One of the best things about being on the Internet is that it is so much easier to get book recommendations from a lot of different sources and people. I love when the book community comes together in their love of one book in particular, because it feels more like a shared experience.
Sometimes that book that everyone is raving about just doesn’t work for me. I’ve read the Book du Jour and wondered why it seems like I’m the only one who didn’t enjoy it. Then I jump on the petty-wagon and seek out 1- and 2-star reviews to find my people and wallow in shared community.
Here are a couple from the past few years that just didn’t do it for me.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
I know that this is supposed to be the classic feminist book that riffs on the Wife in the Attic trope from Jane Eyre. I know that Jane Eyre was problematic and Mr. Rochester is supposed to be the worst. I know. But I loved Jane Eyre, and I liked how the romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester progressed up until the whole wife reveal. Bronte definitely made some…choices…in the last half of that book. I didn’t find Wide Sargasso Sea particularly interesting or ground-breaking. I didn’t really enjoy the writing style, either. I was mostly just very underwhelmed by this book. I can see its merit as a book, but just didn’t enjoy it. Mostly, I was just bored.
Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
I really, really, really, did not enjoy this book. I’ve seen so many positive reviews of it, but it didn’t do it for me at all. The idea of 5 families controlling the moon, like a network of moon mafia families, was such an interesting idea to me. The concept was A+ but the execution was an F for me. The writing was not great and the story was just kind of okay. I pushed through because there was a aromantic character that I wanted to follow, but then smack in the middle of this book was a very voyeuristic sex scene with that character that felt so slimy and gross to me. I have never skipped forward in an audiobook before, but I did for this one. That scene took a book I was mostly meh about and plummeted it down the crap shoot.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
I don’t remember much about this book, but even when reading it I had very little idea of what it was about. It’s one of those atmospheric books that is written to where the reader is supposed to infer what’s going on. So many people love this book and talk about how beautifully it’s written, but it flew so far above my head that I just didn’t connect with it at all.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I might get kicked off the Internet for this one. When this book came out, it was praised up, down, and sideways. Everyone was reading this book and everyone was gushing about it. And yeah, it was a good book, but the hype had me expecting so much more than what I got. It had an interesting premise and was well-written, but beyond that it was just…okay.
The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but for this series to be so popular it is not all that well-written. Actually, that might not be true – it might just be the translation that falls flat. The characters are amazing and I loved getting to know them. The story was meh – the concept of the conjunction of the spheres is super interesting, and the integration of the pogroms against the elves and other magical creatures gives it a very Polish twist. The plot with Ciri and the prophecy was…uh, interesting? Also a little gross. Especially when it comes to the men she deals with along the way. ESPECIALLY when dealing with Emperor Emyr. I was so grossed out when that came up in the last book. Also the ending of the last book was so out of nowhere. There are parts of this series that I liked, but when taken overall it just was fine. Just okay. Could have been so much better.
Do you agree with any of these? Let me know in the comments. Do you disagree with me? Roast me in the comments! All opinions accepted 🙂