If you’ve read any of my book reviews, you know I can be very critical of books even if I genuinely enjoyed reading them. However, there are some books that I truly despise. Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s prompt was “books I’d gladly throw into the ocean”, so this felt like a good opportunity to rant about some of my least favorite (or most problematic) books that I’ve read. If you’re not in the mood for a rant (or 10) you should probably skip reading this.
A lot of these are popular books, so don’t hate me if your favorite is on here. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. These are mine. Feel free to leave your own opinions in the comments 🙂
*Warning: some spoilers, strong emotions, sarcasm, and profanity ahead.
**No books were (literally) drowned in the making of this post.
***Please don’t actually throw books in the ocean. There’s enough trash there already.
And now, the list:
Lore (Why do you have creepy snakes on the cover when Medusa has nothing to do with the incoherent plot?)
If you read my review of this book, this should come as no surprise. I had a lot of issues with the characters, plot, and relationships in this book, which was super disappointing because it sounded like it would be a lot of fun. There were several times that I genuinely wanted to throw this book across the room…the only reason I didn’t is because it was a library book.
Ready Player Two (even though Player 1 was doing completely fine on their own and it should have been a solo campaign)
Okay, so I loved Ready Player One when I first read it several years ago with my partner. But HOLY CRAP, I was not expecting the sequel to be that horrible, even after seeing a bunch of less than enthusiastic early reviews. I DNF’d around page 70 because literally nothing was happening except Wade giving us a step by step walk-through of what his new life looks like. It was basically, “Oh, I have so much money and fancy shit now but my life still sucks because Samantha left me because she’s the only one who recognized what a gigantic asshole I am but it’s okay because I’m obviously right and I saved her a spot on our super fancy space jet that’s ready to leave the planet when everything goes to hell because we’ve been fucking it up for generations and I can’t be bothered to do anything to help other than throwing some money the problem, aren’t I such a great person, why does she hate me???” If anyone has read it, did it get better? I don’t care enough to go back and finish it, but I’d like to know.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Brainchild of two random people (endorsed by she-who-must-not-be-named for publicity purposes)
When 18-year-old me finished Deathly Hallows and said I wanted more of the wizarding world, this was NOT what I meant. People comparing this to fanfiction is an insult to fanfiction because this was horribly written and made absolutely no sense. (For the record, there are tons of excellent fanfics by incredibly talented writers in the HP fandom that give us the diversity and depth that JKR denied us.) I lost track of how many “WTF” moments I had while reading this and I ended up giving my copy to a friend who was curious about the story so I could have someone to rant about it with after she finished reading it.
Ship It (straight to the bottom of the Mariana Trench)
This book gives fandom culture and shipping SUCH a bad name. Not only is the premise of this story completely implausible, but it glorifies the sense of entitlement some fans feel toward the real life people behind the characters in their favorite shows. The problem isn’t thinking “hey, those people have such great chemistry, they would be great together”; it’s not even writing RPF (Real Person Fiction) about the actors falling in love off-screen. The problem is when fans ignore the fact that actors are humans with a right to privacy in their real-life relationships and sex lives.
I’ve personally never been a fan of RPF because it just feels too creepy and invasive for me. If that’s something you’re into, whatever. I’m not here to shame you for it as long as you don’t push those expectations onto the actual actors and expect them to play out your fantasies when it’s not something they want, which is exactly what happens in this book.
A Court of Fantastically Sexy Faeries
Bracing myself for the hate comments for including this one here, but I just…don’t get why people love this series so much. Is it the unpronounceable names that scream “FANTASY WORLD”? Is it the super hot faerie sex? Is it that people are secretly furries? I barely made it through book one, so I really don’t know.
Red, White, and Royal Disappointment
Probably going to get a lot of disagreement on this one too, but I just did not like this book.
First of all, this is NOT a YA book, it’s New Adult. There was SO. MUCH. SMUT. Which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for, but it was thrown in at seemingly random moments and the rest of the plot was either trying too hard or tacked on as an attempt to add political intrigue…I still haven’t figured out which.
I think the reason I hated this book so much was because I went in with such high hopes for it. The premise of an alternate universe was interesting (especially given the political climate at the time) and I love a good enemies-to-lovers, fake dating trope as much as the next person. But the excessive sex scenes that added nothing to the character development and the random dirty talk via email made no sense. I mean, I get that they’re supposed to be kind of young (I think Alex was a senior in college?) but is anyone actually that stupid? Also, who sends sexy emails in this day and age? Haven’t they heard of snapchat? Or just plain old sexting?? And why would you use your official government-issued email instead of a personal one if you know you’re constantly subject to public scrutiny? These are the questions I need answered.
The Secret History (should just remain a secret)
The only reason I bothered finishing this book was because it was The Late Night Book Club’s November pick and I wanted to know what was going on during the live show. Luckily I was able to borrow the audiobook through Libby so I put it on 1.75 speed because I just wanted to get it over with.
I’m down to read a good dark academia book any time, but this book was intelligent to the point of being pretentious and just screamed of white male privilege despite being written by a female author. I hated every male character (there was only one female character who I didn’t really care about either) and I would gladly throw this book down the ravine where the gang killed that annoying bastard, “Bunny” (or whatever the heck his actual name was).
Twilight, twilight, will a 100-year-old vampire stalker watch you sleep tonight?
Pretty much anyone who knew me in real life around the time these books/movies were first popular knows how much I hate this series. I read these to see what the hype was about and there were just SO. MANY. ISSUES. I didn’t find any of it romantic. Edward was just creepy and controlling and I don’t understand why everyone was so obsessed with Bella because she was so annoying. I never read the last book, which is good because I don’t think I could have handled the idiotic bullshit that apparently happens with Bella and Edward’s child.
We are now moving past books that just weren’t for me to books that I believe have some truly harmful qualities.
The Rising of the Unredeemable Protagonist
This was in one of the mystery boxes I picked up at Anime Expo a couple of years ago and if it weren’t bad for the environment, I would consider literally throwing this one into the ocean. Instead, I threw it in the recycle bin when I did a huge book purge last year because no one should have to read this.
The main character is basically an incel with no redeeming qualities. When he falls into a parallel universe, he gets stuck with the crappiest legendary weapon of the bunch then gets tricked by a female character and is left alone, penniless, and helpless. Then he ends up buying a slave who vaguely resembles the woman who tricked him so he can feel superior while she helps him on his journey or something. I guess it’s technically supposed to be an underdog story, but for that to work, the the character needs to be somewhat likable, so no. I should probably note that I’m Japanese-American and have read a lot of manga and this is not an issue of cultural difference; the character is just trash.
Thirteen Reasons Why this book is horrible for YA readers (or anyone, really)
I really could give you 13 reasons why I hated this book but I have better things to do with my time so I’ll give you one big reason: suicide glorification. Also, *spoiler based on the (alternate?) ending in the version I read: she doesn’t actually die??? So then, WTF was the point of the book???
Well, I think that’s enough shouting for one post. If you’re still here, thanks for reading and I hope my annoyance with these books was at least mildly entertaining.
Have you read any of these books? Are there any popular books that you hated?