As a kid I read some Anne McCaffery dragonrider books, and recall enjoying them. The idea of having a best buddy with whom you can speak telepathically and who is a fire breathing monster is pretty cool. In some ways it is similar to the appeal of the relationships you see in some of the Heinlein juveniles, in which there are siblings who can communicate telepathically (e.g. Time for the Stars) and people have adorable alien pets that save the day (e.g. Star Beast and Red Planet.)
I decided in my late 30s to try McCaffery's dragon books again, and I was amazed at how terrible the first part of the first volume was. I abandoned Dragonflight at page 120 and went to Amazon to write a ruthless assault on this world famous, widely-beloved and award-winning book. I posted my merciless screed on Amazon on April 15, 2010, and since then it has garnered 7 "helpful" votes and 22 "not helpful" votes. Below I paste my Amazon review, which was rejected by the voters in a horrible landslide. Michael Dukakis and John McCain, I feel your pain!
The dragon riders of Pern are an arrogant aristocracy, set apart from
the rest of the people on Pern by their psychic powers and their
telepathic relationships with colossal fire breathing dragons who can
teleport through space and time. They are too busy playing with their
dragons to do any work, so they exact tithes of food from the Pernese
commoners, and if the commoners don't pay up, the dragon riders just
swoop down on them and take what they want. The dragon riders' rule is
justified because every 200 or so years some animals from outer space
attack Pern, and since the Pernese haven't yet invented gunpowder or the
internal combustion engine, only the dragons can defend the planet.
Pern books are very popular, and this one's individual segments won
some Nebulas, and I suppose they are good wish fulfillment for young
women who daydream about being princesses and wish they could talk to
their cats, in the same way that the James Bond movies are good wish
fulfillment for young men who love gadgets and daydream about running
around shooting foreigners and seducing women. Personally, I found the
style weak, the characters unengaging, the plot predictable, and the
politics (I'm supposed to cheer on the Pernese IRS?) hard to take, and I
stopped reading after the dragon sex scene around page 120.