On reading a book that gets 5* from everyone else, and you didn’t like it…

What are they seeing that I’m not? What am I missing? What’s wrong with me?

I’m actually not one for sticking to books I don’t get on with, and I’m usually the first to tell people to “move on” when they’re not feeling it. As every bibliophile knows, life’s too short to read all the books we’ve already got our beady eyes on (or are currently stacked sky high on our bookshelves) never mind all the shiny new ones that will distract and entice us in the process.

But then sometimes there is that one book that everyone is raving about and giving 5-stars to. And you keep reading for a while, scratching your head and wondering what it is that you’re not seeing. This has happened to me recently with Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent. It looks great, it sounds right up my street, people with similar book tastes to me are singing its praises, it’s been picked as a Richard and Judy book… so why can I not get past 50%?


To be fair, it’s not a bad book at all. I didn’t hate it, I just got bored. I thought Lydia (the mother) was a good character and at the start of the book I really thought I was going to love her (as a character, not a person) but she was the only one that I didn’t feel was a bit two dimensional. I couldn’t get to grips with Laurence at all.

So, I have some questions for you:

  1. Do you give up on books that aren’t working for you or do you plough through to the end?
  2. Have you every gone to the end and been really glad you did or do you wish you’d listened to your gut?
  3. Do you find that you feel more obliged to read something through to the end if it’s a review copy?
  4. And finally: have you read this and if so, do you think I should give it another go?

I would love to know what you think.



4 thoughts on “On reading a book that gets 5* from everyone else, and you didn’t like it…

  1. Interesting questions and this has happened to me where I have very different outcomes. This week I gave up on The Heist by Daniel Silva as my feelings were I just didn’t care what happened and I was confused about the plot too much. In the past, I almost gave up on A Little Life and a friend encouraged me to keep going and it ended up being one of the best books I’ve ever read! I do think you have to go with your gut though. Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s funny as when I read Villette by Charlotte Bronte years ago, I gave up after 100 pages. Several months later I decided to give it another go and that also ended up being one of my favourite ever books. I’m also desperate to read A Little Life soon too so I’ll remember this if I get stuck at any point 😀


  3. I used to never be able to DNF books, but over the last few years I’ve gotten a lot better at giving up on books if I’m not enjoying them and I have never felt upset with my choice if I do that. If it’s a review copy I try to read the whole thing, but if I really and truly hate it I’ll give up. I also feel like I’m one of those people who never understand all the hype/5 star reviews on SOOOO many popular books. There are a lot that people rave about that I wouldn’t give above 2 stars to.


    • Not just me then, that’s so reassuring! Yes, I sort of think that if I had been able to enjoy it for what it was rather than wondering what the hell I’m not seeing that everyone else did, I feel I may have been able to carry on and just read. Thanks for your comment, good to know I’m not alone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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