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*