I bet you think I’m going to write “put the book down and go for a run!” which, although a fabulous idea, is not what this post is about. It’s actually about just putting bad books down. Are you the type who can walk away from a crappy book or do you have to see it though?
I’m sure you can guess that I have zero issue with stopping a book mid-sentence, when I just can’t take one more agonizing word. In fact, I get annoyed that I wasted my time and eyeballs on it in the first place.
I’m here to save you some time and money by listing my least favorite books of the year. They also make great gifts for people you don’t like.
The Truth and Other Lies | Sascha Arango
I’m not sure who recommend this book to me or when, but I made it 29 pages before I decided I definitely hated it. It began with such intrigue and suspense and quickly turned into something just odd and uninteresting.
The sentence that did it: “If it’s a woman, keep it to yourself. And now let’s go look for the marten, shall we?”
Don’t even get me started on what a marten is. Trust me, you don’t care.
Right around the time I gave up on this disaster, a friend not only recommended an excellent book (The Good Girl), but also invited me to her book club to discuss it. If I know her like I think I do, the “book club” will be mostly eating, drinking, yapping and quickly discussing only the most interesting parts of the book. I cannot wait.
Among the Ten Thousand Things | Julia Pierpont
Here is a common theme – it started out really great. They always do. After page 91, and after all the secrets were seemingly revealed, it quickly sped downhill. When it came to what should have been the meatiest part, the characters fell flat, were predictable and dull. No thanks.
I also felt the main female character was a coward and I just cannot deal with that mess.
The sentence that did it: “That, as far as Simon was concerned, settled it…to steel the family from judgement by a fifteen-year-old-old boy named Donald.”
That’s right. Donald decided the turning point for the family.
Unfortunately for me, I went from this train wreck to The Truth and Other Lies. It was a dark time.
Luckiest Girl Alive | Jessica Knoll
Full disclosure: I loved to hate this one. I read the entire thing in about five days and thought about giving up on the incredibly easy to loathe main character, TifAni FaNelli, many times. Yes, even her name is utterly hatable. It’s also at the root of the story. This is exactly why I couldn’t turn away and just had to finish it.
The sentence that almost ended it: “I had six leisurely years to get where I am now: fiancé in finance, first-name basis with the hostess at Locanda Verde, the latest Chloé hooked over my wrist (not Céline, but at least I knew better then to parade around in a monstrous Louis Vuitton like it was the eighth wonder of the world). Plenty of time to hone my craft.”
The sentence that reeled me back in: “There is something about seeing someone from behind, something about the way people walk away, that I’ve always found unnervingly intimate. Maybe it’s because the back of the body isn’t on guard the way the front is – the slouch of the shoulders and the flex in the back muscles, that’s the most honest you’ll ever see a person.”
Once I finished it, I leaned heavily toward being glad I did. However, I think I could have just as easily given up on it and somehow managed to continue breathing.
The best books, as you may know, leave you changed and breathless.
On this one, you will have to decide for yourself.
[Tweet “Saving you time and money on the #worst #reads of 2015. What do you think? #readallaboutit”]
Tell me – do you stop reading bad books or read them to the end once you start?
What pick do you disagree with and why?
What is your worst read book of the year?
I have that thing where I CANNNNOT QUIT a book.
I used to think it was because I was cheap (I bought ya Ill finish ya) but now that Im Miss. Library Im still the say way.
It’s an illness 🙂
Dont be me.
I feel for you and I live with someone just like you! Although my husband rarely reads books for “fun” he will watch the worst movie ever made until the bitter end. I usually end up reading while he suffers. 🙂
I have zero tolerance for bad books. I’ll finish them but that means I skip to the end to finish the last few chapters. That’s finishing right?
I never even thought to do that!? I guess I just don’t care how it ends but…
I actually didn’t read any bad books recently. I remember two years ago I went on a string of reading a few not so great ones. To be honest if it’s that bad I just won’t finish!
It does seem to happen all at once! I hope you keep picking good ones 🙂
I haven’t read a really terrible book in a long time. I hate books that take forever to grab your attention though!!
YES! I ditch those early on 🙂
I used to not be able to put bad books down but I have no problem with it now. I almost stopped reading Luckiest Girl Alive so many times! But you’re right – that character is one I loved to hate. And the line that reeled you in totally got me too. Thanks for steering me clear of the other two!
I was thinking of you because I know you struggled with that one as well!! You’re welcome 🙂 LOL
There have been many times when I have pushed through a bad book because it’s hard to not finish no matter how hard it is! I have to admit now that I am pretty intrigued by these titles despite you warning me against them!!
HAHAHA!! You should totally read them and then tell me why I’m wrong 🙂 I seriously would love an opposing opinion!
Oh no! I really liked Among the Thousand Things! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I haven’t tried the other two, however. Maybe I should since you didn’t like them? ; )
I am going to be locked in to youth lit for the next month or so. I am coaching my daughter’s Battle of the Books team (do you have that there? It’s a nationwide program). They have to read 15 books and the coaches therefore must, too. I’m not a big youth lit fan but it’s fun to share books with my daughter.
Seriously?? Oh we need to discuss because I’m shocked! And yes, you probably should at least read the other one I hated 🙂
No, we don’t have that program but it sounds great!! I’m not a big youth lit fan either but I loved The Hunger Games series.
Agree on Hunger Games–that is going to become a classic, I think.
Thanks for the warning! There are too many good books out there to waste our time on bad ones! (Luckiest Girl have been in my to-read/buy pile for a while now!
No problem! Let me know what you think if you read Luckiest Girl 🙂
Lol…you are right, I have no desire to know what a marten is!!! I used to finish everything I started, until the last few years when I realized there is too little time and too many amazing books to read, so if I give a book 50 pages and I’m not into it, I’m done. Just recently read the first chapter of a book called Music for Torching (I think…it was so horrible I can’t even remember the exact title)…. The characters in the first chapter were all such pathetic assholes that I refused to read more.
Good for you!! There are way too many good ones out there to power though the bad ones!
I have zero tolerance for bad books and will just stop once I lose interest! I slogged through too many bad books when studying literature in college and now I just can’t force myself to finish one I’m not enjoying.
Seriously!! I can name quite a few I had to suffer though for classes – never again.
i haven’t read any of these books but thanks! i’ve been reading more pregnancy books right now, actually the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy is a fabulous read and hilarious.
i was trying to get through the candace bushnell books but have been having a hard time.. i used to love the brit-chick books like by jane green and sophie kinsella, but candace bushnell is sort of dragging me around. i also have the whole collection of jane austen books to read but i keep picking one up and putting it down. i’m just going with the flow. my next book is by this japanese auther about the magical art of tidying up. it’s sitting on my counter waiting for me to tidy up!
Oh the magical art of tidying up is such an intriguing name! Now if I were only interested in tidying up 🙂
I meant to comment when I read this, but my phone is a pain in the ass…
I completely agree with you about Pierpont’s book, which is why you never read about it in my reviews. I know revealing the end and then backtracking is a literary device, but it did not work for me. My worst read this year was A God in Ruins – critics loved it, but I bailed early on. I actually read quite a few meh books this year – I’m a tough critic!
That’s why I love your recommendations! Life is too short to read bad books.