I recently finished reading the second novel in an extremely popular series. Despite my general boredom and in spite of my infuriation with the characters the entirety of both books, I decided to keep reading. Only a very small part of the decision was because I genuinely wanted to know what comes next in the story. (I do have a problem with never DNFing that I need to get over.) But the majority of the decision was made because I feel compelled to read popular series and books.
The primary reason is because of social media. I was a bookstagrammer before a blogger, and I still use that platform more than any. You’d only need to scroll for 5 minutes, if that, before you’ve read at least one post about how great Rhysand is or how much Kaz and Inej are someone’s OTP. My need to be in the know and a part of the discussion supersedes my desire to run away. It’s the same reason I click on news articles about the Kardashians and Justin Bieber.
Fortunately, I do like a wide variety of different genres within young adult and new adult, and I’m generally easy to please. (I give a lot of 3 and 4 stars, but those are usually genuinely good reviews. My 5 stars are precious and reserved for precious gems.) Occasionally, I do come across the extremely popular book that leaves me shook but not in the good way. I’m left feeling bamboozled by the entire book community, and like maybe there’s something wrong with me because I’m interpreting characters and situations in an entirely different way than the majority of readers…
What I hate the most about myself is that I know that I have no self-control or self-preservation, and the popularity principle will always win me over in the end. As much as I may dislike the characters or the story, or be bored out of my mind, I’m going to hate-read my way through a popular novel or series just to stay current and be able to understand conversations happening around me.
But as with anything, I think it’s important to have read the book/series to have a valid opinion, even if it’s a criticism if you’re going to participate in discussions. (Note: It’s never cool to go onto someone’s blog or into their posts/mentions to be an asshole and bash the books/movies/shows/characteres they love. I’m strictly speaking of criticism in terms of writing your own blog posts/tweets or participating in chats or discussions where your opinions are solicited.)
Have you ever succumbed to the popularity of a series, books or movies, and finished the whole thing because of it’s popularity even though you didn’t love it?