When you don’t love a book beloved by your bookish community

I recently finished reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and I DID NOT love it. GASP. I was mildly entertained. I might pick up the next books out of curiosity to see what happens to the children, but not out of desperate need that I experience when I await or seek out other sequels. Why this upsets me? Everyone seems to love this book. I have only heard good things about this book. My conclusion: I didn’t read the book correctly. Which doesn’t really seem fair because every reading experience should be relative to the individual; everyone is unique and different and will relate to things in different ways. But how else am I supposed to feel when I did not thoroughly enjoy a book that so many of my reading peers recommend?

I did, of course, relate to the book in some ways. The main character experiences the loss of a grandparent and I recently lost my grandmother. I found the sections of the book where the character dealt with this loss to be very familiar and comforting. It just wasn’t enough to make me love the book as a whole. Does that mean I should do the honorable thing and fall on my sword? No. It’s perfectly okay to not enjoy a book that everyone else did. A book is supposed to be received differently by everyone who reads it, allowing it to be special to those who find it so enjoyable. In this case I found the book to be exceptionally ordinary despite the extraordinary subjects.

So what do you do when you don’t love a book beloved by your bookish peers? Own it. Tell them why you didn’t like it and move on. There are plenty of books out there for you to share feels for. This just isn’t one of them.