Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Discussion: “I don’t get it. Were we reading the same book?”


Have you ever loved a book that everyone else seems to hate?

Or have you ever hated a book that other people seem to love?

And when you hear other peoples thoughts on those books, you’re just baffled by what they say about it because from the way they talk, it’s hard to believe you’re even talking about the same books? That ever happened to you?

I’ll give examples of both for me.

A book that I love but other people seem to hate:

The Old Man & The Sea by Hemmingway

So, it’s a classic. It’s Hemingway. And, to an extent I can see why some people might not like it… but I adored this book; it’s boring, totally monotonous, but reading this book was the first time it really clicked with me that I could find meaning in a story. That fiction books can be more than just entertainment.

The story may be kind of on the dull side, but I liked Hemingway’s writing and I loved the symbolism in the book. I really cared about the character and my heart broke for him.The whole story kind of seemed like a metaphor for life (to be honest, I don’t know if that’s what Hemingway intended -- but that’s the meaning I found in it anyway, whether he intended it or not).

It’s never going to be one of those books that are absolutely thrilling to read, it doesn’t get my heart racing or make butterflies dance in my stomach as I experience echoes of the characters emotions… but there was something there. And that’s why I love the book, even though most people I’ve talked to don’t get it.

Book that I hate but everyone else seems to love:

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause

I cannot put into words how much I loathed this book. It could probably bore me to tears and I didn’t like the characters at all -- to be honest, thinking back on the book, the only things I really recall is forcing myself to finish it and the fact that vampire boy liked human girls boobs. And the ending. I didn’t like the ending.

I’ve seen people talk about this book and praise the hell out of it and I’m just like, “I don’t get it. Were we reading the same book?”

I pouted like a two year old when it got a cover redesign that I adored because it made me want to buy a book that I hated just for the pretty cover (although, the redesign seemed to be trying to look Twilight-y).

I should mention also, that I let this book put me off reading anything else by the author for years but eventually I caved and read Blood & Chocolate and that book is fantastic (don't let the movie version of the book put you off -- aside from the genre and character names, they have very little in common, even the ending changed).

Another good example of these kind of love/hate books is the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The world seems to be split in its opinion of these books (the last one especially) -- half of the world thinks they are one of the worst things to ever happen to literature while the other half seems to be absolutely obsessed to the point of fangirling.

At the end of the day, opinions are subjective and we’re all into different things and there really is no right or wrong when it comes to an opinion of a book because it depends on your own personal tastes… but still, it’s weird seeing people love something you hate or hate something you love. It’s a funny reminder of just how different people can be.

So yeah, basically, I just wanted to know: is there any books that you love but other people hate? Or books that you hate but other people love? Have you ever had an “I don’t get it. Were we reading the same book?” moment?

Later.

P.s. Please note that with The Old Man & the Sea and The Silver Kiss, I know not everyone hates/loves them, when I talked about people having totally different opinions from me, I just meant the people I had talked to about the books. =P

P.p.s. I’ll try to get an actual review up this week, I started reading Sloppy Firsts earlier and it’s good so far. =]

12 comments:

  1. Story of my life right here.

    Like, everyone loved Halo, when it just was not for me.

    And I love a ton of classics that people just seem to hate.

    I think we've all got different palattes and what will whet one person's appetite, makes the other person want to vomit.

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  2. YES! I have been on that boat, and still am from time to time. And, loser that I am, I look for the sparse negative or positive reviews to validate my opinions about certain books, which is sad.

    Awesome post!

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  3. My "we are reading the same book?" moment came just recently. Most of my girlfriends hated Mockingjay! I thought they couldn't be more wrong, but they thought it was a let-down and that it strayed too far from the frist 2 books in setting (i.e. there was no official arena). I won't say much more, don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it, but I adored every emotion-and-action-filled page!

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  4. This happens to me a lot. Lately, it has mostly been with new paranormal releases, so I admit that paranormal is generally not my thing. I do try to give the books a shot though when they are getting so much hype. A few I love loved, like Maggie Stiefvater's books, others have definitely made me wonder if I was reading the same book.

    (April, I'm with you on Halo. It was okay, but I did not love it as much as most.)

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  5. Well .. there's Twilight. I absolutely loved the book, but then I hear people say that it's literary trash and I'm like .. what? *scratches head*

    But yeah, I feel that way about a lot. I wasn't a fan of Fallen or Wings, and they seem to be huge. And I *HATED* the Evermore & House Of Night series.

    But I guess everyone just has different tastes. Nothing wrong with that! :)

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  6. This happens to me very often! Besides YA I enjoy reading classics a lot. So when I said that I loved Wuthering Heights people think that I'm crazy.
    As you I thought that the old man and the sea was interesting. The first time I read I was very young, really young, I was in THIRD grade and because I'd finish to read the book that I had brought from home my teacher decided to go to the library choose ANY book and forced me to read it !!! I HATE it so much. But now a few years later I read it again and I enjoy it !!!

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  7. Alas, I can't find a half bad review of Shiver anywhere else. I'm alone.

    Good post.

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  8. @Ashlea, I completely agree about Mockingjay... I adored it, I thought it was a pretty perfect ending. Did everything I wanted to happen, happen? No. But, it made sense, the way it ended worked and was realistic. When people trash talk it, I don't get it (I mean, I can understand not everyone will like it -- but the reasons they give for hating it make no sense half the time). =P

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  9. I've noticed I seem to hate like 90% of super popular YA books....

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  10. @Kulsuma- Shiver was irritating. I didn't like it either and have NO desire to read Linger.
    @lanna-lovely- I know! My friends couldn't even pinpoint WHY they didn't like - except for the arena part! Ugh- crazy girls! :)

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  11. i know exactly what you mean...

    my biggest one is beautiful creatures...i gave it a one and the majority i have seen have been fives

    and catcher in the rye...another one hehe

    i just find it odd that my friend who has the same tastes as me and who loves the books i love...likes these two books..

    like adores them

    hehe weird

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  12. This happens to me all the time. That's what I love about books and book blogging - all the different veiws and opinions. It happens all the time - I read a book, I love it, then I read a review that points out a lot of negatives. I may even agree with those points, but the book still clicked with me - just like for you and The Old Man and The Sea (which I didn't like even though I love Hemingway but I do get why people love it). I love posts like this...thanks for sharing.

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