Thursday, September 22, 2016

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Lianna tagged me, and far be it from me to refuse a challenge.  (That's not true.  I refuse challenges all the time.  But an opportunity to write about books...)

Anyway, this one's going to be pretty hard, because I agreed with almost all of Li's answers--many were the first things that popped into my mind (I do not understand Catherynne Valente; I just don't). But I'm going to purposefully avoid duplicates.  So if you wonder why I didn't say Outlander for number one--now you know.

1) A popular book or series you didn't like: Archivist Wasp. The Book Smugglers so rarely steer me wrong, but with this one, I literally cannot figure out what book they were reading.  I mean, it was not without its interesting qualities, but it was mostly a jumbled mess.

2) A book or series everyone seems to hate, but you love: Gah, this one's hard.  My taste is so mainstream! Instead of "everyone hates it" (I can't think of a book like that!) let's go with "how can you possibly even  notice that this book exists?" There is a romance novel called Beloved Wife.  It's a straight up Harlequin Historical by Lynda Trent, and it came out about 20 or 30 years ago, and at a point in my life my friend and I were buying HHs for $1 per grocery bag full.  It's just another one of those, your standard mail-order-bride story ending in true love.  So why have I owned it for two decades, read it half a dozen times, and love it more than any HH ever deserved to be love?  Reader, I know not.

3) A love triangle or romantic pairing you're not a fan of: Okay, this is an obscure one, but since I love Sharon Shinn, this mistake sticks out like a sore thumb to me.  The implied romance at the end of The Safe-Keeper's Secret is just a dozen kinds of messed up.  I'm not going to spoil it for you, and it doesn't ruin the rest of the story (I don't think) but there is a definite moment of WHAT. THE. HELL? going on there.

4) A popular genre you hardly ever reach for: Mysteries. There are tons of great mysteries, and some of them are my favorites, but it's hard to find the best ones, and when I'm reading a less-than-awesome mystery, I find myself really confused and distracted.  So I only follow strong recommendations in that genre.

5) A beloved book character who gets on your nerves in a major way: (Please don't hate me) Harry Potter.  I love the books, but let's all be honest: Hermione is the real hero there. Ron's a great sidekick; Harry's only there to be tortured and anguished. Sure, there's justification in his history for him being sullen and kind of whiny, but man, he makes an art of it.

6) A popular author you can't seem to get into: Jasper Fforde.  I've read a couple of his Thursday Next books, and even enjoyed them, but I can't seem to want to come back to them. And the other books of his that I've picked up, the ones that are not in that world, I never made it very far.  You'd think they'd be right up my alley, but they just never quite clicked for me.

7) A trope you're tired of seeing: These adults don't know how to run the world!  If they'd just do whatever straightforwardly obvious thing that we teenagers suggest so that everything could be fair and reasonable, then the world would be a place of peace and plenty and all the bad guys would be defeated.  But they're just overcomplicating things like international relations and crowd control and physics because of fear and inability to think creatively!

8) A popular book or series you have no interest in reading: Ender's Shadow. I loved Ender's Game and really enjoyed Speaker for the Dead, but by the time the new series rolled around, I had two problems: 1) I realized that at least the beginning involves rewriting some of the events of the original book from a different point of view, and that a bunch of what we understood to be happening gets a lot more shady with the new information, and 2) Orson Scott Card is a vocal and rampant bigot. So I'm not going back to that world, not even to see what happened to Bean.

9) The saying goes: the book is always better than the movie. But what movie or TV adaption did you like better than the original book?  Little House on the Prairie.  I never read those books as a kid, so I don't have any nostalgia for them.  And while I am generally really into books about the nitty gritty details of survival in a harsh environment, I find rereading it to be somewhere between dull and racist/violent. But the TV show! Michael Landon should be everybody's dad.


Anonymous said...

Oh! Yay! Love your answers! I've been having a bit of brain freeze on the blogging front lately, but I'm totally stealing this! :)

Lianna Williamson said...

OMG YES on Safe-Keeper's Secret! You know how I lurve Shinn, but what the actual hell was she thinking with that pairing?? Ewwwwww.

And OMG yes to the Social Problems Are Actually Wicked Easy To Fix, It's Just That Adults Are Too Stupid To See It trope. I'm all for teens getting angry about the state of the world and calling out adults on their hypocrisies, but I'd like to see more YA fiction taking the route of The Scorpion Rules and showing that social justice is not as simple as "Smash the evil System!"

Also ditto Jasper Fforde. I don't think his books are bad, but I feel like I should love them way more than I do.

And to some extent, ditto Harry, although I don't think he bugs me as much as he bugs you. However, I really though the series was heading a certain way with his character and the whole Chosen One thing, and then when it didn't go there after all I was kind of retrospectively soured on his character.