Well-Loved Books I Didn’t Love

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Today, I’m sharing something a bit different. I’ve talked about a few of these books before, but I wanted to share some of the books everyone seems to love that I didn’t. I don’t hate any of the books on this list, I just don’t think they lived up to the massive hype. So, here are the well-loved books that I didn’t love:

The Shining by Stephen King. I know this is a cult favorite, but it’s not mine. I didn’t hate it, but it’s easily my least favorite of the King books I’ve read so far, and I’ve read quite a few. It’s not a bad book, but I think it was definitely overhyped. I do love a lot of King’s novels, but this isn’t one of them.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I’m just going to say it: this was solidly mediocre. The story isn’t anything special and Maas’s writing isn’t great. I did enjoy most of the ACOTAR series (the last one, not so much), but I think I’m done reading Maas. I hated Celaena or whatever her name is now, and I’m not interested in reading an overly long series with an annoying main character, and I don’t particularly enjoy Maas’s writing.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I didn’t hate this, but it definitely didn’t blow me away. I think this was another case of it being overhyped. And I’d already read Fangirl, which, in my opinion, is better. I just didn’t get it.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. This is super famous and well-loved, but I did not connect with it at all. It just felt like a book I needed to get through, and I remember almost nothing. Again, didn’t hate it, it just fell completely flat for me.

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. I am a huge Shakespeare nerd, but I just can’t understand why this one is prized so highly. If you look closely at the story, it’s pretty annoying. Two thirteen-year-olds fall in lust, disobey their parents, and cause the deaths of five people. I mean, there are worse plays, and this one has some classic quotes, but there are so much better ones, too. Like Macbeth or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s a beautiful play, but the story is essentially YA romance at its worst.

Emma by Jane Austen. I love Jane Austen. But I am not a fan of Emma. I find the main character really annoying, and I struggle to get through it. Which is sad, because I feel that I’ve given this one a solid chance: I’ve read it twice at two very different points in my life, and still couldn’t connect with it at all.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I get that this is a classic coming of age novel that has probably helped a lot of people. BUT, I was not into the whole sex, drugs, and rock n roll (or, in this case, The Rocky Horror Picture Show) scene as a teenager, so I don’t really identify with characters like these. And, as an adult, teenage characters often annoy me. So, maybe if I’d read this when I was younger I’d like it more. But it wasn’t for me.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. Okay, don’t hate me. I wanted to like this one so badly, I just could not connect to it. Objectively, it is a beautiful book. But I wasn’t excited to pick it back up again each time I put it down. I’m sad I didn’t love it, but you can’t force yourself to love something.

I think that’s it for this post. I don’t think any of these books are bad, they’re just not for me. (And you’re not going to change my mind, so don’t try.) I think it’s wonderful we all have different opinions on books. If you love these books, that’s great! I just didn’t, and that’s okay.

Are there any books everyone else seems to love, but you didn’t? Let me know in the comments! (I promise not to be offended if it’s one of my favorites.)

25 thoughts on “Well-Loved Books I Didn’t Love

    1. Wow, you’ve read a lot of these! Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who didn’t love them! (I would have DNFed TBAN, too, but I was so sure I’d love it I already requested an ARC of the second book, so I had to power through. Lesson learned.)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wuthering Heights. This is my sister’s favorite book, but I hated every moment of it. I can follow dark plots and twisted love but I need to like at least one of the characters and just didn’t. I didn’t even like their names. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember enjoying it when I read it in college, but I have a feeling I wouldn’t like it quite as much if I read it now. I agree that the characters are not really likeable (and with the names haha). There are better dark classics out there.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re not missing much. I really don’t get why people are so obsessed with her books. They’re kind of like bad TV, slightly addicting until you realize how much time you’ve wasted on bad stories.

      Glad to hear someone agrees with me about Eleanor & Park! It’s a shame since I actually liked Fangirl.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree! It’s way too long, and the characters do not compare to Austen’s other characters. I think Clueless is proof this could actually have been good if it was a lot shorter and not so slow.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also wasn’t blown away by Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think the hype around it built it up too much and I didn’t find it as amazing as everyone else did.

    I liked Eleanor & Park but I read it before Fangirl. But I totally agree that Fangirl is way better in my opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hated Emma the first time I tried it in my teens but actually when I tried it again last year I fell in love and couldn’t put it down. We are all different though and I think when you read a book has a huge impact on how much enjoyment you’ll get out of it- or at least for me it’s very mood dependent. But then that’s part of what makes reading such a great experience, finding the perfect book for that moment.
    I’ve just been reading Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier which I’ve had recommended to me loads of times… I don’t think I could have been less impressed with the title story if I tried, and I normally love Du Maurier.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I share your opinions on Throne of Glass and Romeo and Juliet. I think that part of my problem with Romeo and Juliet is that it is everywhere and people love their personal concept of Romeo and Juliet, without knowing things like the fact that the characters are thirteen etc… I could like it, if our pop culture wasn’t so obsessed with it. I bought Throne of Glass in french in a period in which everyone was obsessed with it. I needed a book with a captivating story to help me find the will to read in another language. It didn’t work :/ the story was… kind of dull?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Everyone thinks R&J is romantic, but it’s actually kind of an awful story. It would be better if everyone accepted it as the tragedy it is (or a cautionary tale about how stupid teenagers can be sometimes), especially since I think it’s some of Shakespeare’s best writing. And I agree with you on ToG. Just wasn’t that exciting or original. If you tell me repeatedly how badass a character is, make sure she actually does something badass instead of complaining and talking about dresses the whole book. I don’t get they hype around it.

      Like

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