Being The Literary Black Sheep: Part One

Every blogger knows what I’m talking about. A new book comes out, drenched in hype. You’ve seen all kinds of glowing reviews from other bloggers who have been sent ARCs. You’ve even marked your calender with the release date. That glorious day finally comes, and you rush to the store. You get home, curl up in your favorite chair, crack open that beautiful, beautiful book and… you find yourself legitimately hating it. Desperate to find some kind of confirmation, you take to Goodreads, only to discover more good reviews. Surely, it’s a fluke. There HAS to be someone else that feels the way you do. Minutes pass. Hours pass. You can’t find a single bad review. It’s then that you realize: you, my friend, are the literary black sheep.

Being the black sheep isn’t terrible. It’s happened to me a few times in my reading career. Honestly, it happens to everyone. I’ll even admit to still searching for others who share my negative thoughts every once in a while. After owning up to one of my biggest black sheep instances in my Series Tag, and also going through a pretty recent black sheep bout, I was inspired to put my “black sheep” books out there, in hopes that I’ll find a kindred spirit who agrees. Without further ado, here’s my black sheep list:

1.) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

the hunger games trilogy

This may be my biggest (basically sacrilegious, I’m told) black sheep moment. I couldn’t even finish the first book in the trilogy. I found the writing to be boring, which in turn made all of the characters seem a little flat. I will say that I find the movies to be more enjoyable, as my problem wasn’t with the story line.

2.) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

to all the boys i've loved before

The main character made me cringe. She was supposed to be sixteen(ish?) and her character read MUCH younger. To me, she sounded a bit like a twelve year old. With that said, I probably WILL read the sequel, simply because I liked Peter, and I want to see more of him.

3.) Half Bad by Sally Green

half bad

While I’m still trying to get through the very beginning of this book, everyone is awaiting the sequel, Half Wild. Yet another case of simply being bored. I’m not sure if it was the story or the writing, but I didn’t finish it.

4.) I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

i'll give you the sun

This was just too flowery for me. Everything was a metaphor. I don’t think there’s a single paragraph in this book that isn’t filled with metaphors.

5.) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

sharp objects

I didn’t dislike this book, I just didn’t find it as strong as Dark Places and Gone Girl.

So there you have it. Please note that I’m not trying to offend anyone with this list. If I have your favorite book on this list, I’m sorry. There was just something about it that didn’t work for me. I’m also planning on doing a post on books that everyone dislikes but I love. This will be the Part Two to this post.

What are your thoughts on being the black sheep? Have you ever experienced it? What book or series was it?

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13 comments

  1. I haven’t read, or attempted to read, the Hunger Games Trilogy, but I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t be. I’m definitely a literary black sheep when it comes to The Fault In Our Stars.

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  2. Definitely agree with you on a lot of these. I’m also the black sheep for John Green books and quite a few other popular YA books. I just feel horrible when I hear my friends fawn over a book I didn’t like and I kind of rain on their parade by saying I disliked it

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  3. I find myself more often the black sheep in that I haven’t read, or refuse to read, the book being fawned over. The one that does come to mind, though, and I’ll admit that I’m definitely not totally alone on this, is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Everyone in my English class expressed positive emotions over it, and I couldn’t figure out why no one else was bothered by the style in which it was written.

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    1. My biggest issue with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was the dialect, particularly Jim’s. I understand that Twain wanted to be authentic, but reading Jim’s dialogue was frustrating because I couldn’t understand it half of the time.

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      1. The dialect drove me up the wall. It helped me understand why people don’t like Shakespeare, but it was an authenticity I found both unnecessary and unhelpful to the general atmosphere of the novel. It could have been accomplished equally in other ways.

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  4. Yeah I’m with you on Hunger Games. They are so cynical that I’m surprised they are so popular and the 2nd one I found very dull and didnt like the ending in the 3rd. The others you mentioned I havent heard of but other black sheep books of mine are The Awakening, Catch 22, The Invisible Man, A Separate Peace, and recently had this experience with the movie Birdman which I thought was really obvious and kind of misogynistic. Oh well!

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      1. In fairness I haven’t read Separate Peace since high school but I remember feeling that it was very emotionally manipulative and I always hate that.

        The weird thing with Catch 22 is I have never met a woman who liked it, only men. I guess it’s because the only women in it are prostitutes and nurses so maybe it is hard for us to relate to it. It’s just too cynical for my taste.

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