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 top two reviews on Goodreads are on opposite ends of the star spectrum!
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. The top five Goodreads reviews for the first book are all two stars!
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. Again, the top five reviews on Goodreads for the first book are all one star.
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. Very mixed reviews on Goodreads!
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. There are many one star Goodreads reviews dotted between five stars!
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. Mixed reviews on Goodreads!
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?