A new year has begun and so it’s time to reflect on the best and worst reads from 2017 – I’m starting with the worst!
This year I’ve picked the 10 books that I enjoyed least – the books on this list are on here for a few reasons. It’s not just bad writing that I thought about, but books that didn’t hold my interest and ones that were letdowns. There are a few books that I DNF’d that should totally be on this list, but I didn’t write them in my book log, nor did I mention them in wrap-ups and I have no idea how to find them on Goodreads. I don’t even remember the titles or authors! So they’re the true worst books, but they’re saved from my wrath due to poor documentation. Lucky them!
Please note, these are in no particular order.
Strange Magic by Syd Moore – I was lured in by the lovely cover and what I thought was an urban fantasy plot. There was less fantasy and more small talk than I bargained for. Rosie, the MC, was lackluster and her relationship with Sam was mildly puzzling but mostly dull. I feel like there was supposed to be sexual tension, but he as too naggy to be sexy. I finished the book, but I’m not interested in the rest of the series.
Plank’s Law by Lesley Choyce – An excerpt from my review really says it all: It felt like The Fault in Our Stars ultra diet lite. Lighter than that even; it’s more like a first draft or an extremely detailed outline of two teens trying to make sense of their potentially terminal illnesses and live full lives while they still have time. The writing itself isn’t bad, just bland and the plot and characters have no real substance.
The Lost Boy by Christina Henry – I was really hoping for a grim Pan retelling with Hook at its center. There was some potential with the relationship between young Hook and Pan, but it faded quickly. Even Peter wasn’t evil or complex enough to make a compelling villain. None of the other lost boys or pirates seemed to matter and mostly I was bored.
The Twisted Ones by Scott Cawthon – I am complete trash for the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise (except I watch Let’s Players instead of playing myself because I suck), which is great because this series is complete trash. These books aren’t well-written, they don’t make much sense and they’re not even scary. I’m not even sure they’re canon! (Does Cawthon even know?) Yet I keep reading them because…I’m trash! At least I know what I’m getting myself into.
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan – This was another book that was wildly different from my expectations. I thought there would be lots of carnage and dinosaur battles and instead, there were a lot of politics and characters I didn’t care about. Mostly I had no clue what was going on and there weren’t nearly enough dinos. There’s also a rape scene that felt like it was there simply because the female character needed something bad to happen to her and women were often raped in “ye olde times”.
Atomic Blonde (The Coldest City) by Anthony Johnston – My dislike for this comic is probably my own fault. I saw the movie (and friggen loved it, btw) and was excited to learn it was a comic. I figured there’d be some great actions scenes and maybe a bit more detail regarding the plot (because it was super political and I honestly didn’t understand all of it). The comic was almost entirely political – actually, if I recall (I could be wrong, I don’t have it anymore) there might not be any action at all. There was so much dialogue and I wasn’t interested in trying to understand it. The black and white color profile didn’t help matters either; I couldn’t tell who was who. Big bummer.
Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shawn Hume – I DNF’d this book really early (“Maybe you didn’t give it a fair chance,” you say. “It’s my list,” I reply) and I’m certainly in the minority when it comes to negative reviews. I think this book needs some serious editing. I’ll leave you with some highlights from my Goodreads review: “Royal Guards on regular patrol through the royal abode.” – yes, the royal guards in the royal abode protecting her royal highness royally. “Deep in the lows of her stomach.” – versus deep in the highs? “The chilled pitch black pushed onto Betony’s eyes like heavy water.” – is there light water? “They all dressed like jumbo sacks of potatoes.” – wtf even? How do potato sacks usually dress?
The Waking Land by Callie Bates – Another DNF! The protagonist was so insufferable. She was incredibly tropey and wouldn’t shut the hell up about how handsome the handsome prince was. The magic system could have been interesting, if we’d been able to get out of the heroine’s inane thoughts and actually witnessed some. Also this: “I breathed out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.”
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan – This book! Ugh. I’m always eager for a fairytale retelling, but this one alternately bored and disgusted me. Lanagan’s writing wasn’t bad, per say, but her style is definitely not something I’m into. There was also an inordinate amount of rape and bears performing strange sexual acts, such as licking a girl’s nipple (and really the bear was once a man so that makes it extra perverted). NO THANKS.
All of the Dark Tower series (but especially book 7, The Dark Tower) by Stephen King – Fuck. This. Series. Ok, sorry fans – I know there are many Stephen King fans who are absolutely wild about this series. Real talk: I cannot begin to fathom why. Seriously. The more of these books I read, the more I began to hate the series. I kept telling myself that it would get better, else why would so many people rave about it? I also wanted to know how it ended – there were so many allusions and symbols, I figured it all had to be wrapped up in some cool package. WRONG. This was THE MOST INFURIATING ending to a series I have ever encountered in my life and I’m STILL mad about it. The end of this series felt like a big “fuck you” from Stephen King’s middle finger right to my face. I do enjoy some of his work, but I’ll be taking a long break from it after the time I wasted (yes, I feel it was wasted) on this series. No to mention, I could do without all the weird sex demons and baby dicks.
Sorry about that rant, but I really needed to get it off my chest! Drop me a line if you have similar feelings – I’m certainly outmanned when it comes to that fandom. King ranting aside, most of these books weren’t horrible, mostly just disappointing. Agree? Disagree? Let’s discuss!
*cover images from goodreads