This week I decided to write a Top Five Wednesday, hosted weekly by the lovely Lainey (click on her name to see her videos — she makes a lot of writing-related content!). Today’s topic is books that betrayed me. As soon as I read about it, I knew I had to make a list, so here it is.
Pyongyang by Guy Delisle
When I saw this graphic novel at the library just last weekend I was stoked to read it. I’m very interested in North Korea and I love graphic novels, in my head I did some simple math that told me I’d love this one. Well… I was wrong, BIG time.
The author’s voice is very annoying, it has added zero new information to the stereotypes and curiosities surrounding this country and is very heavy with misogyny and cultural disrespect. I will most definitely not read anything else Delisle has written.
I guess you can say I was betrayed by my own expectations, but still.
The Dinner by Herman Koch
I’ll start off by saying I loved this book.
Fun fact: I only payed 50 cents for it at a charity shop in Cork, Ireland.
Two couples go out one afternoon to have dinner together in Amsterdam at a fancy restaurant to talk and bond. Family is brought up, and all hell is let loose.
I’m including it in this list because the narrator — Paul, a very
weird unreliable character — tells the events in such a manner that the reader is led to believe certain things that he later contradicts in the novel. I won’t say much more, but I urge you to read it if this small silly intriguing piece of information appeals to you.
Gena/Finn by Hanna Moskowitz and Ket Helgelsen
While I did adore this book, I feel betrayed by the authors. That ending just doesn’t sit well with me, and if you’ve read it, you probably know what I’m talking about. It felt too sudden and rushed, and has the potential to make the story infinitely better…
Gena/Finn is a lovely book about two girls who bond online through a fandom in the comment section of a blog. I think it handles fangirling, creating content online, as well as online friendships, very well. Both girls re in different staged of their lives, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming close-knit friends.
Oh, and have I mentioned that it’s entirely told by either text-messages, emails, blog comments and fanart? It’s very original (and clever!).
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
And I’ll have to bring up one more book I absolutely despised. I feel like I was betrayed by this author, but really by the whole New Adult genre. This one infuriates me so much, especially because the first time I read it I was twelve and loved all the problematic elements present in this book.
Beautiful Disaster follows a girl that’s new to university and becomes infatuated for the “bad boy” in town. Yes, it’s just as cliché as that sentence. There were so many things wrong being portrayed in a positive light here, from abusive relationships to slut-shaming, you name it. I want to kick this book out of existence.
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
To wrap up this list, I’ll leave you with a favorite of mine. I felt betrayed by the short amount of pages this one has (I though it’d be a simple read) and by the title (I read it and thought, a meh love-story, sign me up!). I know, I’m a fool for believing this. Thankfully I was wrong!
Girl meets Boy is a modern retelling of Ovid’s metamorphosis. Let me just tell you this involves two sisters, a lesbian couple, the way others deal with it and lots of slight political commentary. And it is told in Ali Smith’s signature writing style — stream of consciousness –, which just makes it a million times better.
This was my first Smith, and I heavily recommend you try this one first if you’re interesting in reading her works. You probably won’t regret it.