Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Sunday, 3 November 2019

So my wife and I like doing these book tag posts. So here’s another one she found. This time around it’s as simple as the title. All of these questions we answer are about unpopular opinions regarding books.
Just a quick warning. I do spoil something for the Harry Potter series. But come on, it’s been twelve years since the book came out and nine years since the movie, so at this point it’s your fault.

Questions:

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.
Wow, this one is actually hard for me because there are so many popular books that I just don’t like. I could name all of them but I find that there are a few I talk about quite a lot. In my book blogs and on my movie podcast (Future Flicks with Billiam) I talk about hating Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Rings quite a bit so instead of those I’ll talk about: Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
Look. I know people have varying opinions and that’s okay. I didn’t like the Twilight series, but others did and that’s fine. People have their views, opinions, and taste and that’s okay… except for this: If you liked Every Heart A Doorway, you are wrong. It was poorly written, had a paper thin plot, and had more wasted potential than all of Fox’s X-Men movies combined. Some people claim that this series has great representation for the LGBTQ+ community. No. No it doesn’t. Any mention of it was so shoehorned in, it came across as disingenuous. This was one of the worst books I have ever read. Bad plot, bad characters, bad pacing, bad dialogue, contrived and piss poor LGBTQ+ representation, and a great premise that was ruined by bad writing. Seanan McGuire is a hack and the only thing she should be writing is a resume to find another job.
Fear not. I washed my hands after.
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
This is another hard one. Not because I have outstanding taste in books, but because most books that I love are either loved by others as well or at least given a “meh” score by readers. But after looking at lists of hated books by various websites and people on Goodreads, I noticed that it’s now okay to hate classic books like Catcher in the Rye and Rumblefish. So I’m not as much as a minority anymore. I had hard time with this one and had to rely on Anne to help me. She informed me that a book series I love, The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson, is on a lot of people’s hated list.
I can both understand and not understand how people could not like this. I get it, because the specific genre (YA fantasy with a focus on people with powers) is a very limiting genre. But also, the only people who should be picking up the book are the fans for the genre. One big complaint is that the style was very YA. So you mean to tell me the YA book had a basic YA style? Oh no! It’s almost like you didn’t pay attention to what you were picking up like some sort of mouth breathing moron!
I loved the first two books in the series and highly recommend it. Any Nick or Nancy Naysayers are just being haters. It’s okay to hate things, but the people that I’ve seen who didn’t like this series are people who should have never picked it up in the first place. Be smart people.
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.
Edward was the wrong choice. But I can’t use that as an example because I never finished the series. But come on. He’s a creepy old ass vampire who could be Bella’s grandpa. It’s gross. Jacob was creepy too, but at least he was in the same age range.
For my actual answer I’m going way back to the year 1904 and the pairing of Peter Pan and Wendy Darling. It’s true that in Peter Pan, Peter and Wendy don’t actually end up together (sorry, no spoiler warning since this book is 115 years old) but they’re still considered a pairing because of their standing in popular culture (including the movie Hook). But here’s my unpopular opinion: Peter is a steaming piece of crap. Yeah, I know that he’s the embodiment of perpetual youth and escapism but just because a character stands for something doesn’t mean they’re good. Look at Holden Caufield. He’s horrible but is the poster child for teenage angst and rebellion. Peter Pan is horrible and Wendy deserves way more. He’s mean to her when he doesn’t get his way and acts like a baby when the other lost boys take Wendy’s side on things.
Peter in the movies is a much better character. They manage to keep his “never growing up” attitude but making him less of an insufferable little sh*t. However for this book tag we’re talking about the book, so my answer still stands.
Don’t you just want to punch him?
4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.
Finally! An easy question. Cyber Punk. I know, this isn’t a super popular genre, but with the type of books I like, one would think that authors like William Gibson and Neal Stephenson would be on my shelf. But I gave up on this genre after reading two of the most popular books in the genre and not liking them. Neuromancer is considered one of the quintessential books in cyberpunk and I was so bored that I had to force myself to finish it. If you love this genre, I envy you. I wish I could see what you see because it really should be something I like more than I do.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.
Dobby. F*ck Dobby. I’m glad he’s dead. He was Harry Potter’s answer to Jar Jar Binks. I agree with Dobby’s sister. He’s an embarassment and I wouldn’t want to be around him either. His death in the book was the only death that made me smile. Bellatrix Lestrange deserves a medal for killing him.
And again, no spoiler warning. He died in both the book and the movie. The book came out 12 years ago and the movie was 8 years ago.
Look at that annoying bastard. #ThanksBellatrix
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
Easy peasy. Cormac McCarthy. I’ve only fully read one book of his and hated it (The Road) and have tried others and just couldn’t get into it. I just don’t get it. I don’t get the appeal. He’s not a good writer. The asshat doesn’t even know how to use quotation marks!
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)
I hate the blank slate YA character. Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from The Hunger Games, Nancy from Every Heart A Doorway, Bella and Edward from Twilight, Alex Rider from the Alex Rider series. These “characters” are lacking character. They’re nothing. They might as well be a piece of wood for the emotional pallet they display.
You know who else was a blank slate? Harry Potter. He’s a nobody main character. Ron’s a joke, but at least he has character. Hermione has good character, hell Draco and Neville have more depth than Harry does. And I’m saying all this as a huge fan. I love the Harry Potter series.
Thank God they got Jennifer Lawrence to play her. She has no personality either.
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.
The Divergent series. I don’t want to read yet another YA series with a discount Katniss Everdeen. One Katniss is bad enough. Also, the movies looked awful and any character that could be played by the non-descript bag of spare parts known as Shailene Woodley isn’t worth the time of day. I’ve had people who loved the series explain it to me and even they couldn’t make me give two flying craps about .
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?
There are quite a few good examples I can use for this answer but the most disappointing one for me was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday. I hate stories where nothing happens and nothing else is done to make the journey worth it. Salmon Fishing did have a plot and stuff did happen, but when it all ends the characters end up in basically the same place they started making the whole journey worthless. I even would have been happy with the book if my ideal ending didn’t happen. Just make the whole book mean something instead of it being a study in futility.
The movie solved all the issues I had with the book and did so with two of the best actors of our time in it. Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor.
And Look! The movie had two of the most beautiful people in Hollywood in it!

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