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Just leading with that title makes me a little anxious. Glancing at my bookshelves I got to thinking about the books I’ve read that in hindsight I should not have bothered with. I know these books are popular, but I just don’t get it. I am judging these stories by the BOOKS, not their. So, let’s dive right in with my list of overrated books:
- GONE GIRL (by Gillian Flynn)
I know this one led to a wildly popular movie (which I admit I have not seen), but the popularity of the book I do not understand. I found both the main characters to be incredibly unlikable. I’ve read better mysteries. I believe this book is only popular because Ben Affleck was cast in the movie. Don’t waste your time on this one.
- TWILIGHT (series by Stephanie Meyer)
The story in this series is just weird. Sparkly vampires, werewolves that fall in love with unborn/newborn half human-half sparkly vampire babies, a council of bloodthirsty vampire lords… come on! I attribute the success of this series to the movies as well (again, I don’t understand the allure of the movies either, but I digress). The books are narrated by a whiney girl with no aspirations or goals of her own – very uninspiring. Skip this and go for the real deal – Dracula (by Bram Stoker)
- ALLEGIANT (of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth)
To be clear, the first two books of this series are interesting. The concept of the world Roth creates in this world is an intriguing dystopia (a very popular and frighteningly familiar genre lately). However, the good of the first two books was obliterated by the last installment. The writing of the ending was left wanting; it almost seemed like the author ran out of ideas just before the deadline. If you want to read the first two (good) books, by all means do, then to finish the series just write your own ending.
- GO SET A WATCHMAN (by Harper Lee)
One of my favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird. The legend has it that Harper Lee wrote Go Set a Watchman and then her editor told her to expand more on a particular segment of the book she was writing – that segment ended up being To Kill a Mockingbird. When the original book was released several years ago, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. And I wish I hadn’t wasted the money and time. The moral of this book is that we should be thankful for Harper Lee’s editor!
- THE STAND and THE RUNNING MAN (both by Stephen King)
I must preface these being on the list with the concession that 99% of both of these books should have kept them from this list, but alas…
The premises of the books are very interesting. Both are dystopian novels. Both have great character development. Both have awful endings. After investing in that many pages, a terrible ending is unacceptable in my opinion.
Although now that I am reflecting on these two books it night not be a bad idea to read them for advice on the future – in The Stand a deadly virus is unleashed on the world (sound familiar?), and in The Running Man the “haves” have the “have nots” compete in nationally televised reality competitions to the death…
We can only hope that finger of God reaches down and saves us.
What books have you read that you think were overrated?