Love-Hate Challenge: Part II

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My Love List of books, (see Love-Hate Challenge: Part I), was easy to make because I love so many books. The Not A Fan List however, is much more difficult. While I read a wide range of books, I also know myself well enough to avoid books I know aren’t for me (like computer coding or anything where a dog dies). That means there aren’t too many books that end up on the yuck pile!

I had to work pretty hard at this list and I honestly mean no disrespect to those who do like the books on my list. This is all just my humble opinion.

Not A Fan Book List

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I’ve ranted about this book before, (See Favorite Thing Friday: Last Books). Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Roth is an incredible writer – I loved Divergent and Insurgent – but Allegiant made me so angry. I can’t remember the last time an ending killed the entire series for me. As a reader, I felt betrayed and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.

2. Harlequin Romance

I want to clarify that I’m not totally against romance. I actually read a lot of romance novels, just not Harlequin. Why? They are all the same! If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. I like a little originality in my mindless escape reading!

3. Books where chapters shift between different points of view or series that start in one point of view and switch to a different point of view in the last book

My post, One YA Reader’s Desperate Plea outlines a rather lengthy rant on this particular point. I really, really hate it when writers shift the point of view in a series. And I won’t even pick up a book if the point of view shifts constantly from chapter to chapter. Grrrr . . . it just bothers me!

4. Books I haven’t finished: The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeirer and The Idiot by Fyodor Dosteovtsky

I’ve read almost 200 books over the last few years. These are the only two with a bookmark still stuck in the middle. The Illumination wasn’t half bad, but I got bored and couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I still intend on finishing The Idiot, but I have also realized that I am not a huge fan of Dosteovtsky. He’s a little too depressing for my taste.

5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

I was forced to read this book in high school and that might be part of the reason why I do not like it. Even though I’ve always loved to read, I’ve also always hated being told what to read and then subsequently forced to read it on someone else’s set schedule. Aside from that, I could not relate to the characters and I found the story quite disturbing. It’s just not my thing.

6. Series that go too long

There are a number of series that fall into this category, but the only one I fell into and then out of was the Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore. I read I Am Number Four, The Power of Six, and The Rise of Nine thinking it would just be a trilogy. The story however just keeps dragging on. The sixth book comes out later this year . . . This series should have ended a long time ago!

7. Most Works of Emily Dickinson

It took me two years to read Dickinson’s complete works. I have a lot of respect for Dickinson’s talent, but I don’t really like her poetry (with exception to her works regarding nature).

8. Most Works of Charles Dickens

With exception to A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities, I am not a fan of Charles Dickens. I made attempts to read all of his works (which is how I came upon the two exceptions), but could never get past the first 100 pages. I think he’s a talented writer and I understand why he is so adored, but I think it’s the Dosteovtsky issue all over again for me. Dickens is quite grim!

9. Books by Dan Brown before the Da Vinci Code

After I read the Da Vinci Code, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on all of Dan Brown’s previous books. After attempting to read the first 100 pages of each, I realized there was a reason why he didn’t hit it big until the Da Vinci Code. His previous thrillers weren’t that thrilling.

10. The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff (later redeemed by Rosoff’s What I Was).

The Bride’s Farewell was a thin book but it took me forever to read because it was such a slow moving story – almost glacial. I’d only get through a couple of pages before I started to nod off in total boredom. To this day, I’m not sure what the point of it was supposed to be. However, I liked the writer’s overall style, so I gave her another shot with What I Was, (which was incredible).

Nominees

I picked these nominees because I think they’ll all approach this challenge with an interesting perspective. I’m hoping they’ll create lists that are unique to their personalities and writing genres.

The rules of the Love-Hate Challenge are simple:

  • Make a list of 10 things you love
  • Make a list of 10 things you hate
  • Nominate 10 bloggers

Rita Ackerman

Suzanne Brent

TBN Ranch

The Everyday Epic

Heart to Harp

Windy Words

Metaphors & Smiles

Random Acts of Writing [+art]

Michele Venne

YA Chit Chat

 

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18 thoughts on “Love-Hate Challenge: Part II

  1. Interesting. I still love Dickins and I liked Angels and Demons by Dan Brown better than The Da Vinci Code. I also like the newer one. That’s one reason there are so many books. I haven’t heard of most of the others on your list.
    Okay, the challenge is on. I’ll have to think about this one.

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    • I felt you looking over my shoulder when I put Dickens on the list! I know you love him and totally understand why, but he’s just not for me!

      I totally forgot about Angels and Demons! I think that’s the one exception to the before Da Vinci code rule. πŸ˜‰

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  2. I agree with you on Dickens. I LOVE old English literature. Love it. I started reading Jane Austen and Shakespeare both in 4th grade, just because I wanted to have the stories. So I sat with a giant dictionary and read all the foot notes and sorted my way through bit by bit. By the time I hit high school, reading British lit was easy. I’d already been at it for several years! But Dickens just…. doesn’t do it for me. I respect him for his stories and he was clearly a wonderful author, I just don’t personally get much enjoyment from reading his works.

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    • I love old English lit, too! Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare, etc. are all among my absolute favorite writers. But Dickens, nope! Isn’t that interesting how so many other English writers appeal to us, except for him? Readers are fickle creatures!

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  3. As much as I’d love to take part in this, I must decline…it’s difficult to do so …sigh…I think these kinds of challenges are great…one can learn more or reacquaint with aspects of oneself and also discover new things through other writers participating. Summer is flying and I have a couple deadlines hanging writing wise and also renovations – big-time here in the house which is making it hard to concentrate….any way…excuses, excuses right?! Bah…I’m sorry and I’m grateful that you thought of me for this, CB. πŸ™‚ Good luck to everyone joining in!!

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  4. We’ve done No.3 before. I applaud any writer bold enough to do this. It’s a rule worth breaking. I have to say that, as my ‘The Everywhen Angels’ totally hangs on the same story being told from three points of view. I think it’s the best thing I have ever written.
    http://mairibheag.com/the-everywhen-angels/
    Apart from anything else, you have just damned ‘The Moonstone’ and ‘Dracula’.

    I’m agin you on No.5. Everyone gets told, from time to time, what books to read. It’s called school. That doesn’t detract from the merit of the books. ‘Lord of the Flies’ is up there with any craftsman-written, accessible, readable book you care to mention.

    No.7 – I like to come upon ED’s poetry by serendipity.

    No.8 – I would say ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Great Expectations’ are his best works. Dickens was, in fact, a damn fine observer of people and spinner of yarns. The difficulty that exists with his novels is that they are largely stitched together from instalments intended for and published in a magazine. This gives them a kind of awkwardness of form.

    I recently referred to the BrontΓ« siblings as “an archipelago… the Cape Horn of the novel around which we have to sail to get where we are now”. I feel the same about Dickens. He is unavoidable. He was the Dan Brown, the JKR, the George R R Martin of his day, with the added bonus of actually being able to write a damn sight better than any of that trio. He is the writer who first challenged the notion that ‘popular’ and ‘canonical’ writing can’t overlap. We dismiss him at our peril.

    Only Dickens could/would have observed and replayed the following: in ‘Great Expectations’, Mrs Joe goes into the larder to fetch the pie previously stolen by Pip for the convict on the marsh. A lesser writer would have had her exclaim “Where’s the pie gone?” Dickens has her articulacy choked by surprise: “What’s gone – with the – pie!” You may scoff at this little detail, but it is one that has never left me. ‘Great Expectations’ – the novel without a hero, the novel for which two contrasting endings were written – is one of the best-crafted novels in the English language, and that despite the instalment-ised construction.

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    • No. 3 is old business for us. πŸ˜‰ But I stand by my opinion.

      No. 5 is where I find myself in an odd position. As a teacher, I am well aware of the thing called school. But I also believe in giving students more of a choice in what they read. The same lessons can be learned from more than just one book. My favorite English teacher gave us book lists from which we were able to decide for ourselves what we wanted to read. Now that I find myself in the front of the classroom, I do the same thing for my students. One size does not fit all.

      No. 8. He also paid by the word, which meant a lot of drawn out passages that could have (and should have) been much shorter. πŸ˜‰ Can’t say I didn’t try to read Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities is actually one of my favorite books. I read a passage from it to my students when we study the French Revolution. I agree he is a writer of paramount importance and talent, but for my personal taste he’s a bit too grim.

      I got halfway through Great Expectations before I put it down. I just couldn’t find my footing or interest. Perhaps, I’ll pick it up again somewhere down the line. You never know!

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      • I hope you do. Did you know he wrote two different endings for it? Persevere.

        Re school. Again I hear you, but that approach can’t stand alone. It needs the whole concept of syllabus organisation, essay-writing, setting and marking exams to change, ‘Lord of the Flies’ is simply one of the essential books of the 20c however, and its presence on an old-skool set book list can’t change that!

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  5. I rather like (some) books with dual viewpoints as life is like that – we each see events differently. I spent one summer as a child reading all of Dickens..haven’t been back since though I rather enjoyed them at the time. Like the whole love-hate challenge concept.

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  6. Ooh, time to get thinking!

    I remember the great POV switching debate from before. My sentiment has been like yours: for the most part, just leave me in one character’s head and leave me alone. (Exception, of course, being The Lord of the Rings… but even then, I wish I could have spent less time traipsing through the moonscape of Mordor and more time with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. πŸ™‚ ) And don’t change things up part way into a series. Not cool.

    However, I’ve found some fantasy novels (besides Tolkien’s works) that pull off the multiple points of view well and make me think differently about the whole device. Namely, Brandon Sanderson’s novels. I think the reason it works in his case, though, is because it’s third person (to which I would say “obviously,” but you never know) and the characters are all in different places and doing different things that work together to create a larger story. They spend a great deal of time apart, only meeting occasionally. And they all are actually really cool, very distinct characters so I haven’t minded switching. (And I can say that after three huge novels: two in one series and one that stands alone.)

    Still, though, for the most part, leave me with one character. Life’s too short to bounce around for no good reason. πŸ™‚

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    • I’ve also found a small exception to the rule – spin offs within series that explore a different character’s pov are cool with me. Also, rewrites of existing novels from a different character’s pov, like Midnight Sun (unfinished retelling of Twilight from Edward’s view). πŸ™‚

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  7. You will not like my novel when I eventually publish it as the first part of it is told from two opposing views lol but you should be okay with my short story collections πŸ˜€

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    • Don’t be so sure – I read a dual point of view from a another fellow blogger and quite enjoyed it. The perspectives were from characters in the past and present. Each told their own story, yet they intertwined on the overall theme of the novel. It was beautifully done and I was more than happy to break my shifting perspectives rule!

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