I don’t usually like talking about books I don’t like, unless the book made me angry due to offensive content, but I thought I’d try something a little different today. There’s only so much I can gush about my favourite books before you all get sick of me.
I usually have a “thank u, next” approach to books I don’t like, but sometimes there’s some that just get under your skin because you hated them that much. Do you know what I mean? The kinds of books that make you want to write a rant review because they just suuuuuuuuccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkked.
That’s what I’m going to do today! Rant about books I hated. 😊
I’m get a bit dramatic in this post. And I swear, a lot. I also really, really hope I don’t offend or upset anyone, so if I hate on your favourite book, it doesn’t mean anything and it’s not a reflection on you! We all have different opinions and we all read books differently. Plus, I’ve had to sit through so many negative reviews of my favourite book series Captive Prince when half of the people reviewing it hadn’t even read it, so you all owe me. 😇
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Goodreads average rating: 4.01 stars
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Nope. Nope. Nope. I can’t with this book. I’m actually surprised my rating was three stars and not lower, because I hated my entire reading experience.
My biggest problem with this book was the main character, Molly. Listen, I know she’s only seventeen-years-old and trust me when I say I had just as much anxiety as her at that age, but she got on my nerves. She was such a one-dimensional character — there was no depth to her. Her personality was so flat and I wondered how she could have two cute guys fighting over her. Not to mention, her self-deprecating personality pissed me off to no end, especially because she only grows happy and confident in herself when she starts dating a guy. Yeah … no, that’s such a crappy message to be sending to your (potentially) all female audience.
I know every teenager feels like high school is the peak of their lives and they must go through full, wide-ranging experiences of adulthood by the age of seventeen, but it really is not and that’s something that annoyed me about Molly. I think my eyes rolled to the very back of my head when Molly said, with complete sincerity, “I know I’m a late bloomer”, all because she did not have a boyfriend at the wise-old age of seventeen.
Also, plot? What is plot? There is no plot, which is something that all of Albertalli’s novels suffer from: the lack of plot. I didn’t mind it as much in Leah in the Offbeat because I really liked Leah, but here it drove me up the wall.
But I think the biggest reason I hated this book was Molly’s sister, Cassie. God, I hated her. She has to be one of the most selfish and uncaring characters I’ve ever come across. She uses Molly to get her way constantly, from sharing embarrassing stories about Molly to impress a girl, to forcing Molly to get into a relationship with a guy she doesn’t like so she can hang out with a girl she likes. Fuckity off.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads average rating: 4.50 stars
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Empire of Storms almost made this list but I decided to put A Court of Wings and Ruin on instead because I loved the previous book in this series SO MUCH that my disappointment in the final book was even worse.
Ugh. This book was like Sarah J. Maas had forgotten how to write. The prose was bogged down with such unnecessary detail that I became confused and couldn’t understand what was happening. Feyre also has this annoying habit of obsessing over everyone else and what someone else is potentially thinking of or feeling. I know this is just Maas struggling to reveal information about another character because she is stuck using the first person point of view, but she is a skilled writer who could have found a way around it. It was like every time Feyre entered a room, she described in agonising detail what everyone’s facial expressions were, what they were wearing, if two people were looking at each other, if one character was blushing, if another turned their head and coughed … just enough!
SJM also uses the deus ex machina device at least six times, and bitch, that’s five times too many. You need to come up with a proper plot instead of relying on an implausible event or character to solve an issue in the book. Please, I beg.
And I absolutely hated Mor in this novel. The scene that made me begin to dislike her was when they were in the Court of Nightmares, negotiating with her father. After Rhys allowed the Court of Nightmares some freedom, Mor sat there with a ‘beseeching expression crumbling on her face.’ She literally sat at the table, almost crying, in front of her evil father who ruled the Court of Nightmares, and stared at Rhys like he just took away her favourite toy for no reason. Even Eris said to her, ‘You had every emotion written right on that pretty face of yours.’
So you understand what I’m saying: THE MORRIGAN, WHO WAS A WARRIOR IN THE WAR ALL THOSE YEARS AGO, ACTED LIKE A FREAKING CHILD IN FRONT OF THE EVIL COURT WHO ONLY ASKED FOR THAT PARTICULAR THING BECAUSE THEY KNEW IT WOULD UPSET HER. And I thought they were supposed to act powerful in the Court of Nightmares.
Now, the sex. I read a lot of romance novels. I read a lot of erotic romance novels, so I have no problem reading sex scenes, but holllllly fuck, SJM goes way over the top here. Rhysand has sex on his mind every single page and like, boy, take a chill pill. You’re in the middle of a war, and all you want to do is fuck your wife?
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Goodreads average rating: 4.31 stars
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Please don’t be offended if you love this book, but what the actual fuck. This is the second-worst series ender I have ever read — EVER. (The first is also on this list.)
Like, what happened? Seriously, I was so freaking confused by the time I closed the book, I threw it against the wall. Apparently, the last book in a series is a great time to introduce a new main character and give him a POV and completely shit on a character that has been around since book one. If you’ve read this book, you know I’m talking about Henry and Noah.
It makes me so sad to explain my hatred for this book, because I adore these characters so much, but in my opinion, Stiefvater ruined the whole series for me. I don’t even know if I have it in me to read Ronan’s trilogy, and he’s my favourite character.
Anyway, the amount of things that angered me in this book will end up in me writing like 60 paragraphs, so here they are in dot-point form:
- Henry, with his random little robotic bee
- Stiefvater’s repetitive, boring writing
- The fact that Noah, a main character, didn’t have any page time and everyone forgot about him and then he just died
- The Glendower plot: everything that the three other books had been leading up to lead to … nothing. So why the fuck did I waste my time reading all those books?
- The 6:21 thing — I still don’t understand what was going on
- TOO MANY POVs! It got to the point where I couldn’t differentiate between the characters anymore
- The anticlimactic ending
I have to scream in frustration because this book pissed me off to no end! I can’t even recommend this series to anyone anymore, and that kind of breaks my heart. 💔
Autoboyograhy by Christina Lauren
Goodreads average rating: 4.36 stars
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
This is going to be a very unpopular opinion because I know so many people love this book but it’s a big fucking “no” for me. I have never read a book that made me cringe, scream in frustration and want to punch the characters as much as Autoboyography.
So my main problem with this book has to do with a portion of the plot. I didn’t mind the idea of the book — the main character trying to write a book in a month for class and then falling in love with the mentor — but the execution was terrible. I hate insta-love in any book, but the authors of Autoboyography took it one step too far.
Imagine going to your job. Now imagine helping someone at your job, a complete stranger with whom you’ve had a couple of minute-long conversations with. Now imagine them writing a fucking romance about you — how you meet, how you fall in love, how you’re thinking about having sex. Is that not the creepiest thing imaginable?? I GOT SECOND-HAND EMBARRASSMENT FROM THIS. That’s not cute, people; that’s weird.
Because that’s what Tanner does: he writes a book about a “fictional” relationship between two boys — but its so obvious, to Sebastian too, that it’s about him and Sebastian — who fall in love even though Sebastian is SUPER religious and hasn’t even indicated to Tanner that he is gay, or attracted to Tanner at all. How fucking awkward. No, not just awkward: dangerous. Because Sebastian is Mormon, and the Mormon religion is not accepting of queer people.
But my biggest problem with this book is Tanner’s best friend, Autumn. God, I hated her and her entire ridiculous plot-line. SPOILERS: So when Tanner moves to this ultra religious town, his parents force him back into the closet. He befriends Autumn and they become best friends, but he doesn’t tell her he is bi, which, fair enough. He doesn’t have to, even if she is an LGBTQ+ ally, because it’s his decision who should know. Anyway, one time at a party, Tanner and Autumn make out, but Tanner tells her it was a mistake that they are better off as friends and she agrees … even though she harbours a secret crush on him forevermore that is definitely not a secret, considering Tanner is fully aware of it. You still with me? So Tanner is fully aware that Autumn has a crush on him, and yet, when he breaks up with Sebastian (for like the hundredth time in this short novel), he goes to her house, cries, kisses her … and then proceeds to have sex with her, taking her virginity. To make matters worse, he forgets that she’s a virgin until she reminds him DAYS LATER, after she has a hissy fit, that’s not really a hissy fit because she’s over him, but still stayed home from school and ignored his calls and text messages. Yeah. Tanner even admits that he wasn’t thinking about her when they were having sex — he didn’t care about her feelings on the matter, didn’t take time to be gentle because she’d never had sex before. No, he was rough, and only thought about his own feelings because of Sebastian, which, gross, I hate you Tanner. OH and then she blames herself!!!! She said their sex was all her fault, not Tanner’s which aksfhgkjahdfjhajkfghakfd.
Anyway, I can’t deal with how gross this book is or how angry it made me to read it. I want to expunge it from my mind.
Also, I’m just now realising that I also hated another of Christina Lauren’s books — Beautiful Bastard — and also rated that two stars, so I guess these authors just aren’t for me!
Half Lost by Sally Green
Goodreads average rating: 4.00 stars
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
While The Raven King is the second-worst series ender I’ve ever read, Half Lost is the first. THE WORST. I will never be reading a Sally Green novel again because this book triggered me something horrible.
So Half Lost is the last book in the Half Bad series, which I really loved. It’s about a young man named Nathan who is half white witch, half black witch — meaning half good, half bad. Nathan is treated as a criminal his entire life, and he’s tortured by the so-called “good” witches who believe that, because he’s half evil, he presents a threat to them. Anyway, Nathan goes on a pretty big adventure and ends up become the leader of a group of rebels who are fighting back against the white witches. Pretty cool, right? Except for the use of “white” and “black” witches, although I do believe that in the actual Wiccan religion, those a proper terms. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)
Back to Half Lost: Nathan is in a relationship with a young man named Gabriel, and they would literally die for each other. And then Gabriel does. Yep, this book features the horrible bury-your-gays trope and what’s worse: according to one reviewer, the author even promised this book would have a happy queer ending!! AND THEN SHE KILLED OFF THE MC’S GAY BOYFRIEND AND PUNISHED THE BI MC. AND THEN SHE IGNORED READERS WHO WERE UPSET.
Not to mention, Nathan has been abused his entire life: abused as in physically tortured to the point where he lived in a cage. You couldn’t give him a fucking happy ending with his boyfriend? Also the way Gabriel dies comes out of nowhere! He survives the final war at the end of the novel and then Nathan’s half sister, who hates Nathan, comes in a tries to shoot Nathan but hits Gabriel instead.
So, yeah, you can see how this book triggered me, because Gabriel’s death comes out of nowhere and the fact that Nathan, who is bi, suffers so much really screwed with my head. I couldn’t read for days after this book and even thinking about it makes me panic a little, so I’ll stop and just say:
Fuck this book to the very ends of the Earth. I hate it so freaking much and I’m doubly upset in the author.
Blue is the Warmest Colour by Julie Maroh
Goodreads average rating: 3.92 stars
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
What a mess this book is. First off, this book is so fucking biphobic, I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it. Like, just say you hate bi people and go.
The character I’m talking about is Clementine. It’s never explicitly stated that Clem is bi, but it’s my reading of it as well as the reading of many other readers, as Clem is in a relationship with a man at the beginning of the book, then she dates Emma, and then … she cheats on Emma … with a guy.
Yep, the age-old “all bisexuals are cheaters” trope. And Emma is so biphobic in this entire graphic novel: she constantly says horrible things to Clem, reinforcing that stereotype. And then guess what? Can you guess? Clem dies.
Yeah … another bury your gays trope.
I really don’t know what message to take away from this book. To me, it greatly reinforces that old stereotype of queer people being undeserving of happy endings, either because one of them dies or one of them cheats … and here we have both! Also, just found out recently through another blogger than Clem is only 16 in the graphic novel, and Emma is like 22? That’s … not good. And now I feel so uncomfortable with the sex scenes.
Paper Princess by Erin Watt
Goodreads average rating: 4.03 stars
My rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Here it is, friends: the worst book I’ve ever read, the one I hate above all others. I’ve never been the type of person who would tell someone not to read a book because I legitimately believe we all read and experience a book differently, but I don’t want people to read this book. It upsets me on such an intrinsic level.
You know how some people say that enemies to lovers is a toxic trope? I’ve never believed that because I’ve always felt that the trope has so much potential, but I can see why people think hate to love is problematic now, because this book is problematic as fuck. The authors use the enemies to lovers trope between the MC Ella and her love interest Reed.
I honestly could not comprehend why Ella was attracted to Reed: perhaps it was the blatant sexism that he constantly spouted, or the fact that he told his brothers not to have sex with her because she was probably diseased. I know I can’t help but fall in love with a guy when he calls me a slut to my face.
Reed was a contradiction. He continually stated how much he hated Ella and wanted her to stay away from his brothers, but then told her: “If I have to fuck you so you don’t ruin my family, I’ll do it.”
THE ACTUAL FUCK??? Not only does that make zero sense, he basically told her he would assault her. But Reed wasn’t even the worst brother. There was Easton, who groped himself in front of Ella and insinuated that he would force himself on her; then there were the twins, who swapped identities so they could each sleep with one of their girlfriends, without her knowledge.
It honestly feels as though the authors wrote down their most titillating fantasies and tried to write a book about them, but failed. Like, five guys? Ella just had to have five guys falling over her and have sexual tension with. Bitch, please.
Excluding the abusive and problematic male characters, the novel had absolutely no plot. It was literally just Ella moving into the Royal mansion and trying to befriend the brothers while they made her exceedingly uncomfortable by talking about blowjobs in front of her, and refusing to believe she was a virgin. Which brings me to my biggest peeve: the fact that the female MC always has to be this untouched and pure virgin while her love interest has so much experience. And then Reed made fun of her for it!!! I can’t.
All in all, this book is misogynistic, sexist, and abusive as fuck. I’m honestly astounded that two women wrote this book. There were so many occasions of sexual assault and near rapes, I wanted to scream.
FUCK THIS BOOK.
What’s your “thank u, next” type of book? Have you read any of the books I mention here? Do you hate them like I do, or did I shit on your fave? Let me know!