Five Stage of Grief: Recommending a Book and They Don’t Like It

I have an aversion to recommending books. I don’t know if it’s a fear of rejection or if I’m just soft when it comes to my favorites, but if I recommend you a book, you are obligated to like it. I don’t make the rules… but my mother also doesn’t follow the rules either.

And to be fair, I should have known better. Despite how supportive my mother can be when it comes to me and the sometimes… strange books I tend to read, I know that’s not her thing? She more into Urban books, the ones full of drama and betrayal and so many twist I don’t even TRY to wrap my head around it.But, I tried anyways (because she ASKED) and…. now I’m writing this post to reflect.

The Book Thief if one of my OG favorite books of all time. I finished this book in the parking lot of a laundromat while my father was washing his clothes during the Christmas season, crying my ever-loving eyes out. When I say I was gone over this book, I mean it. It only made sense that I recommend it to my mother, who was very supportive of my bookish ways of spending my money and going into debt at a young age.

Now, it was also her introduction to audiobooks, because ironically and coincidentally, my 8th grade class was listening to it for required reading which I wasn’t mad at. She was into the sampler I showed her and she bought the book.

Spoiler: she never finished the book, to this day. I’m still very upset over this.

And when she spoke the heartbreaking words: I didn’t like itI may have went through some dramatics.


“Mom, I liked it and I have great taste in books, so you can’t just NOT like it… you just can’t.”

She offered to give it another chance… but a month later I found out she was just saying that to placate me…


“Honestly, don’t ever ask me to recommend you a book. EVER. Unbelievable. Wow. My feelings? HURT. I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME.”

Like I said… dramatics were there and I took it personally. I think it may be a mother thing, the way she shot my heart down with her blunt and unapologetic oh well attitude she gave me.


“Mom, okay, I know you said it wasn’t your thing… but HERE ME OUT, what if… you just gave it another chance? Listen to a bit more? Maybe? You’re not doing anything, you’re not losing anything… what do ya say…?”

My mother was going to Africa (WITHOUT ME, THE AUDACITY) and that’s a 15+ hour flight… she really wasn’t losing anything in giving it another chance…

…and she did give it another chance. And made it further than she did the first time.




Mom: As long as you like it, that’s all that matters.

She still has the book on her bookshelf, which will have to be enough for me.

Tell me: what’s a book that you’re scared to recommend because you can’t take the rejection? What’s a book that you have recommended that didn’t get the appreciation that it deserved? Let me know in the comments below!

11 thoughts on “Five Stage of Grief: Recommending a Book and They Don’t Like It”

  1. Over the years I have gone from a I-will-take-it-personally-if-you-do-not-love-my-favorite-book kind of attitude to a it-is-not-my-fault-you-just-don’t-have-good-taste-in-books approach. Both are probably not the best but I lean on the latter as a way to protect myself emotionally. I do try to approach recommendations differently when it comes to people in real life. I don’t know anyone who reads as much as I do, so any rec I give to someone in real life I feel comes with the caveat that they may not be familiar enough with literature to judge it the way I would. Also if it makes you feel better, I just finished Take a Hint, Dani Brown and loved it!

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  2. Yes!!! And whenever someone recommends me their favorite I am so afraid of not liking it! But so far it’s been okay because while I’m reading I catch these little snippets of things that remind me of them and I’m like “aww, no wonder they love this book 💕”

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  3. Haha this is so real! I think our the relationship we build up with books is so personal it feels like a massive rejection when someone we recommended it to doesn’t like it. My problem is more I recommend books constantly to my friends but they rarely actually read them!

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  4. THIS IS SUCH A CUTE POST! personally i get hurt when others say bad things about my fave but i don’t hate them for it. i understand that we can have different opinions on different things. i adore this post so much! i really hope my mom will start reading again so that i can recommend my faves to her. i just hope that she’ll love them too 🙈

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  5. Oh wow, this is real 😂 My mom and I have very different reading taste, so recommending something to her is always difficult. Luckily she did enjoy The Book Thief, which is also one of my favorites! But there are so many books that I hesitate to recommend to the people I love because if they don’t love it, it feels like they don’t love a part of ME 😭 It can get quite dramatic, but we’re book lovers, so I think we’re allowed to be dramatic sometimes.

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