It's a Matter of Opinion

I've been talking to people off and on over the years about the curious phenomenon that happens occasionally where one person absolutely adores a book and highly recommends it, and then others downright hate it.

Some friends were talking about the book Leviathan the other night, and I happened to be in the middle of reading it, so I was interested to hear that one of my friends loved the book, but another thought it was only so-so, and they both generally read and like the same kind of books.

I continued my reading, and found that I really enjoyed the book a lot, though I didn't think it was over-the-top amazing or anything - I think I'll give it 4 stars. And I'll definitely be reading Behemoth, the sequel that just came out this month.

I hadn't read hardly any steampunk at all before this, and I found the genre quite interesting. Leviathan is a strange mishmash of futuristic beasts and machines colliding with WWI history, and I can see how that might turn some people off and light other people's fire. For me, it was exciting, it was different, and Westerfeld kept the pace intense throughout, with only slight lags when changing character viewpoints, which I've come to expect.

What are some books that you loved and others hated? Are there any you hated despite the fact that others loved them? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I used to do book reviews on my blog, but I'm always worried someone might buy a book on my recommendation then hate it. Even when I read reviews by someone who loved a book, I only buy it (or borrow it from the library) if I know we have the same taste.

  2. I actually read a book a while ago that everyone raved about. I checked it out from the library, read the first chapter and put it down. I hated it. There were multiple nasty swear words, an almost rape scene, and teenagers getting high and drinking. All in the very first chapter. Now, a lot of people would think I'm just too sensitive, but really, not a lot offends me. I just didn't enjoy the fact that teenagers were portrayed in such a vulgar light. So, I guess it all comes down to the person. People like books. People hate books. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and that is okay. :)
    Sorry about the novel I just wrote! LOL

  3. I "really liked" the Hunger Games, but am surprised when people adamantly say it's one of the best books ever.

  4. I love, love, love your new blog look! Fun!

    And, um. You already know one book I almost hated that someone else loved. ;) Beautiful Creatures is another that *I* loved but that some people really didn't.

    It's why you really can't get too worked up over a rejection--the choices agents make are as subjective as the ratings we give the books we read!

  5. Dang, you have a lot of works in progress! I love a wide variety of books but most recently loved David Grann's The Lost City of Z. It's non-fiction but an amazing story nonetheless. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I will be following you now!

  6. I haven't finished Leviathan, honestly, because at the time, I was writing my own Steampunk and I didn't want to be influenced by it. I'll have to go back and finish it now!

  7. I haven't read Leviathan but having never read Steampunk I think I might give it a go! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    As for books I loved and others hated, it's really tough to tell, I enjoy several different genre's where a lot of my blog friends don't enjoy the same thing I do. I post reviews on occassino and hope that they enjoy it as much as I have, but everything is subjective.

  8. Stina, I know what you mean. You definitely have to take reviews with a grain of salt.

    Chantele, that stinks. I can usually overlook quite a bit of vulgarity and other things if they're done tastefully at least to some extent. But I had another book recently that I actually bought (used, but still) because it looked just so fun and cool and got great reviews from a friend, and then it turned out to just be nasty. :o(

    Heather, I'm in the "one of the best books ever" camp, but I totally know what you mean - sometimes it's baffling to me when everyone raves about a book and I just think, "why??"

    ali, I couldn't agree with you more about the agent thing. It actually makes me feel good in a way to see people trash a book I loved because then I see that nothing is ever going to please absolutely /everyone/. ;o)

    Michael, yes, I do. Probably too many. Definitely too many. :D

    Laura, I can see why you didn't want to read Leviathan - you had your own ideas for what you wanted your steampunk to be. I'd LOVE to read it, btw! Just sayin'.

    Jen, first of all, thanks for stopping by and for following me. You have a really cute blog. And thanks for your comments. I pretty much do the same thing - post a review and tell what /I/ thought of the book, knowing that not everyone will feel the same.

  9. Michael, I got distracted looking up the book you talked about in your comment and forgot to finish my comment back to you. ;) I looked up The Lost City of Z and it actually looks really good. I might give it a try. :)

  10. I really liked Hunger Games, but really didn't like the next two books. I was seriously disappointed in them. Another book series that I am "meh" about is the Twilight books. I liked them as a pulp read, but I don't understand the hype about them at all.

    Oh! Scott Westerfeld (and some of my other favorite authots) is going to be at the Provo Library on 10/30 for their Teen Book Festival. You should check it out if you have time. ^_^


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