Unpopular Bookish Opinions: In Which I Discuss the Grishaverse, J.K. Rowling, and DNF-ing.

Posted June 11, 2019 by Amber in Memes / 41 Comments

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Good morning everyone and welcome to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post!  I know I haven’t been participating consistently in this meme, but this week, I couldn’t resist!  I think all of us bloggers have some solid opinions about what we do and don’t like, and sometimes it’s difficult to express those opinions for fear of backlash.

But I am always one for a salty post… so I’m totally here for this.  Y’all ready?  I’ve got some unpopular bookish opinions for y’all.

This may be one of my new favorite GIFs, by the way.  I’ve used it twice in the last few weeks and I don’t even care. 🙂

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#1 – Treat your books however you want!

I know!  Blasphemy!

But listen, I actually did a whole post about this earlier this year.  I am so tired of us bookish sorts snubbing our noses about the way one another treats their books.  If you like pristine books – awesome, more power to you.  If you like to dog-ear and write in the margins?  Brilliant – have at it!

#2 – It’s okay to DNF an ARC.

Okay, while I fundamentally believe in everyone’s right to stop reading anything anytime they want… for most people, this won’t include ARCs.  I say, if the book is a bad fit and you don’t like it and you are feeling an uncomfortable urge to watch it sink to the depths of the ocean, DNF it.

Obviously there are some whys and wherefores to doing this and still being courteous about it.  For ARCs, I do believe we owe the publishers an explanation of why we’ve DNF’d it, even if it’s just a simple, “I was expecting romance and got explosions, I am not a good fit for this.”

#3 – The Grishaverse isn’t actually THAT good.

Yeah, I’m expecting some backlash on this one.

I really wanted to be 100% in love with Shadow and Bone… I even talked myself into a four-star review when honestly I think it was a little closer to three stars for me.  I still haven’t read Siege and Storm because I am just in no hurry to get to it.  I did read Six of Crows last year and I thought it was really good… but… this still isn’t a “merch in every box!” “sixteen gazillion candles!” “I am suffering from Grishaverse withdrawwwwwlllls” level good for me.

Like, okay, it’s good?  But not as mind-blowing as the community makes it.

#4 – The Lord of the Rings trilogy is boring.

This has been a recent conversation on the blog, because while I have so much respect for this series and for J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing and I think everyone ought to read these books… I find them really dry.  I actually just finished my personal re-read of the trilogy, and it was… it was rough.  Even in audiobook form (and, honestly, the narrator was quite good).  I finished The Fellowship of the Ring and figured it would get better from there… then I had the book two blues with The Two Towers and shrugged it off because, book two!  Book two is usually filler, right?  But then I rolled around to The Return of the King and it was just… so slow paced and I felt like I was missing all the good stuff.

Don’t get me wrong.  They’re still actually brilliant!  But so are Paradise Lost and Little Women and those are both a bit tedious as well.

Movies are still good, though!

#5 – I will never read Twilight.

I’m not even sorry about this one?

My friends were reading this in high school and I took a hard pass back then because I was reading Anne Rice and feeling very full of myself and I couldn’t get past the idea that the vampires sparkled.  As I’ve gotten older and learned more about the series, I am less and less inclined to pick it up.  Ever.

#6 – I can’t get into Cassandra Clare

Ugh, this one actually really REALLY bothers me.

I want to love the Shadowhunters and the Magisterium and everything she writes because conceptually they are so cool and she has the most gorgeous covers and seems like a really lovely person.  But there’s something about her writing style that just doesn’t work for me.  And I really want it to.  I will keep trying and maybe someday I will persevere.

#7 – I don’t hate J.K. Rowling

Um, yeah, you read that right.  I don’t know if it’s as rampant in the blogging community, but Book Twitter is ALL OVER THIS.  It’s been pretty loud with the Fantastic Beasts movies, in particular The Crimes of Grindelwald.  First it was Johnny Depp’s casting, then it was Nagini’s storyline.

On the one hand, I do respect the people who have chosen to boycott based on these things, but it genuinely bothers me that everyone is blaming Rowling like she is championing these choices.  There are a lot of people involved with casting and script-writing and even if she did speak out against anything, she is not the final authority.  Of course, she spoke out in support, so … yeah, Twitter exploded.

(EDIT:  It has been pointed out that Rowling was the sole scriptwriter for CoG, which I didn’t realize… and is VERY rare in Hollywood, so I can see how Nagini’s storyline is her fault.  Most of the hate I personally saw on Twitter was casting-related.)

In regard to Johnny Depp’s casting?  I do believe in forgiveness.  And this unpopular opinion could be a post on its own.  Some would call my opinions on this matter naive or ignorant or enabling, I guess?  But I think that once a person has been brought to justice on their crimes, it needs to end.  For the sake of both parties.

Also I remember trying to talk to one of my best friends who I’ve known for years about the casting and the ethics of bystander-blaming and cancel culture and holding people responsible, and I understand that it’s very complicated.  Even with someone I can comfortably bouncing any idea off of, we were both dancing around this topic.

Gonna stop that conversation there.

Do I have issues with the evolution of the Potterverse?  Yes.  But I don’t hate Rowling for it.

#8 – Paranormal romance is the worst.

Haha, okay, so I actually used to love paranormal romance.  It was high school and I was besotted with the Anita Blake series.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely grown out of this genre.  Like… way, way out of it.  Paranormal romance is cheesy to the max and even reputable books like Guilty Pleasures and Magic Bites feel like they’re asking for one level of suspension of disbelief too many.

More power to the people who really love this genre!  I honestly want to enjoy it the way I did when I was younger, but I guess I’ve gotten too old and jaded, haha.

#9 – Not all movie adaptations are bad.

I’ve already mentioned the Lord of the Rings movies in this post, so this shouldn’t be a big surprise, but… I actually enjoy a lot of the book-to-film adaptations.  There was a Top Ten Tuesday about this recently, and what it really comes down to is: does the movie have the same spirit as the book?  If yes, then I’m totally in.

Do some absolutely fail?  Yes, yes, yes.  Please, if you haven’t already, check out my Eragon and The Dark Tower movie reviews to witness my heart shattering into a million little pieces.  But there are easily just as many wonderful film adaptations as there are disappointing ones.

#10 – Throne of Glass is overhyped.

And another very specific dig.  After all, I promised this post would get a little salty!

Before I re-submerged myself into the book blogging community, I had a work friend tell me I needed to read Throne of Glass.  It was urgent and it was the best book ever.  A “stop everything and read this” book.  So… I did?  And it was… okay?  Listen, I liked some of it.  I liked some of it enough that some day, I’m going to read book two.  But, like the Grishaverse, I’m not really sure why this one is Harry Potter-level loved.

Maybe I just need to read the rest of the series. 🙂

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday asked:

Unpopular Bookish Opinions

 

My thoughts: I could go on forever about opinions I have on books, book habits, authors, book merch… so much!  Honestly each one of these bulletpoints could have been fleshed out to make its own post.  For some of them, maybe I will.  Unpopular opinions can be scary – nobody wants to be perceived as a bad person for their opinions.

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Do you share any of my unpopular opinions?  Or, ack, do you deeply disagree and are you preparing to give me a piece of your mind?  I have my forcefield set to maximum – hit me with your best shot in the comments and lets chat!

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41 responses to “Unpopular Bookish Opinions: In Which I Discuss the Grishaverse, J.K. Rowling, and DNF-ing.

  1. I’m with you on alot of thiese even the grishaverse. Everyone knows my obsession with the Six of Crows Duology but thank the book gods I didnt know SAB existed when I read it. And I only ended up reading it bc of KOS. And I didnt like the SOC duology much AT ALL. I liked the LOTR movies much better than the books and I dont hate Jk but I’ve also never read the books lol. Ive.onlu seen the movies. And for fucks sake lady be proud about twilight! Lol

    • Amber

      HAHAHA.

      So many of my old friends still LOVE the Twilight universe. 🙂 I’m happy for them, but it’s literally never going to happen. 😛 I gotta be honest – I read Six of Crows for hype reasons and yeah, thank goodness it’s better than the rest? But I do think if I told an average member of this community that in person, they’d take a swing at me. 😛 😛 😛

  2. Soooooo many of these! I honestly don’t get why people care so much about how other treat their books like,,, if someone damages MY books there’ll be hell to pay, but if it’s a book they own it… literally does not affect me. And ugh yeah same I’m definitely never reading Twilight.

    When it comes to JK Rowling though I just… I don’t feel comfortable supporting her anymore. I don’t hate her, but she has completely lost all my respect. It’s not just Fantastic Beasts either (that was a mess, but I do get that it wasn’t all on her), it was that plus that the whole way she dealt with Dumbledore makes me super uncomfortable plus the transphobia plus the amount of POC I’ve seen saying her portrayal of POC in her books was offensive and just all those things added up and it makes me so so so sad but she’s lost my respect irreparably by now.

    • Amber

      I’ve got to be honest, I don’t dig that deeply into her (or anyone’s 🙂 ) Twitter feed so I hadn’t seen much of the other stuff you’ve mentioned, just the very loud CoG stuff. Problematic authors who write good stuff can be difficult… Out of sheer curiosity, do you no longer read/like the HP books? I’m so used to the Twitter!hate culture that I’m not sure what normal, lovely people do when they stop supporting an author? Imho, she’s not putting out anything new I’d want to read, so I’m not reading any of it anyway, but does that backwind to the rest of her older books for you? Or do you continue to read them and acknowledge that there are problematic elements? (Sorry if this sounds sarcastic or grumpy, it’s totally not intended to be – I really want to know!)

      • Yeah I tried to avoid it too tbh (I didn’t really want to admit an author I loved was problematic).
        I still do love the books themselves, and will continue rereading them, it’s more just like… I’m not going to buy merch anymore (like the official stuff that I used to love – I have nothing against supporting smaller creators) and I likely won’t continue watching Fantastic Beasts and even just like I used to plan to buy new copies of HP once I could afford it bc mine aren’t in nice condition and now I’m not planning on that because I’d personally rather make do with my battered copies than support her. (And no no no not at all! Don’t worry about it <3)

        • Amber

          That’s fair enough! Most the problematic authors are ones with older books (newer ones get shut down fast) so at the least of you want to read the books for any reason, they’re readily available from libraries without financially supporting people. Thank you for your honesty! 😊 I was a little worried I may come off as sharp. 😂

  3. Oh my gosh, I agree with so many of these! I think the extended Grishaverse is better than the individual parts if that makes sense, it’s more the world I enjoy than the stories (although SoC is excellent).
    Throne of Glass is definitely over-hyped, beyond the first couple of books it’s just a bit self-indulgent in my opinion.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    Cora @ Tea Party Princess recently posted: Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions
    • Amber

      I am really happy for the people who get so much joy out of ToG and the Grishaverse buuuuut yeah. I do feel like they’re raised up more than they deserve. 😊 I’m glad you enjoy the overall Grishaverse though!

  4. I absolutely hated Throne of Glass. It read as really creepy stalker rapey to me. All that sneaking into her bedroom to watch her sleep stuff. Wasn’t she supposed to be a super assassin? How did she let these guys sneak into her room all the time and never wake up?

    • Amber

      Right?! I haven’t seen *all* mine on lists, but I’ve definitely seen a few. I think that the blogging community has different opinions than the other bookish communities. I feel like a lot of mine were responding more to Instagram and Twitter popular opinions, haha.

  5. Love your point about movie adaptations! When I was younger I used to staunchly support books over movies, no matter how good the movie was… but now I don’t really see the point in doing that. So what if a story translates better onto the big screen than on the page in this specific instance? Let’s celebrate that rather than put it down!

    Great list 🙂

    • Amber

      I love that while you were commenting on my blog post, I was commenting on yours. XD Thanks, Holly!

    • Amber

      I think all the buildup about the Darking was one of those things that let me down re: Shadow and Bone? I think the world concept is pretty cool, though.

  6. You’ve got a great list here and I agree with a lot of your ‘unpopular’ opinions lol I’m actually really glad that you said LOTR is really boring because The Hobbit made my list of unpopular book opinions and that book was so disappointing. I was expecting so much more riveting action but it was a slog to get through. It’s made me hesitant to read LOTR!

    My TTT

    • Amber

      I think *personally* Lord of the Rings is better BUT it requires SO MUCH patience. If you thought The Hobbit was one of your least favorites, then LotR is probably not for you.

  7. Jo

    I don’t hate JK Rowling either, I just wish she knew when to stop sharing, I don’t need to know every single little detail about Harry Potter! I’ve DNFed quite a few ARCs, it’s like any other book really, if you’re not enjoying it, you put it down. I also won’t ever read Twilight and I don’t think all movie adaptations are bad, though there are some that definitely are.

    Jo recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday #215
    • Amber

      There are DEFINITELY some very disappointing film adaptations! Eragon always comes to my mind first – so much potential….

  8. Marie

    I feel like I should point out that JK Rowling wrote the script for Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s on the IMDB page for the movie, she’s the only one listed as a writer.

    • Amber

      Hi Marie! Thanks for your input! I didn’t actually know that, but most of my focus for this post was related to hating her for Johnny Depp’s casting, but I can definitely see how that wasn’t made clear (I went over that section so many times, things were bound to get lost). I remember before CoG came out – before the Nagini incident – there was a lot of specific hate *at her* because of that casting… and she’s not the casting director, so it baffled me a bit. I will revise my post to make that more clear – thank you for your input!

      • Marie

        Blaming her for who was cast is silly, as that is more likely to not be her choice. I just didn’t like Johnny Depp in that role. I felt, and still do, that there are better actors for the job. Mads Mikkelsen would have been my choice for the role. I also feel that we’be been a little duped when it comes to these “Fantastic Beasts” movies, as they are less about Newt and the Fantastic Beasts, and more about characters who’ve already had their story told.

  9. I’m currently reading Six of Crows and I like it so far, but I have no desire to read the other Grisha-books. I also can’t help but cringe a bit when people name the Six of Crows book the best thing since sliced bread. Sure, they’re fun so far, but they aren’t the perfect amazing best books ever like everyone is making them out to be.

    As for Rowling, I decided to just ignore all the new stuff. It helps that I’m getting a bit tired of Fantastic Beasts/all the new additions she’s throwing out, but I don’t HATE her and I don’t see any sense in raging over it on the internet. I’d rather spend that energy on something else.

    You’re not missing out by skipping Twilight. 😛 Oh, and I also can’t get into Cassandra Clare. I read the first two books, but… it just didn’t resonate, I suppose.

    • Amber

      Same! The Potterverse is too big and because she’s such a big name, there’s a lot of heat about everything – from racism to homophobia to issues with the extended universe, to… well, everything. I’m happy with the seven original books and staying off Twitter. XD

      Also I support your choice not to continue on with the rest of the Grishaverse. There are too many books in the world to read things that don’t wound great. 🙂

      • Yeah, it’s quite the shitstorm and I’m happy I’m not on Twitter imho. XD I’ll be sticking to the seven original books aaaand leave it at that. xD

        Exactly, there are way too many more books to read out there to read things that don’t interest me. 😛

        Also, I’m a shameless spine cracker, I dog ear my pages, and my paperbacks get to travel around in my bag. Bags are book destroyers. Let’s just say they don’t look pristine any more once I’m done reading them… A sacrilege that will damn me to Hell along with all the serial murderers and dictators, judging by the response of some people. 😛

        • Amber

          Ah, how dare you! There’s a special level of hell reserved for people like you!!! 😱😱😱 I kid. 😊 I will agree though that bags are book destroyers? I do tend to appreciate booksleeve a for that reason – I don’t expect my books to say perfect, but I appreciate giving them armour. 🤣

  10. Throne of Glass is ABSOLUTELY over hyped. I thought it was ~fine~ but not my favorite and it was just WAY too much after the 5th book. I also think not all movie adaptions are bad. For example, I loved the Nerve movie adaption, and the book was OK. But I think I liked the movie way more because it expanded on the book’s themes a lot.

  11. I find several of your points really interesting! Cassadra Clare we already know we share that haha! I felt meh about Shadow and Bone BUT I wanted to read King of Scars (really loved Nikolai who is a character we discoer if Crooked Kingdom but comes from the Grisha trilogy) so I read Siege and Storm and I loved it much better and I’m in the middle of Ruin and Rising.
    Still struggling to finish ARCs so thank you for that!
    And paranormal romance…. I love it but I am disappointed 90% of the time!! IT is so wrong 90% of the time lol. But because I was lucky to start it by discovering a series that I loved in the genre, I still go for it! I’m just very areful and picky!

    SIDE NOTE; YOUR BLOG IS AMAZING!!! I AM GOING TO READ EVERYTHING

    • Amber

      Thank you Elise, you are so sweet!!!

      I’m glad to hear that Siege and Storm was better for you than Shadow and Bone! It’s still on my TBR, so I’m not abandoning the series… hearing that it improves is so reassuring!

    • Amber

      It took me a few before I decided it was okay for me to DNF. But NetGalley has that section now that allows you to give feedback about why you aren’t going to review the book… I think that’s great!

  12. Ahhhhh no, Paranormal romance is the best 😂😂 Other than that I most agree with you 😀 especially about letting people treat their own books however they want! I loved your original post and, as someone who is awful at keeping my books in good condition, I really appreciate not being judged for it!

    Brittany recently posted: Good Omens
    • Amber

      Aw, see, I’m really happy you get a lot of joy out of paranormal romance! I used to, and I really wish I still did because those were good time. 😛