I am so excited to link up this week with all the other awesome bloggers for Top 10 Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish! Part of being a good reader is reflecting. I admit this is not something I always take the time to do- a lot of times I’m in a hurry to cross a book off my list and move on to the next one. That’s why I was so excited to have to sit back and do some soul-searching for the link up this week. Without further ado, here’s the Top 10 Books I feel differently about now that time has passed.
1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I used to love these books. I still do, for the most part. But then Lois Lowry released Son, the final dystopian title in the series that started with The Giver. One of the things that intrigued me the most about the book was that it explores the concept of confronting violence and evil with nonviolence and empathy. When Son first came out I read an interview given by Lois Lowry about it, and I haven’t been able to shake her words from my mind.
“I thought [The Hunger Games] was well done, but I was troubled by the fact that it was about children killing children. I can’t get past that for some reason. Kids seem to be quite blasé about that, but it seems to indicate something deeply wrong with our culture.”
Definitely changed my perspective a bit!
2. Lurlene McDaniel
I’m ashamed to say I gobbled her novels up like candy when I was a teenage girl! Now I know there’s so many better titles out there for teens wanting to read romantic fiction- such as Sarah Dessen, for example.
3. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Yes, it’s a wee bit lengthy and the introspection can be a bit over the top, but I really loved this tale of an escaped Australian convict on the run. Plus it’s full of epic words of wisdom, such as…
“Happiness is a myth. It was invented to make us buy things.”
So when I saw a sequel was coming, I was understandably excited and nervous. The Mountain Shadow continues the story but unfortunately not with the same caliber. It’s not bad, it’s just not nearly as good. I try to not let its flaws overshadow the first book. Some days I even succeed!
4. You by Caroline Kepnes
Why did I read the sequel Hidden Bodies? You was so different. It was spooky and special and somewhat beyond words. In the words of Stephen King,
“Never read anything quite like it.”
You just can’t do something like that twice (no pun intended)! Unless if you’re J.K. Rowling, of course. Everyone else needs to stop ruining good things with sequels.
5. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
Speaking of authors who actually can write a good sequel or or two or ten, next up is the ultimate saga for serious fantasy fans. For those who don’t know, Robert Jordan tragically died before he could finish his work and Brandon Sanderson was hired to finish the job. Now I have nothing against Sanderson, but obviously from that point on it just wasn’t the same. Now I can’t start reading the series without thinking of the last few books and cringing.
6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper E. Lee
Yet another situation where I wish I hadn’t read the so-called sequel. Because it’s really not a sequel. Go Set a Watchman is more like the very very rough draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. While it’s pretty fascinating to think about the evolution of a novel from start to finish, Go Set a Watchman pretty much ended my adulation of Atticus and destroyed the dreams of my childhood.
7. The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
Just to be clear, I NEVER liked these books! To be fair, I did try to read them. Twice. I always got stuck during New Moon. By the time Bella threw herself off the cliff to catch her boyfriend’s attention I was pretty ready for her to die, too. However, my initial dislike has turned into something more like outright disgust/borderline hatred/probably unresonable antipathy as time goes on. To the point where I’m tempted to forcibly weed them from the library collection. (I mean, we all know how hard backpacks are on books, right? It’s entirely plausible for each book in a series to sustain water damage at the same time… darn teenagers!)
I remember being a teenage girl. It was hard enough without books like Twilight trying to teach me that my only value lay in having a boyfriend.
*cough* Moving on now…
8. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
I used to love this book, as I love most everything by Jodi Picoult. But that was before I was a teacher, before twelve people were murdered while watching a movie less than half an hour away from my workplace, before I married a man in law enforcement and learned more than I ever wanted about crime in America. While I normally admire Picoult for tackling tough subjects, something about this novel left me feeling like she was cashing in on a controversial subject without due respect and care. The characters were cliched, the similes felt like they were being pulled from her teeth… not at all up to her usual standard!
9. The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
If you’ve ever been in education, then chances are you’ve either read or heard about this book. Talk about a paradigm shift! This book totally changed the way I taught reading. I was so excited to see Donalyn Miller one year at a conference… and then… SHE BASHED THE ANIMORPHS SERIES! Could you do anything worse to a child of the 90’s?! Needless to say, I took great offense at this slight to my first science fiction love. As time goes on I still can’t read the book without remembering that terrible moment. 😦
10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
You know, not every impression changes for the worst. I first tried to pick this tale up in middle school but wasn’t enchanted. Later when I saw the movie would be coming out, I decided to re-read it and fell absolutely in love. Plus I wanted to be able to complain to my hubby the whole movie, “That’s now how it was in the book…”
No complaints about the addition of Orlando Bloom, however! We could all use a little more Legolas in our lives, can’t we? 🙂