I’m always on the lookout for a great book; ones rated well and with a good reputation among other book-lovers. So, if a book is rated high, within a genre I enjoy, and sounds interesting, it makes it to my queue. However, now and then there are books which are extremely popular, which I then read, and find myself sorely disappointed. Despite all the qualifications for a great read, I’m left hauntingly unimpressed.
Here are a few books that just did not do it for me:
(I hope I don’t lose any friends over this :/)
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
I can’t believe I’m admitting to this. I am a huge fantasy fiction fan, but I just could not get into these books. I got through the first one and just felt exhausted by it. It takes so long to get around to knowing what’s happening with who, and why. Also, don’t dare get attached to any characters, because well, I won’t spoil it. I thought maybe this was just the way the first book would go, you know lay out the ground work, establish characters and conflicts, etc. Alas, I could only push myself to get through half of the second book. It sat on my night stand for months, before I just decided I wasn’t going to finish it. Now to be fair it is very skilled writing, and there are some really awesome characters and concepts. I am just not a patient enough person to stand the slow pace of it. Also, it’s a bit gritty for me. I realize and appreciate that the author is writing a very raw and realistic depiction of the era, but it’s just not for me. So of course once I officially gave up on reading the series, I started watching the HBO series, which is awesome. I know, I am a horrible literate!
The Magician by Lev Grossman
Rated 3.3 on amazon.com
Now this book is a completely different story (hehe.) I did not like this book AT ALL. I read it because it was very highly reviewed (it has since gone way down) and it was recommended to me by someone who knows my taste. I tell you, I have never been so lackluster-ed. It felt so forced and artificial. I heard the author was going for a “grown up” Harry Potter, FAIL. More like an immature, whiny, pointless Harry Potter, blah. The book tried way too hard, and came up short. The protagonist was really not likable, and there were no background characters impressive enough to like in his place. There was a lot of awkwardness in the book, and no real point to it. I felt like the author was trying to incorporate concepts from books like The Chronicles of Narnia as well, and it REALLY irritated me, because it was not well done. Basically I suffered through it and finished it, but did not continue with the other books. For the record, I read this with another book lover and science/fantasy fiction lover, and he felt the same way. I don’t know why it gets such good reviews, because to me it felt shallow and unintentional. Maybe there is a certain crowd (a big one) that can identify with it, but I’m just not part of that crowd. This books popularity really had me stumped, so I started pondering.
I came to the conclusion that maybe this was the book that I was supposed to read and love:
I haven’t gotten around to getting it and reading it yet, but my interest is peaked.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
I did hesitate to put this book on this list, but in the end it just didn’t impress me. I think the writing is good and the characters are good. The concept of the book is original enough, and it read well. So, why do I have it here? Because although I can see why other people like it, it just didn’t keep my interest. It felt a bit like a chore to read, there wasn’t a lot of mystery for me because I figured out the whole plot right off the bat. I don’t want anyone to get mad at me for this post. Let me make it clear, just like with Game of Thrones, I can appreciate this book and the reason that it is so popular, I just couldn’t get into it myself. I could probably keep reading the other books, but I won’t, not now anyway. I have so many books I want to read instead, but who knows, maybe other readers will convince me otherwise. I think for the most part it’s just not my style, and that’s okay, we all like different things now and then. I would still recommend this to some people, whose style I know it speaks to.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
This is like THE science fiction book. I feel like in the world of science fiction if you read this book your awesome, but if you don’t like it, there is something wrong with you. I have never heard single bad thing about this book, it’s considered a masterpiece. Now for my painful reality and potential undoing… It was the hardest book ever to get through, and I just did not enjoy it, AT ALL. I wanted too, I really did. I was so happy to finish it, and I did feel a sense of accomplishment, but I got no satisfaction out of the actual reading. It was an extremely complex book, and I felt like it was really hard to follow. I had to read and re-read so many times. Now I have ADHD so maybe I can blame it on that, but I did eventually finish it with an clear understanding of what took place. I think that it is great writing, and took it some major skill to imagine and create, props for that! It was just too complicated, confusing, and bizarre for me, and I feel bad about that. In the end I could not connect with the characters and/or story. Reading it was basically a chore, and a disconnected achievement, I felt no desire for more. Can I still call myself a science fiction fan..?
I really hope no one judges me too harshly for not liking these popular books. If you read them and loved them, awesome! If you wanted to read them, don’t feel TOO discouraged, you may love them. I like a good variety of genres and writing styles, but now and then I have to admit when something that everyone else loves, just doesn’t light-up my world.
Has this every happened to any of you?
Do you have any books that you tried to read because you heard SO many great things, but you were not fond of?