Welcome to Blogmas day 17! They’re still here! And still posting! Damn, I’m sort of surprised haha.
Anyway, today I’m bringing you my least favourite reads of 2020! I don’t usually like focusing on books I’m not a fan of because I just don’t have the energy to be that negative, but I thought it seemed a bit fun to try it out for once!
Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran
I sorely wished I enjoyed this book! On paper, it sounds like a favourite of mine but unfortunately the payoff wasn’t what I was expecting. Basically, I found the plot confusing to follow. Usually I love fantasy stories with complex political machinations but in Queen of Coin and Whispers I couldn’t figure out what was happening. There were so many characters and none of them were distinct enough for me to follow along. Even the two main characters’ — Lia and Xania — voices were so similar, there was basically no distinction between their chapters. I often forgot whose chapter I was reading.
I also found the ending was a too rushed and came right out of left-field. I’m going to try my hardest to be vague here, but close to the ending, Xania and her friend Matthias undertake a quest of sorts, which I was expecting to lead into a sequel. But it’s not: this quest is completed within a handful of chapters, whereas I personally believe that there’s so much happening in those chapters that could have expanded into an entire new novel. The ending was so rushed whereas the rest of the book dragged. Didn’t enjoy this one unfortunately.
The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson
Bit strange to say I didn’t enjoy a book about the real life murder of a young woman, but unfortunately I didn’t. This book was marketed as being about the trial of the murder of the author’s aunt several years earlier and … it’s not. At all.
Instead the book is about Nelson’s childhood and her relationship with her mother and sister. At about the 70% mark, that’s when we find out some information about her aunt’s murder and the trial. Basically, I didn’t enjoy this book because it was marketed as something it’s not and I was disappointed by what I read.
Milkman by Anna Burns
This is a weird book, because half the time I read it I enjoyed it, and the other half I absolutely hated it. Which I think is how I mostly feel about literary fiction. It just felt like so much happened but at the same time … nothing actually happened, plot-wise? Most of the book takes place in the character’s head, in her thoughts, so it feels like she never stops talking, but she doesn’t actually do anything.
It was just … a book. I guess.
Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
This is probably my most disappointing read of 2020 and it makes me so freaking mad! Because the first volume was INCREDIBLE! I adored it so much, all the characters, the writing, the plot — everything. And then we get to volume two. *big sigh*
Volume two was trash. So obviously all the sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — grow up in the second volume and become adults, but they were completely indistinguishable from one another. Their amazing personalities, which made them so distinct in volume one, and everything that made them so wonderful was gone in volume two.
But one thing that made me so so so mad was the fact that Jo makes a school for boys. Miss me with that there was — and still is — boys’ schools LITERALLY EVERYWHERE, but there’s barely any for girls, and for a book called Little Women that spends so much time discussing how strong and intelligent women can be and how they can do more than what life has given them, the fact that the book ends with such a focus on men is disappointing. I was about to accept it when Jo said it would be for poor boys and then 0.3 seconds later says she’ll accept rich boys because even rich boys need an education — sorry, did I miss some part in literally all of human history where rich boys don’t receive an education????
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
This is another very weird novel because I don’t really know what to think of it? Like, Milkman so much happens but also nothing happens! The characters are all so very shallow and one dimensional, the writing is boring and not engaging in the slightest, and the plot is literally so weird — especially that ending?
I have to be honest, I don’t understand why this is a modern classic.
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