Discussion, WHAT DO???

Oops, I Don’t Like A Famous Book WHUT DO???

So I’m starting a new meme. Again. But this one’s totally awesome! (They’re all totally awesome. I didn’t say that.) It’s going to be dedicated to all those bookish problems and their solutions! It’s also all about discussion posts as well, but I wanted to make a separate column for this. Hope you enjoy the WHAT DO??? meme! And today we’re talking about…

Now I know all of you must have had this happen to you once or twice in your life kidding, it’s probably happening on a weekly basis. A lot of books are hyped, and you’re pressured to like them. But you don’t always just flat out like them. Sometimes you… *gasp!* hate them. Or worse – what if you don’t like an acclaimed diversity book?? (I’m not even talking about the unfortunate instance of you possibly liking a book deemed problematic. Let’s not get too depressive here, okay?) So what do you do when you realize you didn’t make the hype train?

Step 1. Keep calm and consume comfort food.

I know you feel embarrassed and worried. Do not berate yourself. You are allowed to have opinions!!! Even if those opinions are different from your friends’, as well as your bookish nemesis!

(Here is a handy picture of a nemesis. Not *quite* bookish, but you know.)

Step 2. Decide against not telling anyone.

Despite feeling off about not liking a hyped book, you shouldn’t just say “oh, maybe I won’t post a review this time”. We still want to know what you thought! It’s not like we’re all supposed to have the same opinion. What would be the point of reviews then?? Perhaps by having a negative one this time, you will point out a few problems that we haven’t noticed before. Refrain from just keeping your ideas to yourself!

Step 3. Take your time with the review.

When this happens, it’s sometimes harder to write the review. (Although personally, I struggle with reviews for 5 star books more often myself! 😅) So, if it does happen, just give yourself space and time to write a review. Don’t be afraid to tell us your opinion, but do take care not to come across sounding mean. (I’ve accidentally done that in the past! I still feel bad about it.)

Step 4. Yes, you still have to push that publish button.

Oh, just do it already!

Step 5. Do not mind the haters.

Chances are, you won’t even have to do this step! Most of the times, the community is really nice about accepting your feelings – even if they’re different. (Unless you disregarded what I said about being mean in Step 3!) But sometimes we have to deal with trolls anyway, especially if we have a bigger audience. So don’t forget you’re allowed to have an opinion! Especially if you’re from a diversity branch and just felt like a hyped book trampled on your identity. Or if you are just big enough a blogger to deal with constant trolls on social media (I’d like to shout out to Paper Fury here because I know she constantly has to deal with this!) No matter what they say, remember that you’ll probably have at least 10 friends who have your back for every troll you encounter. So chin up!

In the bottom, you can link up your review posts for hyped books you hated!

What’s your typical process of writing a review like that? If you’ve had these feels, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear about them.

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

76 thoughts on “Oops, I Don’t Like A Famous Book WHUT DO???

  1. I also find it more difficult to write 5 star reviews than, say, 2 star reviews, I think because I know specific reasons why I give a book a bad review, whereas with 5 stars, I just love EVERYTHING!, which isn’t very specific!

    I never received any backlash from a bad star review until I started reviewing pregnancy books. Several pregnancy books I read didn’t use sources and had generic information easily found on Web MD, and some people found offense with those reviews! However, I find that kind of review very helpful, so I will continue to write them! (Review of 2 such pregnancy books: http://www.margaretkingsbury.com/reading-railroad-mays-reading/)

    I thought my bad review of Outlander would get more criticism, but it hasn’t. (Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1322469345?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1)
    Margaret Kingsbury recently posted…Reading Railroad: August’s ReadingMy Profile

    1. Hi Margaret, nice to hear from you again 🙂

      Oh yes, I can see how factual information being correct in pregnancy books is super important. Is it like.. instructional nonfiction? I also see how people would get angry. It’s kind of a… tough topic.

      I find giving 5 star reviews hard because whatever I write doesn’t seem to do the book justice 😀 it’s just… better than anything I could say about it? Haha 😀

  2. This is a great idea!
    But what are some of the popular books you didn’t like?
    I’ve linked above to my review of Ready Player One

    1. Oh! You didn’t like Ready Player One? I haven’t read it yet, but I am going to one day, cause I’ve heard so many good things about it. I’ll have to check out your review 🙂

      I didn’t like The Golden House, also I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Both of those reviews are coming out soon. To be fair, I didn’t even like TBDATE that much, and it was so hyped 🙂 also The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. You don’t just blatantly dislike one of Atwood’s books! Hah.

  3. I love this idea, as I DNF’d both famous books I tried to read in August (The Remnant Chronicles and The Winner’s Curse series). Usually, I don’t make it far enough into the book to write a review, but then I spend HOURS researching the next book I’m going to read so I don’t make the same mistake again (would this be step #6?). No fun reading two disappointing books in a row! 🙂
    Mallory recently posted…August Wrap-Up: What a Whirlwind!My Profile

    1. I haven’t reviewed a book a couldn’t finish yet, but it’s happened a few times in my book club and I always argue that if you couldn’t finish a book that in itself is a critique of the book! But I heard someone else in the blogosphere voice a similar opinion to yours, that if you DNF’d it then you don’t have a complete opinion ? Is this like book blogger etiquette or something?
      Bethan recently posted…State of My ARC: Sept IssueMy Profile

      1. I definitely think it constitutes a full opinion. Maybe it’s best to refrain from a star rating – but giving a review and saying why you couldn’t bear the thought of finishing it? Totally, absolutely relevant.

      2. I agree! I think it says something if you can’t finish a book!!!! I’ve been especially nervous to review YA books if I don’t like them because I hear that the backlash can be vicious (ewww!) And I’m soo confused on book blogger etiquette, so if you have advice PLEASE pass it on ;). (It looks like you blog about dragons, so I’ll clearly listen to anything you say)
        Mallory recently posted…August Wrap-Up: What a Whirlwind!My Profile

        1. 😀 dragons!

          Yeah, you’re right, if you don’t like a hyped YA book, it’s… best to be extra careful about your review, as people tend to react quite dramatically sometimes :/ thankfully, it hasn’t happened to me!… yet. LOL

    2. No fun indeed! Yeah, that’s why I almost never DNF though! I still want to rate and write a review 🙂 plus, if I’ve already invested in reading maybe half of it, it should totally count towards my yearly goals xD so I make a point of finishing it. But yes, you are totally right – if we research more, we minimize the chances the next one will suck. Makes more good reviews 😀

      1. I used to get the same way…. I mean, those goals are there for a reason, right? This year I’ve been doing a 60 page rule – if I’m 60 pages in and I don’t like it. I DNF it. I had a HUGE reading goal this year, but just don’t think I’m going to hit it because I’ve been struggling to find books that I like.

        And the downside of doing too much research is that I find spoilers. Which is why I read good book blogs… like yours 🙂
        Mallory recently posted…August Wrap-Up: What a Whirlwind!My Profile

        1. That’s true! Too much research does mean spoilers! Aww, thank you so much <3 I try especially hard not to give any spoilers, cause who likes that, right 🙂

          Do you count the books you DNF towards your goal? Maybe you should 🙂 I used to have a 50-100 page rule too, but then I read this one book that I stuck out with, and I only started liking it after 250 pages (I swear...), but after that!! It became the best book ever!! After that I just sort of try to stick with it, unless it's absolutely bad.

  4. Aww haha, thank you for the shoutout. It is absolutely crap that a lot of us have been kind of conditioned be SCARED of having opposite opinions to the crowd. I mean whyyyyyy. What’s the big deal about having a different opinion?! I was absolutely abused on twitter about hating A Well of Ascension, and it still boggles my mind because the book is like completely white/straight + extremely sexist + religious preachy … and yet a whole lot of diverse-blogger-advocates were being absolute trolls at me. (I wouldn’t even repeat what they called me and the threads they started but OH WELL.) IT STILL CONFUSES ME TO THIS DAY. Humanity online can be weird. But you’re right that you’ll always have good supporting friends so at least that’s lovely. :’) And honestly IT’S JUST NOT A BIG A DEAL AS WE THINK IT IS to not like a hyped or famous book! I loooooved the post!
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…10 Books That Gave Me Quite A Hard Time (So Rude?? What Did I Do To Deserve This??)My Profile

    1. Aw my, that really sucks. I mean, I think it’s fair to say you were abused about more than one low star review. Meh! Really too bad.

      Glad you loved the post 🙂 and for better or worse (definitely better? :D) I don’t even know that book you mentioned!

  5. Fun meme! Love the haters video 😉 I could probably fill the link up with hyped books I didn’t like The problem is I usually don’t finish books I don’t like so I don’t usually have reviews 🙂 but let me see… I’ll be right back.

  6. Great idea. There are more than a few books I just haven’t got but others have. One is my boss’ favourite book and whilst we normally agree on reading I cannot get away with it at all.
    Emma recently posted…Favourite female detectivesMy Profile

    1. I know what you mean! Especially if said book is literary 😀 then the other person can float all they want that you’re not sophisticated enough or something 😀 grr!

  7. To write a typical review like that I usually take longer to publish than others. I like to be honest, but people can take it as negative or attacking them but it’s not what I’m trying to do. Just honesty‍♀️✨

    1. You are right, I also try very hard to make it as neutral as I can. But it still needs to be funny for my readers! Who will read the post otherwise xD so it’s a veeeery delicate balance.

  8. I love this idea Avalinah! I had to post two because I have been out of the majority for a few very popular books. I should probably mention here that I DNFed quite a few that other people raved about (Nevernight, Frannie and Tru, and The Game of Love and Death just to name a few).
    I like the idea of honest opinions, so sometimes it won’t match what other people think. I also think that some people feel a lot of pressure to review with the majority like rate up or down to match what most other bloggers rate. That’s sad. I don’t like seeing I liked something everyone hated, or hating something everyone loved but it happens.
    Karen Blue recently posted…Review: ONE DARK THRONE by Kendare BlakeMy Profile

    1. I know what you mean. I didn’t enjoy They Both Die At The End so much, so even though I gave it 3 stars, even that felt hard, cause everyone else is just gushing about it. It’s why it’s just not easy to give a bad review… or even a middling review. And especially with classics! A classic that covers topics like racism, women’s rights? You’ll get called on it! But what if you didn’t like the writing style? What if it was just plain boring to read and not for you, despite the goof subject matter and the fact that the topic is relevant to you? Bleh. Too much judgement. We should be able to say our opinion, if we say it politely.

  9. Unpopular opinions happen. I review everything and am not afraid to leave a bad review. It is kind of funny that some of my most popular reviews on goodreads are the negative one. I get a lot of comments from other people that share the same thoughts. I agree completely that reviews should go ahead and say what they think of a book even if it is the popular thought.
    Carole @ Carole’s Random Life in Books recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – Magic TriumphsMy Profile

    1. Oh really! That’s pretty cool, actually. Did you leave a link in the linkup? (I won’t see this before I’m done replying comments xD) as I am now curious about which books and which reviews those popular ones are 🙂

    1. I feel like I’ve heard about that one, but can’t quite remember about it 🙂 yeah, a linkup is a cool idea cause I can go check out all your posts now 😀 plus, I got a plugin. Gotta use it for something, right? XD

  10. Great idea!
    Step 1 is just good advice in general. I don’t read very many hyped books in all honesty. Two that were semi-hyped at the time and I didn’t like were In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Hmm, odd that they both have “dark” in the title.

    1. Ah, I want to read Dark Matter. But yeah, I’ve heard people are either hot or cold about that book. But all in all, it’s probably a good idea not to read that many hyped books 🙂

    1. Haha, that’s why I’m not even going to attempt to read that series 😀 I just know I’d probably roll my eyes quite a bit.

  11. This is sooo true! When I was pretty new to blogging, I was really afraid that people were not going to like if I had an unpopular opinion but this community proved me wrong. Usually, when this happens, I state the facts due to which I disliked the book in the first place and every one of us has a different opinion, not all of us will end up enjoying the same book.
    Loved this post! <3
    Poulami @ Daydreaming Books recently posted…Fall TV Shows: The Ones I’m Desperately Waiting For || Scrambled ThoughtsMy Profile

    1. Thanks! Glad you liked it 🙂
      Yes, I believe that as long as you state your opinion in a respectful and polite manner, it will be okay. Of course, it’s not easy if you want to also make the post amusing to your audience 😀 it’s a fine balance… but you gotta maintain it 🙂
      Thanks for visiting!

  12. ok I’m back again because I realized I have a good one! “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” Tons of great reviews and I’m like WTH??? This is downright romanticizing pedophilia!!!

    She was seven and lying in a meadow watching the stars when the 20-something pedophile crashed with his motorcycle and he saw her and “she looked so pretty, like an angel” and just like that “love story between two unlikely people” was written and got many awesome reviews. and I’m like NO WAY!
    Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium recently posted…All the Ugly and Wonderful Things – Minus 4,995 existential crisis stars!My Profile

  13. Ugh, YES. I have definitely struggled with this. I’ll admit, I have avoiding writing reviews sometimes when it’s a book that I see people posting about like crazy and it’s super hyped… Sometimes I do, and try to stay really nice and understanding, but you know. I shouldn’t have to apologize or be meek in my opinions, but I don’t want people taking it personally either.

    And I totally agree, it’s sometimes harder to write reviews for 5 star books! Out of my favorite books, I’ve probably written reviews on about a quarter of them. Which is just crazy! I’ve been thinking of rereading all my current favorites and writing reviews for them.

    1. Yep, it’s SUCH a fine line, isn’t it? And still, I definitely believe in the need for negative reviews, as long as they’re respectful and not bashing anyone. Because we need all sorts of opinions. If a book only has glowing opinions, I don’t know if it’s even legit then… sometimes it doesn’t seem like it is.

      I’m also sitting on a pile of unwritten 5 star reviews. Terrible 😀 it’s worse when they’re for ARCs and actually need to be given!

  14. Hi Evelina,

    In some ways I think it would be much better if a rating system alone would suffice in raising the profile of a book, to the satisfaction of author, publisher and promoter; rather than having the obligation of writing a review as the only way to make your thoughts count.

    A review of any description is after all, purely subjective, as opinions are completely personal and no two people will have identical likes and dislikes about a story line or cast of characters.

    I get more annoyed about bad spelling, punctuation, continuity and grammar than one or two flaws in the story line itself. There really can be no excuse for bad editing or proof reading.

    Having said all that, I very rarely offer a poor or scathing review of a book, as that might deter someone else from reading it, when they may actually have enjoyed the experience. All books generally have something positive going for them and this is what I tend to try and remain focussed on.

    Thanks for such an interesting post, I enjoyed reading all the previous comments 🙂

    Yvonne@FictionBooks recently posted…New On My Shelf This WeekMy Profile

    1. Glad you liked the post! I know what you mean about punctuation. But I try to pay less attention to it now as I get a lot of ARCs, and those are often pre-editing, at least before the final editing and proofreading. So I try to pay more attention to the story itself.

  15. This is fabulous! It’s so true, it can be rough when everyone and their mom seems to be gushing over a book and you’re just.. meh. Or even worse, absolutely hate the thing! I feel like I *have* sounded mean in negative reviews too- not that I meant to, but snark never really sounds super nice, I guess? I mean, I never ever say anything about the author, of course! But sometimes… harsher words are necessary. I cannot stand the trolls and haters though! What IS that!? You are so right too, Cait deals with wayyy more than her fair share. I don’t get it- we can all have different opinions! Why does it matter if someone doesn’t like the same book? I am off to scour my reviews for my… unpopular opinions to link up 😀 Awesome post!!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Do You Post When You’d Really Rather Not?My Profile

    1. Yes, you’re right, snark.. can’t sound good 😀 especially if you like it and the one who wrote it doesn’t 😀
      I also don’t get why Cait deals with so much hate. She’s positively adorable. People are weird, and… too literal?
      Oh, you linked something up? Yay! I’ll have to go check. This linkup really worked out 🙂

  16. This has been me the last few months and I feel so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. There was a debut diverse book I read recently that I couldn’t in good conscience give it more than a 1 star because I genuinely was bored to tears and miserable reading it – but I pushed through because I really wanted to give it a chance and to write a proper review for the publisher that gave me the ARC. While I have the review scheduled for around release date as I do with all ARC reviews, I’m not going to lie, I’m anxious about it, and I’ve been hesitating to post my review on Goodreads.

    On the other side of the spectrum, I have a somewhat positive (3 star) review for a book that was the subject of much controversy a while back for being problematic and I’ve been hesitant to post it anywhere (I have it scheduled for the end of the year, hopefully when some of the hate will die down by then). After reading it I can honestly say that most of the stuff people claimed was problematic was taken entirely out of context, I gave it a 3 stars simply for being generic. While I want to get my more moderate review out there for folks that only see extreme love and hate for this book, it also makes me hesitate since I’m a small time blogger and I don’t want to be put on any hate lists.

    I did however post the review for one hyped diverse book that I really didn’t like and I’ve actually had relatively positive feedback. Several people agreed and saw the same issues that I did, so it was comforting.

    Maybe I’ll do a list sometime soon and link it up, I just feel bad not liking books that are widely popular because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    Great meme idea and post as usual. 🙂
    Jamie recently posted…Not a SoundMy Profile

    1. What book is it? Now I’m curious. BTW, I actually post my Goodreads reviews along with my blog post, do you post them early?
      I totally get you about the 3 star one. That’s why I generally won’t even read problematic books. I just kind of want to steer clear of all of that hate or people who have nothing better to do than police the internet. Sometimes it’s got good intentions, sometimes it’s deserved, but most of the time it’s just Twitter warfare between people who have too much energy to spare on hate.
      The good thing about being a small time blogger though is the thing that most people probably won’t notice your review for that book 🙂 I’ve written bad reviews for really loved books. They just went by. I’m also a small time blogger 😀
      Thanks, glad you liked it 🙂 yeah, nobody likes hating hyped books, I think xD so it’s not just you 😀 thanks for reading!

      1. Totally agree with avoiding controversy. That’s why I typically don’t talk too much when there’s a lot of drama going on, I just feel bad for bloggers or authors that get attacked.

        With my Goodreads reviews in the past I tended to forget to post my reviews on there, and when I did I did so in bulk. The last couple of days though I’ve decided it was time to fix that and have been posting 2-3 reviews a day with blog links + disclaimers for books I got arcs/review copies for.

        When it comes to ARCs I usually try and schedule reviews to be posted closer to release date, as for Goodreads I don’t really have a specific schedule or order that I post them.

        The book I ended up not liking was Beasts Made of Night, and I scheduled my review for next month around release date. The concept is really interesting and the action scenes are pretty decent, but that’s all that book felt like to me. The plot was extremely thin, no character development, and the ending is rushed. I’ve seen some rave reviews about it for it’s diversity which is great (its based off of Nigerian folklore) but the book felt like a first draft. It could make an amazing comic book, though, given the action and the concept, but as a book I guess it just wasn’t very compelling to me.
        Jamie recently posted…Into the WaterMy Profile

        1. I haven’t heard of that one, actually. A lot of times a book will be praised for its diversity, but solely for it. Disregarding the writing and story. Meh.

          I actually schedule and email to myself, which arrives at the time I have to boost the Goodreads review for a post that just came out 😀 it works most of the time, I notice it on my blog even if I had forgotten it completely cause I scheduled it a month back 🙂 (well okay, maybe not a month… lol)

    1. Haven’t read those, but isn’t The Selection about women fighting to be chosen as brides for a prince? I wouldn’t even read that cause it already deeply offends my understanding of emancipation xD so I’m with you 😀

  17. Hahaha. I love that you posted this BEFORE your review of Rushdie’s new book. You are my favorite. And BEFORE your review of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. You are the best.

    This is a cool post series idea. Do you expect that others will also take up the mantle of these series in a meme-like fashion? As in, do you hope that others continue these posts? Or is this more intended like my Building Better Book Clubs series? Just clarifying!

    I totally get you on this. Actually, this really closely mimics my philosophy on why I publish book review for DNF’d books. It’s important for thought diversity in the world, too! We can’t just let everyone assume that certain famous books are loved equally. And it’s the discussion which spurs my passions for books anyway! We need to talk about these things. We can’t just let them get swept under the rug!

    Important question: What is your go-to comfort food in this situation?

    And also, are there other famous books you’ve read in the past you didn’t like?
    Jackie B. recently posted…#AnneReadAlong2017 : Giveaway Winner!My Profile

    1. YEEEES. I posted it in anticipation when I knew I’d already hated the books, and also so I could link the post in the reviews xD the one that inspired this post though, was Maya Angelou’s book.

      This is sort of just a discussion meme series I’ll be doing (I had some other topic ideas scribbled somewhere). I would like to do a linkup in every single one because a lot of people actually linked their reviews! It was fun. The bad thing though, seems to be that only ONE linky seems to be free at any point. So you only have one active one. And I would like my State of the ARC one to be active for longer! At least for the current post. So maybe I’ll figure out a second linkup tool or something 🙂 use them interchangeably. But if you want to post a similar post, then you can, saying “Inspired by…” and linking up – I don’t mind 🙂

      Comfort food… hm. I’m not sure I do comfort food in cases like these 😀 but maybe… original pringles? 😀 lol and digestive cookies. I know I have weird comfort food tastes xD

      I also didn’t like Lord of the Rings (too many songs! And kind of boring), and I’m sure I disliked some others too, but I can’t think of them right now. You?

  18. Hahaha this is all so true! I wrote something similar about how to write a review and what happened if you did not like it. You are spot on 😉

  19. AMEN to all what you said. Before, I am honestly not keen on posting reviews for hyped up books if my opinions are against that of the general public. I guess, I am afraid I might get some lashback especially from rabid fans of the book. But now, I am learning to swim against the tides, so to speak and have been voicing my opinions more in Goodreads and in my blog. So far, I haven’t been receiving any negative comments because unlike Cait of Paper Fury, I am relatively a “smol” blog.

    I love these meme that you have. I linked my review with unpopular opinion and its for 13 Reasons Why.
    Jennilyn V. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (STS#10)My Profile

    1. Yes! It really depends on the book, the genre and the fan base too, though. You might get in trouble with certain YA books, especially in the diversity area, because people are so willing to just attack. It’s sad.

      Yes, I think the only reason we are able to live cozily like that is because we are not as big as Cait! Oh well, fame has a dark side too, huh? 🙂

      Yay! Thanks for linking up, I will check out your post 🙂 I also invite you to check out my meme State of the ARC – this link is a previous one, so the linkup won’t be active anymore, but I am posting another edition on September 29. You can read this post to see what it’s all about and whether it’s relevant to you 🙂

  20. Every book good or bad has its own fans and of “enemies” so don’t worry, it is normal to feel like that.
    In another day you may find the book interesting.

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