(Yes, hi, still Mikaela here under a new name – and better-looking blog, I think! Hopefully you guys weren’t confused!)
Ah, yes, it’s that time of the year for sharing unpopular opinions. I’m not one to really hate books that I don’t end up liking. Only a couple of books have led me to rage-quit, and I rarely give out one stars to books I’ve completely read; most of them are awarded to DNFs. But, this year, I read some pretty bad books, because four of them were one-star reads, and I read through the entire thing. But, compared to the overall books I read this year, it really wasn’t too bad.
So, if any of your favorite books are on this list, all I have to say is…
But enough of that! Let’s get into the books!
So, my biggest issue with this book was the fact that this was pretty much almost a copy of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. Even certain details that was unique to Haas’s book were included. For example, in Dangerous Girls, Anna and Elise take a photo on Halloween night in which Anna is holding a knife to her throat as a joke. This also happens in With Malice, with Jill holding a knife to Simone’s throat on Halloween night. I probably would’ve appreciated this more if Dangerous Girls had come later, but this just seemed like a poor man’s version.
The Winner’s Crime
I’m not going to include the summary of this since it’s a sequel to The Winner’s Curse and it’s chock-filled with spoilers, but this was extremely disappointing. The Winner’s Trilogy is probably one of these most-loved series on Goodreads, and I honestly thought I was going to join in on the appreciation. I mean, it’s a fantasy novel with war and politics where the main character is smart and uses her brain. What’s not to like? But, it fell flat for me when I realized that a horrible forbidden romance was going to be the main focus. And it was an extremely angst-y, overdramatic forbidden romance that makes you roll your eyes. Arin, the guy she’s pining for, is supremely annoying and whiny and immature, and I’m confused as to why he’s so popular? I gave the first book two stars, but, this one was SO MUCH WORSE, and I ended up giving it two stars. The covers are gorgeous though.
(Not to mention I read the first two books twice just in case I missed something. I really hadn’t.)
The Bird Tribunal
For all the great thrillers I discovered this year and quickly became my favorites, there are always the hyped ones you expect more from. A couple of them are on this list. This one is SUPER popular and well-liked, but this time, I just don’t get it. Is the atmosphere chilling? Yes. Is the romance creepy and unsettling? Yes. But…I guessed the ending to this novel about ten or so pages in. And, nothing can word my disappointment when I reached the end, and realized there wasn’t some huge plot twist to throw me off. And that I sort of wasted two days of my time. And that I’ve seen elements of this book before, except I’ve seen them handled better. So, this was a fail in my book, but I’m a party of one.
The Last Star
Again, no summary for this since, as you can see from the cover, it’s a finale for a trilogy, but I was super disappointed by this one. I loved The 5th Wave, and still enjoyed The Infinite Sea, even though others found it mediocre. This one just completely ruined the trilogy for me personally. The writing was off – not saying there weren’t beautiful quotes, because they were, but it wasn’t as polished and sophisticated – the romance was awful – especially that cheesy sex scene which can be summed up as whut? – and the ending led up to the stupidest decision regarding a character I’ve seen yet. Pretty much no questions were answered, and there were too many loose ends. It sucks, because I used to consider this one of my favorite series, but it’s sort of hard to say that now.
The Kind Worth Killing
Oh hyped thrillers, why must you let me down? This one just wasn’t for me. I felt that it was way too gimmick-y with the plot twists happening pretty much every couple other chapters. It really ruined my enjoyment of the novel. And there’s the fact that the blurb made this book much better than it was. I’m going to be reading Her Every Fear once I actually have money in my pocket, and hopefully that’s better, but I just think that a different author could have done better with the concept. I will say, the ending made me laugh a little.
The Couple Next Door
This book and B.A. Paris’s Behind Closed Doors were probably the most hyped debut thrillers from new authors over the summer. I ended up enjoying Paris’s novel, but this one fell flat. First off, I really hate Marco, and I’m not going to say why because ~spoilers~, but he irritated the hell out of me. Second, I felt “meh” after realizing the whodunit. Never do you want to figure out the mystery person and be disappointed by it. The very last chapter was pretty awesome, but, awesome endings do not a better book make.
I was originally going to avoid this one at all costs after seeing the movie trailer, since it basically gives away the whole plot, but I caved. Bad idea. This was just a really shallow dystopian novel that didn’t provide anything new, much like most books published in the genre after the success of The Hunger Games. It really bothered me that it seemed like no one had common sense in this game, and just went along with everything told to them. I mean, obviously this game is off its rocker, but, hey, Vee’s getting new shoes!!! Also, the romance – or shall I say, insta-love? – between Ian and Vee was cheesy and unnecessary and just *sigh*. And the ending really didn’t make that much sense to me at all, and is left quite open-ended. I haven’t watched the movie adaptation, and probably won’t, if this was the material they had to work with.
Return to the Dark House
Oh, look, another finale/sequel! I think I’m seeing a pattern here. Anyway, I read the Dark House duology (or trilogy? There may be a third book in the works, but I ain’t touching it) for October because I was reading ~spooky~ books, and the first one wasn’t too bad. It was like a cheesy, teen horror B-movie in book form, but I enjoyed myself despite the insta-love. But this one managed to just expand on what made it suck so much in the first one. Ivy, the main character, is a total reckless idiot, the type of protagonist that authors assume you’ll cheer for as they make the stupidest decisions. The thing that annoyed me the most was that Riley (excuse me if that’s not her name; I’m 90% sure it is), the other protagonist, was smart and was shoved to the side. Also, Ivy’s doing all this to rescue a boy she “fell in love with” over a three-day period and can’t survive without. Whatever.
The Perfect Girl
And another disappointing thriller! What makes this doubly disappointing is that I’ve read Macmillan’s first novel What She Knew and I devoured it. It was a really nice take on the “missing child” subgenre of thrillers. I read The Perfect Girl first, and definitely didn’t like it. Not only was the writing completely unspectacular and seemed really detached – much like the one-dimensional characters – but the book really seemed to drag. I read both of Macmillan’s novels on iBooks, so they were both over 700 pages, since the app drags out page numbers. Compared to What She Knew, which took me two days to read, I read The Perfect Girl in about five or so days, which is super long for me to be reading a book.
This started out so well, but tapered off towards the end. Listen, I love pretentious adult fiction. I love gorgeous prose that basically borders onto purple. I can enjoy a slow book. But this one just wasn’t for me. Objectively, I’d say this was a good book, but for me, I was basically skimming the last few chapters. It may have been because long chapters are a pet peeve for me, but I was getting impatient and bored, and I realized that I just really didn’t care. This might be the book for another reader, but that reader isn’t me.
And that’s it for all the negativity! There are definitely some super hyped and popular books on this list, but I’ve learned that when I dislike a book, I sort of expect it to be well-loved among other bookworms, so I’m not really surprised.
What were some of your disappointments or least favorites of 2016?