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?


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

  1. I’ve only read Game of Thrones of these and I agree with you. I think I finished it two years ago and I’m not yet ready to embrace the second book yet. Haha! It was over 800 pages and so tough to follow all the storylines going on. I think it works great as a TV series because it was written like one with all the detail.
    Now you’re making me a little worried about starting Cinder..
    As for books that others love that I don’t quite have that much hype for: The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park. I get why they are loved but I thought they were alright. Just not like masterpieces that others say they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cinder is not a bad read, it was just too predictable to keep me enthralled. However, I have heard from more than one good source, that some are better than others, Scarlet being named more than once. I will probably revisit them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually didn’t care much for the Wicked books by Gregory Maguire. It’s such a cool concept that, unfortunately, fell flat (at least for me). I’ve never seen the musical, which I’ve heard nothing but great things about. Maybe I just need to go see that instead. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I love musicals! 🙂 It’s funny how some things seem better expressed in different mediums.
        I can definitely relate to feeling like the odd one out when it comes to not liking things other people rave about. 🙂 I love the Outlander books but can’t stand the television version. 😛 I think I’m the only one! Lol!


  3. Honestly, I’ve never bothered with Game of Thrones, not even the show. I know, to say as such could, perhaps, be blasphemous; but it was the same thing with True Blood. I suppose it could be that I’m more partial to Science Fiction, but who knows.

    Dune, yes, it is long, and yes, you will get lost. Not as lost though as reading Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan (it’s a great read regardless, in my opinion).

    There’s always going to be something for everyone, and something that (even though is allegedly a great read) doesn’t feel the same for someone else. “Different strokes for different folks.”

    I doubt you will lose any friends or readers for simply speaking your mind regarding literature. :p

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Same thing with GoT. I thought I was going to be drug out into the street and shot for admitting that to some of my friends. It turns out I was just ridiculed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Abbie Lu, I agree with you completely regarding “Game of Thrones”. I ahve treid to read it couple of times because it was “the thing to do”. Maybe I’m dull of mind, but I couldn’t understand what all of the fuss was about. “Dune” is another story as it is one of my favourite works of science fiction. But each to his/her own as everyone has their own tastes and that is fine by me, The important thing is you are a book-a–holic, the best kind of addiction to have! Charles

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best indeed! Dune is different then Game of Thrones, GoT was too drawn out and gritty. Dune on the other hand I understand was brilliant writing, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, I wish it were. Both required a lot of skill and I greatly respect that.


  6. The flavor of any book is different for each individual, though there are common patterns that leave us wanting more, or make us want to intellectual choke or spew depending on the nature of the flavors we taste.

    Some books are like sweet candy, a brief energy thrill in taste and form, wallowing in our post sugar high. Others are good for us, building the patterns of our thoughts, challenging us to become stronger, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, yet avoiding them any chance we get, like the child not wanting to taste the green pasty slime of pureed spinach or peas. Substance can be hidden well in food or books, and it takes awhile to develop a discriminating palate that sees the need taste something new.

    Dune for example is a book you read, like reading Les miserables, which requires a history, an understanding of patterns built within any civilization, whether its fictional or literary non-fiction. If you’ve read a lot of Joseph Campbell, have an eye to evolution with a system’s thinking view, and read a lot of classic Russian literature, then Dune is something that starts to make sense after a half-dozen reads.

    I say Russian literature due to the dark, dank nature of many of the writers produced from the common war like history that bred the nature of many of the greatest minds. If you’ve read Kafka’a Metamorphosis you know what I mean. Dune does become more palatable over time, yet the developmental curve takes some time.

    Many novels require the ability to take a step outside our own minds; which is difficult at the best of times, yet like Moby Dick, each reading builds the patterns of our understanding to that of the author, sometimes seeing things the author only saw in retrospect, if they noticed at all. The blind attention we have to our own subconscious at times being what it is. We never see; as a rule, the mirror image of who we are or at times what we have come to create….

    In my own writing, I’ve discovered a lot about myself, that was rather obvious to many while growing up and becoming the person I am, yet only in my writing have I come to see what they see, come to appreciate some of my strengths, and come to work on the glaring errors and misconceptions I now see.

    Writing for many of us isn’t about bringing stories to the world, at times it seems to be about finding some truth of ourselves through the action of putting words on paper and attempting to make sense of what starts to form in our minds from the act.

    Sometimes I tend to think a lot of us; myself specifically, are like the tree frogs that sit waiting on the side of a tree, never seeing anything until it moves, a fly zips by, we react and act out the process of our survival, yet we never see the true nature of the world, the life which surrounds; until it moves.

    Love your comments…have a good week…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. A lot of people like The Hitchchikers Guide to the Galaxy but I just couldn’t get into it. And I really tried. Regards your title for a very split second I thought you were telling us about your personal life haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my gosh! I felt the exact same way about Game of Thrones, which by the way is one of my all time favorite TV shows, The Magicians just creeped me out and I love that genre! Glad to know I’m not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I chuckled when I saw Dune on this list – I had to read it in school and it was just torturous. I’ve always thought about re-reading it (maybe I’ll like it now that I’m “older”) but I think I may be too traumatized to pick it back up!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Maritan. I felt from page one that I was getting a rather boring science lecture. I quit on about page 20. At the time, I thought this might make a pretty good movie. But even the movie got to be a science lecture. So thumbs down on both.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The most recent book I read for which I had similar sentiments was Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. It’s been on the best seller list for so long, but it just didn’t do much for me. It was too much like all the other YA books that are coming out these days–they make me feel like I’m reading the same book over and over, and the teen emotional angst is usually too much for me. I felt the same way about the Divergent series. I liked the first book, but the second was awful. I could barely get through it, and I will never be able to bring myself to try to read the third.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I haven’t read the other books but I completely agree with you on Game of Thrones. The author is such a d-bad, when things finally become interesting he cuts it off to something that is boring and meaningless.

    I never hated a multiple POV narrative so much. It was dreadfull

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wasn’t a fan of Cinder and Game of Thrones, while I am a die hard watcher of the show, after a bit reading the books seemed more like a full time job! I had started making charts of who was who!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I know what you’re saying. Often books with the most hype are the most disappointing. I often resist those books, or at least put off reading them for a while. But it’s hard because I do enjoy reading something new that promises to be great. Sigh…


  15. I belong to a book club that meets once a month. We pick themes at the beginning of the year and read a book of our genre according to the theme. I love the recommendations I receive from my fellow members. However, I am not a reader of fantasy and I have to admit that “The Hunger Games” were definitely not “my cup of tea”. I applied the “40 page rule” and got through it but on page 41 I stopped! There are so many books on my ” to read list”. Another book that I thought would be great was ” Julie and Julia”. I saw the movie and thought the book would be too. Unfortunately it wasn’t’t.


  16. Oh, yes, I feel your pain. There’s a series called “Spirit Animals” that came out about 1-2 years back – you might not know it, strong as it’s a 3rd-7th grade type of series. However, my friends and I were all so excited to read it, and we did, but after a while the interest disappeared. I found myself forgetting what happened, and eventually I forgot where I left off in the series! Eventually I took the hint and just let it go, but I was pretty disappointed, especially when I found out what the ending turned out to be like by reading the back of a book from later in the series.
    All in all, I know how you feel. It is pretty saddening to just lose interest in a book.
    If you aren’t a fan of long, winding story happenings, I feel the need to warn you that “The Hobbit”, “The Lord Of The Rings”, and the “Eragon” series have a few unnecessary events, at least to me. Eragon I might not be so sure of, seeing as I’m still only halfway through the third book. However, they all have extremely interesting plot lines, even if it takes a while to get there. I enjoyed it a lot.


  17. (Haven’t we had this conversation before?) Sorry about Dune. Maybe you were not in the right mood. No problemo. I will avoid the others you mention. My particular resistance is Proust. A la recherche du temps perdu. Whatever it’s called in English. I have tried to read it “thrice”. And failed miserably every time. 🙂 Not for me.


  18. Back in the days (the eighties) I really liked to read SF. Strangely though Dune didn’t catch me. More weird was that I had a friend who was not at all into SF, yet he adored Dune, and did read all the books.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I can’t tell you how glad I am that we’re not all required to like the same books, stories, movies, foods—you name it! We’d *all* die of boredom. And yes, plenty of so-called classics and/or incredibly popular novels are among those that even the most discerning and well-read person will fail to love in the same way as the rest of the crowd. Good for us. Good for writers! Glad you have the will and stamina to read enough that you will even *try* some of the stuff that you end up not adoring; how else can you create your own standards of quality and taste? Yeah, they’ll morph over time, too, so it doesn’t hurt to revisit even some things that you hated back-in-the-day, but it’s not required, nor does it matter if even on re-reading some books don’t grab you. That’s all part of the adventure. And it’s definitely what makes the books we love so incredibly important to us!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks for following my blog, and for writing about books. As you may know, I just published my novel, Child of Duende, the magical story of a young girl in Spain named Duende, a word meaning “the spirit of the earth,” and the story of a journalist who travels to Spain to write about supernatural vines in a vineyard in Southern Spain. This is a spiritual journey home, woven together by vines, spirits, and gypsy lore.

    Liked by 1 person

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