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Presented by State Library Victoria

BOOKS THAT I ABSOLUTELY HATED TO READ

Hello there!

So we all have that ONE book… That ONE book that causes us SO MUCH PAIN whenever we even look at it, talk about it or even think about it. It can give you such bad memories from even the title. As a reader I have had SO MANY encounters with books like this but there are just some that had one of or all of the following

-Horrendously written characters

-Insta-love

-Terrible dialogue

-Absolutely nothing ever happening… ever…

-Having no idea what was going on AT ALL

And for me there are no books I read more worse than these in terms of content and yes this is a huge tea spillage. DISCLAIMER: These are only my opinions and I’d try to justify my reasons as to why I disliked them. I’ll try not to cause too much offence especially if you like any of these authors or books but just be prepared for a big fat book rant.

Okay now that that’s out of the way let me narrow this down to my top 5 books that I really disliked IN ORDER:

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Oh god where do I even begin I HATED THIS BOOK SOOOO MUCH I COULDN’T BELIEVE A TREE WAS CUT DOWN FOR THIS!! This book ticked all my boxes… for my bad book criteria. It not only had bad characters or bad dialogue it had CRINGE-Y CHARACTERS AND CRINGE-Y DIALOGUE! I read this book just to prepare myself for the movie because I mean, it’s going to be a movie right? So it has to be good? Well that wasn’t the case for The Sun is Also A Star. It’s so popular that almost every rom-com lover has read or heard about it and I was so excited to read it since I eyed it for such a long time but it didn’t live up to my expectations. Basically it is a giant insta-love story where a boy and girl meet in one day, guy confesses love for her, takes her on date, kisses her, writes poetry for her (the cringe-y kind like “OH NATASHA YOUR EYES SPARKLE LIKE THE MORNING’S SUN AND YOUR FRECKLES ARE PEPPERED ON YOUR LUSCIOUS CHEEKS” Okay I made that one up but it was literally the exact same no difference) and almost has sex with her within the time frame of… one day. Not even one day maybe about three hours. You could see why I was so alarmed by this. I’m usually fine with insta-love ONLY if it is done well but this was a bit extreme. They just met and he’s already kissing her neck?! Yes there was an actual story but there was so much cheesy love that it diluted it all and not to mention the dialogue was terrible and some of the worst I’ve seen in YA well… ever. Daniel for starters was a poet and he wrote about Natasha in THAT kind of way which was reason enough as to why I hated him a lot. Usually I’d like the male character a lot but with Daniel I just couldn’t like him like any other love interest and I’m blaming it for his cheesy dialogue. But let’s talk about Natasha, she’s a data analyst and she just WENT ALONG WITH THIS?!? Also it was like she was waving a flag over her head saying “I DON’T BELIEVE IN LOVE I’M SOOOO FOCUSED ON NUMBERS AND DATA COME DISSUADE ME” it was referred to ALL THE TIME and I hated it and it got so annoying. By page 130 I was done with this book. I have no idea why I continued it but thus far it is my lowest rated book on Goodreads. The writing was the only thing I decently liked and enjoyed but other than that it was a big fat nope. I haven’t watched the movie yet though so hopefully it’s less awful for me on the big screen but I don’t think I want to get back into The Sun is Also A Star anytime soon…

The Outliers Series by Kimberley McCreight 

Now this is going to be interesting… see I used to LIKE the first book. So much so I rated it 5 stars. This was when I was just getting into YA and after having a lot of time to reflect and think over the book and many reviews on it, my rating has changed and I discovered how terrible this book is. My memory is awful but I’m pretty sure I read this as part of my 2017 reading challenge it had a pretty cover and interesting blurb so I thought “Why not give it a go?” and it wasn’t exactly my genre but I thought back then the story just worked and was “brilliant” now thinking about it the characters themselves were so stupid I cannot even believe I rated this a 5 stars! For starters the characters enter a strangers car and drives with them all the way to rescue their friend. These characters are my age and even I have been told never to talk to strangers let alone jump into their car. By car I mean van: it was black and definitely shady. How could the characters be THIS naïve? Not only that but one girl throws herself into a ball of fire to save her friends when the situation could’ve easily been avoided. I did not get this whole storyline nor why the dad didn’t do anything to protect his daughter.

The sequel was even better (I’m being sarcastic here) reading from my notes from the time I read it last year, it had no plotline and nothing really happened in the book, the story was laughable and it had stupid characters who did absolutely stupid things (example from book 1) and the parents or adults did NOTHING to help them. Honestly it’s the same thing in an episode of Home and Away where the cops don’t do anything in the tv series and they don’t even help the kids get the bad guys or help with their criminal activities. Honestly I was so sick of this. And worst of all the parent (specifically the main character’s dad) was shocked to find her daughter abducted as if he couldn’t tell this would happen. Honestly? SERIOUSLY? I’m not buying that!! Also there was a character that was in depression and even attempted suicide and yet nothing was done to help him at all and his “friend” Wylie (the main character) didn’t even give him any necessary support and as someone who had friends going through this I understandably got really triggered. Also there was the whole fact that the characterisation was awful like The Sun is Also A Star, Wylie was holding a big flag saying “I’VE GOT ANXIETY” and it was like that was the only thing “important” about her. We got nothing of her hobbies or talents or ANYTHING but knowing she has a mental health issue and really? It was like the author was using anxiety to define the character which is a big no-no because (and I want this to be made VERY clear) YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DOESN’T DEFINE YOU!! And I was so triggered about this whole message it’s not even funny. I didn’t even think about this book for ages until today and now thinking about it there is no way I will pick up book 3 despite the cliffhanger that book 2 brought.

Always Forever Maybe by Anika Mrose Rissi 

So I got this as an ARC so maybe a lot has changed since it’s release? I don’t know. But when I was reading this I was drawn and happy to read books that finally were representative of abuse and sexual assault and getting the message across that abuse is not the norm and it must be condemned! Of course yes, there was fantastic abuse portrayal but my problem was mainly with the main character rather than any other themes. The main character was so infatuated with this guy that she didn’t even know he had abusive behaviour and okay, yes, that may be part of the abuse theme but I was so annoyed by the tone of this character I was tempted to shut the book and put it away. The character’s infatuation was cheesy even before the abusive relationship thing. I have a few examples from another review here from @Chelsea on Goodreads (credit goes to her for quotations)

“I might blurt some awful truth like, this feeling reminds me of Ferris wheels or I could stare at your face until sunrise.” (From the first time she met him)

“He lifted his chin. Saw me. Smiled. All of a sudden, it was no longer winter, and a flock of songbirds hatched from my heart and took flight, throwing me completely off guard. Jo pushed me and I walked toward him, feeling the heat of his gaze as I approached.”

“In the next instant, the image shifted, and I saw my arms around his shoulders, my face pressing into his neck. His grip firm under my legs, hair falling into his eyes. Both of us laughing and squeezing each other closer. It felt like a premonition, a flash forward into our future. I already knew we were infinite. Inevitable.”

This was going on for 150 pages. I had enough. Though there was really good representation of abuse 🙂

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

Why do people like this book? I don’t get it. Literally everyone I talk to likes it and then there is me in the minority that could not stand the writing style.

For starters, the writing was occasionally choppy.
It was just like this
And it annoyed me sometimes
And I wished it just stopped.

And then there were other times where the main character was referring to something using a metaphor and I had no idea what the heck was going on and I felt frazzled by everything for example,

“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of the house, the bricks of the path, the steps to the porch.” 

This quote’s all about her dad leaving her but I legitimately thought it was about her being shot. Yeah, yeah unreliable narrators whatever I don’t care what you call it but this was getting ridiculous!

And don’t let me get started on Cadence she was ALWAYS referring to her love interest as “Gat, my Gat” and it was said SO MANY TIMES I wanted to scream and honestly I got PTSD from hearing the word Gat and try to avoid hearing it like the plague. And on top of the choppy writing style there was the thing that The Sun Is Also A Star did which was sort of like this:

“Give me your hand,”’ Gat says.
I am not sure I want to.
But then of course I do want to.’

It’s all about the indecisiveness and I honestly hate whenever ANY author does this it’s an immediate nope from me if you do this more than once and this happened so many times.

All in all, not even the ending (which if you read it was a shocker and shock twist) could save me from my low rating.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

I read this for the 2018 Inky Awards and yes, I’m very grateful to The State Library of Victoria and the publishers for giving me a copy however I just couldn’t get into this one there were too many time skips that jumped from 3-4 places in different time periods between years, months and days. I didn’t get the characters nor had ANY idea what so ever was going on. I didn’t feel a connection to the characters and found that I got literally nothing from the story, not a gripping storyline or well rounded characters but just… nothing…

____

Hope you enjoyed my bookish rant. I wasn’t meaning to offend anyone’s bookish taste but these are just my thoughts and these are books I definitely disliked a lot. If you do like one of these books let’s just agree to disagree and please don’t attack me!

-Sylvs

 

15 comments

bookwithbane

Ida, anything by Robert Muchamore, etc. If it has bad characters, sexualisation, unrealistic teens, insta-love and feels like it's marking off a checklist, it's not a good book.

9th Aug, 19
sylvs

Honestly anything E. Lockhart, Nicola Yoon or Kimberley McCreight doesn't have the tick of approval for me :'(

10th Aug, 19
sylvs

Also anything with cringey characters and dialogue is an instant no. I know for a fact that teenagers are not that cringe-y in love so I guess I just don't like unrealistic portrayals of romance or sexualisation

10th Aug, 19
zitongbooks

I haven’t read any of them, but I know which books to stay away from in the future.

10th Aug, 19
sylvs

ANYTHING BUT THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR!!! GOSH NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

10th Aug, 19
library

I’m sorry I can’t agree. I think The Sun is also a Star is great, but I get your point of view. It is very ‘CRING-Y’ but I like it.
Soz

12th Aug, 19
sylvs

Haha all good. I read a lot of fluffy romance and was just disappointed I'm sorry if I upset you with my post..

12th Aug, 19
library

In reply to sylvs

No no no, you didn’t upset me it’s all good.

13th Aug, 19
sylvs

In reply to library

Cool ^~^

13th Aug, 19
ellipsis

Recently I read - sorry, tried to read - The Truth and Lies of Ella Black, but the whole insta-romance thing freaked me out! Like, they stare at each other across a room and all of a sudden she's obsessed with him and that becomes her main feature as a character. I was kind of incredulous, really, and kept thinking she would wake up from her obsession, but it just went on and on and I gave up halfway through. I should actually finish the book, though, because I want to know if the author continues to treat it like a healthy relationship.
Also I totally agree with you about character indecisiveness! I hate romances like that.

14th Aug, 19
sylvs

NOOOOOO THAT SOUNDS SO PAINFUL TO READ!! THAT EVEN WAS ABOUT TO GO ON MY TBR!! THANKS FOR THE WARNING ;) A book I read that was very similar to that was the Loneliest Girl In The Universe. It wasn't so bad, I rated it 2-3 stars but there was a lot of infatuation with the male character that I was tired of even though it's a very short book.

14th Aug, 19
ellipsis

In reply to sylvs

I'll tell you what happens if I finish it :)
I read The Loneliest Girl In the Universe when I was stuck in a car for a whole day. It was pretty good, but the infatuation was definitely a bit much.

15th Aug, 19
sylvs

In reply to ellipsis

The infatuation was too much for me I had to finish it though for the Inky Awards

15th Aug, 19
library

I strongly dislike ‘loneliest girl in the universe’ I think it’s pointless.
Sorry if that offended anyone.

14th Aug, 19
sylvs

The insta-love was unnecessary I honestly think the main character only fell in love with him because he was the first man she ever seen and because she didn't want to be lonely. It wasn't necessary and it was a bit rushed...

14th Aug, 19