Book Talk · Books · Lists

Unpopular Opinion: 8 Books I Didn’t Like But Everyone Else Loved


Please come back after you read this! I have a bad habit of finishing all books I start, but every now and then there are books I wish I hadn’t finished. Then, there are the books I read but wouldn’t recommend to anyone. And there are also those books that just aren’t for me. But I think it’s important to talk about the bad and the good, so here you are: 8 books that lots of people like, but I didn’t.

  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng [YA fiction, contemporary] VERY, very rarely do I DNF a book (I really struggle with it, actually), but I gave up on this one when I was about halfway through. The premise is good. It’s about a mixed-race Chinese-American family whose middle daughter Lydia is found drowned in a lake and what happens to her family after this. And I really loved Little Fires Everywhere (also by Celest Ng), but I just couldn’t make myself finish this one.
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater [YA fiction, fantasy] I read the first two books in this four-book series, but I just didn’t want to keep going. These books are about 16-year-old Blue, daughter of a psychic, and her group of  Raven Boys as they hunt for a sleeping king along an energy line in their town. YEARS ago, I read the Shiver series and I remember loving Maggies Stiefvater’s writing, but these books just didn’t keep my attention good enough for me to keep reading.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini [historical fiction] okay, okay, okay, I won’t lie, it has been almost 5 years since I read this book. That’s a long time. This book is an unforgettable story about two boys separated by social class. Honestly, I think I was just too young for this one, as I read it in high school, and I just found myself in over my head in the painful reality of the world. Which is probably why my teacher made us read it (Thanks, Mrs. B!).
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold [YA fiction] This sad story follows Susie Salmon as she watches her family come to terms with her horrific death. This one was SUPER popular when I was in high school and I REALLY wanted to like it, but I just didn’t like the story. I found it hard to follow and just super depressing.
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer [biography], A young man leaves everything behind and hitch-hikes to Alaska where he tries to survive. Like the Kite Runner, I read this one back in high school and I think maybe I was too young to appreciate it? I read it really fast because I wanted to know what was going to happen, but I really didn’t care for the story. (Sidenote: My husband recently read it and he pointed out that the main character, Christopher Johnson McCandless, is closer to our parent’s age than ours.)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley [fiction, fantasy, history] This classic read just isn’t for me. It’s an interesting concept, creating a human from scraps of other people, but it just wasn’t for me. Please don’t misunderstand: I have all the respect in the world for Mary Shelley and what she did for woman and literature, this book just wasn’t for me.
  • Elanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell [YA, contemporary, coming-of-age] I have seriously LOVED some of Rainbow Rowell’s work (specifically, Fangirl and Landline) and I had really high hopes going into this one (maybe that was part of the problem?). This story is about two sixteen-year-olds who fall in love despite the odds against them. It’s cute and I really adore Rainbow Rowell’s writing style, but I didn’t connect with the book the way I wanted to.
  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu [YA, fantasy] This year I discovered Marie Lu. Over the course of two weeks, I read Warcross, Legend, Champion, Prodigy, and The Young Elites. And I loved every second of her writing, allowing myself to be transported to another universe through her storytelling. I think the reason I couldn’t connect with The Young Elites was that it was so dark. Instead of following a heroine, the story is that of a villian. And that’s just not my thing.


Let’s talk! Have you read these books? What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me or disagree. I love to hear from you!


Feature Photo by Rhema Kallianpur on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion: 8 Books I Didn’t Like But Everyone Else Loved

  1. Great list, Molly! I am COMPLETELY with you about The Kite Runner. I just don’t understand what’s so impressive about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a powerful story and one I needed to read. But I just… I don’t get it.

    I *love* Rainbow Rowell’s books. However, I find that people who enjoyed Landline a lot often don’t like Eleanor and Park and vice versa. I wonder why that is… Any ideas?

    If I made ones of these lists, I’d add Alexandra Bracken’s Darkest Minds books as well as a recently completed When Dimple Met Rishi. I understand why people enjoy them. But I think both books try to explore themes they just aren’t capable of really explaining. It feels like too much.


    1. Thanks, Jackie! I would love to understand why everyone loves The Kite Runner but, like you said, I just don’t get it…

      I really like Rainbow Rowell’s writing! And the books I like, I REALLY like, but just Eleanor and Park… something didn’t click. I think maybe it’s because the story is so much *younger*? While I would kind of consider them all YA, Eleanor and Park is about 16-year-old kids whereas Fangirl is about a college girl and Landline is about a married couple. I think the next Rowell book I’m going to read is going to be Carry On, which is, again, about younger people, so I’ll let you know if my theory still stands after that one.

      I haven’t read Darkest Minds, but it’s going to be pushed down my list a bit now 🙂 I have read so many amazing reviews about When Dimple Met Rishi and I even checked it out from the library. But after reading the first few chapters, I just couldn’t get into it, so it’s in the “maybe later” pile right now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder if that’s because you read her other works first? Looking back at it, I think that Eleanor and Park might be the weakest of her books in my eye (Fangirl forever!), but having read it first I have rose-tinted glasses. It was my inroduction to Rowell’s incredible writing style. I can’t let go of that feeling, you know? Have you read Attachments? It’s her debut novel and I have LOTS of feeling about it. It’s good, but certainly not my favorite. If you enjoy Harry Potter and Fangirl, I think you’ll enjoy Carry On. They are great.

        Heh. Sorry to have to push Darkest Minds down the list, but I think it’s the right choice. It tries to do too much and be deeper than it’s capable of in my opinion. And I read When Dimple Met Rishi in a single sitting– it was enjoyable, but not what I was hoping it would be. That’s the problem with hyped books, isn’t it?


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