Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Disliked But Love to Discuss

Hosted by the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group

Happy Hump Day, folks! It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! This week’s topic is a good one. Today we’re talking about the top 5 books or series we don’t like, but love to discuss. As someone who lives for book talks and analyzing, I am super pumped for this topic. I love books that I can really dissect and explore. Typically, these books are ones I don’t like because it’s often easier to talk about what’s wrong with a book than what’s right. I’m not sure why that i, but I think it amounts to the amount of gushing that happens when you like something. Anyway, you’ve heard all this song and dance before. Let’s get on with my list:

  1. All of Sarah J. Maas’ books: Talk about a goldmine of discussion points. Firstly, these books are rife with problematic aspects, typically pertaining to representation and diversity. Minorities are rarely on the page, and even when they are they’re either knee-deep in stereotypes or are too ambiguous to concretely call anything. But it’s not just the problematic aspects that make these books so great for dissecting. The character development is inconsistent at best, the plots quickly become unwieldy, and the writing style shows more than it tells. These books are steeped in things to talk about and, even though I keep trying to leave them behind, I can’t let go of the glorious examples it gives.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James: Yes, I did read this book. Or, well, I read a third of it. But it’s not the disgusting abuse portrayed in this book that makes it such a great talking point. It’s the writing. If you ever want to help teach someone valuable editing skills (like when to cut scenes, fixing mixed metaphors, etc.), use this book. I recommend only reading select passages though. Don’t put yourself through the torture of reading the whole thing. You will die.
  3. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: Honestly, I typically don’t like to discuss these books because of the amount of untethered rage they build up within me. Still, there’s plenty to discuss here. There are toxic and unhealthy relationships (especially in the second book), inconsistent characterization, cringy dialogue, and way too many pages for a fairly simple mixed media story. I will never understand the hype for this series. That said, I need to stop talking about it now because I can physically feel my blood boiling.
  4. The ending of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: I actually love this series and don’t have many problems with it as a whole. Sure, there’s the whole student/teacher love story which is… not good, but overall this series is really good. But I have two major problems with the end of Last Sacrifice. I think it makes no sense who the killer is. This doesn’t fit who this character was prior and their motivations are riddled with issues. I also hate what was done with Rose and Lissa’s bond. After all the progress, that made no sense and has only created farther problems for one of the characters, problems that aren’t being dealt with at all. Everything just felt way too wrapped up in a bow. So, despite liking the series as a whole, I hate 90% of the ending and love talking about why.
  5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne: I refuse to accept this play as canon. Still, it’s a good exercise in determining what things are in-character and what things are out-of-character. That’s a great skill to have if you want to be a writer (even of fanfiction). It’s also a good example of When Plots Reach a Point Beyond Ludicrous and Just Become Impossible and Stupid. I could rant on and on about all the ways in which this story just does not work. And that’s why it’s a great discussion piece.

What are some books you didn’t like but love to discuss? Tell me about them in the comments!

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