The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag

26 January, 2016 Musing Musers, Random 23 comments

So the other day (as in last year), my friend Steph from No BS Book Reviews (Nobs for short *snicker*), tagged me in the Unpopular Opinion Book Tag, created by The Book Archer. She undoubted thought this was hilarious because in her words, “You have so many unpopular opinions! It’ll be perfect for you!” I won’t pretend that she’s not right, I can’t deny that I am a very niche reader — as picky as they come. But I will not give her the satisfaction of admitting how correct she is.

Also, I filmed this with drinks if watching videos is your thing. Like and subscribe to our channel if you dig it!

A Popular Book/Series You Didn’t Like

There are a lot of books and series that are really popular that I don’t like. Some I down right hate. And I’m perfectly okay with being the Grinch of popular books.

Books my friends loved that I really don’t understand:

The Burning Sky

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Grasshopper Jungle

These are books that I’ve gone into expecting greatness because most of my friends vouched for them, only to be completely let down. That’s right, I’m blaming my friends’ poor taste in books! The Burning Sky is probably the best example for this because not one of my trusted reviewers disliked it. Usually when I dislike something, there’s a least one lone wolf right there with me to stand in solidarity. But not here. I was all alone! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was really weak and very unforgettable (and Peter was gross!). Grasshopper Jungle was just plain weird, confusing and horrible.

 

Problematic popular series that make me weep for humanity:

Hush Hush
Shatter Me Redesign
Dark Fever

These series have themes or tropes that are so problematic, yet still hold some sort of appeal for mainstream readers. I don’t get it. Hush, Hush basically perpetuated rape culture, Shatter Me (Kat | Paul) contained a ship I cannot get behind (also the writing, ugh), and Darkfever has a controlling/abusive love interest cleverly disguised as an Alpha Male. Yet, again, these series are well-loved and have Fandoms that will fight tooth and nail for their glory. I don’t get it.

 

Throwback series that I read years after they were published and found horrible:

Uglies
The Awakening

I read both Uglies and The Vampire Diaries around 2009 years after they were originally published. These are books that were super popular when they first came out and were recommended to people post-Twilight. Let me just say that Twilight was better. Uglies’ writing was way too juvenile for my tastes and the made up slang completely did me in. I ended up DNF-ing. Amazingly, I managed to make it to book 4 of the Vampire Diaries series before I gave up, but it was mostly out of morbid curiosity and sheer boredom, and not pleasure. I am very mystified how it’s so popular.

 

Hyped books that I didn’t like but can see why they have mass appeal:

An Ember in the Ashes
Unspoken
The Martian

These are decent books. I can kinda see why so many people like them, but they don’t work for me. Personally, I found them extremely boring and the hype not deserved. An Ember in the Ashes lacked interesting enough characters, Unspoken‘s pacing was too slow and The Martian severely needed aliens.

 

A Book Series That Everyone Hates, But You Love

Origin

Velvet

The Jewel

I wouldn’t say I love any of these books, but I did enjoy them more than most of my friends. While they were all collectively agreeing on their displeasure, I was the lone wolf in the corner saying, “Hey this isn’t half bad.” That’s not to say these books were perfect or that I didn’t notice some of the issues in the novels.  I did, but they just didn’t bother me.

  • Origin had really great writing and I enjoyed the tension throughout the novel, but it contains animal death/torture and themes that suggest science=evil.
  • I gave Velvet 2 stars, but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. In fact, I rather enjoyed the second half of the novel and how the romance developed despite how cheesy and rough the beginning was.
  • The Jewel was cute and I think it would be a great read for tweens transitioning from MG to YA. I also thought Ewing did a great job with dropping bucket loads of anticipation into her writing, but that cliffhanger killed me.

 

A Love Triangle Where the MC Ended Up With A Person You Didn’t Want Them To End Up With, Or An OTP You Didn’t Like

Meridian
Darken the Stars
The 100
catching fire

I’m usually not too picky on ships and who ends up with who, but there are a few books that legitimately make me curse.

  • Meridian had a really great love triangle, but there was one love interest who was perfect for the main character. And in the first book, Archlight, it totally looked like she would reconnect with McPerfect, but she chooses the other guy for some reason. To this day, I am still baffled by this.
  • Darken the Stars was one of the worse books I read last year. The way the author handled the romance in this book was so offensive and irresponsible. Basically, Kricket falls in love with the series’ primary antagonist and abuser. She “changes” him and it’s so gross I wanted to throw up. I never exactly shipped Kricket with anyone in this series because I found them all to be assholes, but jeez, OF ALL THE CHARACTERS.
  • So Meg is probably giving me dagger eyes right now, because you all know she is hardcore #Bellarke, but I do not ship Bellamy and Clarke. I don’t know, guys, I just don’t see it! I think this stems mostly from a deep rooted dislike of Bellamy in the first season–he was a totally selfish jerk!–and my displeasure of Finn’s character arc. I don’t care what anyone says, it was completely out of character and made no sense. I still believe the showrunners made certain choices about Bellamy and Finn to appease fans.
  • I never really looked at Peeta as a legitimate love interest. To me, he was always just some boy from District 12 who happened to be in The Hunger Games with Katniss. I saw their relationship more as a friendship than a romantic one, and I was completely blindsided when Katniss never ended up with Gale. Peeta and Katniss? I don’t get it.

 

A Popular Book Genre You Rarely Reach For

I rarely reach for:

Contemporary – I feel like this genre is suffering from I-want-to-be-the-next-John-Green-or-Rainbow-Rowell syndrome. I usually like “issue books” and tend to reach for them more than the fluffier feel-good contemporaries, but I also feel like the genre has become overwhelmed with them. Especially since many of them seem like they are just riding a “trend.”

New Adult – NA generally has a lot of tropes I don’t like. Plus, most NA books are contemporary, which brings me back to the other genre I don’t read. It’s like a double whammy of NOPE. Occasionally, I do read some NA my friends are raving about like Easy and Unteachable, both of which really surprised me. NA does seem to finally be branching out to Fantasy and Sci-Fi, so I’ll be interested to see how this goes!

A Popular Beloved Character That You Didn’t Like

Tris from Divergent – I never could seem to really connect with Tris. I’m not sure why that really is… maybe all the angst from Insurgent? I don’t know. Anyway, let’s just say the ending to Allegiant greatly pleased me.

Barrons from Fever – I do not see the appeal with this guy. He’s abusive and treats Mac like shit. Why should I like him? Oh because he eventually changes as the series goes on and decides to treat people like human beings? Yeah, no.

A Popular Author You Can’t Seem To Get Into

Rainbow Rowell – I have read all of her books and I don’t see what’s so special about her writing. It just doesn’t mesh well with me. What’s interesting is that her most popular books, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, I actually disliked the most while her least popular ones, Attachments and Landline, I enjoyed a lot more. But still not enough for me to continue on with Simon and Baz. I’m getting off this train of suck.

Cassandra Clare – What to say? Clare is just not for me. At all. I have read 6 of her books and I know for sure, she is not a writer for me. Her characters and plot are re-hashed and re-vamped versions of her former books and there’s not much originality between them. How many times will she re-write Jace, Clary and Alec? HOW MANY? What makes this even more hilarious is that Meg can’t seem to stop reading them.

A Popular Trope You’re Tired Of Seeing

Alpha Males – I haven’t read a lot of books containing Alpha Males. Maybe a handful. But what I have read, I never seem to like. For the most part it seems like a convenient way for the love interest to push around the heroine, without being labeled as abusive. And people swoon over these guys. However, if we were to see some of the same relationships in YA, we would be calling it a an abusive relationship. Awww, double standards.

Love Triangles – Sometimes these can be really well-written. Other times they completely undermine the heroine’s character growth and the novel becomes a pissing contest between whose dick is better and bigger than the others. Case and point: Snow Like Ashes.

A Popular Series You Have No Interest In Reading

There’s not really a series I won’t at least try. There have been a lot of books I’ve said I wouldn’t read, but ended up enjoying greatly (hello, Seven Realms series!). So this section will be Popular Series You Have No Interest In Returning To:

The Giver
The Burning Sky
The Selection
Fallen

I read The Giver right before the movie released and maybe I’m too old to appreciate that story. Most people read it when they were in elementary school, before Dystopian is what it is today. And it wasn’t a horrible book. It’s a very quick read and I can appreciate it’s finer points, but eh, I don’t think I’m interested enough to continue on with the series.

My friends keep telling me that The Elemental Trilogy gets better with each book, but it is never, ever, ever going to happen.

I read the The Selection out of curiosity. I just had to figure out why it was a NY Times Bestseller. I still don’t get it because the book isn’t good. Ah well. At least we all can agree that Epic Reads did a bang up job with The Selection Recap with Dolls.

Fallen is one of those books that I question why it was written and so, therefore, I choose to pretend more books do not exist.

(Bonus: John Green’s books.)

The Saying Goes “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE,” But What Movie/Show Adaptation Do You Prefer More Than The Book?

The 100 – I’ve heard the books are vastly different from the TV show and nowhere near as good. The Recaptions have a good break down on how it differs. The first season of the show kind of follows the book a bit, which is interesting because IMO it’s also the weakest season. The second and third season does its own thing and shows remarkable improvements.

Divergent – While I enjoyed the first book, there were times when it did drag on. This is mostly because Veronica Roth saves most of her action for the final 90% of her books. So the movie really helps with those and it’s nice to see some of the descriptions of the factions really come to life. I found the movie a lot more entertaining than the book.

 

How about you? Are there any books you have unpopular opinions on? Let me know!

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
Early Cuddles: This Shattered World by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman https://t.co/2CPqfNlDEH #CuddlebuggeryArchive - 3 hours ago

23 Responses to “The Unpopular Opinion Book Tag”

  1. Kerri

    I think I vote for all videos going forward to be drunk videos. 😀

    CC just makes me sad. I used to idolize her back in my HP fandom days but now I just kinda wonder how long she can keep it up with basically rewriting the same story. I haven’t even read her books, this is just what I’ve heard from her fans!

    Also, what you said about trends is so true – I feel like it’s really obvious whenever a book or author becomes popular. Right after 50 Shades we saw a whole glut of books that were so much like them, we saw a lot of books like The Hunger Games… I guess it must work in some respect because publishers keep doing it, but it’s really obvious.

    I think the biggest unpopular opinion I have right now is about ‘You’, by Caroline Kepnes. I just don’t get why its so popular and it really disturbs me that it is, to be honest. The concept turned me right off, so much so that I just skimmed most of the book and read the ending, and sometimes I’m just like “Why? WHY do so many people love this fucked up, incredibly creepy book?” Idk! I’m normally all about authors trying to get into the heads of awful people but something about this just makes me shudder and go “Noooooo”.
    Kerri recently posted…It’s Monday – What Are You Reading?My Profile

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      I admit, it was fun to shoot while tipsy!

      CC amazes me as does her fans. But I guess if people are still reading it, her publisher will keep buying it.

      Ugh, the 50 Shades trend was the worst! I’m glad it pushed the Romance genre more into the spotlight and empowered more women to not be ashamed of what they read, but, man, some of those books… ha.

      I completely understand where you are coming from with YOU. It’s super creepy and not an enjoyable read. It’s actually very horrifying. I did find it very addictive when reading, but definitely didn’t take pleasure in any of it. I liked it in the sense that I was impressed with how authentically fuck up the author got his perspective so right.

  2. Ashana Lian

    This is actually such an interesting tag!! What I noticed most is how I haven’t read most of the books on your list, but I’ve heard of nearly all of them. So clearly I have some sort of aversion to them as well.

    I have to agree with you on the Throwback series one. I neeever got Uglies. But I’d have of disagree with you on Hunger Games – I think Katniss and Peeta’s link was much more to do with the traumatic event they both lived through rather than a slowly developing romantic relationship. If the Hunger Games had never happened, who knows? She probably WOULD have ended up with Gale. Your answer for the popular trope question was PERFECT.

    This tag would make me feel guilty about trashing a whole load of books!! Anyway, I’m glad I was able to read this and there was no computer virus threat after all. :3
    Ashana Lian recently posted…Fantasy Miniseries: The Sorcerer’s Secretary (Chapter Two)My Profile

    • Ashana Lian

      Also, there’s a tiny typo in the second main paragraph – it says rap culture (to which I was like ‘Huh’? thinking of 50 Cent, lol) but from your video I realise you meant rape culture.

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      Well, I’m of the opinion that you aren’t missing anything special, but a bunch of my friends would disagree with me!

      Yeah, I understand Peeta and Katniss’ relationship in hindsight and definitely saw more of it with the movies. But the first time I read the books, I was totally taken off guard. MY SHIIIIIIIP. But I also get that Katniss and Gale kinda became two different people by the end and maybe it would never have worked out. sigh.

      Don’t feel guilty! You can’t love them all! 🙂

  3. Kate Copeseeley

    I think I agreed with a lot of what you said, surprisingly. (though I will die on the Sherry Thomas hill. The 2nd and 3rd books were so good. anyway)
    I can’t help shipping #Bellarke, but I also shipped #Clexa for a while there. (you know why, no spoilers here) But I’ll have you know that in the books, I do NOT ship #Bellarke. They get together super fast and it just doesn’t ring true to real life. At least on the show things are moving slow (if that’s the writers’ end game. We don’t know for sure.) Oh, and by the way, #Bellarke was the most written m/f pairing on AO3 last year. 😀
    And as far as the tropes that you’re tired of… I’m so with you on the love triangles and ugh to Alpha males. UGH. But they seem to be pretty popular with other ladies, so, I guess I should just shut up about it.
    Kate Copeseeley recently posted…Ask The Author (the audiobook edition)My Profile

  4. Carina Olsen
    Twitter:

    Stunning post Steph 😀 I already commented on this on youtube. <3 But yeah. You are aaawesome 🙂 And I love reading/watching your opinions about all of these books. Lots of fun. But aw, yeah, I really do think you should try Carry On by Rainbow 🙂 It is different. And the best. I mean.. the romance gave me butterflies. Sigh. That has never happened before 🙂 You really, really should try it. <3 Anyway. You are the best 🙂 Thank you for sharing. <3
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Review: The Island by Olivia LevezMy Profile

  5. Marcy

    I’m currently halfway through the audiobook for “Shatter Me.” I read your review of it, from last year. I’m with you. The more I listen to it, it feels like it’s all a bunch of prose and very little dialogue. I won’t say it’s horrible, but I do wonder how and why it has such high praise on Amazon and Goodreads. I started reading the YA genre a couple years ago. Most of the books on your list I haven’t read or listened to yet. I did listen to “Fallen” and I was in love with it, until the last book. I slogged through it. I think the ending was a good way to end the story, however.

  6. Fangs for the Fantasy

    I agree with you on everything! Well except the books I haven’t read but since we have similar (right-thinking) opinions I’m convinced by the others

    I join your weeping for humanity!

    Some books I don’t like. Some books I don’t like and I think “hey, different strokes – we can’t all like the same thing”

    And some books I don’t like and I see other people praising them and want to hold them and convince them they’re good people who deserve nice things who don’t deserve to suffer like this

    And some books I don’t like and see lots of other people praising them and think that the apocalypse has definite advantages
    Fangs for the Fantasy recently posted…Beowulf Return to the Shieldlands, Season One, Episode FourMy Profile

  7. Katie @ ShelfishlyAddicted
    Twitter:

    I had The Fault in Our Stars for six years (SIX YEARS!) before I finally decided to cave and read it… I hated it. Well, hate is a strong word. My review wasn’t a total trash-heap, but I don’t get why people think John Green’s books are so genius and fresh. I think he’s a master manipulator, or that he THINKS he is, and yeah… Just not for me. The end.
    Katie @ ShelfishlyAddicted recently posted…Review: The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem KhanMy Profile

  8. Kaniesha

    Aw, I adore Peeta. Maybe it’s because I read THG when I was 18. I wasn’t nearly as critical as a reader I am now (and I’m in the middle of a re-read, Mockingjay currently) and yeah, it’s pretty bizarre Katniss ended up with anyone, really. But I understand why she couldn’t be with Gale. It’s one or the other with these love triangles!

    Uglies I also read when I was a wee young little nerd. I was probably in middle school. I WANT to re-read it, you know as an adult, but I’m afraid I’m going to hate it. So I might just leave it in my past where it belongs.

    The Burning Sky, however! One of my fav book series hands down. The first book was GOD AWFUL. Don’t get me wrong. It took me literally four months to read it. And I hated it. But I’ve got a bad habit of liking princes.

    I adored Rainbow Rowell up until the racism thing with Eleanor & Park. It’s hard to understand where Korean readers are coming from, because I’m biracial and I know what it’s like to feel like you don’t belong to either. I think I just connected with his character, so that book meant a lot. Eleanor, plus size weirdo, much like myself as well. I just saw myself in the characters so that book was super easy. I have a hard time differentiating authors from their… morals? though. So I can’t get past her ignoring criticism and continue to read her books.

    Book trends are pretty awful. I’m kind of glad dystopias died out. Is that ironic? I’m not sure. What’s the trend now? I’m so behind. I’ve been seeing a lot of high fantasy recently, which makes me incredibly happy. Princes and princesses! I wonder what started it. Throne of Glass getting super popular maybe?

    I’ve not read any of the other books but I’m always afraid to read popular things because I’m afraid to not like things other people like. I’m hoping to read Red Rising soon with the series coming to an end. (It’s the same thing I did with Marie Lu’s Legend series, and speaking of Marie Lu, have you read that new trilogy she’s writing? I forgot the title. I didn’t like the book at all).

  9. Bonnie @ A Backwards Story
    Twitter:

    I agree with a lot of this!! I haven’t read everything you’ve mentioned; I’ve stayed away from some series for the reasons you’ve said. Other books, such as Fallen and Hush, Hush, it was one and done because THE ABUSE! I just….CAN’T EVEN.

    I’m very much like you; if I don’t click with a character, I don’t like that character and don’t warm up to him/her, even if they’re SUPPOSED to be unlikable at first. I almost didn’t give Lauren Oliver a second chance because I disliked Sam from her debut Before I Fall so much. I don’t own any of the Iron Man movies (Except, of course, The Avengers) because I just can’t stand Tony Stark, even though he’s supposed to be an epic jackass. Etc, etc.

    The only thing I’ll actively agree to disagree on is Sherry Thomas! The first book was weak and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it. I was going to wait to see if it became an e-book deal, or, if I liked the second book better, I might buy it in PB instead of HC. But I received a free HC at ALA Midwinter, and then the second book was worlds better, so I wound up buying books two and three in HC!! *BUT* I also have a weakness for elemental magic books, princes, and girls disguised as boys, so it hit all my triggers!
    Bonnie @ A Backwards Story recently posted…How Do You Follow Your Favorite Blogs? What Works Best…and What Fails the Most?My Profile

  10. Paul
    Twitter:

    Yes yes YES SUZANNE COLLINS WHAT IS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD??? I mean, just look at this:

    Katniss + Gale = Gatniss
    Katniss + Peeta = Peeniss

    SERIOUSLY (Although, to be fair, if you go the other way, Katniss + Gale can = Kale. STILL. A vegetable (is it a vegetable? I never got on the Kale train) is better than a homonym for the male genitals.) Katniss and Gale are SO MUCH MORE SHIPPABLE. Tsk tsk. Peet was never meant to be the one!!

    And also, yess Grasshopper Jungle was so confusing and strange and weird and confusing (wait I said that). I DNFed it, and even then, it never occurred to me that it was a popular series. (Like wut, are we even reading the same book??)

    Anyway, you get the gist. This post was completely perfect.

  11. Morgan @ Gone with the Words
    Twitter:

    I’m not a big video person but yours looks really fun so I’ll try to watch it soon 😀 I actually read The Vampire Diaries first four books also, in 2010 or 11 I think. They were sooooo badddd but I wanted to see how different from the show the story was (COMPLETELY).

    Aww that’s too bad about Unspoken, it’s a series I love! I’m on the fence about Ember, I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard such mixed reviews. The Jewel has such a pretty cover, I’m still tempted to try it! Never thought about The Hunger Games like that… I’ve been wanting to reread so I’ll have to pay attention to the Katniss/Peeta dynamic.

    Ughhhhhh yes I stay completely away from that kind of contemporary. They all sound the same lately and I don’t like issue books to begin with. I do love my fluffy books though. And I am SUPER selective about NA; I don’t care for most of the tropes either. Too much manufactured drama. I’ve found that on the whole sports NA’s are pretty great. I loved The Deal. But fantasy or sci fi would be cool, I hope it branches out more!

    Clare is 100% not for me. I read City of Bones and found it so blah. No interest in continuing.

    Love triangles are hit or miss for me. I don’t mind them if it seems organic/natural/well done. But if I can tell immediately when a character is introduced that they’ll be part of a triangle? No thanks drama llama.

    Probably my most unpopular opinion is that I vastly prefer the Lord of the Rings movies to the book. I just didn’t care for it 🙁 I love Tolkien’s imagination and storytelling but his writing style is so incredibly not for me. 5 pages to describe a forest when we get a beautiful sweeping shot in 5 seconds of film. Plus I just love those movies.

    I also don’t care for Vampire Academy (though granted, I’ve only read the first book) and have no interest in reading Gayle Foreman books.

    Loved your post! Super fun.

  12. Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic

    I thought I was the only one who couldn’t get into Rainbow Rowell’s books! Everyone goes on about how much they adore her writing and her characters but I just can’t connect to her writing. I read Fangirl and was majorly disappointed and then I read Eleanor & Park which I also didn’t like much. I want to try her other books as I’d like to see if I enjoy those better!

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