I almost feel like I’ve done this tag before, but the more I look through the questions the more I think that it was simply a matter of tags with similar questions. The interesting thing about this tag is that it comes down to all the things in the bookish world that I usually end up complaining about the most because there are just some books that I’m horrified are popular and some ships that I just cannot stand.
But I suppose that’s where a lot of the fun comes in, isn’t it?
1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like.
For this one, I’m going to pull up my broken record book and parrot my complaints about the Shatter Me series. It’s so depressing because I genuinely loved the first book, but I can’t abide by romanticizing abuse and forgiving abuse only because of “convenient” nonsense that wouldn’t even hold water in real life. Warner is abusive and has no place being the romantic interest whatsoever and the fact that Mafi makes him the love interest means, in no uncertain terms, that she forgives abusive behavior. And that just really pisses me off, especially when readers fall for it and don’t recognize the toxicity behind ideas like “well, he only does it because he was hurt in his past” and “he only hurt her to help her.”
2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love.
Okay, so I think this one is pretty controversial, and rightfully so, but I really did enjoy reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. It’s misogynistic, it’s terrible, and the author is an absolute pig whom I’d never in a million years be okay with as a person. But damn, is he a good and hilarious writer. He’s pretty masterful in how he tells his stories, even if they show him to be a terrible, awful person. But reading this one was unquestionably amusing and as much as I can’t stand the guy for who he is (or was, if he’s changed but tbh I haven’t the foggiest if that’s true or not), it was a really funny book.
3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you didn’t want them to end up with or an OTP you don’t like.
This happened in The Selection series and I honestly was so upset. I now hate these books because of the absolute ridiculousness behind America falling for Prince Maxon over the boy that she’d been with and known all her life. I spent the entire series hoping and rooting for her to stick to herself and be true to the fact that she loved the boy she was with instead to see her fickleness result in her going for, of all people, the damn prince. Like…can we not? Realism be damned, I didn’t want to read that.
4. A popular book genre that you hardly reach for.
I really just cannot stand reading thriller/crime type novels. I can deal with mystery sometimes, but when it falls into feeling thriller and crime-ish, something inside me shuts off entirely and refuses to focus. I get exceedingly bored with these kinds of books and have a tendency to very much want to skim, which I hate doing, so I end up putting it down again just to avoid doing that. And then, naturally, my remembered boredom keeps me from picking them up for ages. Thriller and crime novels have to be exceptionally good for me to even bother reading them.
Additionally, I feel the same way about Romance, but more because the writing always seems so simple that to read them is to skim anyway because 90% of the book is superfluous fluff that I don’t care to read. Again, these books have to be exceptional for me to want to read them. They have to have a really good plot that is not just primarily centered around what often seems to me the ridiculous romance. I’ll pick these up occasionally, but only if I’m in the mood to read something that I’ll get through exceptionally fast.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.
I’m gonna go back a few years, but I never understood why people liked Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska. She was just a monstrously selfish girl who took advantage of the people around her and never really seemed to give a shit about anything. And then she was fantasized about and idolized by a boy who lacked so much maturity and understanding of the world that I just couldn’t get past how much this book seemed to push this idea of how great she was. I didn’t get it then, I still don’t get it now.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
I have a few for this one, but I think my answer is probably Sarah J. Maas. I don’t know why she’s as popular as she is. I’ll give her the fact that some of her work really isn’t all that bad, but by no means have I ever been exceedingly impressed by her. I was surprised by how much I liked A Court of Thorns and Roses, but that was really only because I was convinced I was going to hate it. And I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t fall in love with it, either. Also, Maas has a habit of pairing characters in ways that really just irk me.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing.
I’ll be honest here, if a book is written well enough and still subscribes to some ridiculous tropes that I’ve likely seen thousands of times, I’m pretty okay with it. But it’s when the book isn’t written well or something is annoyingly cheesy that I just can’t stand to read it. And I could go in a number of ways with this one. I could talk about all the characters who are ordinary people and suddenly find out that they are super special in some crazy way that no one else is. I could talk about the love triangles and how frustrating they are. I could even talk about insta-love, which is by far one of the most annoying things in the universe in a poorly written novel.
But I think the trope that really makes me sick is the one where, for some godawful reason, one or both of the romantic pairing just can’t seem to recognize the signs that the other person likes/loves them. This rather paltry attempt at a slow burn is just stupid disastrous and often leads to some frankly annoying side character whose main purpose is to point out the feelings that both parties have to one or both of the dummies who just can’t seem to open their eyes. If a book has this, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll hate it. See Perfect Harmony for an example.
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.
I’ve never really cared to read the Vampire Academy series. In fact, a lot of the vampire novels that spiked in popularity as a result of Twilight just never really interested me. But I’ve never cared about vampires all that much in general. Either way, I don’t see myself reading this series despite how much attention it got.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
The Count of Monte Cristo. I love both, I really do, but the movie (the one with Richard Harris) really just pulls at my heartstrings. The book, unfortunately, is so utterly dense and devoid of compassionate emotions to a degree that leaves me preferring the movie infinitely. And while there are pieces of the book that I’m truly upset weren’t included in the film, but also there’s a lot of stuff–namely Haydée whose plotline and existence I never really cared for–that I’m glad never made it in. I don’t know if this is a result of having been introduced to the movie at an early age long before ever reading the book or not, but here we are.