I Hate Your Book (#sorry)

Have you ever read a book by an author that becomes one of you all-time favourites, only when you go to read other things they’ve written, you find yourself disappointed? This happened to me only recently, and while I didn’t despise the other books, I felt that my disappointment was magnified because of how much I adored their other book. And those books are Solitaire by Alice Oseman and This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzie Lee.

Radio Silence, Alice Oseman’s second book, is a novel I can’t stop talking about. It’s the best book I’ve read all year, and it’s one I can’t stop recommending to everyone I know. It was incredibly relatable and one that I saw so much of myself in. The characters were genuine and real, and I love every single one of them and want to protect my adorable queer munchkins. But Solitaire was different. I hoped to love it as much as I did Radio Silence, but all I was left with was supreme disappointment.

SolitaireIn case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

What I disliked about Solitaire the most was the protagonist, Tori. She just infuriated me to no ends. I get that she was meant to be real and honest and that’s why she might have come across as unlikeable, but I just couldn’t stand her. She definitely had some issues, but they were never addressed — unless you count the Manic Pixie Dream Boy that miraculously makes her actually like life. I also wanted to read more about Nick and Charlie because I adore Solitaire, Alice’s webcomic about them, but Charlie hardly played a major role in the novel. I just want more of Nick and Charlie. That’s all I want.

I didn’t even care about the plot. I didn’t care about the pranksters at Tori’s school, or her friends who she clearly hated, or her sad life that was a little too Emo Tumblr for my liking at times. I just did not care. My infuriation with Tori just monopolised my reading of this novel and with each page I turned, I thought about how it would never live up to Radio Silence. It was probably my own fault for loving Radio Silence so much and expecting to enjoy Solitaire just as much, but oh well. I’m still going to read Alice’s third novel, and my love for Heartstopper will never end. I just wish I liked Solitaire. Or found it tolerable, at the very least.

This Monstrous ThingIn 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

And then there was This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzie Lee, who wrote another one of my favourite books of 2017 — The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I didn’t even know she had another YA novel out until I did a little bit of Goodreads stalking, and found that her debut novel was a Frankenstein retelling. I don’t talk about my love for classics enough, but Frankenstein is one of my absolute favourites. So when I heard that Mackenzie’s first novel was a steampunk retelling of my beloved Frank, I couldn’t say no.

What disappointed me about this book wasn’t that it was terrible, or that I hated it, but it was just how ambivalent I felt towards it. There was nothing that compelled me or made me desperate to read on. I felt like the  story was predictable and I was constantly yelling at the protagonist about what he was so oblivious to. It was just infuriating. I wanted to know more about this character’s creation and have it tied to the original Frankenstein in the moral ambiguity of characters and the questions about monstrosity and nurture. I think I just expected way too much of this novel, and I was disappointed because of it — especially since The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my favourite books of this year.

So I guess what I learned from this experience is to not presume I’m going to love a book just because I adore the author’s other works. Sometimes, a book just isn’t for me — and that’s okay. The moral of the story, for me at least, is to treat each book like its own separate, complete thing and to try to not build up the hype unnecessarily. I guess that’s why I’m also kind of reluctant to read books by my favourite authors — because I think I’m going to be let down. It’s why I haven’t read The Archieved by Victoria Schwab, or At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson yet. But then sometimes I’ll devour the latest book from my favourite author in one sitting, like Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I’m just a mess of excitement and worry, and if that doesn’t sum me up, I’m not sure what does.

Let's Talk

Have you ever loved one of an author’s book, but not another? Are there any books you haven’t read yet because you’re scared you won’t like them? Or am I the only one with this fear? Please share your thoughts and validate my feelings about this!


Graphics used in header sourced from Zzorna ArtWinged Graphics and OpiaDesigns.



9 thoughts on “I Hate Your Book (#sorry)

  1. I suppose this is the plus side to not having a favorite author-I’ll never be let down if I don’t like someone’s other books! I can imagine how disappointing it must be to try to recapture that magic of an amazing first book, only to be left wondering what happened. Or maybe it’s simply a fluke and everything else is still awesome, after all, writers are humans and can’t be perfect all the time 🙂

  2. ALL. THE. TIME! Some that come to mind in particular are Richelle Mead (Glittering Court was soooo boring as was Soundless. But I still list Vampire Academy as an all time favourite.) and Jodi Meadows (Loved Orphan Queen but Newsoul was torture). There are definitely others and I admit it makes me super hesitant to pick up other novels. But when you pick up that 2nd novel/series and it blows you away, makes the risk worth it I think! You aren’t going to love all the books–even though we want to.

  3. I definitely agree with this! I think the biggest reason for this, like you said, is comparison. It’s so easy to compare previous books you’ve read to your current read. For example, I recently read This Savage Song which I adored, but I’m so nervous to read anymore of her books, in case I don’t love them as much! I always feel like I’ll be comparing them in my mind, and thinking how each one is different/which parts I preferred, which can ruin the reading experience.

  4. I usually have this experience when the author tries to do something different, or when I go to their back catalog (which I think happened to you). Sometimes, people get better at what they do, and the earlier books are weaker, and I may love them writing contemporary, but not think much of them writing paranormal.

  5. I have this problem with J.K. Rowling. I didn’t really care for The Casual Vacancy and while I did sort of like the first Cormoran Strike book when things finally picked up, I just couldn’t get through the other one. Honestly I’m probably just going to stick with Harry Potter and not read anything else she writes haha. I may consider picking up a new book if she decides to write middle grade/ya again, but that’s a decision for future Michelle to make haha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s