Nikki’s addendum: Prepare yourself for rants, dismissals and denouncements of all that you hold dear to you! Bwahahahaha! (No, but seriously; we can still be friends even when we (strongly) disagree, right!??)
A popular book you didn’t like:
Nikki: Rat Queens is the one with the highest average rating that I disliked. One word: contrived. More words: pseudo-feminist white male privilege run amuck. I feel the same about Sex Criminals which also has a ridiculously high rating considering. I assume it’s because people are projecting onto these works what they want them to be—what they’re pitched as being—but they are not what they profess to be (in my eyes). But I also don’t want to be too harsh because I’m sure the creators mean well…. But I have lots of thoughts.
Claire: Wait what do you mean you didn’t like Rat Queens? Man… I’m still going to read that. A popular book that I didn’t like? Life of Pi. I can’t stand that book, I didn’t get the point and the ridiculous plot structure drove me mad. I know it’s all smart and deep but just plain ole’ boring as well.
A book series that everyone hates but you love:
Nikki: I’m going to just say “book” because I’ve never finished a series in my life (the shame! I know… Workin’ on it, though!). Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen is one of my favourite books, but has the lowest average rating of all my favourites…which I understand completely because it’s kind of weird. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.
Claire: OK everyone hates on Dan Brown’s novels but… I like them? Inferno was a big waste of time, like massive but overall the series is pure entertainment love.
A love triangle where the main character ends up with the person you didn’t want them to end up with:
Nikki: First thing that comes to mind is The Hunger Games. But also Harry Potter. Everything just got weird and I can only assume there will be an HP sequel coming out (since she can’t seem to let the series go) about all their divorces.
Claire: I just won’t touch on what Nikki said. Nope. Nope… AWE HECK:
HP: I like Ron + Hermoine. I do, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part but I do.
HG: I think Katniss should have been single, but maybe Peeta and her were meant to be together.
What I will touch on: Bella should have been left single. No need for drama there folks, both boys were obsessive weird stalker creatures. I can’t honestly think of a single book where I was rooting for someone in a triangle, mostly because I don’t like it when people are in a darn triangle anyway.
Nikki: I agree Katniss should have been single! (Or if she HAD to be with someone…jfc: Gale or nothin’ ’cause nothin’ else makes sense.)
A popular book genre you rarely reach for:
Nikki: Romance and contemporary fiction (excluding comics & picture books). Not sure why, but I just tend not to lean that way. (Claire’s comment, but aren’t the books we read for our book club contemporary fiction…? So what is this genre then?)
Claire: I really don’t reach for romance– ever. I will read YA but I’ve noticed that I prefer YA with a bit of action or fantasy. I really don’t like the high school genre, I don’t want to read about characters there, I just don’t (unless said school is magical, then hells yes!).
A popular beloved character you didn’t like:
Nikki: Gansey from The Raven Cycle. The character I assume he’s based on, Jay Gatsby (of The Great Gatsby), does nothing for me either, but I don’t loathe him like I loathe Gansey (but I mostly only loathe him when in romantic connection with Blue).
A popular author you can’t seem to get into:
Nikki: I feel you have to try more than one book by a person to know that, but I rarely try seconds after firsts displeased me… Claire might kill me for saying this, but Margaret Atwood. In fairness to her, I’ve only read one book… But it was one of her most famous, (arguably) most well-loved (The Handmaid’s Tale) so… I don’t know. I’m willing to try her again though. Other disappointing (for me) popular authors include Angela Carter, Kate Chopin and Virginia Woolf. I felt I should mention this because it disappoints me that they’re all seminal feminists…so I have been erring on the side of “‘it’s just me who isn’t ‘getting it'”, but I think it’s because I expected so much from each of them and they didn’t blow me away like I’d hoped. And it’s largely stylistic.; many of the things I was at odds with are things they all do…and that I do…like waffling on forever. Hypocritical much?!
Oh! And Sarah J Maas. Not a seminal feminist author, but I read an excerpt from the assassin book and she just was not for me.
Claire: I agree with Nikki on Sarah J Maas, I like her but not terribly… like I just can’t get into her books. For a while it was VE Schwab but I did like A Darker Shade of Magic (not loved, just liked) so I am quite invested in seeing her upcoming work (didn’t she just sign a big deal too? Quite pumped about that).
Popular trope you’re tired of seeing:
Nikki: Recently, young brilliance. I want to read more books about a 40 year old prodigy who isn’t noticed despite their brilliance. Someone who isn’t characterised as young, eccentric, tortured, socially inept savant. And superficially ‘strong’ female characters to placate the feminists. (side note: I would rather the building of the character be strong and realistic, not that she always has to be able to save the day.) ALSO, female characters who are more plot devices than characters. What’s up with that, Haruki Murakami?
Claire: Love triangle. If I read about another love triangle I will be most upset. First of all, how many people realistically end up in a love triangle anyway? I don’t imagine it’s all tortured romance, I imagine it would be painful and gruesome, so why the heck do they persist in literature? Who cares who she chose to be with! Nikki’s response is so smart…
Popular series you have no interest in reading:
Nikki: A Song of Ice and Fire. Too much work and I don’t like reading about torture and having all my favs die and whatnot. And Alex + Ada. That story is so played out (I don’t understand why people think it’s super original?). And the art is not my thing. It’s like the less problematic, less pretty American version of Chobits pretending to be disseminating revelatory ideas about technology-human interaction and what it means to be ‘alive’.
Claire: Wait wha? You don’t Nikki?! Darn… Uh, I must ponder this because it’s mostly within the YA genre to be frank. But basically, I have no interest in reading this recent spout of YA that focus on high school. Will not read it. I also haven’t read anything by Patrick Ness and can’t get myself to be interested enough to do so? WOW I am coming off as the biggest bad bitch…
The saying goes, ‘The book is always better than the movie’ but what movie do you prefer to the book?
Nikki: BLADE RUNNER! Hands down better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Though the book wasn’t bad.)
Claire: Pages & Pineapples put Harry Potter. I consider that blasphemy but I shall let her be because she’s cool and I like her. So, this will get me in trouble and bookish gods rest my soul, I am so so so so sorry, but.. Lord of the Rings? Well the simplification of it that’s all! Other than that I haven’t watched any films recently based on books that I can think of. I will say that while The Host was a rubbish book, it wasn’t entirely a rubbish film?
Nikki: Oh yeah! I should have put The Lord of the Rings for this answer and the last. I haven’t read it because I feel like it’d be long and dry…I’d totally listen to the audiobook! But I loved the films and I can’t imagine reading loads of magical creature lineage and such would change my mind. I know some people revel in the minutia of these fantasy worlds…as do I! But I prefer to watch/listen to them I guess…