Tuesday, January 24

The 16 Least Favorite Books I've Read in 2016


I know I talked and talked about the importance of positivity when I made 4 posts about my biggest obsessions of 2016, including the bestest books I read, but looks like I can't stop myself from making at least one post about my dislikes. Thankfully, Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) has just given me the perfect chance to do just that, as this week's topic is a FREEBIE. 

IT'S MEANT TO CHEER EVERYONE UP, THOUGH. See, you either a) agree with me, so we can companionably feel sorry for each other and give out virtual hugs for the time we wasted on these books, or b) you disagree with me, and in that case laugh at what stupid shit I'm saying about your favorite. AM I RIGHT, OR AM I RIGHT? 



See, no hard feelings! Because, of course, the fact that I didn't love these novels doesn't mean a thing. WHO AM I TO TELL YOU WHAT TO ENJOY? No one, so, do not be offended, because hurting anyone's feelings is the last thing I want to do, okay? 

Now that that's out of the way, let's get right into the 16 worst books of 16 - from the least bad to the absolute worst. With a few exceptions that really ticked me off for one reason or another.




#16 The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


The Wrath and the Dawn is the only novel on this list I DNF-ed, which is the reason I gave it the 16th place, instead of putting it in the top three where it'd belong, in my opinion. The writing is lush and expressive, and the diverse cast is something the author should be applauded for. 

However, I "kinda-sorta" have a problem with rape - because that's what the consummation of their marriage was, don't argue with me on that - and it left a bad taste in my mouth that the author only acknowledged it in a few sentences (never actually calling it rape, though), then swiftly brushed it under the table, because what an #otp. No, just... no.

Our main character, this brave and vengeful young woman, (I'm talking about Shazi, btw, if you couldn't identify her from that description) started to develop feelings for Khalid in a couple of days. Please tell me why is a murderer - who you don't yet know has a reason for his acts! -, who you want to kill to avenge your best friend's death and who raped you is such a fucking turn on. I'm waiting.


Rating: 1 star
(which makes it the only novel I DNF-ed, but still rated last year)

#15 The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics


{goodreads}

Based on the cover, the blurb and my enjoyment for the author's debut, Daughter's Unto Devils, I went into The Women in the Walls with preeeetty high expectations. Unfortunately, all these expectations were viciously crushed, as this was awfully boring, predictable, with the plainest characters on the block. *sobs* 

Dear authors, please understand that self-harm - or any type of mental health issue - will never ever ever be okay to be used for the shock factor. Thank you.

Rating: 3 stars



#14 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

{goodreads}

A book about all these awesomely special and, yeah, a bit creepy children should not be as dull as Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children was. The photos were interesting, but they didn't give nearly as much to the story as I expected them to. Oh, and the characters? They could easily win an award for the least intriguing cast of 2016... and don't even get me started on the freaky romance. *shudders*

The movie was really fine, though. Watch it!



Rating: 3 stars

#13 Before I Got To Sleep by S. J. Watson

{goodreads}

Despite the mixed reviews I expected this one to sweep me off of my feet, because I'm a huge fan of unreliable narrators. However, Before I Go To Sleep turned out to be a grand disappointment - plain characters, awfully boring and predictable mystery... literally no part of this was thrilling. Yet, somehow, the movie pulled off the unthinkable - it was even worse. I'm still speechless, because how.

Rating: 3 stars

#12 With Malice by Eileen Cook

{goodreads}
{discussion review}

With Malice is - I'm not exaggerating - one of the least mysterious mystery novels I've ever read. Even worse, it's blatantly trying to be Dangerous Girls 2.0, but it fails so miserably that it's laughable to compare them.

Rating: 3 stars

#11 Unhinge by Calia Read

{goodreads}
{review}

I was so so SO ecstatic when I heard that Unravel was getting a companion, because that novel is just gorgeous and heart-breaking and perfect. Well, this should teach me not to be filled with excitement, because Unhinge was nothing like the first installment in the series. It was, however, predictable, boring and terribly unrealistic. Ugh ugh ugh don't even remind me of this one.

Rating: 2 stars

#10 Madly by Amy Alward

{goodreads}

I went into this expecting a quick, fun read - and, in a way, I did get that! However, the story was just a tad bit too predictable for my taste, with far too many clichés thrown into the mix. That said, anyone looking for a cute little, middle grade-ish fantasy should consider giving a chance to Madly, as this was more of a "it's not you, it's me" case.

Rating: 2 stars

#9 Rooms by Lauren Oliver

{goodreads}

I consider Lauren Oliver one of my favorite authors, thanks to Panic, Vanishing Girls and Before I Fall, so imagine how shocked and saddened I was by the dryness of Rooms. The concept was incredibly intriguing - a story of a messed up family, showed partly through the eyes of ghosts of the previous owners - but the execution was miserable. *sad face* Here's to hoping I'll enjoy Replica more.



Rating: 2 stars

#8 Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

{goodreads}

I'm the queen of conflicted feelings when it comes to Made You Up - on one hand, it is undoubtedly well-written. There are tons and tons of confusing parts, but the author's writing is so flawless that I flew through the story without ever concentrating on any of the problems of Made You Up. However, after I put it down and started to think, I realized how little it actually worked for me, and my negative feelings only intensified after I did a bit of research and learnt that the author didn't exactly made a realistic portrayal of schizophrenia. Although, it can be argued that the symptoms differ in each and every case, so... 


Rating: 2 stars

#7 The Black Key by Amy Ewing

{goodreads}

The Black Key is probably the least disappointing novel from this list, simply because I went into it expecting it to suck, but still wanting to see how the story would play out in the end. Well, I don't think I've ever read such an action-less and unimpressive series finale. LITERALLY NOTHING EXCITING HAPPENED - no character development, same old plain relationships and boring as heck plot. What a waste of time this trilogy was.


Rating: 2 stars

#6 The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

{goodreads}

What was up with 2016 and non-creepy horror novels? I'd been waiting for The May Queen Murders since before it got a proper blurb or cover, so, of course, I gave it a chance, even though the reviews were pretty mixed. Hell, I wish I didn't, because this was a bloody mess. Boring characters, plot and not at all what I was expecting. Also, it's of course the lesbian girl who dies.

Rating: 2 stars

#5 Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

{goodreads}
{review}

Sanctuary Bay is another mystery-thriller that was all over the place - the story sounded awesome: a boarding school that's so much more sinister than one could imagine. However, the authors failed to deliver it in such a way that'd have made me eat up all the words, furiously feeling like, yep, this was actually happening. Instead, I kept questioning everything, looking for and finding plot holes left and right, and not even connecting to the characters in the least.

Rating: 2 stars

#4 Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger

{goodreads}

Okay, so maybe I'm just not intellectually fit for such a tediously boring novel, strictly about the emotional development of the characters, but I saw no point to this story. NOTHING changed in these characters' lives, even if they were questioning important things... I just... don't get it? 

Maybe the problem is also that I expected something along the lines of The Catcher in the Rye, and this wasn't it.

Rating: 2 stars

#3 Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart

{goodreads}

One of the first books I've read in 2016, and one of the worst ones, as well. The heroine was awful - I don't think I've ever read about a more selfish and egocentric MC who had NO idea about how her terrible antics influenced the people around her. The whole point of this story was for her to change and develop - alas, that development was less than satisfactory, because it was brought on super-suddenly, and, to be frank, I don't think the MC grasped just how much of a bad friend she's been, so I'm quite sure she wouldn't keep the promise about bettering herself.

Rating: 2 stars

#2 Soundless by Richelle Mead

{goodreads}

One of the most promising and unique-sounding books I've ever picked up, so it's a shame it turned out to be one of the most problematic ones I've ever read, as well. First thing I've realized upon picking it up was how it could have taken place virtually anywhere, with a totally white cast, because Mead's Chinese folklore influenced novel went just far enough to give the characters Chinese names. Repeat after me - other nation's cultures are not to be used as a selling point, and then forgotten.

And don't even get me started on the ableist crap - don't want to go into detail, because #spoilers, but by the end the message and opinion of the MC was pretty much that you can't fully enjoy life as a deaf person. No, just no. If you can't write a book about deaf people loving and accepting themselves, then don't write a book about them, period.

#1 Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

{goodreads}

So many people love, love, LOVE this book, but I just couldn't deal with it. Here's the thing - I've long realized that the romantic angst of Clare's books doesn't work for me anymore, hence my decision of never reading anything that's part of the Shadowhunters series anymore. But then Lady Midnight was released... AND EVERYONE LOVED IT. It was all over instagram, twitter and goodreads, and I read a review from which I thought the romantic tension won't be stretched out farther than this novel, so I caved in and dove into Lady Midnight. 

Guys, I ended up skimming through most of it. Neither the characters, nor the plot managed to sweep me off my feet, and let's not go into how much I loathed all the damn love triangles, squares and other geometric shapes.


HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS? WHAT WERE YOUR MOST DISLIKED NOVELS OF 2016?
LET'S HAVE AN #UNPOPULAROPINIONS PARTY IN THE COMMENTS. 
OR, TELL ME, DO YOU THINK I'M UNBELIEVABLY WRONG ABOUT THESE BOOKS?

26 comments:

  1. Soundless was probably on my least favorites of 2016 as well. I definitely agree with the problems you talked about. I just couldn't see the point in the story. I closed the book and felt like I got nothing from it (at least anything good).

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    1. My thoughts exactly! Upon finishing the story I was left with being confused, trying to guess what the heck was the point of the story...

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  2. OMG I am so with you about The Wrath & The Dawn. Gorgeous writing, diverse cast, a premise that had me super intrigued and then it 100% face-planted. Waste of a perfectly good Audible credit. Blech. Also had issues with Miss Perrigrine... Don't remember all of them since I read the book years ago, but I think I gave that two stars.

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    1. YESS, finally someone who wasn't a fan either! There are so few people out there who didn't love it, which is kind of a puzzle to me, but whatever. Yeah, Miss Peregrine really was disappointing, as well -SO MUCH LOST POTENTIAL in both of these. :(

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  3. I was so disappointed with Soundless :(
    I wanted to read #14 because I thought it will be so creepy and scary but then I saw the movie trailer and I got a little push back.
    My TTT,

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    1. Soundless = biggest let down of 2016 for me, hands down.
      It's more strange and unique than creepy? The book may be darker than the movie, but not by much, and, imo, it was much less enjoyable. :(

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  4. Miss Peregrine's is one I sorta wanted to read (and the movie looked good) but the B&W pics and everything, I don't know, it just looked creepy tome. So I skipped. With Malice is one I wanted to read too but I'll be careful after seeing it on your list. :) Sanctuary Bay I actually liked, but yeah not the most realistic book :)

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    1. The Miss Peregrine's movie was EVERYTHING - so damn good... but the book... not so much. I think it has more of a weird/unique vibe than a scary one, so you might want to give it chance. :) Yeah, I didn't like it, but I hope you'll enjoy With Malice! :)

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  5. Happily, I haven't read any of these, and I'm glad! Thanks for the thumbs down.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2017/01/childrens-books-that-celebrate.html

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  6. I actually really liked Miss Peregrine's! More than I thought I would to be honest, I found it so interesting! Also TWATD, I loved the atmosphere created and the diversity, although I can see why it didn't sit well with you. For me, my least favourite book was ACOMAF by: Sarah J. Maas! Don't even get me started, it showed such abusive relationships and people were actually shipping it? Plus it was incredibly boring!

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    1. I definitely think Miss Peregrine's is a hit or miss, glad you enjoyed it. Have you seen the movie? Gosh, I heard awful things about both ACOTAR & ACOMAF and how both these have terrible romances, so I deleted it from my TBR soon after the first book was released. I hate when abusive relationships are romanticized - that is so not what our society needs.

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    2. I haven't seen the movie yet! I keep telling myself that because it's Tim Burton it'll be good, but I've seen mixed reviews. And yeah, ACOTAR sooo did not sit well with me and I find it so problematic :(

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    3. I adored the movie, though if you watch it do expect the ending to be rushed, because they decided to go with a closed ending, instead of the first book's cliffhanger. :)

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  7. I tried to read The May Queen Murders. It sounded so promising! I was so bored that I DNF it. :(
    My Top Ten

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    1. I nearly DNF-ed, too! Nothing happened in it & the blurb told us too much about the "plot". :(

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  8. Omg I agree about a lot of these. ;_; *cries companionably with you* (Although I love Made You Up and Lady Midnight and TW&TD hhee.) But Soundless was disgustingly problematic. Like it had to cure the protagonist before an adventure?! I'm really surprised twitter hasn't exploded into rage over it frankly. And With Malice, Miss Peregrine's, and the Women in the Walls were all completely bleh to me. CAKE FOR ALL OF US FOR SURVIVING.😂

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    1. I don't understand how any why Soundless was published?? No offense, but if not for Mead already being popular, I don't think any publisher would have wanted that between their books - it's not only problematic, but also incredibly boring and unimaginative. YES, CAKE SOLVES ALL PROBLEMS.

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  9. Ok so I thought Miss Peregrines was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. SO if youre saying it was better than the book, I will not bother reading the book. LOL. I like to read about books readers didnt like so thank you for sharing!

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    1. I really liked the movie, so it can be that we're total opposites, and you'd love the books. Although, if you disliked the overall story/atmosphere/characters than you probably won't find the books any better either. :|

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  10. I haven't read any of these, but some of them are on my TBR, so hopefully I like them more than you!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/top-ten-tuesday-93/

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    1. Hope I didn't dis-encourage you much! Happy reading! :)

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  11. I'm so with you on Miss Peregrine's. I read it a couple years ago when the hype was still strong and it was just... meh. I couldn't believe that was what everyone was raving about. It was nothing special and I was semi-bored. I didn't even try with Lady Midnight. I loved The Mortal Instruments and I love The Infernal Devices but after those 9 books I was just kind of over it. My least faves last year would be: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares (every character was unlikable), Tell the Wolves I'm Home (ugh), and A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole (such a disappointment).

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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    1. I don't understand the hype either... it's so plain and boring and the characters are just the worst. Ugh. I should have been smart like you, Tanya, when it came to Lady Midnight, but alas, I believed the hype and the majority. *cries* Uh-huh, I heard pretty bad things about Sisterhood Everlasting, that's partly why I never continued the series after book 1. Hope you'll have a wonderful reading year! :)

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  12. I totally agree with you on The Wrath & the Dawn - to the point that I couldn't even finish it either. And here I'd heard such WONDERFUL things abut it. Ugh. As you know, I did rather enjoy Madly - though I can see why you didn't. (And I have since completely lost interest in continuing the series, so I must not have enjoyed it as much as I thought I did.) Hearing from you about Soundless - and a few other people that said much the same thing - is why I gave it a pass. And, for as much as I enjoyed The Infernal Devices (against all odds, really) I tried City of Bone and didn't like it so knew I was not even going to try Lady Midnight. (Besides, that book is crazy long and...this'll probably sound terrible, but I don't think any of Clare's books should be that long.)

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    1. This might come out all wrong - but I'm kinda glad you didn't like The Wrath & the Dawn either, because I feel like such a black sheep. I both understand & don't understand at all the hype, if that makes sense.
      Yes, I remember, and I'm happy you enjoyed it! I think that's the only book from this list that I'd still rec to people, because I definitely think it's a cute, fast read that many would love.
      I think you made the right decision with Clare's works - TID is probably the one series by Clare that I'd totally recommend you, because of the steampunk elements especially. YES, LADY MIDNIGHT IS WAY TOO LONG - it's basically 20% flimsy plot, 20% recycled characters with no development and 60% unnecessary drama. What.A.Waste.Of.Time.

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