MARMITE BOOKS: YOU LOVE THEM OR YOU HATE THEM

Hello everyone!

I suspect you have been lured into reading this post by my quirky title, or you are just curious about what a ‘Marmite book’ actually is. For starters, it’s not a book about Marmite. If you have no idea what that is either then chances are you’re not British. Its most common use over here is a breakfast spread and virtually everyone is familiar with the slogan: ‘you either love it or hate it.’ I’ve actually never tried it myself (and I have no intention of trying it) so I don’t know if I’m the former or the latter, but I really wanted to use this controversial spread to talk about… books.

According to my brain, a ‘Marmite book’ is one that splits the crowd. As the slogan says, you either love it or you hate it. It can also be extended to books everyone loves but you hate and vice versa. The idea for this post came about after seeing fairly mixed reviews for Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I later read and loved the book (review to come!) but I can definitely see why someone wouldn’t enjoy it. In other words, it’s a Marmite book. I came to realise that so many other books I’ve read also fall under this definition and I wanted to use this post to talk about them.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

After reading The Fault In Our Stars, I bought every other book John Green had written which was probably the worst decision I ever made. I didn’t enjoy the majority of them, but this one surprised me the most because everyone else loves it.

The Maze Runner (series) by James Dashner

This was another one of those terrible decisions I made. I bought the entire series and I hated it, but I forced myself to read them all. The movies were better than the books but I still didn’t love them.

Hush, Hush (series) by Becca Fitzpatrick

As far as I can remember, this series wasn’t so bad to begin with. But I remember hating the third book, Silence, and overall it put me off reading about fallen angels. Luckily, my friend recommended Angelfall and I devoured that trilogy and realised that fallen angels weren’t the problem.

The 5th Wave (trilogy) by Rick Yancey

This is one of those books a lot of people hated but I surprisingly enjoyed. That being said, I haven’t yet read the last book in the trilogy (although I know what happens!) The film adaptation was literally the book too so it’s a shame it didn’t do well at the box office since I would have liked to see an adaptation of The Infinite Sea.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I really wanted to like this book. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. Even now, I can’t put my thoughts about it into words. I think I’m sitting on the fence with this one.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This book was like the disappointment of the year. I literally hated Theodore Finch but everyone else seems to love him. Whenever I come across someone who finds him as irritating as I do, we immediately become best friends.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

When I read this, I didn’t realise it was problematic. I thought the reason I didn’t enjoy it as much was because I read a novel with a similar concept beforehand and I was comparing them. Because You’ll Never Meet Me isn’t a romance and it doesn’t use disability as a plot twist. It’s extremely underrated, whereas this one is overrated. For an ableist book, it has more positive reviews than negative ones so here is a review you should be reading.

Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I very rarely want to DNF a book but this was one of those rare times. Even without the problematic aspects, I can’t understand why it appeals to so many people. Very little happened plot wise. You can read my rant here since it has more positive reviews than negative ones. Also, side note: I can’t believe they’re adapting this as a movie.

I just realised how long this post is so I’m going to quickly mention two authors whose books I don’t get along with. Charles Dickens and Colleen Hoover. I know I’ve been talking about YA books this whole time but I really don’t like Dickens. And I’ve only read two CoHo books, but I feel like they all have similar storylines just with different names? I guess you could call them Marmite authors, but that’s the title of another post I most definitely won’t ever write.

You might argue that all books are Marmite books, since there’s always going to be one person who didn’t like the book you loved. What did you think about these books (if you’ve read them)? Did you love them or did you hate them? What other books would you add to the list?

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11 thoughts on “MARMITE BOOKS: YOU LOVE THEM OR YOU HATE THEM

  1. I loved Looking for Alaska which is funny since I wasn’t a fan of The fault in our stars. We were liars is one of my all time favourite books, and I loved everything, everything initially after finishing it but later realised I mainly loved the writing (there was no staying power and the problematic aspects made me lower my rating). Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! The Fault In Our Stars was the book that got me into (or back into) reading so I guess it has a special place on my shelf 😂 Aside from that one, I feel like the plots and characters of all his novels are mostly the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t read any of the books on this list. I don’t know if I would include problematic books in Marmite books, because I think it’s a whole different level.

    One book I don’t like at all, that most people love is The Wrath and the Dawn because of the very indirectly-written rape scenes and romanticisation of the abuser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen a few people refer to it as “rape” but I have to disagree in saying that I didn’t see it that way. If you read the first scene again, Shahrzad clearly offers (she expects to and is prepared, or else she wouldn’t have), and Khalid accepts. Both expressed visible consent and neither party forced the other to do anything they didn’t want to. They both chose to do it, which doesn’t make it rape.
      I also don’t think the book romanticises abuse. The reason for murders are revealed at the end of the book, which would put anyone in a very difficult position, especially a king who is responsible for the protection of his land and people. At heart, this story is a beauty and the beast retelling, which I think is being mistaken by some as romanticising. The story ultimately shows how goodness can be found even in the most unexpected places and how love can change people, for the better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The problem I had was that Shahrzad offers because she thinks she is expected to. She offers to be nearer to him, so that she can excecute her revenge. Khalid knows that he has power over her due to his status. She is also very scared at the beginning because she thinks he won’t come into the room, thus condemning her to death. She thinks sex is the only way out.

        This is my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I see why you would think that but I think it was Shazi’s own fault for expecting to do it. Also, it is revealed that Khalid had never bedded any of his other (murdered) brides and he later asks Shazi’s permission when things between the two had started to change which tells me Khalid isn’t the kind of person to force her into doing something. I agree why that first scene would make readers uncomfortable, I don’t think it was supposed to be romantic and it wasn’t, the way I saw it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • This is a really interesting discussion and you both have valid points. Makes me want to re-read the book to see if my opinion changes!

            Like

          • I disagree strongly that it’s her own fault. She thought that he had done it with the other brides, and if he comes to her bedroom, why would she think otherwise. This also places the blame on her. She does it to survive, and to protect the future brides.

            http://heyashers.booklikes.com/post/1299255/the-wrath-and-the-dawn There’s an interesting analogy that Her Fine Eyes uses in this comments, to describe why it is rape. Maybe it’s of interest to you.

            Liked by 1 person

          • My point by saying it’s her fault isn’t to blame Shazi. I can understand why she offered, why she made that mistake (I don’t blame her for thinking it was her duty as a bride). What I mean is that if she had not offered, that scene wouldn’t have taken place. Khalid didn’t offer, Shazi did. I also just reread the paragraphs covering that scene. It takes only about half a page and it didn’t have any phrases or words that romanticised the situation where as the scenes later are written the opposite way. Whether people like the romance in the books or not is debatable (I understand why people wouldn’t) but I still can’t see why you believe that first scene to be rape.

            Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a valid point! I guess I included them because even without the problematic aspects I didn’t really enjoy them, whereas many people do when those aspects are included.

      I loved that duology but I didn’t read very critically at the time so I didn’t pick up on that! But like you already mentioned, it’s very indirect so that’s probably why 😕

      Like

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