these, but have had similar issues with the various problem “categories” you listed — “everybody’s annoying” has got to be the worst — if there are no redeeming characters, I would probably not be able to make it through the book!

  15. Hi, thank you for posting. The only thing I can discuss is Goon Squad. I like to read books, in different time periods.

    So, that said. I thought I would enjoy reading a book during the 60’s about a rock band. I hated it. Just hated it. I don’t like the writing, or the characters.

  16. Love the info-graphic! I really liked The Iron King but Meghan, as a part of the book, was something I wasn’t sure on. She had that strength but then did the usual throw-it-away thing. Good idea not to read #2, it was bad. “Annoying aliens”, love it 😀

  17. I’m reading “Insurgent” right now and still hoping for a decent explanation of why society is the way it is. It should have been in the first book anyway!

  18. You are the 2nd person that I saw with Lover’s Dictionary. It sounds so cute, but must miss the mark.

  19. The Wolves of Mercy Falls was totally opposite for me. I thought Shiver was just…alright. It had no wow factor for me. Only reason I continued was, a good friend of mine insisted I read this series she wouldn’t stop raving about it. So stupid me bought all three before reading the first one. I’m so glad I did because Linger and Forever were what did it for me. It didn’t get interesting for me until Cole came along.

    I seem to be liking everything on peoples “Liked less” lists haha 🙂

  20. That is one of the interesting things about reading, seeing how some of the wildly popular books just don’t connect with some people. If anything I think it demonstrates that popularity is no real criteria for whether or not a book will make a connection, it is that special one-on-one connection that *this* author makes with *that* reader that makes for a memorable reading experience.

    Among Others is interesting because it does seem to have few middle-ground critics. Some love it, I am among them, and others don’t. I read it and was in a state of bliss the whole time as it was a story about reading my favorite genre of books and an homage to the impact of childhood/teen reading. I ended up reading it aloud to my wife immediately after finishing it for myself. But for others it has had a very similar impact that it did to you. Thus is the magic of books.

  21. glad i am not the only one who thinks tris is kind of annoying. i still liked the book but she just rubs me the wrong way. esp in book, where there is so much double crossing that i started to get really confused.

    i actually haven’t read the other ones though a bunch of them are on my tbr pile. it’s kind of fun seeing what people like and didn’t like. to each his own.

  22. I try to ignore love stories in books that are not centered on them and it makes the books better. I felt like Tris and Four were kinds weird from beginning on but I focused on other things and it got better.
    The division of the world in Divergent series is such because each group had a different idea of solving problems that arose: some with science, others with guns, some with peaceful negotiations, and therefore Erudite, Dauntless and Amity were formed etc.. Although I think she never specified what the problems were. Have to reread the books tho.
    But I haven’t read other books from the list. I have a few on my TBR pile tho.

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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