I love books. Big books, small books, epic fantasy saga’s, Young Adult novels, contemporary books, horrors, the works. I am always reading and although I don’t have as much time to read anymore, I try to read at least a book a month or more. But, since my reading time is limited nowadays, it sucks to read terrible books. I really don’t mind reading bad/not quite my style/OK books, say, a 2-star book (example: the Girls by Emma Cline). They make the great books even better. I’m talking about truly terrible books, the ones that just aren’t worth a minute of your time. So, to save you from reading these, here are 5 books I gave one star on Goodreads. These are all stand-alones or first books of a series.
1. Lev Grossman – The Magicians
I know. This book is generally well-liked. It even got it’s own television show and two sequels. For me though, it felt like a horrible mix between Harry Potter and Narnia. And you don’t touch Harry Potter. Boo! It was just very hard to finish this book but because of the raving reviews I just had to finish it. Maybe it would get better in time? No such luck. There are better ‘magic kids’ books out there, not counting Harry Potter, and there are better ‘magical parallel worlds’ books. The Magicians also has the worst sex scene in a book ever. Spoiler alert: the main characters do it in the form of arctic foxes.
I don’t know if I will ever go watch the tv-series. It does have a 7,5 score on the IMDb though. But then again, The Magicians has a 3,9 rating on Goodreads. I do know that I’ll never finish this trilogy. Maybe I’ll read the recap on Wikipedia.
More information: check out the Goodreads page on terrible books #1: the Magicians.
2. Madeline Miller – The Song of Achilles
This is another book which received great reviews. And since I love the story of the Trojan War and Achilles is one of my mythological heroes, I had to pick up this book. And this was such a let down. It tells the story of a young, pre-war Achilles living with his best friend Patroclus. Ofcourse, it has always been implied that Achilles and Patroclus were a couple. It was Patroclus’ death that devastated Achilles during the Trojan War. So this book has such a great premise, to see how these two got together.
For me, the writing style was the biggest let down. The story itself was nice. Not as great as it could have been, and I dearly hope someday someone will write a better love story for these two. But the characters were very poorly written. Patroclus comes off as boring and Achilles as too perfect. So sorry to all lovers of this book: this was a big two thumbs down for me.
More information: check out the Goodreads page on terrible books #2: the Song of Achilles
3. Amanda Hocking – Switched
It’s great that Switched was only a thin book, so it didn’t take me very long to read it. But the story felt like a fanfiction written by a teenager. All of the clichés you can think of are in this book. The forgotten, switched princess. The special snowflake. The handsome stranger who loves the forgotten princess. The parallel faerie world. Etcetera, etcetera. Good for Amanda Hocking that she has shown the world self publishing can actually get you places, but this book is the worst.
Same as The Magicians, this is the first book in a trilogy. And also the same: I will never pick up the sequels because I just don’t care at all what will happen to the characters. I can’t even remember what made me pick up this book in the first place. Seriously, there are far better cliché-filled books. I can imagine only 12 year old girls new to the whole YA genre will appreciate this book.
More information: check out the Goodreads page on terrible books #3: Switched
4. Terry Goodkind – The Law of Nines
My love for Terry’s Goodkind’s books is a downward spiral. Wizard’s First Rule is still one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read, and I could reread it tomorrow and still love it. I gave that book 5 stars on Goodreads. I gave the Sword of Truth series 2 – 5 three stars and part 6 (Faith of the Fallen) even got four stars. Parts 7 – 10 got two stars from me and the last book, Confessor, got one star. This was like the Darren Shan of high fantasy: the ending of an otherwise good (and sometimes great) series made me cry. It was SO bad.
So I still don’t really know why I decided to read Law of Nines. Maybe because it was laying around in the house. Law of Nines is basically a rip-off from Goodkind’s own books, but in a contemporary setting. It was so bad, I made the decision never to read something by Goodkind again, with the exception of re-reading Wizard’s First Rule. Sorry Terry, but you blew it.
More information: check out the Goodreads page on terrible books #4: the Law of Nines
5. Marisha Pessl – Special Topics in Calamity Physics
I honestly don’t remember a lot about this book because I banished it from my memory. Maybe that makes it the worst of the terrible books of this list. I mostly remember a dreadful main character who thinks too much of herself, a lot of purple prose and wonky metaphors and I think there was quite a bit of (fake?) literary references. The only reason this book is still on my radar, is because it’s on my ‘waste of time’ list on Goodreads, which I went to for this piece.
So there’s honestly not that much I can tell you about this except: don’t read it. The Secret History by Donna Tartt is maybe the most relatable book plot-wise. So pick up a copy of that book because that’s a great read. I even think I gave my STiCP copy away through Bookcrossing. I still have the other four books listed here. Yeah, I honestly don’t know why either. Does anybody want them?
More information: check out the Goodreads page on terrible books #5: Special Topics in Calamity Physics
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