Books

The Not-So-Perfect Book Tag: Round Two

Yes, I’ve already done this tag.

However, it’s one of my favorite book tags of all time.

Nish and Ngoc of Nish & Ngoc’s Book Nook tagged me in this two whole years ago.

(Definitely read their post before you proceed. Their answers are hilarious.)

I had a post ready, then ran out of steam because *gestures vaguely* pandemic.

With two more years of books under my belt, I finally feel ready.

Thanks again to Alex @ Lost in Translation for making a tag SO good, I had to do it twice.

Rules

  1. If possible try to not mention the same book twice, it’s more fun that way
  2. It’s a funny tag where you can rant about terrible (or just meh) books so have FUN!
  3. Just do whatever you want ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  4. Tag me if you decide to do it, I would love to see your answers

The Not-So-Perfect Genre

Pick a book that undermines the genre as a whole

I like werewolf literature more than you would expect.

I have a thing for wolves and pack dynamics.

(Not like THAT.)

Therefore, I was pretty disappointed in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I thought, since I wasn’t into the wolves this time, at least I had a romance to console myself with.

Surprise! There were two romances and I hated them both.

I definitely felt this series should have stopped at book one.

I think Maggie Stiefvater (who, today, is my favorite fantasy author) was trying to subvert typical werewolf tropes.

She did…but I’m not sure it was for the best.

The Not-So-Perfect Dialogue

Pick a book with dialogue written so poorly that it made you cringe

None of the characters in The Diviners talk like real people.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

It’s not period-accurate. It’s hokey.

There’s a way to incorporate era-appropriate slang that feels natural and this wasn’t it.

The Not-So-Perfect Setting

Pick a book that takes place in a location that you wish hadn’t been picked

I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when it first came out and liked it well enough, but…

…I missed Hogwarts.

Have I mentioned I hate camping?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

I would have preferred to read about the characters fighting the evil professors at Hogwarts instead of searching for Horcruxes in the woods.

I also wish the author of the series wasn’t a massive TERF.

The Not-So-Perfect Main Character

Pick the most annoying main character

Between Lou’s constant refrains of “Big Titty Liddy” and Reid’s irritating sexual repression, I was pretty done with both of the protagonists by the end of Serpent & Dove.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Lou went from a girl trying to survive to a girl who liked to rebel for no reason.

Not my favorite personality trait.

I’ve already written several mini essays on how much I hate Reid.

My headcanon is that he dies in the sequels.

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

(Spoilers for Fates and Furies)

The blurb for Fates and Furies hinted at unexpected reveals and surprising twists.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

The story itself is pretty straightforward.

I kept holding out for twists, though. Foolish of me.

I guess the twist is that women do the bulk of the emotional labor in their relationships.

To WHOM is this surprising information?

The Not-So-Perfect Friend

From whiny attention-seeker to full-on traitor, pick a character that you think is the worst friend ever

(CW: transphobia)

I have been waiting to complain about Carroll from What We Left Behind FOREVER.

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

I could NOT understand how Gretchen put up with his constant anti-trans jokes and intentional misgendering of her genderqueer partner. He called Toni a “SHEMALE.” WHY THE HELL ARE YOU FRIENDS WITH HIM?

Gretchen finally ditches Caroll at the end…but why was she friends with him for so long??

The Not-So-Perfect Love Interest

Pick a character you think would be an awful romantic partner

It’s a toss-up between John Brooke and Friedrich Bhaer from Little Women.

Little Women by Louisa May Aclott

John alternately treats Meg like his daughter and his housekeeper.

When Meg brings up issues in her marriage, she’s advised by her mother to be a better wife so John will be a better husband.

I just…I hate this book.

In a different subplot, Bhaer decides Jo’s writing is immoral, so he starts trashing it in her presence. He doesn’t just say, “This is bad, I don’t like it.” No, the dude decides Jo’s writing is HARMFUL TO SOCIETY.

OKAY BOOMER.

I’m sure it had NOTHING to do with the fact that said writing made Jo financially independent.

Bhaer is so gross. I hate him.

Instead of worrying about Jo’s writing, he should worry about keeping crumbs out of his beard.

The Not-So-Perfect Villain

Pick a character that you thought would have amazing evil plans but fell short and disappointed you

(CW: rape, incest)

 (Spoilers for Beyond the Black Door)

I think Vehyn’s villainy was supposed to be a surprise.

Beyond the Black Door

His plot was so convoluted, though, it struck me as more funny than horrifying.

“I’m going to convince a dreamwalker to open my door even though I’ve already possessed her stepbrother. If she doesn’t agree to my evil plan, I’ll make said stepbrother kill the king or something, I don’t know. At no point have I told her this evil plan, by the way, and I won’t introduce assassination as a possibility until the very end of the book.”

This makes no sense.

I will never be over the fact that Razim, the stepbrother, was introduced as sexually aggressive and a possible predator. Kamai’s mother LITERALLY WARNS KAMAI not to wind up alone in a room with him.

The end of the book claims that this was due to Vehyn’s evil influence and the REAL Razim was good all along.

I think this sets a REALLY bad precedent for teens with potentially dangerous family members.

The Not-So-Perfect Family

Pick a horrible bookish family

(CW: rape culture)

I wrote a rant about the parents in Pride and Popularity in 2015.

Pride and Popularity by Jenni James

I’m still mad about this book.

Let me make something very clear:

YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO DATE PEOPLE WHO ARE ATTRACTED TO YOU.

NO PERSON OF ANY GENDER IS ENTITLED TO YOUR ROMANTIC ATTENTION.

And you DO NOT have to “be someone’s girlfriend” for a few weeks to be polite.

Expecting your daughter to date someone who CANNOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER “just for a couple weeks” is BAD PARENTING.

Good job on supporting rape culture, Mormonism!

The Not-So-Perfect Plot Twist

Pick a book with the worst plot twist

I’m not going to spoil the twist of Red at the Bone.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Wilson

I will say I’ve seen it used in other novels set during the same time period and I think it’s cheap.

Referencing a tragedy does not automatically make your book poignant.

That said, I really liked this book. I thought it had plenty of emotional heft without That Thing That Happened.

The Not-So-Perfect Trope

Pick a trope you wish would be avoided in all future publications

I hate the trope Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other, specifically in the context of what should be affectionate relationships.

If two friends become enemies and occasionally show each other acts of mercy on the battlefield, I think that’s great.

If two people in a romantic relationship constantly berate each other only to defend each other from outsiders, I hate it.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Unrelated image

I’ve seen this trope used to showcase some truly vile behavior.

I could not be more over it.

The Not-So-Perfect Cover

pick that awful cover that almost made you miss a great book

I adored Margaret Owen’s Little Thieves.

I almost didn’t read it because I wasn’t wild about the cover.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

I think it’s the color scheme I don’t like? I just know that this book didn’t look the least bit appealing to me whenever I was trying to decide what to read next.

It’s great, though. Please pick it up.

It was definitely in my Top 15 Books of 2021.

THE NOT-SO-PERFECT ENDING

pick a book that has the most disappointing ending

(Spoilers for Hawksong)

I reread Hawksong recently and I still love it.

I forgot how abruptly it ends, however.

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

The assassins are unmasked and brought to justice. One page later, Zane and Danica admit they love each other.

And then…it’s over.

When I was fifteen, I thought this was the perfect ending.

As an adult, reading this made me go, “That’s it!?”

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

For the Wolf went from one of my most anticipated books of 2021 to one of my most disappointing reads.

I wasn’t impressed in the slightest.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

What made me angriest was how much people hyped it up.

I am willing to contend that this book is just not for me.

I refuse to pretend that it is SPECIAL.

If your review of this contains ANY version of the sentence “This is completely like anything I’ve ever read,” I can no longer trust your opinions.

You’ve REALLY never read a book like this?

People were calling this SO UNIQUE, which I guess means they’ve never read 2000s young adult fantasy.

No book HAS to be 100% unique in all aspects. Writers can follow publishing trends, use common plot structures, start with fanfic, etc. What makes a book truly unique – in my view – are the emotions and experiences brought in by the author.

I didn’t feel like this book had any heart. It read like a template.

Well.

That was me harshing on another crop of books.

I feel like this post was relatively toned down compared to last time.

I haven’t thought about some of these books in quite a while. I still stand by my statements.

Please do this tag. I love it so much.

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