I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS TAG.
Sahi @ My World of Books tagged me in it to share the wealth of book letdowns.
Thank you Alex @ Lost in Translation for giving us space to complain about not-so-perfect books! This is such a perfect tag!
- If possible try to not mention the same book twice, it’s more fun that way
- It’s a funny tag where you can rant about terrible (or just meh) books so have FUN!
- Just do whatever you want ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Tag the creator Alex and myself if you decide to do it.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT GENRE
pick a book that undermines the genre as a whole
Throne of Glass really tamped-down my love for YA court-intrigue assassin fantasy.
I didn’t quite get the hype about the first book or any of the characters (Dorian in particular.)
I completely lost interest when I found out what the other books do to Chaol.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT DIALOGUE
pick a book with dialogue written so poorly that it made you cringe
I was NOT a fan of the writing in Crazy Rich Asians, and the dialogue was ESPECIALLY bad.
I’m almost certain the following is a direct quote; the words were scarred into my memory:
“I spy with my little eye Rachel giving Nick a long, deep kiss!”
People don’t talk like this!!
Also, I’d like to mention that this book opens with the most unnecessary prologue of all time.
I DID NOT LIKE this book.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT SETTING
pick a book that takes place in a location that you wish hadn’t been picked
TAKING SIMON AND BAZ TO THE STATES IN WAYWARD SON WAS A BAD IDEA.
ALL IT DID WAS PUT OFF DEALING WITH THE INEVITABLE FALLOUT IN THE BRITISH MAGICKAL COMMUNITY.
THERE WERE SO MANY TIRED FISH-OUT-OF-WATER JOKES MADE.
THE CREATIVITY WAS NONEXISTENT.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT MAIN CHARACTER
pick the most annoying main character
Really hard to enjoy a book when you despise the main character.
There HAS to be a way to write a sympathetic character in denial.
Lou from Hot Dog Girl was not that character.
(This book is finally receiving negative reviews. They soothe my soul.)
Lou’s schemes felt wacky for the sake of being wacky; even Lou admits they make no sense.
FOR EXAMPLE: she plans to seduce her male coworker by…pretending to date her female friend.
What does this accomplish???
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT BLURB
a blurb that was so far from the truth that it made you do a double-take and check you had read the right book
I did an entire series of posts on books that contradicted their blurbs, so I’ll avoid talking about any of those books.
Let’s talk about The Summer of Salt instead.
I expected a cute, magic coming-of-age novel.
The novel becomes sort of a magical whodunnit after the town bird is BRUTALLY MURDERED.
HOW COULD I HAVE PREPPED FOR THIS???
The plot ALSO explores sexual assault, which…hello?
I WOULD HAVE LIKED A HINT.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, but it was NOT the light summer read I was expecting.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT FRIEND
from whiny attention-seeker to full-on traitor, pick a character that you think is the worst friend ever
You get a pass today, Ron Weasley (you ass.)
(I have a huge rant about the Hogwarts houses locked and loaded, but I’ll SAVE IT FOR ANOTHER DAY.)
Today’s terrible friend comes from Let’s Talk About Love!
The romance in this book is perfect.
The friendship between Alice and Feeney is NOT.
Feeney gets jealous that Alice is spending so much time with Takumi, so she STOPS TALKING TO ALICE.
Then she blows up at Alice later in the book, accusing Alice of jealousy and possessiveness.
And…the narrative takes her side?
It’s very confusing and unpleasant.
I guess the moral is supposed to be that Alice depends too much on Feeney and needs to strike out on her own.
Alice apologizes to Feeney, Feeney never apologizes for anything, and they pledge their everlasting devotion to each other.
Personally, Alice, I wouldn’t.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT LOVE INTEREST
pick a character you think would be an awful romantic partner
How I HATED Matthias Helvar from Six of Crows.
Lots of authors use the Opposites Attract/Odd Couple dynamic in their stories.
Even if I don’t always love it, I get the appeal of such stark contrast.
HOWEVER, complementarity isn’t always indicative of a healthy dynamic!
For instance, having one partner be self-confident and the other be controlling and judgmental make an interesting contrast, but in no way does it make me root for a romance between the two characters.
This book tried to go the “both sides” route and say, “See, they use their differences to make each other better and help each other grow!”
Sublimating one’s religious guilt into mistreatment of a love interest isn’t the result of a culture clash.
That kind of behavior is the result of DEEP personal problems.
(I WOULD KNOW. I HAVE BEEN A MATTHIAS IN MY TIME.)
Matthias is a whole pack of red flags wrapped in furs.
Oh, and his and Nina’s “love story” rose out of a kidnapping!
He had plans to kill and torture Nina for being a Grisha!
HE DIDN’T SEE HER AS HUMAN!
Things don’t change when he recognizes her humanity.
Things change because Nina makes Matthias feel tickly in a silly place.
EVEN HIS SEXUAL FANTASIES ARE VIOLENT.
HOW GROSS CAN YOU GET, MY DUDE?
Matthias’ first course of action after Nina works FOR A YEAR to get him out of prison is to throttle her.
I could talk all day about his weak “redemption arc.”
I HATE HIM, OKAY?
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT VILLAIN
pick a character that you thought would have amazing evil plans but fell short and disappointed you
You all likely know by now that the Darkling is a villain.
I never saw him as such.
I thought his plan to do…something to the Shadow Fold (I don’t remember) sounded like a great idea.
He didn’t come across as the madman everyone else claimed he was.
I trust the Darkling more than I trust MAL.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT FAMILY
pick a horrible bookish family
I hate it when books normalize familial dysfunction.
The Chaos of Stars tried to justify patterns of abuse and neglect in Isadora’s family as something all families experience.
I skipped to the end – Isadora saves her mom’s life and, just like that, all their problems are resolved.
“Thanks for sending me to California by myself, Mom, and being emotionally distant my entire life! Glad we healed from that!”
I was not impressed.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT PLOT TWIST
pick a book with the worst plot twist
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books DON’T NEED PLOT TWISTS.
THEY JUST DON’T.
SO WHY DO ALL OF THEM HAVE ONE?
The plot twist in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is deeply unnecessary, but the one in Daisy Jones & The Six is downright offensive.
It achieved, as I’ve mentioned previously, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER LEVELS OF NONSENSE.
I sold Daisy Jones to Powell’s so I didn’t have to look at it anymore.
I was THAT ANGRY about it!
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT TROPE
pick a trope you wish would be avoided in all future publications
I hate fake dating.
I already know the characters are going to fall for one another. DATING SOMEONE TENDS TO SPEED UP THAT PROCESS.
Like…fine. You don’t have to be in love or even be that committed to date.
But let’s all stop ignoring the modicum of commitment and emotional intimacy involved in any relationship, EVEN A “FAKE” ROMANTIC ONE.
I hate watching people slap on labels (Real! Fake! Platonic! Romantic!) to avoid dealing with their emotions.
I get that it takes time to figure relationships out.
It usually goes easier, though, when one actually TRIES.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT COVER
pick that awful cover that almost made you miss a great book
N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season has an interesting premise, but I never would have picked it up without positive reviews from other book bloggers.
I’m not feeling the cover at ALL.
Also, I have yet to read this book, but I WILL now that I know it’s good.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT ENDING
pick a book that has the most disappointing ending
My reactions to John Green’s books range from “meh” to “eh.”
Paper Towns was more on the “eh” end for me.
We spend all this time looking for the elusive Margo Roth Spielman and, in the end, it wasn’t even worth it.
Also, Quentin misses the prom to find her, which I HATED.
Don’t mention THE PROM if you’re not going to give me THE PROM.
The movie improves the story so much by having Quentin return for prom. It’s my favorite thing.
The movie, at least, felt like it had a point.
The book feels like it was all for nothing.
THE NOT-SO-PERFECT EXPECTATIONS
pick a book that was so hyped that it disappointed you, and you can’t understand why everyone loves it so much
Special mention to The Night Circus, a book I cannot for the life of me enjoy.
I have NO idea what other people see in it – and I’ve ASKED!
The other book I want to talk about today is The Grace Year.
I thought it was such a superficial exploration of womxn’s issues.
I saw what it was trying to do, but I wanted more.
I was going to give the book a pass.
The ending changed my mind.
I did not expect to see so many tropes I hated all at once.
Those are some of the not-so-perfect books in my life.
Not everything can be The Scorpio Races, I guess.
AND SO IT GOES.
Honestly, anyone who wants to do this tag can and should!
I would love to see your anwers!