Not everyone agrees. This is guaranteed to happen with every new book, regardless of the popularity, the author, the buzz, the publisher, or even the book itself, not everyone will love it or hate it. There are always those lone reeds that stand up and go against the tide. It’s not always an easy position either. Whether you loved or hated the book in question, it’s never easy to stand up against the majority and try to defend your opinion.
I think it’s even worse when you’re not at either extreme. Recently I read a very well regarded and reviewed book. I mean most of the reviews on GoodReads are all 5 stars with more positive adjectives than I thought existed. Basically everyone who ever came across this book loved it to pieces. I didn’t. I didn’t hate it to be sure, but I thought it was ok at best. Frankly, I was pretty bored reading this supposedly incredible story and skimmed the last 20-30 pages just so I could finish. I questioned a lot of the author choices but was shocked none of the reviews touched on ANY of the issues I had. Not even in passing. I was left wondering if anyone noticed anything that seemed off to me.
Now this isn’t a bad book (and frankly which book it is doesn’t matter in the least) but I didn’t think it was good, let alone great. It was ok, decent. Yet I really don’t want to post a review against the tide because I can’t really pinpoint why. Sure I can list the issues I had and reasons it didn’t exactly work for me but at the same time, it’s some mystical chemistry where the characters just didn’t interest me. I was bored with them and how do you explain that? How do you break apart what is essentially a feeling into specifics?
It’s these middle of the road blah-ish books I really hate reviewing, especially if everyone has loved it before. Perhaps it really is an elusive chemistry thing where there is nothing wrong with the book per se but it just didn’t spark with you. It’s very difficult to explain coherently and eloquently. Yet it definitely, absolutely happens.
So to the book I failed to spark with, I’m sorry. I don’t know if it was you or I but we didn’t mesh. Better luck with another reader.
Have you ever had that happen? How do you deal with it, do you review said book or just leave a rating and move on?