Posted in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

She’s a baaaaandwagon, make you work hard, make you spend hard, make you want all of her love.

Good ol’ Top Ten Tuesdays catching me unawares like they do every week!

This is a good one. It’s like confession for readers.

Forgive me, Jane Austen, for I bear some very unpopular opinions.

 

I hate The Night Circus

night circus

Like, so, SO much.

The plot synopsis SOUNDS great.

This book was…not that.

(Lori included a similar opinion on her Top Ten Tuesday list. I’m participating this week because of her.)

I had no idea what was happening and I didn’t care about anyone involved.

Beautiful writing does not excuse a weak plot or confusing structure.

Speaking of…

 

Beautiful writing does not excuse a weak plot or confusing structure

“But it’s so well-written!” my friends say in defense of their favorite books.

I. Don’t. Care.

I consider beautiful writing a bonus. I’ll take competent writing or even average writing if the characters and story compel me.

Argonauts

If a book is objectively beautiful but hard to follow (see above), I’m not into it.

 

I don’t like romantic contemporaries…

Books like When Dimple Met Rishi and Geekerella would have been perfect for pre-2016 Lauren.

Geekerella

A LOT HAPPENED after I graduated from college.

I needed comfort and YA fluff didn’t cut it for me.

VERY RARELY is the male love interest EVER worth the protagonist’s time.

And the conflicts are so…high school.

“He made fun of me at a basketball game! I’ll never fall in love with him!”

Cool! Then DON’T!

Also, I’m REALLY over the “Does he like me or not?” storyline. Chances are he doesn’t! Withholding affection is an emotional abuse tactic! BAIL!

(Melanie at TBR and Beyond ALSO dislikes romantic contemporaries, which is SO GRATIFYING.)

 

…but high fantasy is worse

This has a lot to do with worldbuilding.

Worldbuilding is my LEAST favorite part of writing fantasy. I will do as LITTLE as possible to get characters from Point A to Point B, e.g., “And there’s the temple, I guess, where people worship, because religion… Anyway, prophecy! Regicide! Black goo!”

High fantasy, I’ve found, focuses on worldbuilding to its detriment.

Many books I’ve read fixate on details. The characters are dull archetypes, the plot is The Lord of the Rings redux, but at least I know the finer points of elf dining etiquette!

It’s like a bunch of anthropologists decided to blow off steam by writing fiction.

I support your activities, anthropologists, just…could you NOT bill your books as exciting adventures?

Not if you’re going to spend eight chapters on politics. Please. I don’t need this.

Dance of Dragons

Bonus unpopular opinion: I liked the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but found the actual game of thrones quite boring.

I’m not here for the political machinations.

Wait…that’s the point of the series? UUUGGGGGHHH.

 

I think Six of Crows is…fine

That might be underselling it a bit.

I really enjoyed Six of Crows – the heist itself is SO WELL-PACED.

crows

I think it’s good, possibly even great…but not amazing.

I often hear, “I COULDN’T PUT SOC DOWN!”

I could and did. Same with the sequel. I set Crooked Kingdom aside months ago and haven’t picked it back up.

If I made a list of Best Books from 2015, Six of Crows would probably crack the Top Twenty.

Top Ten? I’m not so sure.

 

I’m not crazy about Rainbow Rowell

Specifically, I really didn’t like Eleanor and Park, which is apparently sacrilege.

Though I enjoyed Fangirl and loved Carry On, I balk at adding more Rowell books to my TBR.

I’m so jealous of the bloggers who call Fangirl an all-time fave. I really wanted to like it, and I did (the second time around), but it’s so NOT a comfort read for me.

I’m kind of amazed at how negative my reading experience was compared to others.

fangirl

Back to Eleanor and Park: that book stressed me out.

It billed itself as a fluffy romance.

SURPRISE! We’ve got racism! Depression! Child abuse! And much, much more!

COULD HAVE USED A CONTENT WARNING.

I like Rowell’s prose fine; I don’t get, though, why her books are billed as fluff-nuggets when they are generally quite serious and often stressful for readers in similar circumstances.

 

I thought The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was…okay

I almost DNFed the book at the 100-page mark.

Vice

It starts out QUITE slow and Monty is…kind of a jerk.

Also he has brown hair in the text but blonde hair on the cover? What IS this?

I came around by the end.

I can say honestly: I really like this book.

I can also say: I MUCH PREFER THE SEQUEL.

I am far from obsessed with Gentleman’s Guide and I don’t really consider Monty and Percy #relationshipgoals.

PHEW. It feels good to admit that.

Just kidding, I WANT TO THROW UP.

 

I loved Once and Future

Once and Future

Other authors and review publications tend to shill this book.

Book bloggers I follow AREN’T INTO IT.

Guess what, team: I liked it. A whole lot.

My expectations were low and it surprised me.

I’m going to keep recommending it.

I know that puts us at odds! I don’t like it either!

 

I still read Katie Heaney

So…Katie Heaney made a biphobic joke on her Twitter and failed to sufficiently apologize.

The whole incident was very disappointing, as Heaney is someone whose writing I admire very much.

Heaney has a YA book out in 2020.

Goodreads reviewers turned on said book after the Twitter incident. Hear ye, hear ye: Katie Heaney has been officially cancelled.

I’m still going to read it.

I loved Heaney’s debut novel and I’m really interested in reading her first LGBTQ+ romance.

Yes, this is weird and messy. I don’t know what else to say.

 

I don’t take writing advice

To paraphrase Robyn, don’t tell me what to do.

I’m finding out what works for me.

I don’t need Stephen King telling me I HAVE to write 2,000 words every single day, or Ann Patchett scoffing at writer’s block.

There’s more than one path to success, and MORE THAN ONE DEFINITION of the same.

Most writing advice is way too personalized to apply to other writers.

However you write is FINE.

Just like…don’t piss off your writing partner?

(Fine. That’s the one piece of advice I will give, based on my own frustrating experiences. Please take it with a HUGE grain of salt.)

 

KALOO KALAY, IT’S TOP TEN TUESDAY!

I look forward to reading more controversial opinions.

Drop a link or comment below so I can see yours.

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Author:

She/her. 4w3. Lover of vegan cream cheese and performative angst. Seattle-based writer currently dabbling in socialism and progressive Christianity. I love to call out, complain, overreact, analyze, and reimagine. This site contains the fruit of that labor.

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