I am thrilled to announce the first of a series of guest “If You Like” posts! Our first guest star is Christine, who has provided us with a list of “Books read based on Internet/TV/media peer pressure”.
Without further ado, here’s Christine’s list of “Everyone else is reading this so you HAVE to!”
1. Twilight series – Stephenie Meyer – teenage girl falls in love with vampire
Full disclosure: I liked the first one. It appealed to the teenager in me who wants to be swept away by love. So I kept reading. And regretted it. Badly. The second one bored me to tears and reinforced Bella’s extreme level of stupidity (jumping off a cliff to hear his voice? Really?), but I thought, “everyone loves this series, I should keep reading.” The third one annoyed me. To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember why. Perhaps I’m trying to block out the memory of it all, but it annoyed me. I thought, “maybe it gets better, because the first one really wasn’t bad.” Then the fourth one just made me angry because it was so ridiculous, even ridiculous for a book about vampires and werewolves. Poorly written, absurd plot lines, irritating characters. Bella, be your own woman! Seriously! You are a horrifically bad role model! In the end, wanted the time back that I spent reading this awful series.
2. A Discovery of Witches– Deborah Harkness – witch doesn’t want to be a witch but finds herself dragged into it anyway
A lot of the books I read come from recommendations people post on Weekly Reading Round-Up. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Witches and vampires aren’t really my thing (see above), but I thought I’d give this one a try. I got it from the library… and it sat on the floor until the due date, so I returned it. But then more people were talking about it on WRR, so I took it out again. This time, I got around to opening the book (just a few days before it was due back at the library) and LOVED it. Yes, there are witches and vampires and daemons, but the plot and writing are so amazing. It’s a story about characters who happen to be of other species that’s in a way, albeit very oddly, realistic. They’re very much like us humans, just with special powers. Every time I recommend this book to someone, they give me a strange look, but I insist they try it. No one has come back and said it was awful.
3. Gone Girl– Gillian Flynn – wife goes missing, husband suspected, did he do it?
This was one I put the library hold list and forgot about until I got the email saying it was ready for me. Huge accolades, lots of buzz… but I’m not sure how I feel about it. The story itself is captivating, a definite page turner. The author is brilliant, but I was really bothered by the level of crazy going on in the plot. It was really disturbing so I honestly can’t say whether or not I loved the book or hated it (or maybe love to hate it?).
4. 11/22/63– Stephen King – time-traveling English teacher tries to stop Kennedy assassination
I don’t like to buy books based on best seller lists. I find that I really don’t like a lot of those books (and even Snooki has made those lists). I’m also not a huge fan of the Oprah Book Club – I’ve hated every book I read that was Oprah recommended, but that’s a whole other story. I needed to tell my friend what I wanted for my birthday, so I combed through the Amazon best seller list and found 11/22/63. I was a little wary because I usually don’t like the King creepy gore books, but the summary and reviews seemed to indicate there was none of that, so I took the leap and she got it for me. Loved it. It’s a big book – something like 900 pages, but such a fast read, engrossing story, and you really want the main character to succeed (not just at the Kennedy thing, but in life generally) because he’s so sympathetic. I honestly did not want this book to stop. One of the best I’ve ever read. And no typical King creepiness.
What have you read because the Internet said you HAD to?
So many thanks to Christine for this list! I have to admit, I also read #1 and #2 for that exact same reason, and, yes, #3 is on my To Read List. For me, I would add:
— Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton, which I picked up due to all the buzz and loved;
— Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Breathing Room, because my little sister and others expressed loud disbelief that I had never read an SEP before– and launched me into an SEP reading binge;
— Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, which I started, wasn’t quite able to get into, and mean to take another crack at.
What are your peer pressure reads?