If you’re a reader, it’s likely that answering the question “What’s the worst book you’ve ever read” is easier than answering its opposite – because truly, there are so many more good books out there than bad ones. If you don’t agree, well…you might not be looking hard enough.
My worst? Anna Karenina. No competition.
#15. Go figure.
“The Zoo. It was a spur of the moment Costco purchase. It’s about animals taking over the world basically. I live texted a friend as I read it. It had every trope you could imagine in it. Story felt like it was written as part of someone’s grade school project.
There is now a TV show with several seasons. Go figure.”
#14. I literally threw the book.
“Dianetics. Someone bet me I wouldn’t read it. The final straw was the part where people’s weight disorders stem from you being in the womb and your pregnant mom says how she hates being overweight. Yes, because a baby in the womb understands language and the concept of being fat.
I literally threw the book across the room. I did collect on the bet though because my friend was shocked I made it as far as I did.”
#13. Just plain stupid.
“Left Behind. I wanted to enjoy it as a post-apocalyptic thriller, and I don’t mind religious elements, but it was just plain stupid.”
#12. Lazy, boring, and poorly written.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, may be a good play (haven’t seen it) but the book is lazy, boring and poorly written. Also the whole Voldy’s daughter is stupid
EDIT: my inbox has been fucking destroyed but almost everything that has been replied to me I agree with. Thanks for the Reddit gold, oh wait…”
#11. Double whoops.
“Twilight: Breaking Dawn
The vampire Cullens being all white and beautiful and rich and valuing education. The werewolf Quileutes being all brown and violent and high school dropouts. The plot is Bella gets knocked up by Edward, decides to gamble Edward’s life (because she knows he’ll commit suicide if she dies) and have this half-vampire baby. Surprise, she succeeds, and is immediately turned into a vampire. Jacob the werewolf gets removed from the love triangle by falling in love with Bella’s baby due to some stupid werewolf sexual mechanism even though it’s likely Bella’s baby is sterile, and he’ll only having to wait 7 years before he can fuck her because she rapidly ages (while conveniently will stop aging as an adolescent). Because Jacob is in love with Bella’s baby, he makes the other werewolves fall in line so they can’t fight vampires on their turf anymore.
Someone spots Bella and her perfect rainbow butt baby and assumes the kid is a vampire, and runs off to tell the vampire council since kid vamps are illegal. But half-vamps age so it’ll be fine once the vampire council shows up and sees she’s obviously not a full vampire. The Cullens collect dozens of vampire ‘witnesses’ to watch Bella’s baby grow up and be an obviously not a full vampire baby, all the while feasting and killing hundreds of humans in the Pacific Northwest but even the pedowolves give a shit about human lives anymore.
Bella gets the ultimate psychic shield power, which conveniently counters almost all of the vampire council’s special abilities. This one guy can expel a mist, and even though that’s physical Bella can still block it with her shield because fuck you, Mary Sue. She also has perfect control over her bloodlust because of course.
The vampire council shows up, sees that Bella’s kid is obviously not a full vampire, and go home.
Meanwhile everyone conveniently forgets that the vampire council now know that Bella’s dad knows about vampires, and the rules are such people either need to be turned into vampires themselves or killed. Whoops.
The book is full of poor writing and grammar, continuity issues, and shit just plain wrong. At one point they travel “West from Rio de Janeiro, into the ocean” which, if you examine a map, is not where the ocean is. Another scene has Bella’s dad eat pancakes in one paragraph, but they turn into cereal a few sentences later.
People say the movie was better because it had some trailer bait scene of the vampires and werewolves fighting….even though that scene was a vision of Alice’s, and impossible for her to see because she can’t see any future with werewolves involved. Like, that was a major plot point of the second book/movie New Moon. Double whoops.”
#10. Every chance I get.
“The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett. Basically, this teenage girl who we’re supposed to think is likeably quirky but is actually a huge bitch thinks that a girl she didn’t even like turned into a werewolf when she disappeared. This is not played for laughs and this is not a world in which werewolves or fantasy shit exists. She becomes obsessed with the missing girl and falls in love with the girl’s 30 year old boyfriend when she’s 16 (though acts much younger. This isn’t a book about a descent into madness either, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE SEEN AS NORMAL). Hated it, and I’ll bash it every chance I get.”
#9. Atrociously written.
“Very possibly Armada, by Ernie Cline. It’s a shame, because I unabashedly love the cheesy retro nostalgia bomb that was Ready Player One, I was really hoping he’d knock it out of the park with the follow-up.
Nope. This book is fucking awful. It’s not a sequel, doesn’t tie in at all, it’s just trying to do the exact same thing all over again by stealing plots from The Last Starfighter and Ender’s Game and cramming in as many 70s and 80s references he possibly can. The main love interest, Alexis “Lex” Larkin, is the most obnoxiously typical manic pixie geek fantasy one could imagine:
She was just off to my right, sitting all alone in a deserted row near the back, taking brazen pulls from a chrome hip flask painted to look like R2-D2 […] Her pale, alabaster skin contrasted sharply with her dark clothing – black combat boots, black jeans, and a black tank top (which didn’t fully conceal the black bra she was wearing underneath). She had a spiky wave of black hair that was buzzed down one side and chin-length on the other. But the real kicker was her tattoos, on each arm: on the left was a beautiful seminude rendering of the comic book heroine Tank Girl, adorned in postapocalyptic rock lingerie and smooching an M16. On her right bicep, in stylized capital letters, were the words EL RIESGO SIEMPRE VIVE.
He then charms her by proving how nerdy he is, recognizing that her tattoo is from the movie Aliens and making bumbling nerdy pickup lines.
This book is so fucking terrible. The only joy I got out of it was reading various passages aloud to friends who laughed their asses off at how atrociously written it is.”
#8. I couldn’t even be bothered.
“Mickey by Chelsea Martin.
I picked it up randomly at a local bookstore because what little I read seemed promising. I took a creative writing class in college, and one thing my professor said that stuck with me is to read the kinds of books that I’d be interested in writing, so anything written in vignettes (my preferred style at the time) was what I’d usually end up buying/renting because I rarely stumbled upon them.
I’ve never wanted to trash a book so fast in my life. The writing was actually okay, but the narrator was incredibly narcissistic and unpalatable. The book itself could’ve been easily finished within an hour, but I couldn’t even be bothered to waste time slogging through it.
My options were to throw it away or have it recycled, but instead I drove the 45 mins back to the bookstore to get my money back.”
#7. A very big mistake.
“Anyone ever heard of Wraeththu by Storm Constantine? Yeah… when I was a teenager I saw it at my local library and thought “oh neat, scifi/fantasy stuff I haven’t heard about.” Within a couple hours I knew I’d made a very big mistake.”
#6. Ravings for cash.
“Valis by Philip K. Dick. This isn’t because the book is terrible per se. It’s because I think the book is evidence that the man was very unwell and I think that, in publishing it at all, his publishers and agent were milking a mentally ill man’s ravings for cash.”
#5. Whenever convenient.
“The Compound is an edgy teen post apocalyptic shelter book in which every character undergoes immediate overhauls of their entire personality whenever convenient.”
#4. Oprah was into it.
“The Secret. It was big for awhile and Oprah was into it. Basically says if your life sucks you aren’t “envisioning” hard enough. Fuck that.”
#3. So obviously faked.
“Go Ask Alice…I know it said it was taken from the REAL diary of an actual teenager, but it was so obviously faked that I rolled my eyes hard enough that I’m surprised they didn’t stick in the back of my head that way.”
#2. My anger and disgust.
“Thirteen Reasons Why.
It’s been years since I tried to read it, but I can still vividly remember my anger and disgust. On top of being terribly written, the book handles serious topics like suicide and depression with the emotional intelligence of a fucking twelve year-old orphan. The only two reasons why it was able to become a show are shock value and its ability to tout itself as an “mental health awareness tool”.”
#1. Morbid curiosity.
“Turner Diaries. Out of morbid curiosity. It’s a poorly written racist, anti semitic, conspiracy theory “novel”