I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Love You!

tumblr_inline_nlzp7mvEGI1su6hze_500I’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?


157 thoughts on “I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Love You!

  1. I sort of felt the same way about Cinder but I pushed through and on to the second book because I liked the concept of the book so I felt I had to give the series one more chance. So I read the second book, here is where I found a character named Captain Thorne. This won me over and I have continued on because of this one character. He is laugh out loud funny. I also agree with you on Game of Thrones, I have started and stopped the first book at least three times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought the Magicians was awful and had to force myself to finish. I don’t think the new TV show is all that impressive either. I also agree about Game of Thrones, which is probably my favorite TV show of all time, but the books were too slow…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read the books on your list, but I definitely can empathize with what you’re talking about. Is there a magic page number that you have before you give up on a book? I used to find it very difficult to stop reading, thinking that if I started it, I had to make it to the end. I don’t feel that way anymore. I usually have about five books a year that I start and then decide to give up on. There are other books that have gotten such high reviews I still force myself to the end only to get there and realize it never did redeem itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nancy Pearl the NPR Librarian says you should give a book 50 pages before you give up, but that it is definitely okay to give up! Life is too short to read things you don’t enjoy. It takes a lot for me to give up, but when I do I don’t feel bad about putting into “unfinished book purgatory!”

      Liked by 3 people

    • There is not really a magic number for me, but there is for some people. For me if I find myself not reading it, picking it up less and less, and enough time goes by (say 2 weeks) then I just shelf it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel pretty much the same about Game of Thrones. I read the first book and it was interesting, but by the end I had no desire to continue the series. I watch the HBO show and I love it, but I probably won’t pick up the books again.

    I don’t have a magic number either, and unless I’m truly hating it I can’t usually make myself quit by page 50—partly because at least once or twice a book that hadn’t quite hooked me by page 50 ended up becoming one of my all-time favorites. I usually just read until I sense that it’s not going to turn around and get amazing.


  5. Reblogged this on John's Notes and commented:
    I found this an interesting assessment of popular books. I have to disagree on “Game of Thrones” and “Dune” as I really enjoyed both of them and their series. I do have to agree though that both seemed to drag out at times and there was a large set of characters in each to follow.

    I have to admit that from time to time I find a popular book that does not do anything for me either. We each have our own preferences. It is good these days that there are such a wide range of well written novels so that each of us can find enjoyment.


  6. Pingback: I’m Sorry, I Just Don’t Love You! - 4 My Dollar

  7. What a great list. Thanks for being bold and sharing what u DONT like! Although I have to say I loved the Lunar Chronicles and the Dune books r favorites. I can appreciate a critic. And I feel some of ur pain with Game of Thrones. I read the first easily but can’t seem to make it through number 2.

    Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting post. I gave up on Game of Thrones as well, and I Love fantasy. In the end I found the amount of violence towards women, and the portrayal of women in general distasteful. Which is a shame because there were lots of things about the first book I liked.

    Dune I just loved, but I think it is a bit of an acquired taste. Also it was written a long time ago (over 50 years) and I think sometimes Science Fiction becomes less accessible as the technology of society changes. What was speculative in 1965 can seem more fantastical now.

    Thanks for liking my blog by the way

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this post…I am glad I am not the only one that feels the same way about Game Of Thrones. My daughter in law loaned me one once….I really tried to get into it but found myself struggling with the names and style of writing. I ended up giving it back to her pretty quickly. She had the whole set and would have loaned me one after the other but I had to tell her that I just couldn’t get into the series. =( I also have a problem with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. He is my favorite author, for sure, but I just can not get into these books.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel the same way about several things, such as the Lord of the Ring movies, and Final Fantasy 7 (but I enjoyed playing Final Fantasy 9, which wasn’t as hyped by game journalist but did very well in both sales and fan-ship).

    I think the problem with “ratings” is that they aren’t an average of what most people think; they are an average of what professional journalists or marketing researches thing is popular, or are impressed by, or want to sell.

    Ratings measure the wrong thing… and the few people who know how to measure the right things, have made a mint of detailed “marketing research” which quantifies stuff which we might think are unquantifiable.

    It is good that this is an era where more people can express their opinion, although it remains to be seen if many people choose to maintain that as more than a hobby, at least we could in theory make a historical records which shows more perspectives than just the most elite.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just did not like The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. So wildly popular but I felt it was incredibly silly as well as poorly written and researched. But it’s fiction, they say. Poorly researched fiction in a book that the author says is based on FACT! (All caps) is a big turn-off to me. The premise was intriguing, and I was truly “wanting” to like it but couldn’t. This book is so loved by so many people I have actually offended some by not liking it. Sorry, I just didn’t. I finished it because I wanted to be accurate when I critiqued it, but that is the only reason. The movie was even worse. Never thought I would dislike anything that Tom Hanks is in, but the movie was a total snooze.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way. I hate it when people get offended. We are all very very different, and our diversity is what makes us so interesting and exciting, why would you want to dumb that down.


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