Discussing: Books we think we’ll love.. but then we don’t

Discussing: Books we think we'll love.. but then we don't

Sometimes we think we’ll love a book to bits and pieces, but then we don’t… Whenever this happens to me, I can’t help but think:

Did I legitimately not like this book? Or did other factors cause me to not like it?

Sometimes a book just doesn’t click with me, and that’s fine. But sometimes I wonder if I would have enjoyed that same book under totally different circumstances. For example:

  • Sometimes I’m just in a bad mood. If I read a book when I’m in a bad mood am I less likely to fall in love with it? Could this cause me to dislike it? Whereas if I read it when I was in a good mood, maybe I would have loved it?
  • I’m not up for that genre. Maybe I tried reading a dystopian book when I really wanted to read contemporary. If I had waited until I was actually in the mood for dystopian, would I have given it 4 stars instead of 2?
  • I don’t really feel like reading but I force myself to read because I’m falling behind on review books. If I force myself to read under these circumstances, am I less likely to enjoy the book?

Sometimes it’s hard for me to figure out if I legitimately didn’t like a book or if those other factors caused me to not like it.. but if I had read it under more normal circumstances, maybe I would have loved it?

Here are a few books I wasn’t crazy about that made me feel this way:

Books I didn't love: Prophecy by Ellen Oh, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles
Prophecy by Ellen Oh, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Have you ever felt this way?

Do you think that reading a book under different circumstances will affect how you feel about it? Or will you always love a good book, regardless of the circumstances?

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29 comments

  1. I think the kind of mood your in or whatever circumstances absolutely change what you think of a book. I find certain things irritate me in books when I am in a bad mood, if I was in a good mood I probably never would have noticed them.

    And yes, when I am trying to catch up on reviews, that can make me more annoyed with a book. I think that’s why authors need not take negative reviews too seriously (unless every person hates it, then that’s a bad sign) because sometimes we just weren’t in the mood for that book, doesn’t mean it was bad.

    We have to give ourselves slack on this though, we are human, it is bound to happen. If I feel I have been really unfair to a book, I will reread it later on and add to me review to let everyone know if I liked it more the second time.

  2. I think my mood totally affects my reading! I’m almost positive that’s why I enjoyed Die For Me so much, because I was in the mood to read something fluffy and light and exotic. It’s also why, even when I have review copies waiting, I try my hardest to read whatever book I want to, versus the book I feel I have to.

    It’s also why reviews are so subjective, because I think that not only does our mood affect whether we like a book, but also our life experiences. Someone who has just had a recent experience with losing a loved one might find that a book about a protag dealing with grief is much more relatable than someone who’s never lost someone (for example).

    It’s the beauty of reading and writing reviews – we’re all going to love (or hate) something for our own reasons!

    Kelly recently posted: Book Review: Grace
  3. I totaalllllyy get this Ashley! This just happened to me with The Vincent Boys! I was all set to LOVE IT and then it just fell flat.

    Such a disappointment!

    But I do think WHEN you read a book definitely has some part of if you enjoy it or not! For sure! I’ve learned to navigate what kind of book I want to read pretty well, and I read “breather” books inbetween the heavier ones, I find that helps as well!

    PS- Walking Disaster :(. I wont even read it! And I loved BD.

  4. Does my mood reflects my experience of the book? Certainly! You know that saying ‘you never read the same book twice’… I read ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ 3 times during a period of 12 years and every time I felt close to different characters and deducted a different meaning from reading it.
    I like to think I would still always love a good book but you can never be sure.

    Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams recently posted: Book Review: The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin
  5. I’m always worried about my reaction to a book based on my mood, especially when it comes to rating. I read a bunch of books during my exam period and I was just desperate for reading material, and I gave them all 4 stars, but looking back on those books, I realize that I didn’t like them THAT much! It’s hard to factor in the effect your mood has on the books you read when you’re going by intuitive feelings when rating a book (like I do). If you’re a more objective reviewer, this might not be that big of a deal.

    Janita @ Book, Interrupted recently posted: Review: City of Bones
  6. This is so true!!! I wouldn’t have DNFed The Sea of Tranquility (which everyone LOVES) if I was in a better and patient mood. I just couldn’t stand how slow that story was but I might pick it up sometime later (way later) when I’m in the mood. I loved Walking Disaster when I read it but now I really don’t remember anything from it besides the epilogue >.<

  7. I know exactly what you mean! That last one is my biggest problem. I’m currently experiencing that with Eternity Cure. I’ve been trying to read that sucker since before its release day, either I don’t feel like reading or I don’t feel like reading that one, which really affects how I’m feeling about the book. Usually I just say forget it and put it to rest, that works for my sanity and the book’s final star rating.

    Michaniya recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday 9
    1. OMG same here!!! I loved The Immortal Rules so much, but then I started The Eternity Cure and I just… didn’t want to keep reading. It’s not even that I didn’t like it, I just wasn’t into it. I hate that!!

  8. This just happened to me this morning. I just DNFed a book that I thought I would love but couldn’t stand. The guy called the girl ‘baby doll’ every 5 minutes, the girl was such a stereotype of so many NA books: no friends, think she is ugly but every guy thinks she’s gorgeous, not many friends, naïve virgin, you name it! I finally gave up after reaching 30% after 3 days. *sigh*
    I’m so happy I’m not the only one that wasn’t crazy about Walking Disaster 🙂

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: Of Silver and Beasts by Trisha Wolfe – Review & Character Profiles!
  9. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever attributed a bad mood to a lackluster reading experience. If I’m not in the mood to read, generally I just don’t read. That, or I’ll start something, realize I’m not in the mood, and just stop reading it. Sometimes my blog posts will suffer from doing that, of course. But I just can’t force myself to read something if I’m not into reading.

    I agree wholeheartedly about the genre thing – I recently read a bunch of issue-driven contemporaries, and I have a few more that were on my queue, but I had to take a break and read something in a completely different genre because I knew I wasn’t in the mood for any more contemps and that my reading experience would suffer if I continued with it.

    I should try to think more about what factors could have an effect on my reading experience – definitely something important to consider!

    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted: Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  10. I absolutely know what you mean! I am such a moody readers. Reading review books to catch up when I am not in the mood for them will affect how I feel about them deeply. My shelves are full of books I started and put back there because I wasn’t in the mood for it.
    On the other hand, I can get super enthusiastic about a book just because it suited perfectly my mood, even though I can see it was full of flaws.

  11. I absolutely feel this way. I really enjoy dystopians, but lately I am dystopianed out, and the ones that I have read have just been “eh”. I think if I give myself some time away from them, maybe I will enjoy them again. Some books that I have read, I just didn’t enjoy very much. But I have reread them at a later time, possibly in a different mood, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Sometimes, I still didn’t like them though. So, yes, I think that our moods absolutely determine if we will like a book, love it, or flat out can’t stand it. Great post!

  12. I think my mood has something to do with how I feel about a book, and also if I feel stressed, and how life is in general.
    I also think that sometimes, I get really excited about a book based on who the author is, and the premise, and I start to already think about how great the book will be before I start reading it. Then, when I do get to read it – I feel like it falls flat. And I’m actually wondering if that is because I expected too much of it? Or is it because it really wasn’t all that good?
    Great post as usual, Ashley 🙂

  13. I worry about this a lot too. I think other factors might affect my reading experience too. Like maybe if I had gone into a book with no expectations, positive or negative, I would have felt differently about it. It’s so hard to tell what’s influencing my opinion and I think about it a lot. Thanks for bringing up this interesting point! It’s good to know I’m not alone. 😀

    Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot recently posted: The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey Book Review
  14. This just happened with me and Shadow and Bone. It’s not that I didn’t like it- it still earned a solid 3.5- but I just didn’t fall in love with it the way it seems everyone else did. Maybe it’s because I felt like I needed to read it because I had an ARC of Siege and Storm on hand, or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. So then I was hesitant to read Siege and Storm, and very quickly found that I wasn’t enjoying myself with this one either. So I set it down for a few days, read something I was in the mood for, and ended up falling in love when I came back! I’ve been considering re-reading Shadow and Bone to see if I change my mind after Siege and Storm, but I have yet to make up my mind.

    1. Eh, Debz, I was just about to mention how much I did not love that book. I had to come to peace with Shadow and Bone and I only did that recently. I gave it a 4/5 though I’m not sure why, after I finished it every time I thought about it I got really angry, I think it’s worth a 3. I’m looking forward to Siege and Storm, I’m not sure why, but I’m just hoping it’s better than the first book.

      Jessie @ Jessie's Book Place recently posted: Showcase Sunday (23)
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  16. I absolutely love this post because I start to feel it more and more. I wonder if it’s just other factors influencing in or if it really is just not my cup of tea. I think timing is a big part along with how your previous books were. Different circumstances will always play a big part in my reading!

  17. I have been (and always will be) a mood reader, so I definitely think it can affect your overall experience and, ultimately, your rating. I try to stay on top of my galleys, but sometimes I just don’t WANT to read a book when I’d originally planned to, so will read something different instead. It also sometimes means that I don’t read a book I requested because I don’t feel like I could be objective about it when my overwhelming feeling going in to the story is “meh”. So I definitely agree with everything you’ve said!

    Merin @ Read and Reviewed recently posted: Random Reads #3 :: June 2013
    1. Yes, I completely agree!! I feel bad when I fall behind on my review books, but sometimes I’m just really not in the mood! Or sometimes I request a book, then before I get a chance to read it TONS of negative reviews come in so then I don’t want to read it.. I hate that!

  18. This is a very difficult thing to be objective about because you really have no way of knowing. However, I believe that I tend to fall on the side of “Nobody liked this book but I genuinely didn’t either”.

    A prime example of this is Taken by Erin Bowman. I was so excited to read this one, what with its gorgeous cover and intriguing synopsis, but it ended up being a pile of dog crap. I believe that is my own opinion, uninfluenced by the reviews of others.

    I think it may depend on your degree of dislike for a book. If you really dislike it, that’s probably your own genuine opinion. If you disliked it somewhat, then yes, perhaps that was influenced by external factors.

    Book Wookie recently posted: Taken by Erin Bowman
  19. Mood absolutely affects reviews and opinions on books. This is why I always tell authors and publishers I will read it when I read it. I’ve explained that they would rather have me read it when I’m ready for it than when I’m not, because if I don’t want to read it, I’m not going to like it. And I’ve never once had one of them disagree with that policy.

    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog recently posted: Indie Author Excerpts: Big Bad Bite by Jessie Lane
  20. Actually, yeah. I think that if I read books when I’m in a bad mood I’m less likely to like it. I also think that forcing myself to read is usually a bad idea, but I do it anyway for some unknown reason. My biggest issue is with reviews, though. Have you ever done a buddy read with someone? (I’m sure you have.) But you’re doing it, and I wonder if maybe the excited-ness of it just rubs off on you and you’re more likely to love it.

    I wonder if maybe any feelings they have become your’s too? Hard call, right? I can’t honestly think of one buddy read where I & my friend didn’t have similar opinions.

    So yeah, I think that moods, reading slumps and hypes can change how much you’re going to like it. (:

  21. Definitely your mood can affect if you enjoy a book or not. So can reading something that’s out of your comfort zone.Sometimes as much as I want to love a book,I just can’t.It’s even harder when it’s something I typically enjoy or something that got high praise from my fellow book bloggers.That was the case with White Lines.

  22. Pingback: June Wrap-Up Post + Stacking the Shelves #30 | Once Upon a Prologue
  23. For me the worst is when a book fails to live up to the expectations set by fellow bloggers, not because it’s a bad book but because the praise was so much and the bar was set too high. For me, that happened last year with Grave Mercy, which was good but did not leave me as enthusiastic as it did other bloggers who read it before the hype.

    Bookworm1858 recently posted: All I Need

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