There’s nothing more annoying than when someone asks you for your opinion and then ignores it or else insults you for it. It’s like, “You asked!” This is especially true on something that is fictional, like the plot of a movie or the cinematography of a television show.
Redditor wednesdaysukasa found herself in this annoying dilemma where a friend, who bought her a book she wanted to read, was upset and insulted her after she shared that she did not actually enjoy the book as much as she thought.
Wondering if she should have just not said anything, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback from strangers on what would have best handled the situation:
“AITA for sharing my honest opinion about a book?”
Our original poster, or OP, shared the situation as it started:
“This happened a bit ago but is eating at me. For my birthday, I (17) got a two book set from my good friend, who we will call K.”
“These books were very popular at my school, and as a big reader, I had expressed interest in reading the books.”
“My birthday came and K gave me the books and I was super excited. I wrote them a thank you note telling them I was looking forward to reading them, and as I was reading the first book I again told K that I was thankful they had got me the book.”
“However, I didn’t actually enjoy the book. The writing was good and the characters were well decent, however the storyline seemed forced and predictable. I didn’t say anymore about the book and forgot about it.”
The book came up in front of K later:
“A few months after, in a class where K sits next to me, the people behind me were discussing the book and asked if I read it.”
“I said I had, and they asked my opinion. I said while the writing was good, and I was glad I read the book, it wasn’t my favorite book.”
“They asked why, as they liked the book a lot, and I explained my point of view about the storyline and the characters while also saying I was glad I read it and that I understood why people liked it so much, yet it just wasn’t for me.”
K was upset that OP levied this criticism against the book:
“After class, K pulled me aside and told me I was a b*tch for saying the book wasn’t my favorite, especially since it was a gift from them.”
“I told K that I appreciated the gift and I was glad I was able to read the book, but I wasn’t going to lie about my opinions of the book.”
“K called me an a**hole and said I was ungrateful and showing disrespect for the gift they got me. They ended up saying that I was an ungrateful liar who didn’t appreciate the things I was given.”
“I feel bad about sharing my opinion of the book because it clearly hurt K, as their behavior after became hostile for a while.”
“They have moved on they claim, but it has still gotten brought up and used against me. I am honestly wondering if I AITA here? I want to know so in the future I don’t make the same mistakes.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
People agreed that OP did nothing wrong, and furthermore that what K did was outright mean.
“NTA. Enjoyment is completely subjective and if you stated your opinion as you wrote it here, your friend has no reason to be angry.”
“It was a fair assessment of your feelings on the book. You didn’t bash it, or say anything that could be construed as disrespectful.”
“Your friend is probably a huge fan and is angry that you don’t like it as much as them. They are being the a**hole here.”-Affectionate-Area659
“K is definitely TA here for taking OP’s comments so personally. What should have been a simple difference of opinion about a book series has been turned by K into a personal attack on her by OP and an insult on her gift giving.”
“It’s extremely immature to expect someone to tell you that they love a book to death, when they don’t, just because you gave it to them as a gift.”
“OP was never insulting the gift per se and was originally excited to receive it.”
“Just because she didn’t personally love it doesn’t mean that K isn’t allowed to love it any more, or that her taste in literature is subject to question, only that they have different tastes. K needs to get over herself.”-Far_Administration41
“I teach literature and I love books. But taste and connection are significant things—not every book appeals to every reader.”
“And all readers are better for that fact. If every ‘good’ book connected with all readers, the literary conversation would be vapid indeed.”
“Countless factors are involved with falling in love with a book, as affinity for a given text can change with age and circumstance, regardless of how ‘great’ others think the work.”
“Read what you like and love what resonates with you, while allowing others the same volition. NTA”-punania
“NTA K got you some books you expressed interest in, you were polite and thanked them, read them and then gave your honest opinion on them. You have done nothing wrong.”
“K has taken this unnecessarily personally, you were appreciative of the gift, you read it and gained something from doing it.”
“To expect it to be your favourite book just because they gifted it to you is some major Ego on Ks part.”-articanomaly
People noted that books are inherently subjective and therefore disagreements over quality of the book are not uncommon.
“NTA. I’m a voracious reader and my wife will end up buying me books several times through the year and she knows I might not like some of them.”
“Books are such a subjective medium; you may not like the prose, the language, characters or the length. Being honest about it shows that you respect the person enough to tell them the truth.”-traceitalian
“NTA. As much as I’d like every present I get someone to be something they love, that’s just not possible and that they don’t like it as much as I’d hoped doesn’t take away from my attempt to get them something they’d love at all.”
“At least knowing that it wasn’t for them would let me have a better idea what might work or not as a present in the future.”
“K is taking this very weirdly.”-Dreams-in-the-Rain
“Hahahaha. NTA. I saw Twilight movie before I read the book. I didn’t love it, favourite scene was the baseball game.”
“My bestie who I saw the film with, decided to buy me the series. It wasn’t even a special occasion for me.”
“I was NOT impressed. And eventually told her, I only like parts of the books, and I don’t know what to do about it. So she said give them away, or donate them to the library.”
“It took a few weeks but I gave them to an acquaintance who was waxing lyrical over them. My bestie was NOT mad.”-LurkerToPoster100
“NTA 17yo and your friend is angry that her gift isn’t considered ‘the bestest thing ever in the whole wide world forever and ever. Amen’?!?”
“She needs to grow TF up! Every gift you receive cannot be ‘your favorite’ therefore every gift you give cannot be someone else’s ‘favorite.'”
“The next time your friend uses this against you, whip out your device, bring her here to this AITA reddit and let her read how objective strangers believe SHE IS THE AH!”-The_Final_Analysis
And that K’s response was immature and unnecessary.
“You were kinder than me. 😁 Quite a few years back there was a book superhyped. I love to read and said my coworkers that I wanted to borrow from the library but it was constantly out.”
“They surprised me with it form my Bday. (we celebrated each other’s bday as a collective).”
“Later on they asked how I liked it, and without thought I said it was in interesting/intriguing idea in a 3rd rate book.”
“NTA, just because it was a gift and she happens to like it does not mean you have to too.”-Anduci
“NTA Wtf is wrong with K? You made it clear you appreciated the gift. Books are not usually written to cater to everyone’s tastes.”
“They’re subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion. In fact, some authors encourage the constructive criticism so that they can understand why some people didn’t like their books.”
“K was unreasonable for expecting you to love the book. And for calling you a b****h. Sounds like K is more bitter about what they saw as an insult to their taste. That’s not your fault. You read it.”
“That’s better than just assuming you won’t like a book you were gifted and letting it sit. You did nothing wrong and were able to justify your distaste of the book very eloquently.”-cruelimay
“Uhhhh NTA for sure. This K got way too personal over a book. I mean sure, I can understand the feeling where you buy something for someone and they end up not liking it.
“I bought my best friend Battlefield V on pre-order…… Yeah ouch. And it’s soul crushing, but I wouldn’t act out against you in the same way like that.”
“And a genuinely fair and reasonable response from you to be honest.”-cannedrex2406
“NTA – even reading books that aren’t as well written can be enjoyable at times and it’s not like you said you HATED the books, just that you gave your valid opinions for a reasonable critique and said they aren’t your favorite.”
“People should NOT be calling out others for having a difference of opinions.”
“I am a huge HORROR fan, and majority of my book collection consists of horrors, but I would NOT be offended if anyone says for any reason why they don’t like any of the books I’ve enjoyed.”
“You are allowed to have different favorites from your friends, and your FRIEND is an AH if they think otherwise.”-EvocativeEnigma
It’s hard when your friends don’t like something you love, but it is unfortunately the way of the world.
We all need to have a variety of tastes so that art can be produced for all people. Without variety, conversation surrounding art wouldn’t exist.
And it’s certainly not worth calling your friends names over.