Hi all, it’s Sabrina here! It’s an unusual lack of feeling, but I do occasionally experience it – someone is raving about a book on their blog, twitter, Youtube or something else, and I feel absolutely no interest in it. Sometimes, it’s a book I’ve previously heard about and actually been interested in it, but my feelings have suddenly changed. Sometimes it’s one detail that lets me know the book is not for me. Sometimes there’s no particular reason at all. Today, I’m going to tell you about five of these books! And please don’t try and persuade me to read them because I am easily swayed and it’s nice sometimes to know there are some books in the world that I don’t have on my TBR 😛
This post is inspired by a Jess Owens video, which you can watch here.
Synopses are from Goodreads.
“Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.
Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.”
Let’s start off with a book that has a glaring reason for me not to read it: Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica. I absolutely hate reading, watching, hearing, even knowing about cannibalism, so I won’t touch this book with a ten-foot pole. Did you see that image of Chris Pine that was circling a couple weeks ago where he was holding a stack of books out? I physically recoiled when I noticed this book among said stack. I know everyone says this book is amazing but horrifying and disgusting, so frankly I’m not going to put myself through that!
“As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.
That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.
Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.“
Next up on my list is The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazlewood. Unfortunately for me, I’m pretty sure I would love this book if I didn’t know about one minor, seemingly insignificant detail: it is inspired by two Star Wars characters. I wouldn’t call myself a big Star Wars fan, but I don’t hate it. That said, I’ve only seen the first movie featuring these characters and the idea of a romance between them makes me so uncomfortable! Maybe I would still be able to get away with reading the book if the cover art wasn’t so obviously those characters, lol. I know this is a silly, silly reason for not reading a book I think I would otherwise enjoy, but it’s the choice I’ve made regardless.
“At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.”
Normal People by Sally Rooney is probably the one on this list that it’s most possible I will change my mind about at some point and end up picking up on a whim. Still, at this point I feel like I have heard too many opinions, both positive and negative, about this book so it would be difficult for me to read it without being super critical. I would be going into it with a sceptical mindset, no matter how hard I try not to, and I don’t really want to do that to any book. I also believe I already know too much about the story, so it wouldn’t be a worthwhile enough experience to spend my time and energy on. Conversations With Friends on the other hand… maybe there is still some space for a Sally Rooney book in my life.
“Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.“
There are sadly a couple of things that put me off about Red Rising, and the rest of the saga, by Pierce Brown. The first is that seeing the cover immediately takes me back to watching Booktube videos a million years ago (okay, more like seven or eight) that focused on the author’s physical appearance and then seeing the same Booktubers interviewing him. Like with The Love Hypothesis, this is just something that makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable – in a similar way to, for example, eating baked beans. I don’t really like them, but I can stomach them if I have to. The other issue for me is that I believe the series got extended – or something to that effect. I originally thought this was a trilogy but there are five books currently released with at least one more to go. So if I read these, there would always be the danger of me thinking I’m finished with the series, only to find out years later that more books have been added and I don’t want that!
“A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”
Finally, we have The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab! This is another book where I do have a more concrete, understandable reason for not being interested in it. I have previously not totally enjoyed my experiences with this author’s books – I didn’t like Vicious much at all and I thought The Archived was just okay. I never finished even reading A Darker Shade of Magic. I also have some more superficial reasons. One of those is that this had to be one of, if not the, most hyped up book of 2020 / 2021 and honestly I got so tired of seeing everyone gush about it! I can only hear about a book so many times before I start zoning out when it’s mentioned – I know it’s not fair, but it’s the truth. The other reason is that the title and concept reminds me of the movie The Age of Adaline which I wasn’t a big fan of, so I would like to avoid reliving that movie constantly while reading this book.
What do you think?
Have you read any of these books? Are there many popular books out there that you’re simply not interested in reading? Let me know!