Throughout my reading life, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that I often don’t like books that everyone else likes, and I often like books that many people dislike. Of course, it’s impossible to like every book you read, and the fact that I disliked these doesn’t mean that they’re objectively bad. Reading is personal! Here are five popular books that I didn’t like.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is a really hard book to review; it starts off as a journal around 1850 documenting a voyage home from a faraway island, then it’s a series of letters from a 1930’s British musician, then a the story of a journalist set in 1975, then a publisher (set in today’s time I believe) who is fleeing from gangsters in a movie dramatization, a dystopian future story told from a clone’s perspective and finally a post-apocalyptic future where technology is all whipped out. Does it sound confusing? It kind of makes sense in the book, but I still thought it was super confusing in the end.. My biggest problem with this book is that Mitchell jumped to the next story just as I started to get invested in it, and there is never really a resolution after that. The idea is interesting, the execution done poorly.
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2) By Dan Brown
Does the Da Vinci Code need an introduction? You know this book, and you know that there are lots of people that didn’t like it. However, it was also crazy popular. What I dislike about this book is that Brown sort of spoon-feeds the reader pseudo-intellectual illuminati crap. Besides that, the characters are weak and the dialogue unnatural. The plot is very similar to Angels & Demons. Also, I don’t think Dan Brown ever heard of the well-known ‘Show, don’t tell’ writing rule.
The Wrath And The Dawn (The Wrath And The Dawn, #1) By Renee Ahdieh
This book was huge on booktube a while back. So naturally, I had to read it. The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of the classical One Thousand and One Nights tale, and it’s so DULL. When I read a retelling, which I don’t do often, I want it to spike my imagination and add a twist to the original story, so the reader doesn’t get bored. This didn’t do that. It was basically a rehash of the original with a horribly executed love triangle thrown in.
Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1) by Holly Bourne
Another one I heard of through booktube and bookblogs. I think the biggest fault with this book for me was how the feminism aspect was integrated into the novel – in my opinion it was done very poorly. There are quite a few moments in the book where the main characters lose their individual, distinct voices and go on lengthy feminist rants that did not fit the storyline well. I like a lot of feminist books, so that’s not it, but this was just so preachy and felt forced.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
For a while, this book was EVERYWHERE. I read it and while I didn’t hate it on the first read, I have a lots of problems with this book. First, the romance. I just.. didn’t get it. It didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t feel natural. I like slow-burning romance, and in this book it felt like Eleanor & Park went from ‘God, I hate him/her!’ to ‘I want to eat your face!’ (Yes this is an actual line). The stereotypes in this book were also soooo problematic. I could write an essay about it but I recommend reading this post instead.
so, yeah. Based on this list, you can tell that I’m not scared to give my unpopular opinion on books, and I’m not the kind of person who will shy away from giving 1 or 2 star reviews on Goodreads. If you want to, you can add or follow me on there, I always love connecting with people!