Friday, May 06, 2011
Friday Fun: Unpopular Opinions
For example: I read Wither this week. It's a book that's gotten quite a bit of buzz lately in the blogosphere, with several reviews posted--like at My Friend Amy, Galleysmith, and Backseat Writer. It's gotten a big push from its publisher, one that has paid off in positive feedback from readers and reviewers.
I know that I say I strive to review positively, and that's true. And I can't deny that Wither has an intriguing setup. But it left me cold. My biggest problem is that it felt padded. It's the first book of a trilogy, and I know that naturally means there's a fair amount of exposition, of setting up the pieces for the eventual payoff that will come in future books. Yet even with that being said, it still felt like there wasn't enough action to fill the pages. The pacing moves in fits and starts, unable to gain momentum.
Other things bothered me as well. Why did the females have a shorter life span? Why was Gabriel kept out of sight for dozens of pages? Why does Florida suffer from both devastating hurricanes and raging blizzards?
I know there's many people who greatly enjoyed this book. But I forced myself to finish it, and it's unlikely that I'd read the next volume. It can be difficult to venture that unpopular opinion, not only because you're going against the crowd but because you're making criticism of someone else's work. I usually try to fall into the "If you can't say anything nice . . . " school of reviewing, so if I don't like something, I don't review it. Yet I'm sure I'm not the only one to read something that everyone's raving about and go, "Really?"
So be brave and voice an unpopular opinion! Any books that everyone love that you dislike, or vice versa?