Apparently it’s national honesty day! Looking back at my day I can hardly say it would’ve been any different had I known that sooner but still, I feel like I should honour it somehow in my own way.
So, here’s a few popular books that, at least first time round, left me disappointed. This is my confession.
The Fault in Our Stars
Tearjerker books can be very hit-and-miss for me and this one just didn’t hit the mark. I don’t know if it had something to do with knowing how much of a following it already had or if, having entered my twenties, I just wasn’t able to relate to the characters as I might’ve before. Either way, I did manage to read it all and admittedly some parts were emotional but, like I said, it just didn’t grab me. I felt as though I could see all the techniques used to woo romantics and optimists and that I was more witnessing them than experiencing them. It takes a very good writer to make me love a book about modern day real people and TFIOS wasn’t quite enough for me.
I first read Wuthering Heights when I was in my teens and, without wanting to offend, I just found it very melodramatic. I found that, despite having the same name as me, Cathy was both abhorrent and boring and I really found her difficult to relate to. I can’t actually remember a character I liked and the epistolary format seemed pretty unimportant.
I think, as well, that a friend at the time might’ve put me off liking it by pushing it on me a little bit. Nevertheless, I’d like to understand people’s love of this novel because in synopsis it sounds like my kind of read. I’m hoping to give it another try one day so watch this space.
The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner film was something I found to be a little lacking when I first watched it, but there was something there I liked and I had hoped reading the novel would inspire a more profound reaction. Sadly, I still felt like it was missing some major ingredient. There were a lot of clumsy plot changes, under-developed characters, and shortcuts, so for me it didn’t do anything impressive. It’s a shame because I’m a big fan of dystopian novels and a little more complexity could’ve made this shine. I did like the plot and I think it’s a good story but beyond that I just wasn’t impressed.
You can find my full review of The Maze Runner here.
Please don’t hate me! I’ve since seen the error of my ways but, it’s true, the first time I read Orwell’s 1984 I just didn’t rate it. I found the plot quite slow and the characters pretty unlikable and didn’t really get why everybody talked about it so much. It took me a good while to appreciate that there were other ways to read this interesting book . Now, my favourite aspect of 1984 is the kind of conversation and questions it provokes between people. It has so many nuances to it I failed to appreciate in my first reading and I’m glad to have returned to it for a second time.
So, If you’re still with me, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me!
Reading is a particularly subjective thing and no two readers are the same so it makes sense that our tastes would differ too. That being said, I’ve changed my mind about at least one of these since my first reading so perhaps my opinions say more about me and what was (or is) going on in my life than about the books themselves. And, if that’s true, do other people’s reviews really give you any indication as to whether you’ll enjoy the read yourself? Food for thought. Till next time…
– Cat –