The other day I posted my top 10 of 2018, which of course means that I now have to talk about my 10 worst books of 2018! These posts are my favorites to read, so if you have done some yourself, leave a link in the comments so I can check it out! For this post, there isn’t any real order to the books with the exception of the first two, which were hands down the worst books I read this year.
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
I’ve ranted about this book so many times by now, but this should be the last time you hear me talk about it. This was pitched as a feminist take on the little mermaid, but no where in this book did it come across as feminist, unless you consider feminism to be an ‘all-men-are-evil’ attitude. I had to DNF this book because by 82% of the way through, our MC never once stood up for herself or other women. They constantly mention her beauty, her father says she is so pretty he should have her as his own, the MC is super judgmental, did I mention she’s pretty, she is appalled that her sister may possibly not be straight, gosh, is she pretty, girl hate, one dimensional characters, all men sexual predators and misogynistic, and did I mention at all that the MC is pretty?? This was a raging dumpster fire of a book and every time I think about it I get ridiculously mad. If this wasn’t enough of a rant, I have a full review of this as well.
The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak
The only other book I truly hated this year was The Queen Underneath. The premise sounded interesting: the seedy underworld and the bright shiny “above” have both of their rulers killed at the same time, and the new rulers have to work together to destroy the power that wants to kill them all. This book could’ve used a healthy dose of editing, because there were far too many side plots and things going on. This is supposed to be YA, but there is so much violence, murder, rape and sex workers that I find it hard to believe that is what it really should be. The love interest of one character reveals he’s 68, has a child, and killed the MC’s family, and the only one of those she has a real issue with is that he has a child and didn’t tell her. There is just so much that is wrong with this book, I can’t mention it all here so check out my full review if you want to see me getting real heated about this book.
Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield
This was the first book I read this year and it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Even now I can’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t like, but the whole thing just felt really…meh. It was almost like it was trying too hard and was attempting to be one of those books that had a purpose, but no one really knows what exactly it’s trying to do. It’s a book about two sisters born into a circus family and their lives traveling and the loves they have, but it just felt really flat and boring. This was also one of the first few books I reviewed on my blog, so if you want to read it, you can check it out here!
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
I’m sure at this point most of you are aware of what this book is about, but just in case, I’ll give a brief synopsis. Alice’s grandmother is a reclusive author of famous dark fairy tales and after her death, Alice’s mother is taken by someone who claims to be from the fictional world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice then goes to find out what happened to her mother. This was just not what I was expecting and felt more like magical realism than a fantasy, and magical realism just isn’t my thing. The first half was set in the modern world, with Alice being a real pain in the ass to everyone around her. After we move on to the second part with the fairy tales, the book felt really rushed and there was very little world building going on. There were two fairytales in the book that I enjoyed a lot, and I know that a book of the fairytales themselves is in the works, but I don’t think I would read anything else set in this world. Again, I have a review for this one if anyone is interested.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
The entirety of this book was pretty bland to me, the only saving grace was the surprise ending. Because I couldn’t care less about the majority of the book, it’s made my worst of the year list. If you are a fan of slow domestic thrillers then this might be for you, but it was just far too slow and didn’t really feel like much was happening. I also have a review of this one as well, but now that it has been a while after I read this I think my opinion of this book has lowered a little bit compared to everything else I’ve read.
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
My main issue with this book was that there didn’t really seem to be much happening throughout the book, and there was a lot of back and forth. The character would make trips from point A to point B, then back to point A and then back to point B, and it was just a little repetitive and not really believable. If you were trying to escape from somewhere, you wouldn’t continue to go back to the place you were imprisoned at. This is a debut novel though, so I’ll cut it a little bit of slack for that. Overall, for me it was just really uneventful and wasn’t what I thought it would be. I was expecting it to be super dark and gory, but it just wasn’t on a level as other books I’ve read with that. I also have a review for this one that goes into more detail.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Yes, this book was super creepy, but I didn’t care about any of the characters at all. They could’ve all died and I wouldn’t have really felt any sort of reaction. There have been so many people saying that this is crazy scary and shocking, but it just didn’t feel that way to me. This book was so short and there were so many characters, it was hard to feel for any of them because there was just no time to get to know them. I thought the premise was interesting (people see something outside and it drives them insane and they go on murderous rampages) but I was just so lost on the main characters story and history. Not only that, but the story was really predictable and the thing that makes people go mad didn’t feel fully developed to me. Plus, there is no concrete ending or answers. Yes, you are supposed to use your imagination to fill in the blanks and usually it works, but for this one it just didn’t. It just felt so generic to me, and so it makes my worst of the year list.
The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes
Yes, I did give this book 4 stars after reading it, but since then I’ve realized that I don’t even remember the names of the characters or what happens in the book. To even mention the parts of this book I had to go back and reference my review, which honestly was a glowing review at the time. The world building was lacking and while I did like each of the characters, I didn’t really connect with any of them. It was pretty funny at times, and the characters were interesting, but not enough for me to even remember that there is a shapeshifting unicorn in it. And so it makes my worst of the year list.
Monstress Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu
I soooo wanted to enjoy this graphic novel, but the plot was so confusing and I had no idea what was going on or who was who. I couldn’t even tell if the story was being told in chronological order or if there were flashbacks. Once I thought I was starting to understand what was going on, something else would happen and I would be confused all over again. The art style was beautiful though, but I just don’t know if this is something that I would be interested in continuing because compared to everything else I’ve read, it falls far short.
Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Not only did this book take me over a month to get through, it was so ridiculously slow! This was overall fairly disappointing for me because I grew up reading Pierce’s Immortals series and LOVED it! So when I found out that there was going to be a prequel series about one of my favorite characters, I picked up this book straight away! Unfortunately, this book was just too lengthy and could’ve been a hundred pages shorter than what it was. This is very character driven with not a lot of things happening which was not what I was expecting after all the other books I’ve read by this author. There were just far too many dry side conversations that ultimately didn’t really have anything to do with what was happening in this book, and so it made my worst of the year list. I do have a full review up for this book as well!
So there are my top 10 worst books of 2018! What were some of the worst books you read? Did you read any of these and if so, did you feel the same or differently? I’d love to know!