Have you ever read a book, loved it, and then had a friend hate it? Or worse, have you ever read a book, loved it, and then read a scathing review that makes you reconsider your basic human intelligence and emotional depth?
It’s like a punch to the stomach. It’s also good to get a little perspective.
The other day I finished a book, loved it, and immediately texted a friend who said, “Are you kidding? That book was a piece of trash! Do you hate women?” Okay, she didn’t actually say that. In fact, all of her critiques were fair, valid, and most importantly–hilarious. It made me rethink the book and my response to it, which is always a good thing.
Like any book hoarder, people are always asking me, “What should I read? What novel mightn’t I order? What can you specifically recommend to me according to my personal reading history and unique taste?”
It is hard to recommended books to people. Everyone has different standards they use to measure a book’s worth, different ways they receive a story. Here are two books I read last week and really enjoyed. Both are simultaneously loved and hated, torn apart and highly praised on Goodreads and Amazon. Of course they have their faults (formulaic plots and flawed characters), but I was entertained, charmed, and most importantly–kept awake by both stories.
At this point in my life, if the book keeps me awake–I consider it a good one.
Have you read these books? Tell me your thoughts (I can take it). Have you ever read a book everyone else despised?
If You’re Looking For: Comedy, dysfunction, dark humor, inappropriate giggling
My Review: This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. There were times I thought, “Well, he obviously wanted this to be a movie…” and “Stop objectifying women, you Hollywood clown!” But I also laughed enough to make me text a half dozen friends and say, “You really need to read this.” Bottom line: The main character (Judd) is a misogynistic juvenile, but the punchlines are worth the read.
Their Review: “The novel is artful and brilliant, filled with colorful narratives and witty dialogue. … [Tropper] can find the funny in any situation.” –Associated Press
If You’re Looking For: Coming-of-age love stories, to feel feelings
My Review: This book shot me straight through my sappy, sentimental, young adult fiction heart. I couldn’t get enough of Eleanor’s dry perseverance and Park’s quirky, heartfelt love. Heavy with sadness and light with love, the writing is clean and well presented despite some dark themes. Bottom line: Dynamic characters with a well driven plot makes this teen romance fit for adults too.
Their Review: “I’ve often said that nobody should write for teens who doesn’t remember what it was like to be one. Rainbow Rowell remembers, and has captured it beautifully in this book.” –Some lady on Goodreads