My Worst Books of All Time (books I hate so much they make me feel like I’ve reached rock bottom)

You know, I genuinely wish I’d forgotten all the bad books I’ve ever read. And to be honest, when I go back over my “most disappointing” lists, I generally don’t remember (or care about) most of the books on there. Yet sometimes there are books so frickin AWFUL that they’re seared into my memory and I can’t forget them even though I’ve tried!! (Of course, usual disclaimer that this is just my opinion and what technically constitutes a bad book is subjective… although, for some of these, if you tell me they’re not technically bad, I just want to ask: who hurt you?!) ANYWAY, in no particular order (cos it feels too much like sifting through shit), these are the books I hate most in the world:

Fifty Shades of Grey– oh my, I can’t believe I actually read this book. I mean, no “worst books” list would be complete without it- but why oh why did I have to read it?! I blame myself for getting all caught up in the fact everyone was reading it. This (should’ve) been the moment when I realised never to listen to hype. And unfortunately, it’s forever scarred into my memory. There’s no two ways about it: this book blows. 

Nutshell– in a nutshell, this book is nonsense. Unless of course you believe a foetus can monologue reams of conceited drivel. And of course that little synopsis would be bad enough on its own, if it wasn’t masquerading as a Hamlet retelling… (seriously, how do some books exist?)

As I Lay Dying– this book makes me want to die… ahhh I’m not even being melodramatic. It’s been years since I was forced to read this for uni and I’m still not over this insipid advertisement for postmodern bullshit. Amazingly, I’m not impressed by people that pontificate on whether words can truly convey emotion. I wish the self-indulgent wankers who engage in such discussions would just go off to baa in some field somewhere and leave the rest of us in peace.

Wideacre– just gross. I’m disturbed that this was recommended to me, because, WHY?!?! If you don’t know the book, then maybe shield your eyes, stop reading and be grateful in the knowledge that you have been spared from this abject horror. For the rest of us, we have to know that a “feminist” book about incest exists… It’s the book no one asked for/needed/wanted. Yay. Now excuse me while I vomit.

Conversations with Friends– this book is memorable for all the wrong reasons: the pretentious writing style, the characters, oh and did I mention the characters?! I loathe everything about everyone in this book. They’re not only up their own arse, they frequently get far too intimate with other (arsey) characters who happen to be married. And they have no emotions about it cos they’re sociopaths. Cool. Love this kind of thing.

Inspector Calls– technically a play, but I’m counting it. I don’t know why but there’s something endlessly irritating about this precious little play and it’s non-stop moralising. All the “characters” are so flat they may as well be made out of cardboard. And the writing has a sickeningly saccharine edge to it, as it dictates the ways of the world in oh-so-simple terms that even mere mortals such as you or I could understand… Luckily for Priestley, he was preaching to the choir (that choir being the Soviet Union… great- just the kind of regime you want endorsing you).

Dishonourable mentions that I don’t want to waste too much breath on:

The Fault in Our Stars– I wouldn’t care anymore if not for that awful scene in Anne Frank’s house.

Atlas Shrugged– I’d rather thump myself over the head with this gigantic book than talk about it.

Foxhole Court– why is this book?

Girl Woman Other– because there is nothing wrong with a full stop.   

And that’s all… for now! Though I hope I never have to add to this list! Dare I ask- what do you think of these books? And what are your worst books of all time? Let me know in the comments!

My Most Disappointing Books in 2021

Oof this is always my hardest post to write. It’s miserable not loving every book- yet sometimes you read something that makes your eyes roll back into your head so hard you think demon possession is real and it happened cos of the book you’re holding. The main thing to remember is, if you don’t want to be mentally scarred/don’t like controversial opinions/think you’re the only one in the world entitled to an opinion, you don’t have to read this post (which is my apparently non-confrontational way of offering a disclaimer this year 😉) You have been warned- onto the list!

You and Me on Vacation– I’m mostly just sad this didn’t live up to my expectations- which were really high after Beach Read. In all honesty, I just didn’t see why the couple weren’t together already and felt irked by the borderline-emotional-cheating that had gone on while they failed to figure out they should get it on already.

A Court of Silver Flames– look, I know it’s just a book series, but I’m actively annoyed after this one. I am so frustrated with myself for continuing to waste my time on a series that keeps on disappointing me. I don’t know why I keep doing the same thing and expecting different results! This may be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”, because I am definitely not the audience for this book series anymore and it didn’t feel like a continuation worth waiting for.

The Quiet at the End of the World– I thought this had so much promise and it let me down!! I just can’t get on board with a story where the “uplifting” message is nihilistically giving up on humanity. I find it kind of foul to have a YA book that is so full of self-loathing and argues that the world would be better off without people in it.

The Duke and I– because of that rape scene.

Iron Widow– annnnd my next two picks are going to make me super unpopular, but I just didn’t like this book at all (massive understatement haha). To summarise what this book is about in a single word, I’d say: RAGE. Which, may not sound that bad, but after 400 pages, it’s pretty one-note and exhaustingly dull. In fairness, the mc could be described as having a static arc, inspiring others around her to change… except that I don’t find anger all that inspiring. And personally, I prefer books with a bit more emotional range than a hormonal teen on steroids. Although, on that note, I didn’t actually get why this was YA at all. Aside from the “technical” age of the characters, this was no coming-of-age story, it was full of dubious messaging and lots of sex/violence/adult themes… I simply don’t understand why this book had to be aimed specifically at teens when for all intents and purposes, it reads like adult fic.

Ace of Spades– Oh boy, you may as well just cancel me now for hating on this social media darling. But I can’t lie: I actively disliked this book. I had high hopes- but I was played for a fool. This is basically Robin Diangelo’s wet dream transformed into a YA thriller. And if you like that kind of thing… then have at it I guess?! But sorry… I have standards? I won’t be jumping on that toxic bandwagon. Even glossing over the gross inspiration, I can’t get behind this as a piece of fiction. Believe it or not, once you pick up on the “all white people are evil” messaging, you can guess *every single* “plot twist”. This book really makes me despair at the world- is it really the best we can do to combat racism?

And that’s all for now! I’ve decided to keep it short, just to the books I *really didn’t like*. Dare I ask- do you agree or disagree with me on any of these? And what were your most disappointing reads? Let me know in the comments!