Have you ever finished a book and thought, “I can’t decide if I liked it or hated it”?
Normally, it’s pretty simple for me. If I can’t put the book down and function in real life, I loved it. If it takes me a long time to read because I’m not obsessed, then I didn’t like it.
It doesn’t happen to me often that I can’t decide, but when it does, it causes me to go into deep thinking mode. What was it I didn’t like about the book, and why?
Normally, when this happens, it’s because there are things I both loved and hated about the book, causing a tug of war in me. For some books, the ending is enough to turn my like into dislike, but others cause more complicated emotions.
I recently read a book that I really wanted to like, but just couldn’t. It didn’t draw me forward. I liked the idea of it and where it was going, which was why I kept going back to it. But I tired of it easily and even put it down in the middle of chapters sometimes.
When I got to the twist in the middle of the book, that invigorated me quite a bit. But then I hated the ending. The whole book led up to this one moment, and it felt like a letdown.
When I finished reading, I kept mentally going back to the good parts of the book and thinking about how the bad parts could have been made better. I wanted it to be a different book, and that’s how I figured out that I didn’t like it, after all.
I like when books cause complicated emotions in me, make me think and feel, but it makes me sad to decide I don’t like a book that had so much potential. Maybe that’s what it’s really about for me… all that potential unrealized.
Does it ever happen to you that you can’t decide if you like a book or not? What makes it hard for you to decide?
I can usually decide whether or not I liked a book. What surprises me is that I enjoy Stephen King’s books in spite of the fact that he so often spoils plot points by telling you about them a few chapters in advance. But it’s always interesting to see how he gets there.