This week, we are talking about the top polarizing books.
Let’s do it this way: I’ll list five polarizing books that I liked and then another five that I disliked. I thought I wouldn’t be able to list 5 under the “dislike” column but well, it seems I do have some unpopular opinions after all. I’ve been very careful with my reading choices. I mean, life is too short to read a bad book – or a book that you don’t like. But you’ll never really know until you read it, right? Well, I read these and here’s where I stand on them.
In the LIKED category:
- Armada by Ernest Cline. Guys, this is NOT a Ready Player One sequel. This is merely the book that this author published after that one. If you’re going into this expecting the same epicness, you’re not going to get it. There still are 80s and 90s references but overall, this is a Space Invaders video game novel. I personally enjoyed it. It was kind of a space opera with a YA twist to it. It definitely took some inspiration from Ender’s Game; if you know the “twist” in that story, it’s pretty much the same here. I would still recommend it but with the disclaimer that this is NOT Ready Player One 2. I don’t get why people needed to be reminded of that, tbh.
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I’m talking about the first book. I admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book either when I first read it. I thought it was an infodump and the jargon flew way over my head. However, it got increasingly better the more I thought of it. Actually, I started to appreciate it when I started reading the second book. After finishing the whole series, I realized that everything in the first book was necessary. Now, I really want to re-read the whole thing.
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner. While I hated the second book, I loved the first one. I think it was the right recommendation at the right time. I was reading so many books with female protagonists that I needed a change of scenery. Enter The Maze Runner. I enjoyed the male characters, the settings, the language, world-building… everything. I wish it were a standalone. I wish I never saw the second movie. I still love Minho. I was in awe at this first book in the trilogy. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the rest.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. At the risk of sounding like a total hipster, I think my love for this book stems from when I read it. I read this before all the hype, the hoopla, the fame. I read it around the time the paperback came out and honestly, I’ve never heard of it before. Then the second book came out. That’s when it exploded. While I still do like the other two books very much, the novelty of supposedly “found” photos quickly had gotten old.
- Dan Brown books. Whatever, guys. I love sci-fi mystery suspense thrillers. His Robert Langdon series of fictional history thrillers is an autobuy for me. I eventually do want to read all of his books and will love them regardless.
Now, for the DISLIKED category (if you liked any of these books, more power to you):
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This book made me so angry. And it’s not just about the ridiculous hype, mind you. I hated the very condescending writing style, the characters were dumb and annoying, and frankly, I’ve experienced worse pain that this and I don’t appreciated being told what and how to feel. Needless to say, this has soured me for every John Green book. I’ll stick with his online content.
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. Based on the title, I would expect it to be middle-grade. Nope, it’s a YA vampire paranormal novel about a girl who turns into a vampire living in the town of, well, Coldtown. Or so I think that’s it. I don’t know. I first read this when I resurrected (pun lol) my book blog and this was in all the “Best of the Year” lists. But when I was reading it, I couldn’t understand why people thought it was good. I’m still baffled.
- My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Gah, the mere thought of this book makes me so angry. The ending was a complete waste of time for everyone involved – the characters and the reader most of all. The movie’s ending made a whole lot more sense. I was so excited to read such a popular book but as I got to the end, I was reminded why I stay away from grown-up contemporary Hallmark dramas.
- The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Ambitious is my word for this book and series. The whole 7-book, comparison to Harry Potter marketing ploy soured me for this book. And frankly, it was not written well. The world building was too convoluted and I just couldn’t get into it. Frankly, I thought it was ridiculous.
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Lara Jean Song is probably my most-hated literary character of all time. Yeah, worse than Dolores Umbridge. This book had no progression and no ending. And apparently, this is now going to be a trilogy. Wow, when I first picked this up, this was a standalone. Then two more books to further Lara Jean’s fantasies? Nope, nope. NOPE. Remind me again why I’m extremely picky with contemporaries?
Wow, that felt good. Harsh but oh so cathartic. I’m sorry if I stepped on some toes but I don’t mind you guys stepping on mine as well. Let me know what your picks are. Let’s talk about them. 🙂