I know this is an old tag of Booktube and Bookstagram, but I have yet to participate in it myself. I’m usually discussing the stories I adore and the characters who have captured my heart, although I have not spoken in-depth of my dislikes. I’d like to think I’m more optimistic when it comes to the arts, but there’s nothing wrong with talking about the things I’m not fond of, so I thought this tag would be a good way to vent a tad.
(Note: I mean no offense to anyone who likes the books or characters I mention below. These are simply my opinions and I mean no harm towards anyone.)
Q. What’s a popular book or series you didn’t like?
A: All right, well there are actually quite a few of these because for some reason, I find most popular books are overhyped and are simply repetitions of the same best-selling themes we’ve seen before.
One of my least favorite popular books is probably A Court of Thorns and Roses. I found the writing to be simple and repetitive and the characters to be predictable and a bit bland, but what really bothered me about this book was the problematic themes. Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin was borderline abusive and possessive. I’m so tired of these controlling men to be romanticized as something you want in a man. It’s not cute to hold someone against a wall and basically force yourself on them until they give in. You know what is cute though? ASKING FOR CONSENT.
Q. What’s a popular book or series that you love but everyone else seems to hate?
A: There are a couple of books I happen to love but don’t have the best reviews, though the most popular out of that bunch is probably The Paper Magician.
Yes, this book was slow at times and didn’t offer too much character depth (which is typically a massive no from me), but there was something so charming about this series. I love Holmberg’s writing style and the sort of magic she created. I could see everything play out in my head as though it was a film, and that’s not something I experience often. This series isn’t mind-blowing, but I really enjoy it.
Q: What’s a love triangle where the character didn’t end up with who you want or an OTP (one true pairing) you don’t like? *spoilers for The 5th Wave ahead*
A: Many people don’t know of this book, and this is one of novels that actually doesn’t have great reviews but I think is ONE OF THE BEST COMING-OF-AGE STORIES EVER MY HEART IS STILL BROKEN. *ahem* But The Vanishing Season by the incredible Jodi Lynn Anderson features the most realistic love triangle I’ve ever read, which is why it didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Anderson approached the situation with realism, and though it made sense and I knew it was going to happen, I was still devastated and I STILL AM.
As for an OTP I don’t like, it has to be Cassie and Evan from The 5th Wave series. Sorry, but I think stalking someone you were meant to kill and falling in love with them from simply observing them over weeks (months?) is both unrealistic and quite frankly creepy. BEN WAS MUCH CUTER AND HAD A BETTER PERSONALITY. Just saying.
Q: What’s a popular genre you rarely reach for?
A: As a writer, I try to keep an open-mind and read just about any genre. But, I typically don’t like reading books that are all about romance. There has to be some magic or family drama or a war going on in order to keep my attention, otherwise I’ll probably be rolling my eyes at the absurdity of romance. There are a few romance books I have loved *side-eyes Etienne St. Clair* but those are very rare occurrences.
Q: Who is a popular or beloved character that you don’t like?
A: This has to be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I only read the first novel, but I found Katniss to be extremely bland and unrealistic. She showed no emotion during chaos and death, no sense of urgency or doubts. She came across sort of robotic, only showing feelings towards Peeta or Gale (both of which I also didn’t like).
Q: Who’s a popular author you can’t seem to get into?
A: Definitely Sarah J. Maas. After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I don’t wish to continue reading anymore of her work. Quite frankly, I’m tired of seeing her books all over Bookstagram when there are hundreds upon hundreds of books without problematic tendencies.
I don’t say this as an attack towards Maas at all. I don’t think she was trying to write anything problematic or make POC feel lesser, but still, I don’t wish to continue with reading any of her books.
Q: What’s a popular book trope you’re tired of seeing?
A: Oh my stars, let me get the list.
I’m so tired of the “you’re different from other girls” saying (It’s demeaning towards other women and WOMEN NEED TO SUPPORT WOMEN). I’m exhausted of the special snowflakes who begin as underdogs. Also, why must every family member die? You don’t have a single cousin or SOMETHING COME ON. Also, INSTA LOVE AND LOVE TRIANGLES CAN JUST STOP. And finally, I have had enough of the shy girls who are super awkward and clumsy but attract the attention of the most popular douchey guy. No. Just no.
Q: What’s a popular book series you have no interest in reading?
A: Definitely A Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Again, her writing style wasn’t for me and I’ve heard the problematic tendencies in her series, so I don’t plan on ever reading this series.
Q: The saying goes, “The book is always better than the movie”, but what film or television show adaptations do you prefer to the book?
A: I would have to say Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children played out very well on-screen. I did enjoy the book, but there was something lacking in my reading experience. I suppose it felt younger than the intended audience, and not nearly as scary as I thought it to be. (Also, it was in the film where I discovered Finlay MacMillian and I have never been the same since.)
I still haven’t recovered.
Once again, I want to apologize to anyone after this short rant of mine. I do not mean in any way to attack your favorite books or characters, although I do urge you to consider some of these things that can be very harmful and problematic to certain communities. I’m still becoming educated myself, but it’s important now more than ever to listen to unrepresented voices and give them the recognition they deserve.
I don’t enjoy being negative, but it feels good to get those thoughts out. I hope you all enjoyed this book tag and hearing my thoughts on certain subject matter. I would of course love to hear your opinions as well and if you agree or disagree with these thoughts.
I look forward to participating in more tags in the future!