Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about books that we liked more or less than we expected to. It’s always easier to write about books I didn’t like.
First are books in the category of authors I love, but books that disappointed:
The Japanese Lover: Isabel Allende is one of my favorite authors, but her books can be uneven. I really disliked the story and characters, and I even disliked the title. The parts about the Japanese internment camps were fascinating, but the rest didn’t work for me.
The Summer Before the War: I loved Helen Simonson’s The Last Stand of Major Pettigrew, but didn’t love this book. It was okay, but I felt like it raised serious issues in a flip way, and the romance between the two main characters fell a little flat.
The Little Friend: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is one of my all-time favorite books. Her second novel was a disappointment. I also didn’t love The Goldfinch as much as everyone else did, though it was quite good. Sigh.
The next group of books received a lot of critical acclaim, and I felt I should love them, but I didn’t.
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld: my “love to hate” book, everything rubbed me the wrong way. And I usually love a book about a misfit.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: I love a good World War II/Holocaust novel, but in this book I hated the modern-day story, and I just don’t love novels that switch back and forth between past and present. Also, and I know a Holocaust book should be disturbing, but that little boy locked in the crawl-space is something I can’t get out of my head.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: A long, meandering story about a group of friends who meet in summer camp and have various successes and challenges as adults. This book should have been interesting but wasn’t; maybe any book that calls itself “The Interestings” is doomed from the start.
These last books fell in the “too cute” category for me. I know I’m in the minority here, but any time a book can be described as “sweet”, it’s a pretty good bet I won’t like it. But most readers LOVE these books.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Sheffer
The Humans by Matt Haig
I’m sure many of you will disagree with the books I’ve listed — if so, please comment! I’m always happy to disagree when it comes to books. And these weren’t books I hated (mostly) but books I wanted more from. Which books have disappointed you?