Monday, 13 May 2013

Is it just a love/hate thing?

I've been thinking lately about some of the books we see, that people either love or hate to extremes.

For example:

The hunger games, Harry potter and Twilight.

Having just finished the Twilight books, I started to wonder about all the hate that this collection of books receives.

Then realized that I have directed the same amount of hate, myself, at the Harry Potter books. Which begs the question why?

Is it primarily a case of numbers? Is it only natural that books that generate a huge following, will also generate a huge collection of haters?

Because lets face it, everyone is different. What one person loves, another will hate. Surely that is the case with any book.

This however, makes the prospect of making it big, a very scary thought for us writers.

Having read all of these series of books, I have to say that they were nowhere near as bad. as the haters might lead us to believe. I disliked Harry Potter not for its content or anything that really had to do with the book at all.
But because my first attempted read, was when I was forced to highlight every animal mentioned; due to working for a film farm.

I did later go back and read the first book again, as well as all the others. I found them slightly weak for my taste and at the time had some aversion to the style of writing, which, I felt, was dumbed down way to much. Something that I find is common for the young adult market; if Harry Potter can really be classed as that. I still think of it as primarily kiddy fodder.

At any rate, I could see that the writer had a good imagination and some great ideas, but they were never going to make it onto my shelf of awesomeness.

However, hunger games and twilight have proved a different matter. I have both sets and have really enjoyed reading them. Twilight's, Bella is a little annoying, but there are other areas of the book and characters that make up for that.

Yet, I'll admit. I did put off reading Twilight because of all the bad press it received. I didn't want to be one of the pathetic people that read it, or worse one of the ones who enjoyed it. Now, I am pleased to say I am both.

The reality is, I think that I would have been more pathetic, if I hadn't read it, based on other peoples opinions. Because ultimately I would have lived my life, forever judging the books unfairly, as well as missing out on books that I really enjoyed.

It's not just young adult books that gain this kind of love/hate attention though. Recently fifty shades of grey had the same effect on readers the world over.

I dived straight into the fifty shades books, curious about all the fully grown women who were swooning over them and was seriously disappointed in the female population afterwards.

The writer had skills, I am not going to deny that. I am sure she could be a great writer, but at that point I wasn't feeling it. I just found the books repetitive and was left with the horrifying notion that way to many women had a cruddy sex life, if they felt they needed a Mr Grey to improve things.

Personally, I find plenty of enjoyment in the sexual-antics department, without the need for whips, chains or any other painful intrusions. Each to their own I guess.

Another part of me wondered if it was truly the content of the books that was driving this fanatic behaviour from women, or more the fact that they felt they should love it, because they might seem boring if they didn't.

I also often found that on expressing my own dislike for the book and my reasons why, that others would also admit that they had found them repetitive and a bit boring. People who only moments before had been singing there praises.

So are we like sheep now? Just blindly following others, still even as adults trying to fit in and appear cool and if so why?

Shouldn't we have left that behind when we grew up?

Isn't it a little scary that so many of us, still hide our true feelings or avoid things for fear of what others will think, just because we are afraid of being judged?

So tell me, what are your thoughts on these kinds of books?
Do you still read them?
Do you do so with an open mind or do you go in already determined to hate them?
And why do you think these books produce such a strong love/hate reaction?

I'd really be interested to hear your thoughts.
Love and hugs
Joss xx


  1. I've read Twilight, Harry Potter and Hunger Games but I didn't read Shades. I already knew I didn't like that kind of book. I think Harry Potter is for a very young audience.

  2. :) I'm glad I attempted to read Shades, just because I think I would have wondered about it to much if I hadn't but it just really wasn't for me. I couldn't finish them. I just found them incredibly repetitive and boring.