Top Three: Worst Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

Actually, this post would more suitably be titled bottom three: I’ve Read So Far This Year, for today I will explore the depths of inferior literature. If your senses are easily offended, I recommend you stop reading and spend your time instead looking at pictures of gambolling kittens or rainbows with smiley faces. During the reading of these three books, I was clutching at my IQ points as they scrambled away, desperate to remove themselves from the presence of these mind-numbing, intelligence-squandering, enjoyment-slaughtering books.


Briar Rose by Jana Oliver

Die. Die in a hole along with all of my high hopes for you. This was during a fairy-tale retelling kick inspired by Cinder- but Briar Rose, along with all of its horrifically boring characters and childish writing, cut this enthusiasm in half with a sword. Briar, whilst stuck in a world full of bloodthirsty wolves and crazed fairies complains about drinking unpasteurised milk. To add to her idiocy, at the moment her mother tells her she will fall into eternal sleep in one hour, instead of questioning her mothers cognitive functioning, Briar puts on her favourite dressing gown, surrounds herself with candles, and goes to bed. It’s people like Briar who should be banned from producing offspring; otherwise the gene pool would become too mentally impaired to do more than grunt or slobber. Worst features: boring, whiny beginning. Boring, whiny characters. Boring, whiny writing. Enough cliché to drown in. One of the villain’s is described on the blurb as an ‘evil ex’.  I think I only finished this book (that I’m sure Tolkien would have used as toilet paper) so I could laugh at it. Ha ha ha.

Matched by Ally Condie

Brownie points for an average idea Ally, but I’ll have to stop the positivity there. Meet The Giver; An Horrific Rip Off That Takes Everything Good About The Giver And Somehow Makes It Awful Without Changing Any Of The Ideas. I barely remember what happened in the actual book, just what happened while I was reading the book- a lot of yawning. Contemplation of self-destruction. Homocidal thoughts towards Cassia. Tears for those who receive Ally Condie’s genes. Worst features: characters who can only dream of having as much personality as a brown paper bag. Stolen dystopian society. ‘Deep’ ‘pondering’ and ‘mysterious’ characters who are too  ‘deep’ ‘pondering’ and ‘mysterious’ to say stuff about their past and thus write them on napkins instead. 

UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn

The fact that there are two fairy tale retellings on this list is depressing. Such amazing ones exist, but its books like UnEnchanted that give the sub-genre a bad name. I think this book secretly wasn’t meant for entertainment, but as a formula for writing the worst book ever. Or as encouragement for self-destruction. 90% of the book (I know, because I read it on iBooks, and it shows the percentage read along the bottom) was Mina pining after a plastic and cliché member of the male gender who picks her up in his red sports car after he runs over her bike, which she leaves in his driveway in a fit of embarrassment; she goes to his house as a cleaner because she’s embarrassed about saving him from an unrealistic death at a bakery. Joy. The other 10% was her fighting the evil never-aging bakery owner who wears red lipstick, before coming to an unsatisfactory ending. The one exciting part was when she got mugged at the library. I hoped she was ruthlessly murdered and replaced with a better protagonist. Worst features: selfish, ungrateful, stupid main character that made you root for the villains. A writer who makes unrealistic, random, and contradictory things happen because she can. Writing that wouldn’t win a competition for those aged 6 to 9. Annoying rich person with annoying rich person name (Brodie Carmichael. Really?) who does annoying rich person things to make themselves seem charitable. Please promptly throw yourself in a vat of poison, book. Otherwise someone else will read this book and inevitably do that first.

Thankfully, I’ve also read some amazing books this year, otherwise I would be actively seeking a method of self-destruction. Books like If You Find Me, The Outsiders, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Adaptation, Unwind, She Is Not Invisible, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Graveyard Book, Cinder, Flowers for Algernon, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the Time Machine, among countless others, have restored my dwindling faith in humanity. I better stop writing this post before I start violently convulsing on the floor and frothing at the mouth. Please leave recommendations for books that I can read for medicinal purposes, so as to counter-act the horror of these works of ‘literature’.



11 responses to “Top Three: Worst Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

  1. Lydia,

    I love your blog, but I found some of the points made in today’s post were unfair. Although I have never read Briar Rose or UnEnchanted (so I can’t comment on your opinion on them), I can say I have read Matched many times, and I love it. I love all parts of it, from Cassia’s daring personality to the idea’s of exiles in society. The second and third book expand on the ideas in this book wonderfully, leading to a gripping conclusion that stopped me from putting the book down. I am proud to say I’ve read these books many, many times and would happily read them again.

    I have also read The Giver, and believe your point where it states that Matched is just a Giver copycat is unfair, unjust and unreasonable. I read The Giver before I read Matched, and they are both fabulous books.

    I hope that you give Matched another go, and see it for the wonderful book that I see it as.

  2. hmmm, i might borrow your idea…there have been a couple of books this year that made me want to throttle someone, too 😛

  3. Funny you mentioned match comparing it to the giver but you didn’t see how much of Cinder came from an anime called Sailor Moon. Matched had great literary references with that poem don’t go gentley into that good night the first time I read that poem I cried. Matched took one part of the giver which the book barely explores and made it it’s own.

    • That is a good point about Matched/The Giver. At least the part that I thought was really similar wasn’t the central part of the Giver, but it was in Matched. I haven’t, however, read Sailor Moon, but maybe if I did I’d see a lot of parallels between it and Cinder.

  4. Hi Lydia,

    I’m a greeter from Teenage Blogger Central and found your blog through that! You know, Flowers for Algernon is one that I’ve wanted to read for quite a while but need to get around to doing soon! Anyhow, TBC has been a great place to be, and we are trying to get members to add one of our lovely link buttons to their blogs so that other people can also discover and join the group, too. Please follow this link to add one to the sidebar of your blog:

    Have a great day!
    -Riley XO

  5. Lydia, I’m reading Cameron Post at the moment and really enjoying it. I’m about 3/4s of the way through and desperately hoping she gets revenge on Coley Taylor but somehow I think she is a bigger person than I am so vengeance won’t happen.
    Have you read I am Juliet by Jackie French? I loved it- Romeo and Juliet from Juliet’s perspective. It is in my classroom if you want to borrow it.
    Mrs C-M

  6. your blog is quite intriguing. i enjoy how you can bash a novel that everyone else finds perfectly capable of reading. i, for one, actually haven’t read briar rose or unenchanted, but i unfortunately have come across matched. i didn’t really like it. it took me five times to actually get into the book. the whole novel made me want to throw it at my book-throwing walls. you should get one of those; they’re utterly wonderful.

  7. Pingback: A Year in Books (End of Year Book Survey) | Musings of a Word Nerd·

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