Prepare yourself now for some unpopular opinions. Please don't hate me.
Books I Thought I Would Like More Than I Did
1. Cloud Atlas
This book was so right up my alley. Weird structure, sci-fi elements, etc. Perfect. I saw the movie, which I thought was pretty ok. But I remember thinking, "This would be so much better as a book." So I excitedly read the book. But I also thought that was just pretty ok. I still like the idea of it, but I can't ignore that I wasn't entirely thrilled while reading it. I just think it would've left more of an impact had Mitchell expected a little more intelligence from the reader. The end of the Frobisher story really got me, though.
I talked about my slight disappointment with this book earlier, so to summarize I just think I had too high of expectations. And I was excited to finish reading it, so I could read something else. I hate that feeling.
3. The Shining
So I love the movie version of The Shining, which I know King hated. The only other thing of his that I've read is Dolores Claiborne. That I liked. This I didn't like as much. It wasn't terrible, but I remember disliking the lack of complexity in the characters. It felt like King was just using like "alcoholic" as a character, rather than creating more unique emotions.
4. The Hobbit
Don't even get my started on The Hobbit. Ugh. So I am in love with Tolkien and the words he writes, but The Hobbit just didn't do much for me. I read it last summer and it took me months to finish. Months. I was just so bored. Like, I get that he was going for the storytelling vibe, but I can only handle so much "Bilbo Baggins was in for a treat, he was, as you'll see in the next chapter." Also, no hobbit vs. dragon fight. Also blacking Bilbo out during one of the most potentially exciting (though completely out of nowhere) parts and then having Gandalf summarize it to him. Why? Why why why?
5. The Kite Runner
Everybody loved this book. I wanted to, too. But it just seems lazy to have so much of the plot controlled by coincidences. It kind of bugged me. Not the worst book, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.
Books I Thought I Would Like Less Than I Did
6. The Sense of an Ending
I still have this book on the brain. I was so sure that I would not give any shits about this book, because it was described as being about a divorced man. I was just like ugh I do not need to be reading this. I will never be so weirdly prejudiced against divorced men again. You guys are ok.
This is the first Virginia Woolf book I ever read. It was kind of scared and also concerned. The description of the book sounded absurd and the writing seemed flowery and antiquated. I didn't know if I would make it through. But then I actually opened it and read it, and now at least once a week I think "I really wish I was reading Orlando right now." Just beautiful and wonderful and oh, Virginia, marry me.
Here's another book that sounded absurd to me. And it was about a thirteen-year-old girl, which made me wary. I really didn't know what to expect, but I had heard good things about it. I'm really glad that I read this. Karen Russel is an amazing and original writer.
9. The Grapes of Wrath
Being assigned a book to read in high school instantly makes you never want to read said book. This was the perfect book for me to maneuver through over summer break during that time, though. I loved everything about it. I even loved the turtle chapter that everyone in my class seemed to hate. Thank you for this book, high school.
10. Hairstyles of the Damned
I had some YA wariness about this book. I had seen the cover so many times in Barnes and Noble (the back of a pink-haired head) and had always been sort of guiltily interested in it. Joe Meno is a god, though. This book was so good. He captured awkward kid getting interested in punk music so well, I felt like I was reading about myself. Meno works at my school, so I now stalk him. Just kidding. Kind of.
I hope you don't want me dead now. Sorry. I take it all back.