I’ve only just started this blog, so I figured the best thing to do was to alienate my audience immediately. Okay, in all seriousness, who doesn’t enjoy occasionally ranting about books? Or anything? This is one of my favorite book tags- I’ve probably watched almost all of the videos of this tag on BookTube. Alas, I myself do not do well on camera nor do I want to fool with editing and lighting. But I love writing. And so, this blog was born! Anyway, on to all my unpopular bookish opinions! Reader discretion advised.
1.) A popular book or series everyone seems to love but you hate
I started off thinking this series was just okay, but now it gets my blood boiling with how much I hate it. And that answer is the Illuminae Files series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I really wanted to like this series. The writing style was so inventive and cool and the plot was very intriguing. I love space adventures. The problem is I didn’t like any of the characters. I found them mediocre at best and unbearably annoying at worst. The romance was forced and whatever the opposite of palpable is. The dialogue was some of the worst dialogue I have ever read. These characters don’t talk like real people talk. In fact, a lot of the internet communication sounds like that out-of-touch mom trying to seem “hip” and using lingo no one has ever used ever. The one that really gets under my skin is “chum.” Have people ever actually used this term to refer to a friend or is this something made up by bad movies about gangs of leather-clad white boys in the ‘50s? I also extremely dislike the use of “fem” in place of girl or woman. Honestly, what’s the point? I pushed through the first book because the concept was still new and I wanted to see how everything turned out, but Gemina was a new brand of torture for me. The plot was exactly the same as Illuminae, offering nothing new. I’ll reread a good book, but I’ll be damned if I read a new book with the same old shit as the first one. And that whole thing with the cows? I get those space worms they were breeding were relevant to the plot, but there was absolutely no reason for the breeding process to be… that. It seemed like Jay and Amie just sat down and said, “How can we make this even more shocking?” and somehow came up with that. No fucking thank you. (Not to mention it started pushing the whole “give that boy who keeps bugging you and asking you out a chance because he likes you” concept, which is toxic as hell.) I gladly DNF-ed this series and will never pick it up again.
2.) A popular book or series everyone seems to hate but you love
First of all, if everyone hates the book or series, how can it be popular? But, semantics. I’m going to have to go with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. For years I heard that the series got boring after book one or that the rest of the books weren’t as good. They claim the writing is no good. So I never bothered reading it. Then A Clockwork Reader from BookTube recommended the series and I trust her judgment. So I finally gave it a shot. And I love it. The characters each wormed their way into my heart as soon as I met them, the plot was unique and interesting, and the writing was lyrical and beautiful. If anything, the books get better and more interesting with each book. I will never be able to understand hate for this series. It’s so good and I’m kind of sad I’m not reading it right now.
3.) A love triangle where the main character ends up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like
I’m an overachiever (ha!), so I’m going to do both.
The love triangle I didn’t like the outcome of isn’t really because I thought they ended up with the wrong person, but because I thought they shouldn’t have ended up with either. And that is Katniss Everdeen (and Peeta and Gale) from the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The romance never seemed like an important part of the story to me or, in fact, even like romance at all. I never doubted that Katniss cared for these two boys, but I never got the vibe that her feelings were ever romantic. She experienced some attraction, sure. But I never saw her believably falling in love with either of these two young men. And I didn’t care for the epilogue at all. Katniss felt so out of character. Yes, she is allowed happiness, but she no longer felt like Katniss. (Not to mention the epilogue was out of place tonally.) Overall, I never cared about the love triangle and I never got the impression Katniss did either.
The OTP I don’t care for is Cleo and Magnus from the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes. And no, it is not just because I shipped Cleo and Jonas in the love tangle that is every character in this series. Personally, I have never cared for Magnus. He feels like a discount version of the snarky prince with a good heart and a mean dad, a trope that has been done before and better. Not to mention, the whole storyline of him being in love with his sister was gross and unnecessary and he never fully came back from that for me. He alternates between being vaguely nice to Cleo and treating her like shit. She spends most of the series hating him and, while the hate-to-love trope is valid, in this case it felt sudden and forced. Plus, he was an active part of the invasion that resulted in the deaths of Cleo’s family and he killed her first love. And she’s supposed to not only forgive him, but fall in love with him? Cleo deserves better.
4.) A popular book genre you hardly reach for
I never really read historical fiction. I love books about the World War II era, but that’s about it. Whenever I read a summary that includes any year prior to the early ‘90s, I’m automatically bored. I don’t care about your carriage ride or how long it took you to ride your horse from Point A to Point Z. I don’t care how hard it is to keep in touch. I even highkey hate this in high fantasy. Long journeys just bore the crap out of me as do non-modern settings. And like, I love history, but I don’t want to read stories about it. I just don’t.
5.) A popular or beloved character you do not like
Oh god, I can already hear the hoards coming with their pitchforks and apologist antics. I actually used to love this character, but after rereading the series a few months ago, my opinion changed drastically. And that character is none other than Aelin Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Celaena was actually a very endearing protagonist. She believed in doing the right thing, despite being a professional assassin. She was flawed and I liked that. When she was revealed to really be the lost queen of Terrasen, I was ecstatic. Despite how rampant it is, I actually really love the lost queen trope. And when she accepted that mantel at the end of Heir of Fire, I was so happy and emotional. And then she became Aelin. I didn’t realize the first time I read Queen of Shadows how different Aelin is from Celaena because it had been several months since I’d read the first three books. But when I reread the series, I realized just how stark that difference is. Aelin is arrogant and entitled. Everything she says has to be a sassy quip to the point where you want her to just shut up. She acts like she knows better than everyone, despite the fact that she often does not. She doesn’t consider the consequences of her actions at all and acts like she’s accomplished all of this on her own. But she would be nowhere without her allies. She has turned her back on everything Celaena stood for, so much so that she’s become a caricature of herself. Not to mention, she’s become a white savior. Because of course only she, a white lady, can free the people of color from danger and blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I’m so glad I dropped this series, because every Empire of Storms spoiler shows her as more conceited and unbearable than before (Acting like she’s superior to a goddess? Get real.). I hope she rots in that coffin.
6.) A popular author that you can’t seem to get into
There are quite a few different answers I can consider here, but I want to go with one that’s really unpopular. Like, furious-comments-and-death-threats level unpopular. And that would be Alexandra Bracken. I tried several times to read The Darkest Minds and just couldn’t do it. Now, I don’t hate this book. I don’t even dislike it. I just don’t feel strongly enough about it to do so. And that’s the problem. I have tried on several occasions to read the first book and even made it about halfway through, but reading it felt like a chore. I didn’t feel connected to the characters, the plot was going nowhere, and I didn’t care for the writing style. I wanted to like this book and I sort of saw the appeal, but I just don’t feel about it the way everyone else seems to feel about it. Not to mention, I got spoiled for a character death in the third book. I’m not going to say who, but the way it happened was so horrific, I really didn’t want to read that. Not to mention, I didn’t want to work to read a series in an effort to grow to like a character I knew was going to die a torturous, excruciating death anyway. I finally just had to DNF this series and be done with it.
7.) A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing
So many. Oh, so many. But I think the one that’s been bugging me the most recently is the reluctant monster trope. Popularized by series like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, it features a humanoid supernatural creature (i.e. vampire, werewolf, generic monster) who doesn’t want to be said creature and tries very hard to be “good” or “human.” And my question is: why? They literally need blood to live or cannot help their transformation. Why should they feel guilty for doing what they need to do to survive or even just being what they are? This is why I liked the Ironteeth witches from Throne of Glass. They feel no guilt for being what they are and yet the audience can still root for them. Overall, it seems like a cop-out to make that character seem relatable or likable and all it does is make them annoying and nauseating. Give me monsters who can be “good” while still being true to their species. Give me monsters that don’t apologize for being what they are.
8.) A popular series you have no desire to read
It’s not a series per se, but I have no desire to read any of the popular YA Contemporary writers (i.e. Colleen Hover, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell (aside from Carry On). To me, YA Contemporaries all read the same or have the same feel. They never feel original to me or stand out in any way (with a few very rare exceptions). Besides, I read because I like visiting different worlds. Reading about my world through the eyes of Generic Teenage Girl/Boy doesn’t appeal to me.
9.) The saying goes, “The book is always better than the movie.” But what movies or TV show adaptation do you prefer to the book?
This really doesn’t sound like a thing. Are we sure this is a thing? Okay, seriously, I guess I have to pick The Lying Game by Sara Shepard. The book series was very repetitive and I didn’t particularly care for the narrative device used. The show, while far from perfect television, kept me hooked and had so many twists I never saw coming. Plus, it allowed us to actually see Emma and Sutton interact and gave us a more plausible overall plot. I’m still bummed this show got canceled because it was hella entertaining.
And those are my unpopular bookish opinions! I hope I didn’t drive my audience away before I even got one. I look forward to posting again soon!