The list is long.
Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare
Infernal Devices, Cassandra Clare
Maze Runner, James Dashner
Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan
The Rosie Project, Donn Tillman
The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Landline, Rainbow Rowell
Attachments, Rainbow Rowell
An Abundance of Katherines, John Green
Every Day, David Levithan
Over the last few years, it seems to me as if the more I read popular fiction, the more I end up disliking/hating/being disappointed with them. The books and series mentioned above are a majority of popular books I either hate or was disappointed by. And this is something which didn’t happen a lot before, but happens freqeuntly now.
I pick up a book, having heard about it from so many people, impressed by the reviews and raving it has received, and by the time I turn the last page (if even I get till there), I’m just left with one of three things,
- Hatred. If I absolutely disliked the book.
- Disappointment. If the book didn’t live up to any of my expectations.
- Impact-lessness. If the book didn’t have any impact on me.
And, frankly, this is annoying me. Because when you pick up a book expecting to be blown away by it, it’s kind of a sad situation if it doesn’t give you even a little bit of enjoyment. Which begs the question, why does it happen? I’ve narrowed all reasons down to two main points :
People’s crazy raving peaks our expectation : It’s a long accepted fact that the higher our expectations, the higher is the disappointment when the book can;t live up to our hopes. When a long-awaited book releases, BookTube, Tumblr, Instagram etc explode, and 99% of the people are talking about the same book. (Hello, Lady Midnight). As much as I consciously try to avoid knowing anything about the book, bits and pieces do enter my brain and soon my unconscious starts to slowly and steadily raise the level of expectation for the book. And so what happens is, when I open the book, my mind already has a formed set standard for the book, and even a mediocre or a less-disappointing story becomes the biggest disappointment ever because expectations.
Being pressurized to join the bandwagon : Another thing which I feel is a lead cause to disappointment is, being pressurised to like the book. I’ve felt it before, and it is only now that I have the courage and confidence to talk freely about popular books I dislike. But had this been three-four years ago? I would’ve hesitated to admit that I hated Percy Jackson. And why is that? Because there is this invisible pressure in the community to like the popular books, to join the bandwagons, and to rave about the books everyone is talking about. I think this pressue plays with our psychology and of course, when you’re pressurised to like a book, any chance there was of liking that book disappears.
So I feel that these two reasons are the major ones which mostly make me dislike popular books. Of course, there are a lot other popular novels which I love, but I feel like the reason for dislike can be centered around the two mentioned above.
What about you? Do you sometimes end up disliking popular books? If so, what do you feel is the reason?