Welcome to my unpopular opinions. I have a lot of ’em.
I don’t know about other readers, but I put a lot of stock into deciding what books I want to read. There are a lot of different factors that go into it: Does it even look interesting? Do I know anyone who has read it? Did they like it? What’s the rating on GoodReads?
I like to read books that I know others liked because I feel like it helps my own chances of liking the book, too. But… that doesn’t always pan out to be the case. In fact, I’ve found that I tend to end up liking lower rated books more often than I do high rated books. I’m a strong believer that this is because the hype almost always ruins the book!!! Too many people saying too much good stuff about a novel will really raise my expectations, which just ends up making me way too critical when I finally get to read the book.
So, whether it’s because the hype ruined it, or the book just downright sucked for me, here are 5 popular and/or highly rated books that I, Brittany the holder of unpopular opinions, did not like.
We Were Liars: E. Lockhart
I tried so hard to pretend that I liked this book after reading it, but I absolutely despised this. It’s been about two years since I finished it, so I don’t remember all of the details, but because I disliked it so very much, I can still seriously see the entire plot in my head! The unoriginal, predictable plot that felt like it was going nowhere until the very last minute.
Sadly, the plot wasn’t even what made me hate the book. I mean, I am so seriously over this specific plot line, which I have seen in probably four other books just this year (I’m not going to ruin it in case you decide that you’re not going to take my advice and read this anways… but if you’ve already read this, you know the plot line I’m talking about. It’s basically the only one). But no, the writing was what really pushed me over the edge in this one. I’m a believer in giving books with slow, boring plot lines a decent rating if the writing was still beautiful, or hell, even just well done. But the writing in this one drove me absolutely insane.
Stargirl: Jerry Spinelli
I am still so confused about this book’s popularity. I came across Stargirl at a book sale once and it was $1 and I had heard a lot about it so I thought, what the hell? I’ll buy it.
I read this in one sitting (not because I just couldn’t pull away, but because it was so short). My GR review consists of two sentences: “This is a book about a boy falling in love with a girl who is different than everyone else and then trying to change her into everyone else. Why is this well liked?“. And that pretty much sums this one up. It’s not that it wasn’t decent writing or a well thought out plot. It just really irked me. It’s about trying to change people whenever your idea of who they should be doesn’t fit who they actually are. No matter how much I think about it, I can’t get myself on board with supporting a story like that. I’ve seen so many good reviews on this and I don’t know if it’s because there’s the “cute-meet”, young and seemingly sweet relationship, or if because people really don’t see what’s going on here, but this one is not for me.
Eliza and Her Monsters: Francesca Zappia
This is so loved in the bibliophile community! I fully expect at least a couple people reading this to decide that they no longer trust my opinion now because I’m including this book on this list. Which is OK, because we all read a book differently, and sometimes, we hate on each other’s favorites.
So, I think that I really expected to like this, and the build up was what ruined it for me. Because it’s not that this is awful, or has terrible writing.. I just… didn’t like it. I thought that Eliza was a hard character to root for because she’s mean to her parents, and she makes very weird decisions that I fail to understand the reasoning behind. I know that I’m probably supposed to be on Eliza’s side when it comes to her parents, but how were they supposed to know what was going on if she didn’t, I don’t know, tell them? Also, the relationship between her and Wallace was actually insanely boring for me. I think I was just expecting a lot more, considering that this is rated 4.28 on GR. It didn’t live up to it’s reputation on my end.
Depression & Other Magic Tricks: Sabrina Benaim
First things first, I absolutely love Sabrina Benaim. Listening to her perform her poetry is a different kind of experience all on it’s own. I found Sabrina through her performance, Explaining My Depression To My Mother, and was immediately struck by the way she delivers her words. She really makes you feel what she’s saying, and what she’s saying is often relatable. She’s awesome at what she does, truly.
So, when I found out that she wrote a poetry book, I was ecstatic!! I can’t even properly explain my excitement. I love reading poetry but I’m so picky about it. I really thought that this one would be for me.
Sadly, I think that I was just expecting more from Sabrina. Her poems felt repetitive (and actually featured a lot of her performance poetry that I’d already read/heard before), and lackluster. I think that some of it was just there to take up space on pages, and I was hoping for more. This was nominated for the GoodReads Choice Award in Poetry last year, but lost out to Rupi Kaur, and as sad as it makes me for Sabrina, who is essentially a new (though renowned) author, I understood the loss.
You Were Here: Cori McCarthy
Oh goodness. I really despised this book. It has a 4.05 rating, and the synopsis looked so promising, so I bought the Ebook and dived in, hoping for a good story.
As far as I am concerned, I didn’t get that. Now, because the rating is so high, I know that this definitely can deliver for some readers. It just didn’t for me. I was expecting a kind of… coming of age story, I suppose? A story about grief and healing and closure. But honestly… I just got a story about a whole lot of teenage drama and angst. There was too much squabbling between friends and boyfriend/girlfriends for there to be very much healing going on. I was also extremely bothered by the formatting of this story. There were five main characters and POV’s that the story rotated through. One was first person, two were third person, one was a comic strip, and one was art… I’m still kind of confused by it. Definitely not my cup of tea.
Have you read any of these books? Did I hate on one of your favorites? Talk to me 🙂