I’m going to start by saying I don’t know that there is such a thing as a “bad” book. While definitely some books are better than others, and for sure the writing in some books is just terrible, I don’t know that a book can be “bad”.
Okay, I take it back, there are some books that are DEFINITELY bad in every way.
But I don’t think you have to only like things that are “good.” I mean, for one thing, good/bad is so subjective! But for another thing, your enjoyment of a thing isn’t necessarily tied to its quality. I have definitely experienced movies/TV that are so bad I can’t enjoy it, but most of the time I can like something even when I can tell it’s not awesome if it’s achieving whatever it set out to do. This book was supposed to make me laugh, and it did. Yay!
Okay, glad I got that out of the way.
This list are books that the book community on the whole has determined are terrible, and that I to some extent agree are not awesome, but I still love them anyway.
I resisted Twilight for a LONG time. By the time the movie came out literally everyone I knew had read it except for me, and then I saw the movie which was terrible, and so I refused to read it. Until I did. And yes, it was just as bad as everyone says. The dialogue is particularly awful. But … I have still read the whole series. More than once.
I don’t know what it is that makes me keep reading. It’s not the romance. Maybe it’s the melodrama? It’s definitely at least part the Pacific Northwest setting. Whatever it is, so many people enjoy this book that I’m done criticizing it or apologizing for liking it.
2. Angels and Demons
Having read just about all of Dan Brown’s books, I fully understand the criticism of his writing in a way I didn’t when I first read Angles and Demons. All his books are basically the same, and by the time I read the fourth one I was just … over them. But Angels and Demons was the first I read, and so I continue to enjoy the fast-paced plot and the use of art, science, and history in the narrative.
3. The Selection Series
This is definitely an example of idea being better than the execution. It’s also a prime example of books that profited off the Hunger Games mania by including similar plot elements to different degrees of effectiveness. In this case, very little effectiveness. The second half of the series following the daughter was downright terrible. But I enjoyed it so much anyway.
I fully understand now why people watch The Bachelor (and also why they continue to believe in it). There was so much drama, so much glamor, that I couldn’t stop reading this series. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a fan-girl, this is definitely a series that I might read again if I wanted to escape from life for a while.
It seems that most people who didn’t like Artemis either a) thought it was too much like The Martian and that Weir is a one-trick-pony, b) hated the main character, or c) both. But I enjoyed the heck out of it. I really enjoy the way Weir ties NASA history in to his books, it gives them a real feeling of realism. I thought Jazz was a riot (and bonus, thought it was ridiculous that all the things people hated about her they loved about his male protagonist in The Martian) and really got her sense of humor. But mostly I liked that the book was exciting and fun. It was exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up.
5. The Host
Is it any surprise that Stephanie Meyer is on here twice? (Probably not…)
Actually, The Host isn’t as universally hated as Twilight is. Maybe because most of the people who actually read it were Stephanie Meyer fans? But I am here to tell you that it’s not excellent literature. It’s barely even science fiction. Why was it marketed as anything other than YA? But I am obsessed with they-walk-among-us alien stories, even (apparently) when they aren’t executed very well. I’ve read this book at least three times, and thinking about reading it again over the holidays. Because why the hell not?
What unpopular or “bad” books do YOU enjoy? Let me know in the comments!