I’m pretty sure everyone here has made some weird/bad/questionable decisions in their lifetime, right? The big ones, naturally, tend to linger in our minds, but the smaller ones have an impact too. For example, every so often I scroll through my “to-read” shelf on Goodreads, looking for something new to read – and every so often, I stumble across a story that makes me wince and wonder why on earth I ever added that one to the list.
I’ve added sooooo many books to that list because… because I wasn’t thinking clearly, I suppose. I was being unrealistic (“Of course I can read this five-thousand-page book!”) or got swept up in the storm of my friends’ fangirling (“Even though nothing about this book really appeals to me, I’ll add it to my list because everyone I know is giving it a five-star rating!”).
It’s kind of embarrassing.
1. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
I tried to read this aaaages ago (OK, maybe four years ago) and just couldn’t get into it. I mean, I’ve loved some of Bray’s other books, but this one is about a kid who has contracted mad cow disease and starts having all these hallucinations and I just… gah. It was super weird, but there wasn’t any point to all this weirdness, and the overuse of slang irritated me.
To be honest, I don’t have a clue why I kept reading the first book, Matched. I guess I thought it would get better? But it didn’t. It was the stereotypical “YA dystopian with a girl who finds herself in a love triangle with two boys” and it was SO FREAKING BLAND. I would rather watch paint dry than finish this series.
3. It by Stephen King
First of all, I am extremely squeamish when it comes to horror. I enjoyed some of King’s other books, such as Misery and Carrie, but even then I had to read a LOT of happy “fluff” books in order to feel less freaked out. And this one? It’s about some sort of creature that’s terrorizing children, and I am just not sure if I can handle that.
4. Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four by Veronica Roth
These definitely fall into the “added because of fangirl hype” category. I loved the concept of a dystopian Chicago, but the whole faction thing had so many plot holes (…seriously, your future is determined by whether you choose the knife or the cheese? and hasn’t anyone heard of cheese knives?), and the addition of a romantic subplot basically ruined the book for me. I’m interested in dystopians for the WEIRD FUTURISTIC WORLDS, not yet another girl-meets-boy story.
5. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
OK, I’m cheating here: This one’s not actually on my TBR list. Because I’m not foolish enough to put it on there in the first place! Christian Grey seems creepy and abusive and controlling and I just… like, if I’m actually going to read a guy/girl romance, I want something CUTE and well-written and not this… nonsense.
6. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I tried to read this book last summer, but I couldn’t even get past page twelve! And I am practically the QUEEN of Stubbornly Slogging Through Dull Books Until I Reach The End. But I felt sleepier with each page, and I kept… um… making up excuses to set the book aside and go do something else. That’s never a good sign, right?
7. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Because I read the first book in this series – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – and it was HORRIBLE. I’m not exaggerating here, it made me go “BLEHHHH” and regret the time I spent on it. (I guess I was so disappointed because I’d heard that it was an Amazing Book That Will Change Your Life and it just wasn’t, in any way.) Anyway, this one seems even more cringe-worthy because it’s all about a straight girl who’s in love with a gay boy and how miserable (note the sarcasm here) that makes her and I’m just like [Rolls eyes so hard that that they now permanently face the back of her skull].
…I don’t have a good history with Levithan’s books, all right? I’ve given all the ones I’ve read (which includes those he co-wrote with Rachel Cohn and John Green) two-star ratings because they bored me. And I just don’t know if I have it in me to try another Levithan book in the hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ll like this one better.
9. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
This story sounded AMAZING – outer space! dystopia! ridiculously fancy dresses! – until I heard that the main characters (who are, eventually, mutual love interests) hate each other at the beginning of the book. And that bothers me. It really, really bothers me. How on earth is that a healthy relationship?
To tell the truth, I’ve only ever seen this trope in stories about straight people… seriously, why do they think it’s hilarious when a boyfriend and girlfriend have a love/hate relationship? Does no one else find that disturbing? Gaaaaah. I’m not talking about occasional bickering because that happens in every relationship: I’m talking about hating the other person’s guts. Whyyyyyy.
10. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
Just look at that title! LOOK AT IT. Isn’t it the most pretentious thing you’ve ever seen?! I tried reading it when I was about twelve or thirteen, and it bored me to tears. It was really, really slow.
Well, that was fun! Writing frustrated/ranty posts is always rather cathartic, isn’t it? It’s, like, the writer’s equivalent of turning into the Incredible Hulk and SMASHING THINGS. Only we smash words together. We’re talented that way.
So, what did I learn from writing this post?
- I am picky about dystopians, particularly YA dystopians
- I have very high standards concerning guy/girl romances
- Sloppily-written romances irritate me, whether they’re a subplot or the story itself
- I have hardly any patience for stories that are slow to start
- Horror is not really my thing
Which books do you think you’ll never read? And tell me… are there any books on this list that you think I should reconsider?!