A black sheep that is. Not a sheep like the expression we use about being just one of a flock of sheep following the crowd.
I think we’ve all been there, right? When everyone LOVES something and you dislike it. . . or even when everyone dislikes sometimes and you secretly(or not-so-secretly) love it. Most of the time, I agree with my blogging friends on most books. But every once in awhile, a book comes along, and. . . I just don’t get it. I either don’t get the book or why everyone loves it so much, OR I don’t get why everyone isn’t enjoying it as much as I do!
I love seeing a healthy spread of reviews for books, because they definitely give me a better idea of what the book is like, and I always hope when I’m the black sheep on a book, I’m contributing to that too. So today I wanted to share the books I’ve been black sheep on, and ask what books you’re black sheep for.
The Perks of Being a Black Sheep
1. You can offer a different perspective on a book
Don’t get me wrong, I love talking with people who feel the same way about a book as I did, but it’s just as interesting when a (civil) discussion can be had between two people who walked away from the same book with very different things. These discussions are EXCELLENT when they take place in real life, because it’s much easier to go back and forth. However, I’ve found these discussions can also be pretty good on the internet(though they often take place in the comment section or reviews or on twitter, which is a bit limiting). And when you’re the black sheep, you have an important role in these conversations!
2. That book becomes unique to *you*
If you’re the black sheep in liking a book that mostly everyone disliked, sometimes that book becomes very special to you(or it does to me). On books that I really loved and most people didn’t, I feel like I’ve sort of taken that book under my wing(as silly as that sounds). I can say to the book: ““It’s okay that they didn’t like you. I don’t like some books either. But *I* like you, precious little book.”
3. Finding solidarity in a (small) herd
It’s always great to find someone who agrees with you on a book. That’s something that is pretty much always exciting. But it’s even better when you’re part of the small opinion. You might be a black sheep, but it’s highly unlikely you are the actual only person to have that opinion on that particular book. You just have to find the smaller herd of black sheep. And once you do, it’s magical. Solidarity for the win!
The “Ugh” Side of Being a Black Sheep
1. On the outside looking in
It can DEFINITELY feel this way! Even if you know you’re not the only person in the world who feels that way about a book, it doesn’t always seem like it. And especially if you’re reading a book pre-release, you might be the first person to voice that type of reaction to the book. There have definitely been books that I was the first person to post a less-than-good rating on Goodreads for a book, and that’s a strange position sometimes.
2. Do I just not get it?
When everyone LOVES a book and I don’t, I start to think if maybe it just went over my head. Maybe I wasn’t intelligent enough or a good enough of a reader to see what made that book so brilliant. And I typically get over this pretty quickly, but it’s still there. What if the book really IS the masterpiece everyone else says it is? DOUBT. And when you’re the black sheep by loving a book, it goes the opposite way–the “Why don’t you love this book as much as I do?” way.
Books I Loved that Most Didn’t
1. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
I read an ARC of this a long time ago and immediately LOVED it. Since then, most people I’ve seen really disliked it–several hated it. It’s quite disturbing and I agree that some of the content is problematic, but it didn’t bother me in this one since it’s from the POV of a serial killer. Well, it did *personally* bother me, but not in a reading sense. I really loved what Dear Killer had to say about significance and morality and thought it was fascinating.
2. Red by Alison Cherry
I didn’t LOVE this book or anything, but I did like it! It was strange and ridiculous at times, but also sort of fun and satire. I thought the emphasis on Redheads was interesting and I was intrigued enough.
3. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
I wouldn’t say this book is strongly disliked or anything, but it’s REALLY divided. Just by looking at my friends books on Goodreads & the overall ratings for this book, I can tell it’s a “you love it or hate it” sort of book. I loved it, and a few of my blogging friends did too, but a lot of people REALLY disliked it. It’s strange and weird, but it captivated me from the beginning.
4. The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
This wasn’t a great book or anything–it had flaws for sure–but I enjoyed it enough to give it 3 stars. Yeah, there were problems and I understand why most people didn’t finish, but it was entertaining enough for me. Even if parts of it made me roll my eyes.
The Theme I See:
Looking back over these four books that I loved more than most, I think the theme is that I like weird books. I would describe each of these books as really strange/weird, and it’s really easy to see why people *don’t* like them. They’re definitely the books I’m happy to take under my wing, though!
Books I Didn’t Particularly Like
1. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I thought I would love this one, but I just really had trouble with Allyson and the plot in general. I gave this one 2 stars, and the average rating from my friends is 4.17 stars. Quite a difference!
2. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
I thought Nantucket Blue was just okay. It reminded me a lot of a Sarah Dessen novel(and I haven’t had great luck with her novels, either) without really any of the emotional depth.
3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I just really had trouble with Anna! It annoyed me how much she was complaining and I didn’t really like how her relationship in this novel begun, since St. Clair was still dating someone else for quite awhile. By the way, average Goodreads friend rating for THIS book? 4.75 stars. HUGE difference!
4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Under the Never Sky was fine enough while reading, but it just never struck me in any special way. It felt similar to a lot of other science fiction books.
The Theme I See:
Contemporary. With the exception of “Under the Never Sky”, all of these books are contemporary. I really do LOVE a lot of contemporary but I think it’s harder for me to get on board with a contemporary than it is when I have a new and exciting world(or just weird stuff!) distracting me.
Do you find yourself being the black sheep often? In what ways? Any books lately bring out black sheep syndrome for you?