A Year of Reading in Review: Worst Books

A Year of Reading in Review:


+ Best Books

+ Worst Books

+ Graphic Novel Sound Off

+ Non-Fiction Highlights

+ Yearly Goals - Did I make them?

+ Most Disappointing Books

+ New Favorite Author(s)

+ Promising New Debut Author

+ Disappointing Author - authors whose future books I won't be checking out

+ Hidden Gems - books I didn't think I'd like but did

+ Not All That Glitters Is Gold - Books I thought I'd love but didn't

+ Books I Wanted to Read But Didn't


For every couple of great books I read, I'll end up with a stinker.  Sometimes I go into a book knowing I won't like it (like with the Anita Blake series), but other times I have no clue that I won't like it.  Even worse is when I think I'll LOVE a book and I end up hating it.


This list is dedicated to the Worst Books, aka "Books That Should Not Have Been Written".  Here are my Top 5 Worst Books of 2013 along with the reasons why they are on this list.


NOTE: Given that 2013 still has a few more months for me to find new books, this list could change by the end of the year.


NOTE: This is ONLY fiction novels; no non-fiction or graphic novels.  I'll include them in a later entry.


NOTE: Just because I don't like a book/hate a book/think it's the worst, doesn't mean that another person can't love it to death.  I put this note in here, because it seems people tend to get more upset about seeing their favorite book on a Worst list than seeing their least favorite book on a Best list.



Top 5 Worst Books of 2013:


+ The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks - Oh My Gawd.  This was absolutely terrible.  The writing was atrocious (I've read Boxcar Children books with better grammar and spelling!), the characters were the thinnest of cardboard, the story was so boring, everything about this book was just mind-numbingly awful.  Wait, no, that's not true.  There was ONE good thing about this book: it produced the movie, which, while not amazing, was at least better than this monkey poo.  Oh, no, wait.  The best thing about this book was being about to Buddy Read it.  THAT made the pain worth it.  This book truly belongs in the "How the hell did this book get published?!"


+ Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton - One of the most pointless, plotless, puerile waste of trees I've ever read, Danse Macabre is proof that you don't have to have an idea to start writing, all you need is a bunch of awful characters and lots and lots of talk about sex (but not much REAL sex).  Honestly, I could have put most of the LKH Anita Blake books on this list, but this one (tied with the equally pointless, plotless, ridiculous "Skin Trade", which was an insult to intelligence AND Lifetime movies) was just the absolute bottom of the barrel.  There really is no point to the book.  Nothing happens.  Well, Anita Blake talks a lot about sex, yells at her "best friend", and acts like a jerk (but every book has her acting like an @$$hole), but no zombies are raised, no vampire are killed, no mysteries are solved.  Just talking, talking, talking about relationships, feelings, and, oh, SEX!!


+ Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - If this book is indicative of the Young Adult Dystopian genre, then the genre is screwed.  This had a kernel of an idea and then threw it away to be like EVERY OTHER YA BOOK out there.  Whiny, wimpy heroine who did everything the Love Interest told her.  Two flat, featureless boytoys to vie for Love Interest title.  A side character who is WAY MORE INTERESTING than the heroine we were dealt.  And the silliest, dopiest, lamest steampunk imaginable.  I don't even know why the author bothered to make this dystopian, other than to ride the hype and make money - the book spent more time on Araby's romantic life and emo-ridden whinge-fests than any sort of resistance or dystopia.


+ Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard - When I wrote the "Best" list, I mentioned "Easy" and how it was one of the few NA (New Adult) books to come out that wasn't a sexfest and was halfway decent and sexy.  This book is the opposite end of the spectrum, a great example of what you get when you take Twilight FanFic, change the names and demand people to pay $15 for it.  No, it's not the worst book I've ever read (certainly not as bad as LKH, as Reynard can write halfway decently - there, I said it!), but it's still pretty bad.  Lame characters, a convoluted backstory (that makes much more sense when you change the names back to "Edward" and "Bella), and lots of slut shaming and Madonna/Whore complexes.  I gave up halfway through and never looked back.


+ Arclight by Josin L. McQuein - Yet another YA dystopia, though it is not like many that I call "fauxtopias" or "dystopian-romances", this one made me rage quit the YA genre all together.  Again, it's not all that bad, when compared to others in the genre, but it is SO MEDIOCRE, so much like EVERYTHING ELSE you find in YA dystopias.  Not to mention, utterly forgettable.  I'm sitting here, trying to think of something to SAY about it and, without looking at my review, I come up with a blank.  It had the essence of a great idea (don't most stories though?), and it totally ruined it with confusing worldbuilding and the insistence on maintaining the status quo.



Notable Mentions:


Crux by Moira Rogers - This wasn't "bad" per se, but it was just so not me.  It had all the elements you expect in a paranormal romance: a timid "good girl" is running away from some evil baddie (likely an ex-boyfriend) and runs into this charming "good guy" at a bar.  Lots of Meaningful Glances and suddenly wanting to snuggle in the other person's arms, after knowing the other person a whopping couple of hours.  I quit this one at the 10% mark.


Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan - This book had SO MUCH potential, and I actually liked it in places, particularly the beginning and towards the end.  But the problem I found was the book veered off into WTF territory and completely abandoned story elements in favor of "bitchy girl goes after loner, bad shit happens".  Yawn.