Popular Books. . . That You Hate?

A best selling book comes up in your conversation. The stranger chatting with you begins to gush, going on and on as if it were the crowning jewel of modern literature. Then, she asks if you’ve read it. You have, in fact.

But you hated it.

Actual photo of me.

Do you go with the neutral, “oh, it simply isn’t my ‘thing’” to keep from being verbally set upon or assumed as having no taste? Or do you actually say you hated it? Or, do you really kick up the risk factor and go into the reasons why you didn’t like it?

I’m difficult to please with books, increasingly so nowadays, yet have this constant fear that one day all of the authors whose books I didn’t like will trash my books because of that, as opposed to based off the book itself. (Is this a silly fear? I’m a notoriously paranoid person, so it very well may be. Though stranger things have happened.) Still, this doesn’t stop me from being verbal about it. I have just as much of a right to my opinion as does anyone else, – fan or not.

There’s a decent number of popular books I don’t care for, from The Fault in Our Stars to Of Mice and Men to The Knife of Never Letting Go. I have absolutely zero against the authors or anyone who enjoys said books, but I just didn’t “click” with it. And I really wish I had.

Which popular books can you not stand, despite only hearing its praise sung? What is your common response to them, especially when talking to a fan?

I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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9 thoughts on “Popular Books. . . That You Hate?

  1. I know what you mean! Though I usually have this problem with movies. (My family have many times heard me denounce the entire James Bond franchise for its plethora of faults and even the Star Wars films. *gasp*) Still, CITY OF BONES and I didn’t really get along, though pretty much everyone else I know either loved it to bits or aren’t saying anything.

    • Aah, I getcha on that! I have an easier time letting a bad movie roll of my shoulders than a bad book, however. All that time and all those expectations, just flushed away. ;~;

  2. I’m not much of a fan of the Mortal Instruments or The Fault in our Stars, either. I’d usually say I didn’t like it and give some reason as to why, but not into a flood of ranting — which is hard to hold back when you have what is pretty much an in-depth analysis of the book — because once getting into that rant, it’s hard to stop, and that could lead to hurting a reader’s feeling, which I’d rather avoid.

    I respect the readers choice of books, and the authors who have put a lot of work into their writing, so it’s why I’ll try and hold my tongue, or if I can’t, I’ll try and be respectful with my views.

    Great post!

  3. And this post has just brought home to me the fact that it has been way too long since I’ve had a chance to talk books–actually talk, as opposed to chat on book blogs. Because, on book blogs, you can always just smile and look the other way, and No One Will Know. But in person? Well, I usually smile and say something along the lines of, “It didn’t really work for me–but that’s how books are. They can’t be written for everyone, and I’m just in a place where this one doesn’t speak to me.” Then, if they really want to know why, I take Writerly’s approach above and give a couple reasons without getting too deeply into it–because I also know what it’s like to have a book I love get completely wrecked by someone’s (perfectly valid but exceptionally depressing) analysis. :)

  4. I can’t really stand The Hunger Games or John Green books (and I hate hate HATE Charles Dickens, to bring up a classic). Hunger Games because I actually understand economics and other various topics that the author clearly missed in school.

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