Do you remember that scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Ron starts attacking Cho Chang because he thinks she’s just jumping on the bandwagon about Tornadoes quidditch team? It’s completely understandable, right? No one likes when fair weather fans start acting like they’ve always been die hard fans just because their team made it to the Superbowl or the World Series or whatever.
That’s kind of how I feel when an author that I have loved for a long time finally has a book that makes the best seller’s list and suddenly everyone is reading that book and acting like that author is the best thing since sliced bread. Except that some of that annoyance for those fair weather fans crossing over into my feelings about that book. Does this happen to you?
I remember back in 2004 when Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper was suddenly everywhere. I had been reading her books since I was in high school back in the last 90s. And in my opinion, My Sister’s Keeper isn’t even her best book. My favorite will always be Vanishing Acts. Why did it bother me so much that suddenly everyone was reading her books? Shouldn’t I have been happy that she was finally super famous? Two of her later books, Nineteen Minutes and Change of Heart, debuted as number 1 on the NYT Best Sellers list. What an amazing honor, and I was somehow annoyed.
Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. When Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park got a ton of recognition in 2014, I started to think less of that book, even though I’d rated it 5 stars on Goodreads in December 2013. Again, it wasn’t my favorite of her books. I like both Fangirl (also published in 2013) and Attachments (2011) better.
Perhaps I’m just annoyed that my favorites aren’t the books being recognized? Like I think my opinion should matter more?
Or maybe I feel like the general masses are just liking what they’re told to like? As if only “true” readers should be able to decide what’s good fiction?
Who knows?! Let’s discuss.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
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