Eight Books I Disliked but Am Glad I Read

Posted May 14, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 29 Comments

Do you ever find yourself totally not liking a book, but continuing on so that you can say you read it? Maybe it’s a book EVERYONE has read, and you were feeling left out about. Or maybe it was a required read in school and you’re proud of yourself for reading it even though you didn’t want to. Or maybe it was a book club read and you’re glad you could actively participate in the discussion. Whatever the reason may be, I think we can all say that we’ve read books we didn’t like just so we could say we read them. I could only come up with eight this week!


The Shivering Sands
by Victoria Holt

My mom grew up loving Victoria Holt, and as a lover of Gothic romance myself, I’d been intrigued for ages. I finally read this one, which has pretty good reviews overall, and it was just a little slow and meh to me. I liked the setting and the writing, but I felt like not a lot happened. I’m so glad I finally gave her books a chance, though, and I’m not giving up yet.


A Study In Scarlet by Sherlock Holmes

I think I read this for bragging rights. It was ok, and I’ve even read the next one… but they are not what I would call gripping and entertaining reads. I’ve always wanted to read the books by that have taken pop culture by storm, and now I can say I have. And honestly, I know I’m going to read the rest of them for more bragging rights.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I LOVE Marissa Meyer. Her books are some of my favorites, and her writing is wonderful. That’s why I’m glad I read Heartless. I like reading all the books my favorite authors have written. And really, Heartless was very well done. I just hate Alice In Wonderland. lol


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I read it so I can say I read it. I hate sad/cancer books and I am really not interested in any of John Green’s work. But at least now I can say I’ve read this famous book that so many people have connected with.


A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I think it’s safe to say that A Wrinkle In Time kind of set the world of YA lit on fire. Millions of children and adults have read and loved this book across the generations. It’s the kind of book a young person fell in love with in the 1930’s and then recommended to their child and their grandchild, and they loved it too. It teaches reaers some great lessons. It’s beautiful and timeless and influenced so many of today’s great YA authors. I think my problem with it is that I wasn’t a kid when I read it. I found it to be kind of weird instead of magical. It was a chore to get through. I’m so glad I read such an iconic piece of literature, though, because I feel like a part of history for it.


Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Haha. This book is horrendous. It’s SO bad on SO many levels. I’m really glad I read it, though, because I have never had more fun writing a rage-filled review before.


The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Bragging rights. Completely and totally. I read this as a kid in school and hated it. It upset me and traumatized me and made me hate reading. But I can say I’ve read every stinkin’ page. So there.


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Umm… ditto to the above statements about The Outsiders. I feel very lucky that I eventually (at age 19) found my love of reading again after years of crappy/boring/upsetting required reads in school took it from me.

Which books did you not like,
but are happy you can say you’ve read them?

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29 responses to “Eight Books I Disliked but Am Glad I Read

  1. I have Fahrenheit 451 on my list for this week as well, except I changed things up a bit with books that I originally disliked, but that I grew to enjoy. I don’t even know exactly why I liked it because I remember finding it a bit rough to get through…ah well! And I hated The Outsiders too! I didn’t put it on my list though because in all honesty, I’m not even glad I read it – I just hate it.

  2. One of the common threads I’m seeing is at least one book on people’s lists being required reading for a class (I’m no exception… I’ve got two required readings from high school on my list). I suspect that The Outsiders would have been on my list but in a fit of rebellion when I was eleven I refused to read the book at all… I don’t remember how it wound up that way but I guess I dug my heels in enough that nobody succeeded in getting me to pick up and read it?
    Kelly @ Wandering Through Books recently posted…Top Books I Didn’t Necessarily Enjoy but Am Glad I Read

  3. I’ve never read The Outsiders but I kinda like the movie version? From the 80’s, with Tom Cruise and all those guys when they were young?? But I don’t know if the book would be for me. :)
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  4. I’m pretty much a fan of all fairy tales, so I really really enjoyed Heartless. Though there’s quite a few on here I never read. Like you, I had to read The Outsiders in high school and I hated it as well. I pretty much hated every book I was forced to read. Pretty much because by that time I had found my genre…though there was very little of it to be had and every book they threw at me was just so dull! Lol!

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  5. Kay

    I’ve read a lot of Victoria Holt books way, way back. I did read The Shivering Sands, but don’t remember much. I’ll suggest that you try Bride of Pendorric, probably my favorite Holt novel. Think I read it when I was in 8th grade maybe. Anyway, it was the first time I had read a book that included a ‘mad’ character that ‘looked just like everyone else’. Scared me witless – in a good way. LOL
    Kay recently posted…Malice Domestic 30 – Fabulous Panels and not so much volunteering…

  6. I’m not sure why we’re forced to read some of these in high school, because it tends to ruin them for us. I read The Outsiders as an adult and just reread Fahrenheit 451 and love both of them! Now that I’ve had a little more life experience, I can better understand and appreciate these works. Let us read fun books in school!!
    Rachel @ Never Enough Novels recently posted…Reading RoundUp #40

  7. Mai

    I saw TFIOS on the list and was quite shocked, until I remembered that I’m not that much of a fan of it myself. :D I quite liked The Outsiders when I had to read it for school, though! One of the very few obligatory reading books I didn’t hate.
    Mai recently posted…Bookish This or That Tag

  8. I really enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, but I also read it after school because I wanted to, and not because it was required reading. I do feel like a lot of the books we’re required to read in school we might like a lot more if we’re allowed to choose to read them. (Then again, I knew lots of people in school who only read books if someone made them, so…)
    Nicole recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books I Disliked but Am Really Glad I Read

  9. It makes me sad that some of the books we remember disliking are those that were forced on us in junior high and high school :( I just think we’re not ready for some of those at those times in our lives. What high schooler is ready for The Awakening??
    On the other hand, I loved A Wrinkle in Time as a middle schooler and The Outsiders in junior high. My 8th grader just read and loved The Outsiders as well :)

  10. I purposely didn’t include any books that were required reading in school, although I didn’t like any of the books I was required to read in school, simply because I think my distaste for them stems from being forced to read them, and at a certain speed (so including them wouldn’t really be fair to them).

    Have a great week.
    Katie @Just Another Girl and Her Books recently posted…*Top Ten Tuesday* Books I Disliked but am Glad I Read (May 15)

  11. I feel the exact same about Heartless! I adore Marissa Meyer’s other books, and Heartless was really well written and everything, I just hate Alice in Wonderland.

    I was also bored to tears by The Hobbit, but I’m glad I read it, because you know, it’s THE HOBBIT. I just needed to read it, no explanation necessary. I still need to Rea LoTR though…
    Iris @ Hoard of Books recently posted…April Wrap-Up – So Many Good Books + Completed Goals!!

  12. Ha haaaa, you made me laugh when I read this: “I feel very lucky that I eventually (at age 19) found my love of reading again after years of crappy/boring/upsetting required reads in school took it from me.”

    Absolutely agree. While I never lost my love of reading (thankfully–my one escape!), I remember SO WELL that feeling of rebelliousness when I had to read so many pointless (Kafka’s “Metapmorphosis”–completely lost me) classic books in high school. This is a great list–thanks for your candidness, Jana. :)

  13. Your last comment is so sad, but so true. High school reading lists just beat the snot out of students instead of instilling a love of reading. I was a high school librarian and I just about died each time we gave out Lord of the Flies, All Quiet on the Western Front or yet another Shakespeare play when there was so much engaging YA contemporary lit on the shelves that students loved to read.
    Helen Murdoch recently posted…Review: Small Country by Gail Faye

  14. I am with you 100% on Fahrenheit 451! I had to read it high school. There were maybe 10 of us in my Advanced English class and NO ONE liked it. Even the teacher said she was just covering it because it was in the required curriculum (best book read that year: The Count Of Monte Cristo). Although, I am looking forward to the upcoming Fahrenheit 451 movie on HBO.

    I do wonder if I’d like it more as an adult, however. I have a feeling the words “Required reading” always predisposed me and my classmates to negative reactions as it does my nephews and nieces. Just like now, I read EVERY single day, but those were books I chose to read, not ones forced on me to pass a class.

    Although, I am not sure anything would make me like what we had to read as 9th grade’s summer required reading choice…Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain. And I had to read Lord of the Flies for TWO classes (English & sociology).

    If our required reading lists had included more contemporary books for kids to relate to rather than the “classics,” kids might have enjoyed it more. My 6th grade teacher (the year we read The Outsiders), saw I was getting bored (mostly because I read above grade level) and decided to let me start picking my own books for projects & reports if I wanted to while the others read the main book. She did have a list or I had to get her approval, but it was best thing ever and allowed my love of reading to continue to grow!

    I have so much to say on this subject, but I’ll stop now…sorry.