Monday, July 17, 2017

books I will never read

never is a strong word. whatever.

Elle did a post on this a few weeks ago, where she talked about the books that she felt no desire to read/had strong opinions about they shouldn't be popular in the book community. and as someone with lots of strong opinions, I really liked that idea and therefore decided to copy her idea (but you should go check her post out, because she has a lot of good thoughts)


1. Mockingjay, by Susan Collins

if you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I don't really do the Hunger Games thing. I read the first one to see if it lived up to the hype, and while it really didn't, the cliff-hanger at the end was too much for me and I had to read Catching Fire. unfortunately, that desire to finish the series burnt out mid-way through Catching Fire, and I think I read two chapters of Mockingjay before I put it down permanently.

I don't particularly have anything against the Hunger Games books--they're just whatever, you know--but you have no idea how many bug-eyed stares I get when I say I really didn't like them and never finished the series. just because a book is popular doesn't mean it's that great, okay?

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2. The Sun is Also a Star, by Natasha Yoon

I had the misfortune to read Everything, Everything right after it came out because I had high hopes that it would be an accurate representation of chronic illness (which is so hard to find). it wasn't. and I guess that's scarred me a little bit--I'm so apprehensive to read her other books, because just seeing Everything, Everything literally fills me with fury. so that's part of the reason I really don't feel like reading this book...like, ever.

the other part is that it just doesn't sound interesting? I know that's not great to say about a book that's about deportation and immigration issues, but from what I've heard about it, it's chock full of instalove (yech) and over the top dramatics. and I don't do either of those things. so yeah. I think I'll just skip out on this and everything, everything else that Nicola Yoon writes (didja see what I did there???)

also, side note: to all the authors who rave about Everything, Everything like it's the paragon of representation and romance, can you just...stop? please? thank you.

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3. A Court of Wings and Ruin

I read ACOTAR. I found it decent. I read ACOMAF. I found it okay, but the writing started getting really old and boring, and although everyone rages about the characters and how amazing they are, sometimes they can be very one-dimensional. and there's the whole diversity issue. reading about that, and about all the areas that SJM's books lack, left me with a sour taste in my mouth and absolutely no desire to read or reread any of her books. I'm probably going to sell my copies on ebay. I just don't want to invest time in something that, a) wasn't that interesting plot-wise to me, b) has some damaging relationships brutally portrayed and then just shoved under the rug (on top of the abusive relationships portrayed in the TOG books that are extremely romanticized), and c) treats certain kinds of people as though they were invisible or of no importance. I just can't.

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4. LITERALLY ANYTHING BY COLLEEN HOOVER

ho boy.

one of my classmates from my Brit Lit class said that she loved Colleen Hoover's books and I actually wanted to scream. now, I've never read any of her books, so all I know about them are screenshots and book reviews, so I guess if you need to take my words with a grain of salt, do it--but. these books seem so damaging and romanticize abusive relationships and stalking and I am not here for that. If you're going to depict an abusive relationship, spell it out. show that it's wrong. make the protagonist fight against the relationship, doing whatever they must to protect themselves and remove themselves from the situation. these books don't do that. and if you choose to glorify harmful relationships and rape...I just don't understand how people think that that's okay to do.

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5. Carve the Mark

waaaay back in the day, I was a huge Divergent fan. now, I tend to cringe at my love for that not so original dystopia that became such a huge fad, and I guess part of that has carried over to Roth's other new book. however, it's not all that. apparently, there was more drama in the book community about this book, especially on the subject of chronic pain giving people heightened power or abilities or something like that. as someone with chronic pain, that's not something I want to read about. chronic pain does not make you into a superhero. it can make you strong--but it also weakens you in dangerous ways. I can endure crazy levels of pain because I'm used to it, but that has wrecked my body, my brain, and all aspects of my health. that's not something to glorify. I also am a little horrified at the similarities the front cover has to self harm, which can be extremely triggering, and apparently some of the characters in the book self harm themselves and there was not a hint of a trigger warning. yeah, sometimes the things that the book community fight over is blown up out of proportion, and confusion gets around, but these aspects of this book that personal to me--and then add the whole racial issues within this story on top of that--make me want to not have anything to do with it.

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what are some books that you just don't plan on reading--and why? everybody's got at least one--so please, do share! (and if anyone else out there didn't like the Hunger Games, please let me know I'm not alone)

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~ ely

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for mentioning my post! <3 ahhh, I totally agree with you on ACOWAR. Like you said, SJM's writing has always seemed very drab + boring to me. Haha, I see we'll have to differ on Mockingjay - I really liked it and THG, though I will admit that Catching Fire was pretty lame. I feel like it could have been half as long, considering all the (lack of) action that took place....ugh, I've never read anything by Veronica Roth, but I'm not in a rush to pick up CtM. I might want to read it just to form my own opinions on all this controversial stuff, but it also seems pretty boring to me?

    Great post! I loved hearing your thoughts + POV <3

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. see, I think if I'd read THG when they were coming out and got caught up in the excitement of it all and the waiting for the end, I might have enjoyed them more, but since it was a good five or six years later, it just wasn't the same? however, my younger brother read them last year and absolutely LOVED them, so who knows!

      Divergent was the first real popular YA book that I read with a female protagonist and I think that's a big part of why I liked it? but looking back and books weren't that great (plus pointless relationship drama FOR DAYS).

      thanks! it was a lot of fun to write!

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  2. Howdy. I'm hopping over from Ink, Inc. (trying to expand out to new blogs every few weeks). My sister got burnt out early on in Catching Fire. I think I read them all back in 2011 when they were still pretty popular. I'm not always for bandwagons, but, well honestly, I just wanted to be able to talk about the books with some of my friends of the opposite gender. I thought they were really well-written, but there's of course manners of taste there. I'm curious as to if you could articulate at all why you didn't like the books much. The first-person present-tense could be grating, for one thing. Is there anything in particular about the craft, or was it more content, do you think?

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    1. hey, thanks for stopping by! always good to have new faces around.

      as for why I didn't particularly like the Hunger Games...I guess it was because, for me, they didn't live up to the hype? when they came out in 2008, I was twelve and my parents considered me too young to read these books. I had no strong desire to read them anyways. I was eighteen by the time I actually read them, and by then, I'd heard so much about how amazing and groundbreaking they were that it was really hard not to go into it with extremely high expectations that weren't really fulfilled in the end. I have a feeling that if I'd read them when they first came out, I would have LOVED them (except for the love triangle *shivers*) because I didn't have expectations twisting my view of the book (and also wouldn't have had things spoiled for me lol). another factor of my dislike for THG is probably because, by the time I actually got around to reading the books, dystopia was not a new thing. that's honestly one the reasons why THG got to be so popular--it was a YA dystopia, and that was something kind of new and unique in the late 2000s. but because it quickly became a fad and we had dystopias left and right, I got super burned out on stories like this. so yeah. I don't really remember much about the actual writing side of life, mostly because I don't think I was really into paying attention to that kind of thing at that age (and because it's been a good five years since I read them, so the details are kinda fuzzy), but let's just say that my dislike of the Hunger Games stems from a lot of various reasons, mostly to do with content. the premise was really interesting, but it just didn't deliver what I thought it would. *shrugs*

      thanks for the interesting question! it really made me think!

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    2. Ah, I can understand you there. So far I haven't had too much trouble with book content, but most of the stuff I read is pretty interesting, and my bar for interest might be lower than others set theirs at. As a student of craft, I tend to focus on mechanics more, I think, though not at the expense of plot, setting, and characters. Most recent YA is pretty smooth, it seems, so I can see how content could make a bigger difference as to how you'd like to spend your reading time.

      My big "books I will never read," or at least books I won't read for a good while, are The Game of Thrones and Name of the Wind. Some of the content is sketchy (for "rating"), of course, and I just wasn't loving the prose from the first few pages of The Game of Thrones. I'll take plenty of other epic fantasy novels over that one.

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    3. that makes sense. I am actually more likely to DNF a book because of its mechanics, while I'm more likely to just not ever read a book because its plot/characters don't sound interesting to me. overall, I'm just super picky lol.

      I haven't read either of those books (and haven't ever heard of the second), but GoT is another series that I'm just kinda ehhh on because of the hype. it's also got some thematic elements to it that I just can't stomach, and once again, I'm extremely picky about what fantasy I read (*headdesks* why do I always end up back here...)

      thanks for commenting!

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    4. thematic elements isn't the right phrase. don't know what I was going for there. just basically objectification of women (this is more of the tv show I think) and rape/incest are not things I want to read about. *shrugs*

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  3. I think we all have a few books that are just no's. Great list!

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