disappointment · punctuation · reading

Am I just contrary?

I’ve been reading a few books lately, based on recommendations and great reviews online. All in all, you’d think I’d be in for a good read, wouldn’t you?

But …
I don’t seem to see the same ‘gem’ of a story that everyone else sees.
Why is that?
Am I too hard to please?
I wouldn’t have said so before. It’s not like I usually read action-packed stories with in-your-face conflict, or anything that’s “trending”.
I enjoy a slow-burning, psychological drama, a twist of mystery and suspense, a shift in time with a historical flavour …So. clearly, I can take a slower-paced story. In fact, I generally prefer them.

So, why am I struggling when everyone claims these stories to be “amazing”, “compelling” and “wonderful”.

What am I missing? When I see slow, rambling and – to be honest – ‘nothing happening here’, how do others see the emotional strength of the story, superb characterisation, or marvellous touches of poignancy and beauty?

Maybe I’m reading above my weight. I’ve always thought I had eclectic tastes. I used to say “I’ll read anything”, now I know that’s not true 🙂

Lately, it seems I’ve lost my way. I question everything and doubt my own opinions. I’m not looking for answers here, merely expressing my bewilderment.

Maybe my taste in books doesn’t mirror that of my peers. It does speak volumes, though, when the best book I’ve read these last few weeks is one on punctuation!

Does it matter? Not really. There are plenty of good books out there; I’ve read some brilliant ones too, one where I can agree wholeheartedly with other reviewers.

Perhaps I shouldn’t question myself then. It’s alright to disagree, to have a different view.

And sometimes, the wisest thing to do is just hold the thought, accept it, and move on.

(By the way, I’m not going to name any of these books, nor will they appear in my Goodreads reading list: I’ve decided that my thoughts are best left unsaid rather than leave a DNF comment)

Thanks for reading.



8 thoughts on “Am I just contrary?

  1. You are not all be Lynne. I have read a few books recently where I’ve said “really? I just don’t get it!”. I finished a book yesterday which I thought was amazing. It was beautifully written and original. When I looked on Good Reads the first review I saw were negative and it would seem others didn’t see what I saw. I suppose the joy is in the reading and that is as unique as a fingerprint. Never doubt your opinion lovely lady, it is yours and valuable, it makes you you! I do agree it is hard when so many say something is wonderful but… don’t always believe the hype. Sadly is more at play these days than an opinion.. em… I think I will leave it there! Happy reading! 😊

    1. Thanks, Nicole … some days I really think I’ve woken up in a parallel universe LOL But, you’re quite right, there is more going on that is not visible to the naked eye … duff, duff, duff 😉

      1. Please excuse the ‘fat finger’ syndrome in my post doh! That first line should read ‘You are not alone’ – auto correct on my phone is sending me loopy! Oh and the ‘s’ missing off of ‘review’ arrgghhh. Sadly ‘there’ is more…. of dear… Never again will I try to post from a phone on a train!!

  2. If you are contrary, then so am I!
    In my opinion, we are seeing the effects of ‘review inflation.’ It has become increasingly necessary to read between the lines of reviews. More and more reviewers are subscribing to the “if you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all” philosophy.

    1. Hello Mrs Contrary then 🙂 By sheer fluke, I saw a consumer progamme on TV just after I posted this … where it seems some peole are seeking reviewers on Facebook. In return for a verified purchase and 5 star review they offer a refund of the cost of the item plus a small fee!! So, some of those reviews make much more sense now …sadly 😦

  3. Lynne, I concur with your comments. I read a lot of books and like to leave a review as it means so much to authors. However, it is getting harder to tell what you are buying as the marketing machine is becoming slicker and a lot of what I call ‘non-books’ are flooding the market. I always read the blurb, and the ‘look inside’ feature and can usually get a good feel for whether or not I would like the book, but there have been some lately where I haven’t been able to post a review. Sometimes, if you can’t say anything positive, it’s better to say nothing at all, but then if you say nothing, other readers will spend their money because of the ‘wonderful’ reviews of others.

    1. Carmel, if only it were an even playing field. I’ll always leave a review for a book I finish, never scathing, but always honest. If I don’t finish it, then it will depend on the reasons for not finishing, particularly if it was a free book …which is quite another topic LOL

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