The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag


I adapted this tag from a Booktube video Justine from I Should Read That did over a year ago (I’m still watching my way through her entire back catalogue of videos) cos her video was fun and I found myself coming up with my own answers as I watched, so I thought why not write them down? I know some people get weird about this stuff so a reminder it’s all in good fun and if you don’t agree with me then tell me I’m a moron and we can have some friendly fisticuffs. But only if you know me, otherwise just head over to twitter.com and fire off a few cathartic subtweets.

A popular book or series you didn’t like
This is a funny first question cos I’ve not seen one single person with a bad word to say about this book, but I hated it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, and that’s Foundryside. Like, guys, I don’t DNF books. Anyone who knows me here will be aware I’m a fanatical completionist, but my god I could not finish Foundryside. I do plan to finish it one day so I can write a full review about why I hate it so much, but to summarise: Robert Jackson Bennett overexplains everything to his readers, even down to literally writing out the definition of a fence (the kind that sells stolen goods – just trust your fucking readers Robert); there’s a bunch of ‘Well, as you know Bob’ moments that drove me insane; the worldbuilding is two dimensional and full of holes; Clef is the most irritating character in the history of fiction (snark and sarcasm isn’t personality); the narrative is a mess (if I remember correctly there’s a fight scene where someone is being held in a position where they physically could not see their attacker’s face and then the next line is something like ‘he looked her in the eye’); the main character is supposed to be this skilled thief, yet frequently makes the most basic mistakes just so something can go wrong for the sake of the plot and oh my god this book is terrible. *Deep breath*. Honourable mention goes to Stephen King’s The Stand, which I read recently and genuinely thought was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. An editor really needs to tell that guy to stfu sometimes.



A book or series you love that everyone else hates
Are there really many book that most people hate? I feel like even the polarising ones have a majority of people who like them right? I feel like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series gets a lot of shit these days. It’s hardly a series everyone hates cos it’s incredibly popular and successful and I’m not really going against the grain by saying I like it, but there’s a certain group of people whose personality consists of disliking something because it gets popular. I realise this is a stupid answer cos it’s hardly an unpopular opinion but I can’t stand people like that. Maybe it gets dunked on cos the TV series went to shit and people conflate the two? I dunno, I’ve only seen the first couple of series, and I thought they were fantastic Anyway, for me personally, A Game of Thrones was one of the most ground breaking and eye-opening fantasy books I’ve ever read and I’m actually starting a reread of the series v soon!

A love triangle where you think the main character ends up with the wrong person
I get the feeling this tag probably originated in the YA community with this question and I don’t read much YA so my source material is limited. Having said that I did recently read all three books of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone trilogy for some reason and Alina absolutely ended up with the wrong person. Honestly though, she should have just ended up single, cos they were both shit and she’d have been better off on her own.

A popular genre you don’t read
I reckon steampunk and urban fantasy are the ones that stick out, though I’ve def delved into them more over the last year or so. I read Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus last year and P. Djeli Clark’s djinn stories are some of the best stuff I’ve ever read. I also read the first Dresden Files book last year and enjoyed it, as well as Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams, a dark urban fantasy with subterranean monsters and a unique take on the fae that I liked a lot. I’ve realised though that urban fantasy is a wider subgenre than I used to think; in my mind I used to associate it with a narrow range of stories about fae and feuds between sexy vampires and werewolves in modern settings, which a lot of it still is I guess, but it also includes stuff like Jade City and arguably even Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Maradaine books.


A popular/beloved character you don’t like
Dandelion from The Witcher books. The guy is an insufferable, self-centred, misogynistic piece of shit who’s portrayed as a kind of cheeky chappy, loveable rogue type character. I haven’t watched the Netflix series yet and get the sense he might be a more likeable person in the adaptation, but I can’t get over how in one of the short story collections he basically got turned on by someone being sexually assaulted and it was presented as a ‘haha oh Dandelion, what are you like?’ kind of moment. Fuck that guy.

A popular author you can’t get into
This has the potential to be my most unpopular opinion by far, but I just can’t get into Neil Gaiman. I’ve read his collection of Viking legend retellings Norse Mythology and American Gods. The first I found average, if enjoyable enough, and the second I just didn’t like. It was too long, dull and meandering with a passive main character that I just didn’t care for. After I finished it I said I’d give him another chance at some point but honestly, with so many other books I actually want to read, I don’t really know when that’s gonna be.

A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing
I’m gonna be really dull about this one and say nothing is tiresome if the author writes it well. Nicholas Eames is probably the best example of this. What’s more of a tired old trope than a bunch of blokes going on a quest to rescue someone and have to fight loads of monsters on the way? But Kings of the Wyld is a fantastic book that made me laugh and cry and had me hooked and fully invested all the way.

A popular book/series you have no interest in reading
Anything by V. E. Schwab really. I don’t even know why.

What film is better than the book?
Haha ok right, I haven’t read the books in a long time so my memory may be compromised, but I’m gonna say The Lord of the Rings. I don’t actually know if this is controversial or not but (while I do love the books) I felt like the films brought the story to life in a way I never felt when I was reading them. That’s kind of down to Tolkien’s writing style and his goals when he was writing them though I guess. He wasn’t writing a novel in the traditional sense, they were more like histories of a fictional world and its people, so I never really felt much investment in the day to day, granular experiences of some of the characters or how they experienced the events of the book personally. The films injected a lot of narrative tension into the story and the character’s relationships with each other that was lacking in the writing. Maybe you think I’m way off base, I dunno. I also want to mention Watchmen. I don’t think the film was better overall but I did much prefer the ending. Don’t worry I’m not gonna spoil anything but I remember getting to the end of the graphic novel and being completely thrown, and not in a good way haha. It’s a phenomenal book still, but that ending was a bit stupid; the film kept the essence of it but made it much more believable and in keeping with the themes of the story.


There’s my unpopular opinions bookwyrms. Do you agree with any of them. Fiercely disagree? Let me know in the comments. And if you lied this post why not follow the blog for more reviews and bookish chat? Now… *prepares to do battle*

43 Comments

  1. Honestly, I can see where you’re coming from with Gaiman if those are the two of his you’ve read first. I do want to reread American God’s at some point, but I remember feeling like it was very overrated. Norse Mythology I quite liked, for what it was, but it’s nothing mind blowing. Neverwhere, on the other hand, is excellent, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a pretty special book. If you decide to give him another go, they’re the ones I’d recommend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone else recommended The Ocean at the End of the Lane when I said I didn’t enjoy American Gods right after I finished it so I think maybe I will give it a read at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if I were to recommend trying a different Gaiman, I’d say do one of his comics. Do Sandman, or maybe the comic adaptation of Neverwhere (although, passive protagonist). It’s what he does best.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I DNFed The Stand – too long, too dull, too King. American Gods though, I loved – not the Amazon series, though.
    Your comment about LotR movíe better than the book is clearly blasphemical and needs to burn on the stake 😀 I call all the good Tolkien crusaders to battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah The Stand is a terrible book. I think the only reason I finished it is cos I was listening to the audiobook and had it on while I was at work.

      Haha I thought I might get some stick for the LotR one. I haven’t read the books in about 8 years so I’m willing to accept I might be totally wrong 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It kinda baffles me that King is one of the most successful writers alive. I’m reading my way through his back catalogue at the mo and so far The Shining is the only one that’s been anything more than average.

      Like

  3. Omg yes, Gaiman is so hit and miss for me. I used to read everything he wrote, then … I don’t know, I just realised I didn’t like him as much as I was being told I did. If that makes sense.
    King – another write I have problems with. Blah blah blah.
    The Witcher books – I’ve only read one so far and I’m interested in seeing how far I get with them after following your progress.
    Fun tag! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very interested in what you think of The Witcher books! Personally I think they’re terrible, but still readable and compelling in a weird way haha. Is it the first short story collection you’ve read so far?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I didn’t realise that was first when I started so I read Blood of Elves. Thought it was interesting, and yes, compelling. I’m curious to see where the story ultimately goes. I do keep putting it off though … ha ha!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You can start with Blood of Elves but a few things make more sense if you’ve read the short stories too. At least for a while; things start to go off the rails in my opinion a few books in lol. But yeah, I thought Blood of Elves was actually pretty good. I have such a complicated relationship with The Witcher books haha. Taken as a whole they are not good, but I just like reading them all the same.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s true that Urban Fantasy is a genre that includes many sub-genres and that it’s possible to find the book, or the narrative angle, that we most enjoy. As for sexy vampires (sparkling or not) and werewolves, I try to steer away from them as much as I can… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha the thing that used to jump immediately to mind when I thought I’d UF is Underworld and everything like that, with some fae thrown in for good measure. Used to think I wouldn’t enjoy those kinds of stories but turns out I do haha. So think they’ll ever amount to anything more than ‘popcorn reads’ for me but they’re still fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not read much of Neil Gaiman either, but I can’t say I don’t like him as I have literally only read his Norse Mythology. I feel like I should try him, but there are si many other books which grab my attention more!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ew, Dandelion sounds gross.

    And wow, way to come for me and my love for Foundryside. :’) I totally see your points, though, and I found the sequel really disappointing, which was a shame!

    To be honest I think Neil Gaiman is overrated. I LOVE The Graveyard Book and American Gods, but everything else is… fine? Coraline has a very cool concept, but I actually think the film by Henry Selick is way better than the book!

    I can’t get into V.E. Schwab’s work either and she’s so loved that I sometimes feel like I’m missing out, but her writing doesn’t work for me. The heroine of her Darker Shade of Magic series is constantly monologuing about how she’s not like other girls–she’s the WORST–and I’ve been seeing amazing things about Addie LaRue until very recently when some poc reviewers quite rightly pointed out that this is the story of a white woman who’s upset because she’s never remembered, and yet during her 300 years of life she never encounters a single poc until she gets to the 21st century. No idea what Addie was doing during the fight to abolish slavery or the Holocaust. A lot of people are loving that one and I haven’t read it so I’m not the best person to comment on it, but it does seem a bit insensitive to write a story about a white woman being sad about being erased for 300 years when there was bigger stuff going on around her…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry hahaha I just thought Foundryside was a terribly written book 😄 The idea for the magic was really cool, but an idea does not a good book make and I just thought everything about it was very badly executed. But yeah, as you say, you loved it and 99.9% of everyone who’s read it seems to love it too so 🤷‍♂️

      Omg so many people are saying they think Gaiman is overrated, I’m not the only one yessss! I thought there must be some genius in his work that I’m just not seeing and I’m so relieved it’s not just me 😄

      Fair points about Addie Larue lol. Kinda cray if she meets no people of colour during that entire period 🤔

      Like

  7. I agree with you regarding the Stand. I did not like that book and couldn’t understand why everyone loves it. I mean, I did like some parts but the book wasn’t that great and could have been massively shortened.

    Oh dear, I have a feeling that I might end up being one of those folks who doesn’t get on with Gaiman’s books. I tried his American Gods and DNF’ed it. I plan to try his Stardust and see if I have better luck there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, if nothing else The Stand is just far too looooong. I reckon it could have been cut in half AT LEAST. I dunno if editors just don’t like telling King what to do?

      Like

  8. Ugh, I had SO MANY issues with the writing of Foundryside that no one else even seemed to notice. On the one hand, it’s always good when people enjoy a book. But on the other hand, I felt kind of isolated in my irritation of it. I did enjoy the magic system (as I had written in my annual wrap-up post) because it’s based off mathematical logic, which I adore. But the writing was the kind of hot mess you need to scrape off the floor at 3am and drag to the toilet so you can hold its hair back. The overexplaining was a big issue for me, but I also hated his narrative style, which seemed to switch back and forth between 2nd and 3rd person at random.

    I love unpopular opinions posts. I think people should do more of them, but we wouldn’t want another eye-rolling twitter fiasco…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I enjoyed this comment a lot. I thought the magic system was an interesting idea too, but it never became anything more than that to me. Just goes to show that an idea is not enough to make a good book. A few fellow Foundryside cynics have made themselves known since I wrote this post so I’m very glad to know I’m not alone.

      Definitely agree with you on the unpopular opinions thing; I love book twitter and the blogging/reading community but conversations usually boil down to a single line saying “I love this book” and that’s it. I find these types of posts generate much more interesting conversation (though I do wish more actual conversations would come out of books people agree on too). Maybe it’s just the nature of online conversations that they tend to be short, but I do enjoy talking to people in a bit more depth about books.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed Foundryside, but even I have to admit that I liked it despite its issues. It was a good time, but it is definitely flawed. I’ll also confess that despite trying my very hardest, I’ve just never been a fan of Stephen King. Back when I was just a young’in in middle school and high school, I pretended to like him because you were “supposed to,” but man, in retrospect… I just don’t enjoy his writing at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve encountered a few fellow Foundryside cynics since posting this, so it’s good to know I’m not alone haha. I can def see why it could be enjoyable despite it’s flaws, I just personally couldn’t look past them; there were just too many and coming too thick and fast lol.

      Yeah King is most definitely overrated. Possibly one of the most overrated writers ever tbh. I’ve got this project at the mo to read his entire back catalogue and The Shining is the only one so far I can say is anything better than average.

      Like

  10. One of my best friends LOVES The Stand, it’s like her favorite book. I enjoy talking with her about it but also I think it’s super overrated. Part of me thinks King wrote it just so he could employ a literal deus ex machina at the end as if to say ‘take that’ haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will never understand how The Stand can be anyone’s favourite book. Like, I don’t care if it is, knock yourself out with what you love, but to me it’s one the biggest flaming piles of garbage I’ve ever had the misfortune to subject myself to. Do you remember that part where he literally just writes out lines and lines and lines of a travel report about how far they’ve walked from Boulder and how much further it is to Las Vegas? I actually thought King was just trolling me at that point, testing my willpower to actually see the thing through to then end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t because it’s one of the King books I haven’t read yet however I did see the miniseries and I’ve read a lot about it lol. BUT, I totally believe it because King is also one of those authors who sometimes likes to include tons of random descriptions that you just don’t need (I’ve come across this in other books by him).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh soz I just assumed you’d read it. If you ever do get round to it let me know what you think about that part of the book haha. But yeah, he is very wordy, def needs to wind his neck sometimes haha.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Fun post! I laughed out loud at V E Schwab 😂

    I really want to read Foundryside, even more so now. Look forward to your eventual rant! Also agreed with you on a few of these – I’ve been very anti-Stephen King since I read Carrie in grade 8 and thought it was shite. His writing seems to be very formulaic? I also used to be obsessed with Neil Gaiman but I thought Ocean at the End of the Lane was quite pretentious and then just sort of lost interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pleased to say I’ve found some fellow Foundryside cynics as a result of this post. I hope you enjoy it despite my visceral hatred haha.

      Carrie isn’t great like. I didn’t understand why he wrote is as an epistolary novel, it made no sense to me. It’s always painfully obvious to me that King doesn’t plan his books and it doesn’t always work for him. I have this plan to read through his back catalogue (probs over the course of my entire life at the pace I’m going) and The Shining is the only one so far that I’ve actually thought was anything better than average.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t, I’m very intrigued by the Dark Tower books though, I hear they get weeeird. Are you a fan of his fantasy? What other fantasy books does he have?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Nahh I read the gunslinger a long time ago and didn’t get it.. thought the tone was really bland and I found it hard to follow. Apparently he has this whole mythos though and I think the stand and a few other books are referred to in the dark tower?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’ve heard Stephen King makes an appearance as himself on one of the Dark Tower books haha. Crazy meta shit. Kurt Vonnegut did that too in Breakfast of Champions and it was incredible, wonder how King pulls it off. I have A LOT of books before I get to them though and a bunch of them are like 4000 pages long so it may be a while yet…

              Liked by 1 person

  12. 100% with you on the Stand and Neil Gaiman. I love to hate on both. Thank you for fanning that fire. While Neil Gaiman just doesn’t do anything for me, The Stand is actively working against itself for all 1,000,000 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha glad to fan the fire! I agree though, my experience of Neil Gaiman has just been ‘meh’, whereas The Stand is an active steaming pile of shit.

      Like

  13. Ah, I think Neil Gaiman can be wildly hit or miss for a lot of people. I consider myself a fan, but I haven’t read Norse Mythology and didn’t care for American Gods, either. I often recommend Neverwhere as a place to start with him, though I can definitely understand choosing to focus on other authors/books you’re more certain you’d like!

    I love both The Lord of the Rings movies and book, and couldn’t say which one I prefer. I can understand why you’d prefer movies over book. I saw the movies before I read the book and frequently rewatch/reread both, so the two experiences are intertwined for me. It’s hard to pick apart how much liking the movies influenced liking the books and vice versa. I often wish I had a chance to read the book without having the movies ‘spoil’ the plot for me 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ive had some time to think about this haha and think I don’t necessarily think the LOTR films are BETTER than the books, I just like them for different reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s