Library Pumpkin

Library pumpkin (noun): a person that flourishes best between bookshelves.

Confession: Books I hate but other people love

Books. Books. You’ve got to love them. They are the best thing in the world for escaping, learning, laughing, loving, having your heart ripped out when your favourite character dies etc. etc. etc.

Except some books. Some books suck. Some books make the minutes feel like years, and some make you feel dead inside. These are four examples of books that I know give other people all the feels and excitement and joy that comes from loving a book, but personally I would rather sleep on my arm and wake up with it feeling all dead and tingly and buzzy inside.

Note: There are some spoilers. Also, I owned all of these books at one point, but gave them to a charity shop, so can’t take any pictures of them.

Jane Eyre

Now, there’s going to be loads around about Jane Eyre because it’s Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday on 21st April (incidentally, the same day as my brother’s birthday). But honestly, I can’t bear Jane Eyre. I first read it when I was about 11, and wasn’t really into it, but kind of figured maybe I was too young for it. So then, when it came up on my university course I tried it again.

Nope, still hate it. It starts of alright, but god, it just drags on and on. The section where she has run away from Mr Rochester and is with her boring cousin, or whoever he is, feels like one of the longest passages in human history. I know a lot of people with disagree, but I just can’t get on with this book: I find it hard to make any sort of connection with Jane, and Mr Rochester is a bit of a dick.

The Fault in our Stars

Hmm, now I think there are probably a lot of people out there who feel the same way as I do, but there are also a lot of people who rave over it.I think it’s a really shallow book. Not in a ‘looks are important’ way, I mean in a ‘there is no depth to this’. It is a surface level book that from the start is just trying to make you cry, and I think because of that, it fails to build any real emotional connection with any of the characters.

It knows it’s going to make you cry, because it’s about dying teenagers who love each other. And so there is no need to make them interesting or complex.

Alice in Wonderland/Alice Through the Looking Glass

Nope. Can’t decide if it’s because the film traumatised me as a kid or because there are references to it everywhere, but I have Wonderland fatigue. I don’t have as much of a clear argument as I do with the others, I just find it snoresome.

Love in the Time of Cholera

And by love, Marquez means creepy and obsessive sexual desire in the time of Cholera.

A friend gave me this book, telling me it made her believe in love again. I have seen other people write similar things about it. NO NO NO. Florentino Arizo and Fermina Daza fall in love as teenagers, and are forced apart by her father. They have this passionate long distance affair via letters; until Fermina gets back and realises he is basically a stranger and breaks of their engagement.

Florentino then spends the next 400 years sleeping with anything female that moves and is a general lecherous creep. It goes on for ages; Fermina’s storyline is better and from what I remember, Marquez does write beautifully, but for me it is overshadowed by Florentino’s creepiness.

I’m not sure if Marquez was serious when he calls in ‘Love’ in the time of Cholera, or if people are just romanticising something  when he was trying to make a different point…but if he was trying to comment on something else, it all falls to pieces when he has them come back together as really old people. If they had never got back together, I could see it being about obsessive love. If they had been actually in love and torn apart by something else, before finding each other again at the end of their lives, okay. But as it stands, Fermina going ‘oh, okay then’ when he shows back up just seems to justify all the awful years of obsession and sometimes quite disturbing sexual events. AND HE IS STILL A STRANGER TO HER, SO WHY IS SHE IS OKAY WITH THAT AT EIGHTY WHEN SHE WASN’T BEFORE?

It’s just all wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Swirl

What books do you hate that others love?
Do you agree with the books I dislike or have I just made
you furious by slagging off your favourite ever book?
Let me know in the comments!

 

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