I’m sure that every reader can attest to feeling absolutely alone with respect to his or her love or hatred of a particular book. I’ve decided to share a few of the books that I’ve disliked despite their recent popularity in the YA community with the hopes that some of you can relate!
1. Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
For months, I listened to my friends rant and rave about both Eleanor and Park and Fangirl before ultimately giving in and purchasing the deluxe edition of Eleanor and Park. I went into the book fully expecting to fall immediately in love with both the characters and the plot, but I found both a bit hard to believe. While I agree that two complete opposites have the potential to attract one another, I think it’s important that some commonalities exist between the individuals in question. Consequently, Eleanor and Park’s romance, overall, was too far-fetched for me, and I ended up marking this book DNF at 60%.
2. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
To this day, I haven’t been able to identify the appeal of this book to modern-day teenagers. I found both the story and romance to be boring, and the book in its entirety to be depressing. I didn’t find Hazel and Gus’ relationship to be anything all that special or out of the ordinary, above and beyond the fact that they were able to connect over their experiences with cancer. All in all, I found it to be an aggravating, over-publicized compilation of cliches.
3. Matched, by Ally Condie
I’ve attempted to read this book on four separate occasions…and failed miserably each and every time. I have yet to make it halfway through, and, at this point, have no desire to do so. When I first picked up Matched, I was just beginning to read dystopian novels, and each one was new and exciting and unique for me. Something in Matched, however, just didn’t click. From the very beginning, I disliked Cassia’s very passive approach to situations, as well as her general indecisiveness. Neither Xander nor Ky particularly appealed to me – they seemed like synonymous, non-differentiable characters that, instead of garnering my affection, managed to accomplish the exact opposite.
4. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
I read The Handmaid’s Tale this most recent summer in preparation for my upcoming AP English course. Had it not been a required text, I likely would have never picked up this novel of my own accord, simply due to the unappealing plot. While reading, I found the premise of the dystopian society to be a very vulgar and demeaning one, particularly as a female. Consequently, I wasn’t able to immerse myself in the world or the plot, leading to a rather miserable read. I also didn’t enjoy how the story was told through a mixture of flashbacks and present-day events as it was challenging to differentiate between the two.
5. The Selection/The Elite, by Kiera Cass
When I first picked up this series, the modern reality TV show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” immediately came to mind, followed shortly thereafter by “The Bachelor” (I fully support the latter…the former, not so much). Particularly in the first installment, I found the world-building to be subpar and not entirely comprehensive. I would have liked to know a bit more of the background regarding America’s society and what events transpired that resulted in this dystopian environment. Similarly, it would have been more intriguing to see additional character development (and relationship/romantic development!).
6. Where She Went, by Gayle Forman
As a diehard fan of If I Stay, both the book and the movie, I expected to enjoy the sequel much more than I actually did. It’s those expectations that get me every time. I wasn’t a huge fan of Adam as a narrator, which effectively put a damper on the majority of the novel – I couldn’t relate to him as readily as I did with Mia. I also didn’t enjoy how their relationship had essentially disintegrated since the conclusion of If I Stay, particularly because it had been one of my favorite components of the first novel.
7. The Fellowship of the Ring
As another book that I have failed to complete after several well-intentioned attempts, I ultimately gave up on this series entirely. After watching bits and pieces of the movie adaptations, I was intrigued by the plot and the fictional world that Tolkien had created. Little did I know that I would be bored to tears by the excessive detail and disproportionate narration versus dialogue. I continually became caught up in the minute details, which resulted in a large expenditure of time and effort to trudge my way through approximately two thirds of the book. Long story short, I don’t have any aspirations to complete the series anytime soon and will likely be sticking to Harry Potter to sate my love of the fantasy genre.