There are a few things in life I absolutely cannot resist no matter what: puppies, ice cream, and really hyped books. Even if I know it’s not my type of book, I’ll give in and read it just because I have to know what all the hype is about. Sometimes these books completely live up to the expectations (Gone Girl, Did You Ever Have a Family, American Sniper)
Other times, I’m excited and ready to be wow’ed and I finish the book feeling completely underwhelmed and left wondering what all the commotion was about. That was definitely the case for these 5 books.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Before Wild hit the scene Eat, Pray, Love was all the rage. It was everywhere and everyone was reading it. I, of course, gave in and read it, and really enjoyed it a lot. When Wild started gaining a following I was excited to read another version of Eat, Pray, Love. But I really really disliked this book. I hate to dump on a memoir because it’s not just a story made up by someone, it’s a real person and their life; but I hated this book, and hated the movie 5 times more. To sum it up, I didn’t relate or even sympathize with Cheryl at all. Although it’s terrible she lost her mother to cancer, I felt she basically used it as an excuse to be a shitty person and do shitty things. She was a drug addict for no reason other than she had no motivation to do anything else. She cheated on her husband countless times for no reason other than she was acting on impulse and didn’t care about his feelings what so ever. I can understand the heartbreak of loss, but I can’t understand people who use it as an excuse to be a shitty person.
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This book was famously referred to as “the next Gone Girl“…blahhhh. No not even close for me. Gone Girl had me flipping pages like a mad woman and had me physically unable to put the book down. More so, Gone Girl was able to make me actually kind of sympathize and root for an extremely flawed and sick character (Amy). I found all three women to be extremely similar and annoying. I literally wasn’t rooting for any of them at all. Overall, I didn’t hate it. I gave it three stars on Goodreads, but absolutely no way was it Gone Girl standards or even 4 or 5 star standards.
Room by Emma Donoghue
This book was a big deal when it came out in 2010, but is becoming a big deal yet again because of it being made into a feature film. I can see why this book has received so much praise and I can even understand why some people have loved it, but for me I really just didn’t. Writing a book with a child narrator is a hard thing to do, and I found the lack of dialogue and sentence structure to be really annoying. I also found myself feeling really cheated by the ending. While things end seemingly “happy” I felt like so many really important aspects of the story were left completely unanswered. Again, another read that I didn’t hate, but definitely didn’t agree with the hype.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I have huge fundamental problems with this book. HUGE. This Young Adult novel came so highly rated online and from everyone who seemed to read it. I finished this book and was literally disgusted. Writing for teens about teen suicide is an extremely hard thing to do, but I’ve read some YA books that have done a great job of it (Hate List and My Heart and Other Black Holes were both spectacular). This book not only focuses on a successful suicide, but I felt it glamorized suicide in a way that I believe is never acceptable, let alone acceptable to a young teen. Even just thinking back to this book leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. This book should be banned. Yes, Banned. That’s how inappropriate I feel it is.
You by Caroline Kepnes
I am all about a good book about a lovable psychopath, but I just didn’t find, the main character and psychopath of this book, Joe, to be that lovable. He had a couple of good one liners that gave me a chuckle here and there, but overall I just found him to be a weirdo. What really annoyed me about this book is that I hated Beck, the object of Joe’s affections, even more than I hated Joe. I couldn’t cheer for Joe because he was a weird murderous psychopath and I couldn’t cheer for Beck cause she was just a sucky character. All in all, I was left felling really underwhelmed.
The good news is, I read the second book in this series, Hidden Bodies, and loved it! Not only did Joe come off as a lovable psychopath, but his love interest, Love, was such a better character than Beck.