#2018RoundUp: Worst Books

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Even a bad book is better than no book, right? Uh, no. Not at all.

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
If you do not know an impossible amount of information about the incredibly niche area of 80's movies and video games, then frankly, as this author deems it, you are not smart enough or cool enough to even bear witness to the 'masterpiece' that is this book. Because, with the excess pandering that the references came across as, and the inherent snobbery and superiority written into the prose, I do not think I have been condescended to, by a book so much in all of my life.

The Fact of a Body, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
However many months later, just thinking about this book never fails to make me irrationally angry. Because, even though how Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich deals with her own trauma is entirely up to her (and I applaud her for being able to look bad and begin to address it), that does not give her the right to offer the same absolution, mercy, whatever to Jeremy Guillory’s murderer. And, to this day, I still don't understand why she ever thought she could.

The Sacrifice Box, Martin Stewart*
Frankly, the poor man's Stand By Me, Stranger Things and IT. If you are thinking about reading this, I would recommend that you just stick with the classics, because who needs a cheap, flimsy imitation, when you can have the real thing?

The Idiot, Elif Batuman
If I'm being honest, this book only succeeded in making me feel like an idiot. You would seriously need to be educated at Harvard to understand where Elif Batuman was going with this, and even then I think you might struggle.

Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding
This book makes me want to overexercise - to jog on the spot all day instead of sitting at my desk, to spend all night on the exercise bike instead of going to sleep. To keep moving, to not eat, until I feel light-headed and dizzy. I wish I had just left it at watching the movie and never read it.

The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel
Frankly, I would have doubted that the author had ever met a real-life woman if I hadn’t looked at the book’s cover halfway through and realised that she was one herself. To write a ‘thriller’ that revolved around a cast of big-boobed, interchangeable Ophelia’s made the author seem far more like a conjuror of the LSD-fuelled male imaginings of the 70s than any person (female or otherwise) writing today.

Guess Who, Chris McGeorge*
This was one of the least successful thriller/mysteries I have read in a long time and though, up until now, it has been universal that I only give a one-star ratings to books that I simply could not finish but, despite making it to the final page, this one still deserved it. I mean, a locked-room mystery with a talk-show host acting as the detective? This really wasn't something that the genre needed.

Dear Mrs Bird, A.J Pearce*
I looked up A.J Pearce at the end of nearly every chapter of this, because I couldn’t believe that the person writing it could have ever stepped foot on British soil. It didn’t create atmosphere, or entice the reader into the world, it just made all of the characters seem like irritating caricatures. Every few words a phrase was capitalised - yet another distraction that I assume was supposed to emphasise just how British everyone was. But all it succeeded in doing, was to make me want to bang my head against the wall.

White Bodies, Jane Robins*
Sometimes, I am tempted to toss the mystery-thriller genre to one side, never to return. White Bodies was the one book this year that made me seriously consider it. Because, let's be honest, even the reveal of the non-food eating by the main character, was just the cherry on the top of a rotting cheesecake of poor writing, implausible dialogue and a cast of characters that were little more than tired archetypes.

This Lie Will Kill You, Chelsea Pitcher*
The mystery and its set-up was ridiculous and more importantly, the book's use of its LGBTQ+ characters made me want to scream and cry and throw something at the wall. Following on from last year's list and the inclusion of One of Us is Lying, it just fuels more evidence to the fire that YA mystery-thriller authors should somehow be banned from including any references to queerness/mental health problems in their books... At least until they pass a test/present their book before a committee.

Head on over to http://bit.ly/2y7JSWV for these books, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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