If You Don't Like These, Then I Have Questions...

Kelly and I were talking recently about recommendations from other readers and how no one – not even your best friend! – can perfectly predict your book taste. One thing that I love about bookstagram, blogging, and Goodreads is that there are always books on my radar. Whether it's a new release from a favorite author or a backlist book I've never even heard of, I'm never lacking in options. But how do I choose? I look at reviews!

Over time, you might start to learn other readers taste and things about your own. For example, if someone says that a book didn't have enough character development, I know that might be a dealbreaker for me, too. But if their problem was a love triangle, I won't hesitate to pick up the book if the story interests me. There are a few readers I trust more than others, based on how well I know their taste and how much we have in common.

But have you ever seen a trusted reviewer feel negatively about a book you LOVE? It can throw me for a loop! I love how personal reading is, how deeply you can connect to a story or character, and how much emotion it can evoke. But I won't lie, sometimes it can feel like a personal attack if someone criticizes a book I love. Usually, I'm pretty chill because I know that no book can please everyone, but some just hit a little closer to home. Kelly and I were joking about the fact that there are some books that make you want to say, "If you don't like this book, then I don't like YOU!" Yes, we sound like lunatics... but trust me, we were laughing as we said it.

That made me think: what books or authors would be on my list? I came up with six! There are so many other books that I feel passionately about, but most are ones where I can rationally understand how someone wouldn't like them as much as I do. I adore the Throne of Glass series, but I can see how fantasy isn't for everyone. I can't get enough of Cormoran Strike, but dark and gritty mysteries aren't for the faint of heart. You get the idea!

You don't have to love these six. But if you don't even like them, then I might have Questions about your taste...

1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is one of the books I credit with making me a reader. It's a book I collect, a character I deeply love, and a story that feels like home. I do think there's an extra magic to Anne if you find her in childhood, so I can have some grace for readers who don't meet her until adulthood. But be careful what you say about her!

2. Melina Marchetta. All of them, but The Piper's Son is pictured.
It doesn't matter what Melina writes, I want it. She's written for adults and teens, in multiple genres (fantasy, contemporary, mystery), and has never let me down. While I don't love them all equally, Marchetta can do no wrong. She's got complex characters, brilliantly plotted stories, deep emotion, and more. You better recognize it!

3. Mhairi McFarlane. I'll allow one least favorite, as long as it's not If I Never Met You.
Are there any authors/books that you love so much that you hesitate to recommend them to people? You don't want to share! That's how I feel about Mhairi. I want her to be successful, so I truly do hope everyone reads her books. But deep in my heart, I don't want anyone to know about them but me. How's that for psycho?
4. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
It's been five years, but I can still remember picking up a copy of Happiness for Beginners while standing in Target's book section. I didn't know then that it would become a book that I'd return to again and again. I love this story, the romance, and the characters, but it's the message at the heart that has had such a profound impact on me

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I am obsessed with Jane Austen, through and through. I will read non-fiction, sequels, adaptations, retellings... the works, if they reference Austen. But it's Pride and Prejudice that ultimately has my heart, and I just don't think I can trust a reader who hates it. It's too important to me and is tied so closely to the reader I've become. 

6. Lovely War by Julie Berry
My love for this book is more fresh and not as deeply ingrained by time and repeated re-reads. But the first time I read it, I couldn't think of a thing I would change It's practically perfect in every way, and I wanted to shove a copy into everyone's hands. It won't appeal to everyone, but someone's feelings about it tells me a lot about their taste!

Hopefully you read this in the spirit of fun that it was intended! There are many legit reasons that a book might not work for you and your taste. But I like to think we all have a few books that are so close to our hearts that seeing them criticized makes us feel like Mrs. Weasley facing off against Belltrix, shouting, "Not my daughter, you b*tch!"

What books do you love so much
that you question anyone who doesn't like them, too?

1 comment

  1. I think I've got to try more Mhairi McFarlane books! I did like the two books of hers that I've read, but I haven't fallen head over heels yet for one of her books. I do really love all the other authors and books on your list though!


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