It happens to all of us. We read a book that everyone loves and we don’t like it. Or we read a book that everyone hated and we love it. If we read enough books, especially popular ones, it’s bound to happen at some point.
I admit I sometimes feel wrong for having a certain opinion of a book. This is more of a problem for me when I like a book that a lot of people seem to have disliked. I feel insecure and as if someone is going to think that my opinions are “bad” or that they will start being skeptical when I say I really enjoyed a book and disregard my opinions. I know that this is dumb and I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do (this could very well be because I have social anxiety).
An example of this was the ending of Allegiant (spoilers ahead if you haven’t read it). Everyone hated it. I saw a lot of people getting downright angry at Veronica Roth for how she ended the series. But I loved it. Sure, it was heartbreaking. Yes, I wanted everyone to get their happy endings and that didn’t happen. However, I really liked the ending because I felt that the sacrifice Tris made really fit her personality. It made sense. (And to be perfectly honest, I predicted that she was going to die once I heard that Roth was alternating POV between Tris and Four. She hadn’t used more than one POV before in the series, so why start now? So she could kill the original narrator. Although I still held out hope that my prediction was wrong.) Anyway, when I realized that I was one of what seemed like very few people who didn’t want to burn Veronica Roth at the stake for her sins, it made me feel insecure in my opinion. It made me feel as though other people were going to distrust my other opinions because I really liked this book and everyone else seemed to hate it. Again, I know it’s silly and I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion and will have differing views, but it still makes me feel like I’m wrong.
I don’t feel quite as bad when I dislike a book that others seem to have really enjoyed. Admittedly, this hasn’t happened often, but when it does I feel more disappointed in the book than anything. In those cases I don’t normally feel as though I’m wrong, but usually just kind of feel as though people are seeing something in the book that I’m not and I feel let down. I’m not exactly sure why there’s this difference, but there is. When I dislike a book that I’ve seen a bunch of people say they loved, I’m just left feeling disappointed and let down, as if I’m missing something. I kind of say to myself “what is everyone seeing in this book that I’m not?” but I don’t feel as bad or insecure about my opinion in these cases. Just disappointed that I can’t join in on all the readers fangirling. 🙂
This happened last month when I read Truthwitch. Some people had mentioned to me that they read mixed reviews/opinions of Truthwitch, but I had only seen positive things. Even now, I think I’ve only seen one other person who didn’t enjoy it. When I started reading it, I was really excited. I had heard so many things about how wonderful this book was and I couldn’t wait to get into it. But then I was over halfway through the book and had only really enjoyed one section of maybe 100 pages and started realizing that despite my hopes that it would get better, it was unlikely. I still finished it (in fact, you can check out my review here), but I was left feeling disappointed that I couldn’t enjoy this book the way so many others had seemed to.
So my question for all of you is: how does diverging from the popular opinion or general consensus on a book make you feel? Disappointed? Upset? Angry, even? Let me know in the comments!