Or, Ten Books I Secretly (Well, Not Anymore) Judge You for Loving
I didn't feel like doing this week's Top Ten Tuesday, and I've been wanting to do this post for a while, so here goes. I tried to stick to really popular books, the ones I see people raving about on Twitter that make me headdesk.There are a lot of bad YA books that I could rant about, but I'm trying to stick exclusively to the inexplicably (to me) popular. I left Twilight out because it's been done to death.
If you're going to feel the need to troll when you see your favorite series maligned, please just don't read. Just because I hate the series, doesn't mean I won't read your blog or think you're an idiot automatically, I promise. You're welcome to defend your favorites, even encouraged, just do so in an intellectual manner, please.
Alright, get ready, because I'm putting my judgmental face on RIGHT NOW.
Possess - Gretchen McNeil
I won't talk about this much, but it was part of the inspiration for getting this posted. I read this recently, and was totally disappointed in it. When I went to post my review on Goodreads, I saw that only like two other people felt the same way. This is always alarming, because you wonder if you're missing something.
In this case, I've only read the first book in the series, so the rest of the books might be better. I will never know, because there's almost no one I would believe enough to want to risk reading another. I thought the romance came straight from the Twilight handbook of cheesiness: a mysterious transfer student, attraction, oh-no-we-can't-be-together-for-your-safety, INSTALOVE. Oy.
The book is told from Ethan's perspective, which is an interesting change, except that he really didn't read like a boy. The plot wasn't anything spectacular, either.
We had to read this for one of my MLIS classes. I was looking forward to it, because one of my friends liked it. Well, I didn't. I wanted to throw it across the room at several points. The writing wasn't great, although that could be Miranda's fault (as it was told in her perspective). Of course, I hated Miranda as a heroine. She was whiny and stupid and selfish. I'm okay with selfish characters, so long as they own it, but Miranda would be selfish (temper tantrum-y and unaware) and then whine about how guilty she felt. Ugh and double ugh.
What I really couldn't get over, though, were a couple of inconsistencies I noticed in the narrative. One I remember was that she wanted to be asked to a dance by some guy she had a crush on, and he asked her. Later, she was mad at him for not asking. Lol whut? This could be an editor fail, but whatever. If you want to try dystopias, definitely don't start here.
An awesome concept guarantees that I'm going to want to read your book. Dragon shifters? Hell to the yes. Unfortunately, the way they were done didn't make any damn sense. I complained about this in my Firelight review. It's weird that Jacinda would start shifting while making out with Mr. Sexypants. Wouldn't he notice that her mouth was no longer human. I mean, dragon facial anatomy is REALLY different.
For some reason, I read book two, Vanish, as well. It didn't get better. The whole series is love triangle-tacular. The book isn't really about the fantasy aspects, which may be why they're not especially well thought out; it's about romance. Jordan is a romance novelist turned YA author, and it's very apparent from her writing. Plus, Jacinda's another should-be powerful heroine who ends up thinking about boys all the time.
Okay, I freely admit that I have enjoyed everything I've read by Cassie Clare to varying degrees. I've read five of her books, and they were all fun. Even though, I think on them with distaste, I still really want to read more of them. This is why she's prominently featured in my list of books that are like crack. However, I do not think her books are good or that they deserve anywhere near the fandom they have. I do not get why people are so obsessed with a ship that was possible incest for like two and a half books. Also, why did they not just get a damn blood test? I have wondered this time and again.
What really irritates me is the crazy fandom. I mean, in and of itself, I'm not bothered by the fact that people enjoy her books. I get why they do. The scale of obsession with her books, though, is excessive to the nth degree. TMI, an appropriate abbreviation for this series, is constantly trending on Twitter, because there are so many damn fans. Jace and Clary, the worst characters in the series imo, are so many people's OTP (One Time Pairing, or ultimate ship). I'm pretty sure that if for her next book, there were only one ARC available, you could seriously offer it up as a prize in a battle royale and people would go for it.
I would also like to point out again that her second series is pretty much identical to the first, although set in steampunk England. Despite my judging, I do ship Alec and Magnus a lot. And, to be honest, I do really want to finish reading the series I've started, but I will not be doing so. Since all this plagiarism stuff, I'm taking a firmer stance.
I've read five books by Lisa McMann, and I do not plan to read any more of her young adult books. I actually liked The Unwanteds, her MG title. My main issue with Lisa McMann is her writing. In her YA books, finding a complete sentence is really difficult. She writes almost entirely in fragments, because, apparently, this is how she thinks teens think. I know that people do not always think in complete sentences, but I still think this is exaggerated. I also think it's complete b.s. that the writing is more complex in the MG book than in her YA fiction.What does this say about Lisa McMann's opinions of teens?
I actually liked the first book in the Wake Trilogy, which is why I read all of it, but I really don't think it went anywhere. I totally drew the line after reading Cryer's Cross, though. That was a big ol' pile of WTF. Seriously. It was about a magic desk. Just no.
Before I get ripped to shreds by Kagawa fangirls, I want to preface this by saying that I did love The Immortal Rules, largely because it was a complete departure from the tropes of The Iron Fey. If you read my reviews of the Iron Fey series (I got through three books and a novella), you'll watch me progressively getting more and more annoyed with the series.
If you look at my review of The Iron King, I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was cute and funny, and I enjoyed the Shakespeare references. Meghan was a bit of a weak character, but she just learned she had crazy powers, so, surely, she was going to step up in the next books. Unfortunately, no. Despite having enough power to easily vanquish most of the enemies she comes across, it never occurs to her to use her strength until she has no choice. Because, clearly, it much better to be saved by a man if you can.
I also loathe the love triangle with every fiber of my being. From book one, it was exceedingly, embarrassingly obvious that Meghan was going to choose Ash. Broody ice prince will beat out the funny, sarcastic, supportive guy who's always been there for you any day, obviously. I think Ash is boring and has a big stick up his butt. Puck has his issues, mostly because he really is rather like his namesake, but he has a personality, and does not deserve to be used by Meghan the way that he is. I also think that in the real world, he would have gotten over her since he didn't stand a chance.
My experiences with Maggie Stiefvater have all been pretty much the same. I've read 4 of her 6 books that are currently published, and, though, by and large I haven't enjoyed them much, I will keep reading them. I'm a masochist, you say? Well, that may be true. Her concepts are just so mind-blowingly amazing. I can't help reading them.
My issue is with her characters. In both Linger and Lament, the heroine made me insane. She's one of those bored, cold girls that every dude wants. In the case of Lament's heroine, she also has a sassy, sarcastic best friend with a crush on her; book two of that series was my favorite of Stiefvater's books because it was from his perspective. Grace was just so boring. I could not handle it. Sam too. They were made for each other, in that they both make me want to take a nap. Put them together and they're so disgustingly happy I want to barf on everything. They have ZERO internal issues in their relationship. I hated them so much I was happy whenever something happened to wrench them apart. The only reason I made it through two books in Wolves of Mercy Falls was that Cole and Isabel were much more interesting in Linger.
I read this one almost a full year ago, and I still can't get over what a steaming pile of dreck it is. I'm sorry if you liked it, but I hated every single thing about it, except, maybe, the cover. What completely destroys me is that so many people loved it. Pretty much every review I've seen of it has been four stars or more. What I want to know is what book they read.
Since I have a review up for this one, I don't think I need to reiterate why so much, but I just want to mention again the cheesiness of the writing and that Joshua regularly made out with his invisible girlfriend in public. What what what.
Everyone loved book one and talked it up so much that I borrowed it from the library and read it. While I wasn't over the moon about it, I did enjoy it and, had I been blogging at the time, probably would have rated it 3 stars. My main issue with it was that it seemed a bit like mindless action and we weren't getting any DETAILS on why things were happening.
Enter the next two books, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. I got progressively more pissed off as I kept reading. Nothing happened plot-wise in book two really, other than that the MC found a new lady friend. The only reason I kept reading was to see if Dashner would ever really offer any explanations. short answer: NOPE.
While I was in library school, I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, because everyone was fangirling over it everywhere. There was pretty much only one thing I liked about it, which was the fact that the Mary realized that crushes don't necessarily transition to love. The zombies and plot line didn't strike me as anything special, and Mary, other than her lack of romanticism annoyed me a lot. So, I didn't like it much (I would probably have rated it 2.5), but it was okay.
Then I read book two, in which I learn that Mary fell in love with guy one of the love triangle who she super wasn't into, which was ANNOYING. What makes me so angry about The Dead Tossed Waves is that it is, in essence, precisely the same book. And most people did not notice. Needless to say I didn't read further in the series, but I did read a short story she wrote for Zombies vs. Unicorns, set in the same universe of course, and was not impressed.
I find her books to be needlessly melodramatic, love triangle overdose, and wholly unoriginal (even amongst themselves).
Note 1: Can we talk about how dismayed I am that The Maze Runner series and The Forest of Hands and Teeth series show up on so many best dystopias lists?
Note 2: Carrie Ryan and James Dashner have both written a book for the same upcoming middle grade series. If I go to hell, I'm pretty sure reading that series would be part of my punishment.
To sum up,
What books/series do you dislike that everyone else in the world seems to love?