What happens when a bookish friend (or two or three) absolutely LOVES a book that you haven't read?
Usually they start off shocked that you haven't read it. Then they flail a bit about it and how amazing it is. Finally, they recommend it to you.
We all do this, right? We all have that book (maybe more than one) that we think is perfection and that absolutely everyone should read. We all have a friend who hasn't read it. And I'm sure we've all told that friend "You have to read it! It's (insert choice adjective to express awesomeness here). You're going to love it!" This is totally normal. As bookish people, we want to share our book loves with our friends, especially the ones who we feel have really accepted us in this community. Your friends want to gush about this book with you and they want you to experience the awesome that they see in it. Your friends want you to love this book.
But are you ever scared you won't?
I absolutely love getting book recommendations, especially from my trusted book friends. It's always fun to see which books make them crazy with book love and hear gushing rants about why I must pick up said book or my life will not be complete. It's great! But somehow hearing all that praise from my close bookish friends makes the books scary. Sometimes I get this feeling in my stomach... as if I won't like the book and I'll be letting my friends down.
For example, I recently read The Raven Boys at the request of Ciara from Lost at Midnight Reviews. She is probably this novel's biggest fan ever. I heard plenty of gushing beforehand and, after loving The Scorpio Races by the same author, I went in expecting to love it.
But I didn't.
It was by not means a bad book. I saw a lot in it that was great. I just didn't love it. It wasn't everything I thought it would be. To me, it wasn't everything I was promised.
This has me scared. What's next? There are a lot of books that trusted friends have recommended to me. I really want to read a lot of them. But what if I don't like them? I know it won't be the end of the world and my friends won't hate me for it (they're good people, my bookish friends), but I'll feel like I let them down.
For example, the lovely Shae from Shae Has Left the Room and Gillian from Writer of Wrongs seem to have a lot of favourites in common and part of me wants in on the action. The Girl of Fire & Thorns series, for example, is one they've absolutely raved about to me. I have the first book and I really want a great new fantasy series in my life. It sounds like this should be the one, but I'm scared to start it because even though they didn't think the first one was perfect, they adore the series as a whole. I want to be part of that circle, not the black sheep who hates it and is shunned! (That's dramatic, they wouldn't shun me. Like I said, good people. But you catch my drift).
Another instance of this is Kathy from A Glass of Wine has recommended the Mara Dyer series as well as Just One Day by Gayle Forman because she absolutely loves them. I actually own the first Mara Dyer book and Just One Day, but I haven't picked them up yet mostly because of time but also because I'm a little worried I'm just not going to love them! I want to, but who knows, right?
I want to be able to adore these books and gush about them with my wonderful bookish friends, but the fear of hating a book they love holds me back sometimes. I know there's no way people are all going to love the same books, but it's still a bummer when it happens.
Do you ever experience feelings like this? What books have been recommended to you that you've been afraid to try, whether because of bookish friends or even because of hype?