Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I don't have to love your favourite book


Every now and then (ok, more than every now and then) people create major buzz around books that they expect everyone to be wowed by.

Often, when this happens, I find myself:

a) Avoiding the book because I want to read it on my own terms and in my own time

b) Reading the book, only to end up being disappointed because the book failed to live up to its expectations; and

c) Following point b, I am then left feeling incredibly guilty because most people who love the book have this remarkable ability to make you feel bad with just a raise of their eyebrows (Because we all know that we're just not allowed to dislike books that other people love). 

Of course, there are many times when the expectations and buzz created around the book are justified - and in most cases - I'd have to be completely honest and say that the number of books that I've been wowed by (based on the hype), has by far outweighed the number of books that have disappointed me.

What many people seem to forget though is that reading is such a personal experience and that each and everyone experiences a book very differently. While there are common threads that tie many readers together, everyone looks for something different in a book. That is, after all, the reason why we have book genres.

Because of this, I'm often amused when people become offended because I didn't like the book that they loved. It's nothing against you as a person, but it's simply a matter of me just looking for something which, I felt, the book obviously lacked.

I also have to add that when I read a book, I never start out with the intention of outright hating the book. It's the way in which the book develops throughout the novel and the actual ending that affects my opinion of the book, nothing more, nothing less.

Some of the books that I've been disappointed by include the following 3:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
This is one of those books that I desperately wanted to like. As a lover of all things fairy (yes, there's a reason my book blog is called The Book Fairy's Haven), I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was when I first heard about this book.

The title, the book cover and the synopsis all just pulled me in, and when I heard that this going to be a series, I was officially sold. And then, I started reading and found that although I was intrigued by the grungy, phantasmagorical world of wickedly beautiful fae, I generally had a problem with the characters.

Sure Seth is sexy and Keenan is wickedly beautiful, but there was nothing but beyond that, there was nothing that made them memorable to me. And Aislin? I thought there was certain hollowness about her character that just kept me from connecting with her.
Honestly, I don't really know if I want to continue reading this series. I read Ink Exchange and didn't find it any better. Maybe one day when I have nothing else to read, but for now… will be giving this series a skip!

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
Actually, I’m not going to say much about this one. I'll just let you read my review shall I? I'll only be repeating everything I've written anyway.







 
Sister's Red by Jackson Pearce (review coming up soon)
This one I definitely have mixed feelings about. It's not that I didn't like it (actually, like with Wicked Lovely, I really wanted to love this book), but rather a case of a good book being brought down by a character I considered rather one-dimensional, even though there are good reasons for the character being the way she is.

I'm hoping to get my review out later this week, but I can tell you that the character I have a problem with, is Scarlett. I'm not sure if wanting to strangle a character throughout most of the novel is a testimony to how well the character's personality is portrayed or a reflection of just how irksome I found her, but whatever it is, it certainly caused me to like this book a little less than I really wanted to.

Anyway, I'm curious to hear about the books that didn't live up to your expectation? I'd love to hear them (and also so that I can avoid some of those I haven't read in the future. *grins*

10 comments:

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

great post!! I haven't read any of these, but everyone has their own opinion and we can't get upset with each other's different tastes!! I like to find out why people liked or didn't like the books that I've read, it creates a discussion :)

GABY said...

I understand, it happens to all of us. I felt the same with Sisters Red...it wasn't that I didn't like it, but I just didn't love it as everyone else!

Lisa said...

I'm currently trying VERY hard to read The Iron King, but I honestly don't know if I can finish it. Not to mention that all the effort I've used up trying to finish it has put me in a reading funk altogether because I hate to start on another book while I'm still in the process of finishing another.

I'm not really sure what it is about The Iron King that I don't like, but it's just not hitting the spot with me and everyone I know absolutely loved it.

brandileigh2003 said...

Blue bloods, great and terrible beauty are the only ones I can think of off top of head

Dazzling Mage said...

Awesome post, and I totally relate to it. I'm ashamed to say that there are some books I've hedged into a "liking" category even though I didn't think it was anything special. If it was a series, I discontinued it though.

Hm, a lot of book disappointed me- Twilight series, Blue Bloods, Vampire Diaries (notice a theme here?). Also, one of Melissa Marr's books (Shadow Inked? Don't remember). Don't remember the rest...

Anyway, again, awesome post!

Jan von Harz said...

Terrific post and I totally agree. I am constantly recommending books to others and getting books recommend to me. I have a friend who is a librarian and she and I have very different tastes, so while we talk books, she rarely reads the books I recommend and vice a versa. I didn't like Wicked Lovely either, but I did enjoy Sisters Red.

A recent book I gave up on despite a lot of rave reviews is Sea. I hated the beginning and stop reading. I do plan on giving it another try, but not till I read all the other book on my TBR shelf.

Sarah said...

I totally agree with this post. The books that I didn't like much were: Beautiful Creatures. Shiver.

I couldn't even finish either of them.

Jo said...

Sorry I'm posting a little late (catching up on my Reader stuff). I'm a librarian, and when people ask for book recommendations, I do my best to give them a few to try. I always let them know to let me know if they didn't like any of them, because then I know to try something else. I don't mind if they don't like a book -- after all, I didn't write it! :) I'm always happy when I can find someone a book that they like, though.

Aisle B said...

One thing I try not to do when reading a new book is read too many reviews on that book. Afterwards I like finding out if others gave it thumbs up or thumbs down, and then venture into it the differences. Like you, reading is a personal experience and we can't all share the same opinion.

Bella said...

I was so disappointed with Fallen. I picked it up in the bookshop, and took it home, and read some reviews. It sounded so good, and I had to read it. I found it hard to read, and I didn't enjoy it. I really wanted to like it, like you said with Wicked Lovely (which I also didn't really like) but I just couldn't. I am now reading the second one though, and it's much better. So, I might try Fallen again.

Just hopping by for the Blog Hop.

Bella - CheezyfeetBooks