I’m going to start off with the standard disclaimer: THESE ARE ONLY MY OPINIONS. Please don’t be offended if I said something about your favourite book/character/pairing/author/genre/etc. It is not a personal attack on anyone at all—after all, the world is vastly more boring with only one set of opinions.
Now that the disclaimer is over, I can’t wait to start. Unpopular Opinions is always one of my favourite tags to read/watch just because it is interesting to hear about people’s dislikes or pet peeves. In fact, I would rather read negative reviews or discussions of people ripping apart things that they didn’t absolutely love/had major issues with since that really gives good insight into the book and whether I will like it or not personally.
Anyways, kudos to The Book Archer for creating this brilliant tag, and feel free to check out the original here.
Here goes nothing:
- A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.
Probably a lot, particularly when it comes to historical fiction. My pick would be The Lake House by Kate Morton. I felt that her previous efforts were much better, and all the elements that I did not like about her writing—extremely dense descriptions, plenty of meandering and distraction to the plot line, tying everything into super neat bows in the ending—were amplified in this book. Plus I felt the mystery was rather boring in this one. I actually wanted to know about the police investigation about a mother abandoning her daughter instead of figuring the case of kidnapped baby Theo in the past.
- A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
Again, I’m picking a historical fiction novel here. The Tudor Wife (previously self-published as Vengeance is Mine) by Brandy Purdy (or Emily Purdy in the UK editions).
A lot of the criticisms included the awful characterization of Anne Boleyn, the nonsense characterization of Katherine Howard, the infamous honey scene that had no place being there (plus more character assassination), and more purple prose than the average reader would have liked. But honestly, I adored the book. There was just something very interesting reading the whole ‘Henry and his wives’ saga from the psychotic Jane Boleyn’s POV. I do realize that this is more character assassination, since in real life Jane probably wasn’t the harpy who only hated or loved certain people based on how they treat her in relation to her husband. However, this tale evoked a lot of strong emotions and I was pretty familiar with the facts, so I didn’t mind. Essentially, I drank this up like the mess of a soap opera that it was. It was also a very quick read given Purdy’s smooth writing—I didn’t find it excessively clunky, although there were certain descriptions that could have been spared. I especially enjoyed the crazy misunderstandings between Jane and Anne Boleyn who was a fierce character despite the not-so-even portrayal of her.
- A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn people for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.
First of all, I don’t recall ever actively hating any pairings. I just generally feel apathetic towards them, and it is exactly how I feel about the following pairing.
I’m going to pick an OTP from The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown (although admittedly, one can probably figure it out if they’ve read the first book of the series). It’s who Darrow—our protagonists—ends up with. To be honest though, I actually did not care who Darrow ended up with throughout the entire series.
For those who haven’t read the Red Rising Trilogy (go read it!), the story follows Darrow, someone from the Red society (a lowly slave) and disguised himself to be a Gold (the rulers of the empire) with the help of some underground revolutionaries. This takes place on Mars and throughout the solar system. Given all the action, battles, and backstabbing going on, my last concern was any romantic attachments in this series. I would think that given his role as an undercover revolutionary, love would not have been a high priority on Darrow’s mind in addition to the very recent loss of his wife. (not a spoiler, they tell you that in the description of the first book). Finally, I felt that the romance was not well developed and I felt quite apathetic towards the love-interest/female lead character as a whole.
- A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.
So many. On the top of my list would definitely be Sci-fi and fantasy, and I am trying my hardest to read more of them this year.
- A popular or beloved character that you do not like.
Just like question 3 with the OTP, I don’t remember actively hating characters—other than love-to-hate villains, but that’s a different story. I just don’t have this huge appreciation for the character that so many other people have for him.
It’s Joe Goldberg from You and Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes. Now, I will admit, he is very witty and he makes some darkly amusing observations. His observations on life, such as pretentious individuals with their allergies that aren’t real and people who go to the bookstores and only buy the latest Stephen King book because it’s by Stephen King are hilarious, are completely spot on. For everyone who makes it to Hidden Bodies, Joe’s opinions about Facebook/Twitter and LA are golden. However, I can’t forget the fact that he is a murderous psychopathic stalker. And not the nice or warped up kind either; he means business. Whenever Joe starts waxing poetry about his lady love, I always feel squeamish and I just want to be like “Dude space please”. And he waxes poetry quite a bit, although he also has this tendency to flip 180 degrees suddenly, which just makes him efficiently deluded and terrifying. Unfortunately, his too many creeper comments always reinforce the fact that he is not normal and he clearly is someone to avoid. While I may enjoy reading about him getting away with murders (for the first while), I just can’t like him.
- A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
I’ll refrain from doing a long list; Elizabeth Chadwick and George RR Martin.
Elizabeth Chadwick writes historical fiction, and I’ve read nothing but high praises for her—a lot of people comment that she is the “the next best thing to time travel”, her details make the smell, taste, and atmosphere come alive. I have read at least 4 books from her now, and while I think she is a competent writer I certainly don’t feel like I have slipped into the past with her books. I like some of the books that she wrote and plan to re-read them thanks to her take on various historical characters, but overall I find her slightly overhyped for my tastes.
As for George RR Martin, I adore the concept of A Song of Ice and Fire, but I found his writing to be pretty generic. DISCLAIMER THOUGH: I have only read A Game of Thrones and while I liked it for its complex plotlines, host of characters and lot of history/backstory being established, it also reads like a TV series immediately. And hence it just makes me want to watch the critically acclaimed series from HBO as opposed to read the various tomes.
- A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)
So many tropes. I’ll limit myself to a short list:
- Love triangles with a girl and two boys—I mean, I don’t think love triangles are necessary to write epic romances because there could many other issues that prevent two people being together, but I would like to see more variety of love triangles being done if they are necessary to the plot/character development/selling books.
- A strong female character is not considered “strong” if she does not show at least one of these traits—kickass, unconventional, manipulative, sassy—particularly in a historical/historical-esque setting. I want to call *bleep*, because Melanie Hamilton from Gone with the Wind was a strong female character, and she was none of these things.
I am sure there are many others which I may dedicate a separate post just so everyone does not have to read an entire dissertation here.
- A popular series that you have no interest in reading.
Again, so many depending on the genre. Some of them include:
- Ken Follet’s books
- Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (I may watch the TV series someday!)
- Lord of the Rings
- The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
- The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
The first two seasons of Gossip Girl, because the only thing better than the luscious and extravagant descriptions of New York City/Manhattan in a book is all the visual representations on TV. I found the first season’s plotline to be well developed/cohesive for a teenage soap opera, and the second season was a fun romp with all the characters without them becoming completely OOC yet. Plus I adored Blair’s character that was expanded even more than the books.
Also, did I mention the clothes? The scenery? All the visuals? I cannot help but drool at them.
And here are even more visuals just in case you are unsure of what I mean by gorgeous eye-candy to look at.
Anyways, these are my answers for the Unpopular Tag. Feel free to comment, particularly if you agree/disagree with an opinion of mine, or if you have any good fantasy/sci-fi recommendations!