It’s everyone’s favorite time of year – my ‘worst of’ list is ready for you to feast your eyes upon?
Oh, what’s that? This isn’t something you look forward to annually?
WELL TOO BAD.
I don’t know about you, but something in me really enjoys occasionally tearing apart a book I hated and just mercilessly crapping all over it. I enjoy reading those types of reviews too.
But in the past year, I made more of an effort not to continue reading books I wasn’t enjoying. That’s not to say I didn’t power through a few stinkers. If you recall, I had 7 DNFs – though not all made this list. Some fell into that “not for me” category, where I can see the value for others, but it wasn’t my style.
Others, well, they’re on this list! What you won’t see on here are the Five Nights at Freddy’s books, because I already knew they were garbage and I reread two of them so I could dive into the steaming pile of hot trash that was the third. I did that on purpose and I’ve already thoroughly roasted them, so they’re exempt from the list.
As with basically every list I make, these are in no particular order.
by Sierra Simone
Sometimes branching out of my comfort zone leads to discovering a new favorite. Other times, it leads to crap like this. I did my best to participate in Chelsea and Julie’s smutty book club, but it turns out the genre just isn’t for me. I immediately began referring to the main character, Greer, as Gruyere and it went downhill from there. Love at first sight, orgasms that make you see stars, a curse from a man named Merlin even though I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a fantasy novel, and a 16-year-old girl letting a 26-year-old man she just met suck the blood from a cut on her finger. This was a resounding DNF.
Bash Bash Revolution
by Douglas Lain
This book was especially disappointing because I expected to love it. I was under the impression this would be a novel about dangerous AI told in epistolary format – right up my alley! While some segments were labeled Facebook post and messenger log, they looked exactly the same and were mostly in paragraph format. I was seriously confused from the start, with no understanding of what the technology could do and neither the plot nor the main character could compel me to finish the book. Yet another DNF.
The Scent of Sake
by Joyce Lebra
I’m a big fan of historical fiction and I enjoy reading books set in Asia because most of what I read is set in England in the time of the Tudors or something. I’m not usually one to pay a lot of attention to the authenticity of my fiction, but this book was so boring and none of the details came alive. I knew almost immediately that I wasn’t going to enjoy the tone. The main character was bland and after 50 pages I didn’t want to read about her problems anymore. DNF!
by Alessandra Torre
Another attempt at the smutty book club and one that was a massive let down because I’ve read and loved some of Torre’s other work. Rather than sexy and exciting, this book was tired, predictable and downright offensive. The twist comes at the expense of a mental disorder and it reveals just how fucked up the main character is in her behavior. I easily could have written a long, ranting review about how shit this book is, but by the time I was done reading it, I didn’t want to relive any of it. Complete waste of my $5.00. I wish I hadn’t finished this one.
Pride and Prometheus
by John Kessel
Another letdown. You probably know I love Pride and Prejudice. I also love inspirations, spinoffs, sequels, reimagining, and everything in between. I’m especially thirsty for some decent Mary representation. This book follows Mary as she meets good old Victor Frankenstein, a crossover I thought I was sure to love. Once again, I thought wrong! Mary was as poorly written as in most interpretations I’ve read and her character especially takes a nosedive in the latter half of the book. The ending was lame and if you’re looking for a well-told Mary story (or a well-told Frankenstein spin-off) I would suggest you look elsewhere.
Dear Mr. Knightley
by Katherine Reay
This Austen interpretation was a modern retelling loosely based on Emma. The main character was a complete brat and frustrating to read about. She’s “not like other girls” type and constantly quotes long pieces of literature that even major fans of classic works probably wouldn’t do. She is so far up her own ass, pretending she’s a character from whatever classic she picked that day rather than being engaged in reality, that I can’t believe she even took the time to write the letters this book is comprised of.
Price Guide to the Occult
by Leslye Walton
I took a chance on some witchy YA and boy, did it blow up in my face. The MC, Nor is the tropey-est teen I’d encountered in a long time. Milky pale (so, a corpse), raven hair (ca-caw!), awkward, and a loner who doesn’t appreciate her magical powers because she can’t have a normal life. The magic system is convenience-based (meaning the characters have whatever powers are most convenient in the moment) and lackluster. Oh, and, let’s not forget the love triangle! Gag. What a shame that the content of the book wasn’t as beautiful or compelling as the design of the exterior.
by R.L. Stine
I have a 3-part R.L. Stine Retrospective in the works and this book is the icing on the crap-cake. So I won’t say anything further here, except that this is an adult novel that was cornier than any of his Goosebumps books.
I’m happy this list wasn’t longer. I don’t really want to invest a lot of time in raging over terribly written books. Is there anything on here you agree with? Or disagree with? FIGHT ME! Just kidding! Let’s talk like reasonable humans!
*cover images from Goodreads