Happy Monday, how was your weekend? I literally did nothing except watch tv and eat haha. I hope yours was more productive than mine.
Today I wanted to do a post that I originally saw Lorryn from Reading Parental do and I thought was such a fun idea because I always talk about the books I love but never about the books that aren’t for me. I think Lorryn really describes it best when she says – Sometimes there are reasons why we don’t like things and other times there’s just something we don’t click with and we just don’t like it. It happens. Not every book is going to be a hit.
I only recently stumbled onto her blog and it was love at first read – I really recommend you check her out. Generally I had a great reading year with an average rating of 3.5 stars so it won’t be a particularly long list but I thought it was still a fun idea and I wanted to do it too. If negative reviews aren’t for you then I’d probably give this a miss but if you are interested in my thoughts please keep reading.
Where Birds Fly: The Sculptor by Catherine Goldstein – I had to stop reading due to very creepy age gap relationship where he watched her grow up and she is trying to seduce him which I felt was too dodgy.
Slated by Alexis Sands – I had to stop this because it had a really toxic relationship.
Chess Moves by Michael Walker – his was a really boring read. Yes, it was only 21 pages long so I can’t be that mad at it but it was also 21 pages of nothingness. You don’t care about the main character and therefore you don’t care about his decision on schooling hence the whole plot is just a bore. Personally, I lost any respect for him because he was essentially almost peer pressured into a worse school in an effort to be “cool.” No. Suggesting to kids that having their friends treat them that way is such a bad example.
It was also poorly written, with typos and grammatical errors. It was very basic and read more like middle grade or younger than young adult. The character didn’t have believable thoughts for a kid his age. Overall I just wouldn’t recommend this sadly. It had the potential to be a great lesson but sadly it was a failed opportunity.
Love Model by Adam Boustead – This was the most bizarre book I have ever read. There were so many different POV’s you couldn’t keep up with who was who and you didnt care for any of the characters because you only met them for 10 lines and then they were gone. There was no plot, at least no plot that you could actually follow because of the hodge podge of writing styles and characters individual arcs. It was like someone had taken out massive chunks of the story so that it no longer made any sense. Was there supernatural elements or not? If so how did it happen? When did Noah and Alice meet? Why were so many people killed? What did S&M have to do with anything and why did it get a trigger warning at the start when it had nothing to do with the story? More so, why did the incestuous rape not get a trigger warning? Its just unbelievable! It just left me feeling very very confused. Its only redeemable quality was that it was very short so I can’t be mad at it for being so unbelievably confounding.
I actually had quite a few 2 star reads – a lot of them were from my uni course so I’m not going to list them because I didn’t choose to read them. But there still was a lot of 2 star reads that I chose myself so those are the ones I’m going to talk about.
The Cowboy’s Second Chance Family by Leslie North – The writing was enjoyable and I’d read more of Leslie North’s writing for sure. This book however wasn’t my cup of tea. The relationship was uncomfortable to read and felt pretty toxic on both sides. The characters just didnt get on and it felt forced. Their actions were just not very believable at times. It really let the whole thing down when you don’t root for the couple in a romance novel to get together.
Shades of Lovers by Catherine Hancock – This had good elements but ultimately the writing style is where it fell down for me. Every poem swaps between a more traditional freeform poetry kind of vibe with stanza etc. and then it will swap to a paragraph of structured prose, almost in a style of a letter, when she is directly addressing her past-boyfriends. While I understand why it was important for there to be a change in the style to show her changes and realisations, it wasn’t my cup of tea as I prefer poetry that sticks to a more formulaic scheme.
The Rocker That Holds Me by Terri Anne Browning – t wasn’t great. Very predictable and the romance kind of creeped me out.
Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen – I wrote a full review on this book actually because of how much it irritated me. (FULL REVIEW HERE) But in shorter (but still long) terms, I wasn’t a big fan of any of the characters. It felt like they were written to further the plot and not like they were actually people with their own personalities. There was nothing likeable about them and they weren’t relatable in any way. There wasn’t any humour. I think ultimately the writing of this book is where it fell down. If the characters had been better this could have been amazing! The plot certainly had a lot of potential to be great. But the lack-luster characters impacted on the overall intrigue and just dragged it down. Also I found it very hard to follow, it flitted between past and present without a decent separation or an indication that time was changing. The writing was also very very heavily focused on description and not much interaction between the characters which didn’t help the fact they already felt distant. It was extremely predictable. This is the worst case of Insta-Love I have ever read in my life. Half a page. In half a page the characters go from being introduced for the first time to kissing…AHHHHH!! Could there be anything more painful?? On their first date she talks about potentially loving him forever, this isn’t some naive thirteen year old, this girl is meant to be college age…come on now! I strongly disliked this. (hate is a strong word) It was painful to read. There was no interest, it felt fake and forced and the characters were not only dull but badly written. My biggest gripe with this book however was at 21%. Austria is talking about the movie Ghost, with the famous actors Demi Moore and…Ethan Swayze. Yes, you read that right. ETHAN Swayze. I’ll run through my thoughts with you. Firstly my brain goes into confusion – rereading it over and over to make sure I’ve not miss-read or misconstrued the sentence. I didn’t. Then my brain goes to Patrick Swayze is potentially one of the biggest male heartthrob actors ever – how the author can get his name wrong is beyond me. Then it hits me, there’s a character in the book called Ethan and I realise what happened. At some point Ethan must have originally been called Patrick, and for whatever reason the author decided to change his name. Instead of going through and changing it all she used the replace all button. This isn’t an issue if you then proof-read your work but she obviously didn’t. How am I meant to care or enjoy a book when the author clearly didn’t take the same time or care in ensuring her book was of a good standard. I can forgive spelling and grammar errors as they are easier to slip through the cracks but this is just sloppy.
(Yes I know that still wasn’t that short. Looking back I’m surprised this even got 2 stars. It was BAD!)
Undone by Kathleen Lawless – This wasnt a bad book… Okay yes it had some bad elements – like female characters who had literally no logic to any of their actions – but the premise was super fun! It left me feeling meh.
Hel to Pay by Emily Stormbrook – This wasn’t a great read. First off, I dont know if it was the copy I was sent but there were a ton of formatting and sentence structuring errors and even a few spelling mistakes. I dont want to hold it against the book because these can be fixed but by the end of the book after this happening again and again it definitely was impacting my enjoyment because so many parts made no sense.
Secondly, the weighting was odd in the writing. It felt like the important parts of the book were missing; eg. Hel and Marrok’s early conversations that would give the reader a reason to root for them as a couple. And then you had parts that felt overly and unnecessarily verbose. A lot of the parts with Ryder and Ethan etc felt overworked. I understand its the first in the series and there was a decent amount of world building required but it was a step further than that were it was almost verging on two unrelating plots in the one book. And I think that sums up the book as a whole really, good idea but missed the mark.
LuvU4Ever (A Moment in Time #1) by Joan Reeves – I didn’t enjoy this story line at all. It gave me the heebeejeebees. All the cheating and sneaking and lying. It just made me feel rather uncomfortable and then the twist at the end was just so much of a meh. I want more drama and excitement. I liked the writing style but there was so much repetition of unnecessary backstory that it felt like it was dragging on. The characters were interesting and I’m interested to see where they go in the rest of the series but definitely not the best short romance I’ve ever read.
Liam’s Wild Irish Rose (A Moment in Time #4) by Joan Reeves – This one was just as bad as the first. The characters had nothing about them to make you like them or root for them. Their possessiveness and creepy desperate tendencies was not cute or hot to read. There was a massive info dump right at the end of this one that felt forced and odd and had some really pointless information. If your writing something as short as these novellas you cant waste words. It needed more drama and intrigue. All that kept me reading was the writing style and the fact that I knew it was short.
That’s all of the books that I didn’t enjoy in 2020. Some I definitely enjoyed less than others – Looking at you Altered Helix. It deserves an award for worst read in my humble opinion. I hope you all have a great day and I will see you all tomorrow.