Discussion: Diverging From Popular Opinions

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!

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12 thoughts on “Discussion: Diverging From Popular Opinions

  1. When I read Me Before You and did not particularly like it, I felt disappointed. It was as if I had somehow missed the point of the book. I think being disappointed when a book doesn’t meet our expectations is normal. So many people loved it and you’re just “okay, where do I start…?” but it’s part of the game. It is bound to happen as our reactions to a book are influenced by our mood at the time and a hundred other personal factors. I loved The Maze Runner but heard many bad things about it. I did not feel my opinion was wrong, I just felt I had found something in it that other had glossed over or missed. That’s why I find reviews so important. I am currently working on the one for The Maze Runner, and I go deep into details to make my point as to why I really enjoyed it. This way, I can discuss it further with fellow bloggers and share a different view. Who knows, someone might get inspired by my review and give it a try, or reread it and change their mind! 🙂

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    • I loved The Maze Runner 🙂 Reviews can definitely be helpful and inspire people to give a book a try or a second chance. Even if I feel like my opinion didn’t line up with what I’ve seen others saying, I just remind myself that everyone has different opinions and that my review could help other people discover a great book they’d otherwise skip over.

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  2. Great discussion post! Usually, I’m quite hesitant to discuss my thoughts on a popular book if I didn’t like it – like you said, I feel insecure too. But ever since I started blogging, I noticed that not everyone has the same opinions. I’ve read reviews that rant about hyped books, and reviews giving 5 stars to books that aren’t so popular. Either way, it made me realise that whatever I think and feel about a book is okay. It’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to have it 🙂 I haven’t actually ranted about any books yet on my blog, but I won’t be afraid to from now on.

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  3. Great idea for a discussion post! I’m no stranger to ranting about books I don’t like, hence the name of my blog, so I’m all about going against the grain. If you didn’t like the book and you make valid points in your review, I don’t see any reason why readers wouldn’t be receptive. In fact, most people seem to like negative reviews from what I’ve gathered. I originally thought everyone would stop following me when I posted my first rant, but it was the most popular post I’ve ever written. The thing I’ve learned as a writer, especially through the query process, is that writing is subjective and everyone has a different opinion on a book. I think that’s the beauty of book blogging. We get to see so many variances in opinion of each hyped-up book.

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    • I’ve noticed the same thing – I was nervous about posting a negative review of Truthwitch, but people seemed to really enjoy it and like seeing a different opinion that they hadn’t seen before. Since then, I haven’t felt as nervous sharing negative opinions about books that other people have liked. But like I said, I get more nervous about liking books that other people didn’t like for whatever reason haha

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      • That’s the great thing about blogging. I love seeing all the reviews. We just reviewed Passenger for Hype or Like Friday, and there was a vast difference in some of the reviews. Some loved it, others were like me and either didn’t make it past the first page, DNF, or wrote a negative review. I had a lot of fun reading all of them. I think if you’re the one person in the bunch that either likes or doesn’t like a popular book it’s more eye catching to readers because they want to know why.

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  4. I usually like the books that are really popular, so I don’t go through this too often. But when I don’t like popular books, I do tend to feel disappointed, because I wanted to be part of that excitement for the book I’ve heard so much about. And when I write my review, I almost feel like I have to constantly apologize for the difference in opinion, as if I’m wrong, even though I know that it’s OK to have varying opinions. It’s a hard habit to break. I just keep thinking that as long as I say my opinions in a respectful and honest way, no one can really justify attacking my opinions. Plus most people are respectful anyway, so it’s not an issue most of the time!

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    • I totally agree with everything you said here! As far as I can remember, I’ve never had anyone attack me or anything, but I still get nervous about it haha But yeah, I always do my best to be respectful no matter what I’m talking about/saying, so I figure if someone does some day end up getting mad at me over something like that, it’s not my fault haha

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  5. This is happening to me right now. I’m reading Star-Touched Queen, which everyone seems to LOVE, and just struggling through it. I’ve been reading it almost a month now, and that’s a very long time for me. But if we all liked the same kind of books, then things would be pretty boring, wouldn’t they? Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

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