It’s Not You It’s Me: Recommending Books that I Didn’t Like but You Might

I know people hate it when anyone says it’s not you, it’s me but hear me out.

As a reader do you ever come across a book that you really didn’t like but at the same time you can acknowledge that it’s because of your personal preferences and a majority of other readers might love the book? It happens with me all the time. And it really seems unfair to drag down the rating of a book or give it a bad review based on that. So here I am, with a list of books that I didn’t like or even dnfed that you all might like.

Maybe I thought a romance was too sappy but you on the other hand love sappy romances?

You get the point, let’s get started!

Recommending Books that I Didn’t Like but You Might

Emergency Contact by Mary Choi

I’m the black sheep of the bookish community when I say I didn’t care for Emergency Contact at all. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who dislikes this book so even if you check out my Goodreads review you’ll see that I’ve given it a decent rating due to peer pressure, lol.

I did like both the main characters but the pacing was incredibly slow and the plot was very basic. Plus everyone had hyped it so much for me! So if you’re okay with reading a book focused mainly on the characters, their identity and development and relationships with a basic or minimum plot and slow pacing then you’ll probably love this book. But yeah, this one was a huge no for me.

The Wall by Gautam Bhatia

I received The Wall as a review copy and I honestly wanted to love it…. I’ve gone back to reviews for this book and it seems like there are two types of reviewers: those who loved the worldbuilding and got immersed into this world and those who couldn’t get past the information dumps and detailing of the book. Take a guess where I stand.

To start with, the prologue was like 30 pages. Then we’re dumped into an intricately crafted world with a bunch of protagonists which should have been fun but I just got so overwhelmed by all the new information and I couldn’t get myself to care about the characters. It was almost as if we were expected to know them beforehand.

So I ended up dnfing it. I think this is a very me thing wherein if a fantasy or sci-fi does not engage me within the first 50-70 pages or if I find its worldbuilding confusing I’m unable to read ahead. But there are also other seasoned fantasy readers who’ve given The Wall a stellar rating so I would urge you to give it a shot.

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

I had SO many expectations from this book but ended up with absolutely mixed feelings. I was really loving Rent a Boyfriend in the beginning but then the romance was so sappy and overdone, the plot was predictable and things were getting quite dragged really. I also realised that I’m not the biggest fan of the author’s writing style…. so yikes.

But I did love the main character, Chloe and how she was written as a messy protagonist. If you’ve read Gloria Chao’s books before and don’t mind a very sappy romance then I think you would quite enjoy this book! It’s pretty sweet and cutesy and if you’re into really ‘fluffy to the point you get diabetes’ romance then go for it.

Spellhacker by M.K. England

Again, I was so excited for Spellhacker because M.K. England is so freaking hyped and a queer cast in a heist?! Hell yes! But very early on I realised that I just didn’t like the author’s writing style. I didn’t feel like reading it despite my initial excitement. There are very few books where I’ll dnf based solely on the writing style but then what would be the point of forcing myself to read the book and give it a bad rating anyway?

I’m sure M.K England is a stellar author, it’s just that I don’t vibe with her writing but I’m sure many of you will.

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

I don’t know why I get so excited for books that disappoint me T_T

Like seriously, queer witches with OCD rep?? Sigh. Witches of Ash and Ruin was one of my most anticipated releases but I ended up giving up on it after 50 pages. Mostly I couldn’t get into the head of any of the characters except Dayna and I found it super hard to distinguish between the characters and get a sense of the world. But also, and this is completely my fault for not reading the trigger warnings, there were so many mentions of anxiety and full-blown panic attacks that I got triggered. I usually go ahead and read books with anxiety rep anyway but this was during the early times of covid when my mental health was extremely fragile and I had to stop reading.

So you should honestly have no problems with this book provided you’re fine with the trigger warnings. If anything at least I took away one lesson: always check the trigger warnings beforehand!

Have you read any of the books on this list? If yes, what are your thoughts on them?

What are some books that weren’t for you but other readers love?

11 thoughts on “It’s Not You It’s Me: Recommending Books that I Didn’t Like but You Might

  1. I did not like Emergency Contact at all. I couldn’t get into it and the main character was super annoying to me. I always thought I was the only person on the planet who felt this way, so it’s refreshing to see someone else who didn’t care for it haha. Rent-A-Boyfriend was good for me. I prefer American Panda over this one, but I felt for a YA rom it did what it wanted well enough. I feel for her books, I definitely have to be in a mood for that type of writing or I won’t like it at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yesss! I read it a long time back but I barely managed to finish it lol. Yeah, although I think me and a few others felt that it was to long for a YA rom come like this truly could have been wrapped in 100 less pages maybe.


  2. ahh i love the idea behind this post!! i feel the same way with my 2.5- or 3-star reads – whenever i’m reviewing a book i didn’t like, i always make sure to give a disclaimer that these are my personal opinions and that other people might like the book more than i did, haha.

    i also really didn’t like Rent a Boyfriend (i ended up DNFing it at 50%) bc the plot, writing, and romance was just way too overdone and dramatic for me lmao 😩 i read American Panda by the same author, and while i did finish that one, i didn’t really vibe with the writing either :’) i probably won’t be reading Gloria Chao’s books in the future bc her writing style isn’t for me. i’m glad i’m not alone in feeling this way haha.

    i think a couple books that weren’t for me, but are pretty well-liked, are Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell and The Ones We’re Meant to Find – both books made me feel SO confused and bored :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Omg same despite the fact all our opinions are supposed to be personal anyway lol. Can’t be too careful.
      Ah good for you, I thought that it might get better and I was enjoying it a little initially. Right? The whole parent and Asian community drama was done in the same way and I’m tired. Oh you’re definitely not alone!!

      Ahhhh I get it about TOWMTF, it’s a little polarizing hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I have too many books that would work for this post. I might have to do a similar post soon! Great choices, thoough

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ooh, i love this idea for a post! there are definitely lots of books that didn’t work for me but i think others might enjoy lol. and i’ve actually seen lots of polarizing things about emergency contact, but it seems like you either love or hate it! i haven’t read it yet in fear that i might not enjoy it but from what you said it seems like i’d enjoy it !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, May!!
      Ahhh yes most people seem to love it but yes there are a good chunk like me who don’t like it at all and I’m staying away from the author’s other books for the same reason lol.
      Oh that’s great for you then, I hope you get to it soon 😊


  5. *has Spellhacker flashbacks* I also DNFed that book because of the writing style, which was a shame because I was super excited for it! I wound up asking a friend to spoil the plot for me so I could know what happened without needing to read the book anymore

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg right?! I was super psyched and then I felt like crying cause I wasn’t enjoying it. Ooh nice! I don’t think I got far enough to get that invested in it, lol.


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