Considering I did the best of 2017 last week, I felt like it was only fair to do the worst this time. Plus, January is full of reminiscing before creating new bookish memories the rest of the year!
Important note, there’s no reason to take my opinion as fact, there’s a few popular novels on this list and I understand reasons for people’s love of them; however, I just couldn’t see it. As previously mentioned, each will have a little rant of my opinions of them, with information of their genre and any possible triggering things I found whilst reading.
We Were Liars | E. Lockhart
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Fiction, Romance
Contains: Strong Language, Racism, Violence, Mentions of Blood/Gore, Death
Might as well start this off with a fairly unpopular opinion, but I really, really hated this book. Any standalone book that’s less than 250 pages and feels necessary to include a family tree is not off to a good start. Cadence’s character was not at all endearing, her purpose to simply fulfil a rich-kid stereotype the writer felt necessary, before attempting to give her some character development after a traumatising event. I didn’t find it either clever or beautiful, just irritating.
All of the Above | Juno Dawson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Contains: Mental Illness, Anorexia, Self-Injury, Strong Language, Death, Sexual Content
I remember desperately wanting to love this novel. As a member of the LGBT community, any lesbian representation is encouraged and appreciated. However, that wasn’t what I got from this story. Instead, I was given mental illnesses embodied into teenagers with little to no understanding of the situations they were in. Mental Health terminology was used with humorous intentions and the very fact that bisexuality was considered as not a valid sexuality was enough to make me want to throw the book away first chance I had.
Show Stopper | Hayley Barker
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Contains: Violence/Torture/Abuse, Death, Mentions of Blood/Gore
This novel’s concept gave me such high hopes for a brilliant story. I love anything involving cirques, and the idea of a demonic ringmaster hooked me instantly. However, the story fell flat; the characters were dull, the narrative seemed just as disinterested, and the ‘love-at-first-sight’ trope made my eyes roll out of my head. It was so disappointing and I wish there was something redeeming for me to pick it up again.
Red Queen | Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Contains: Strong Language, Violence, Death, Blood/Gore
This is another book that I had such high hopes for, having read so many positive reviews on the series. But, no matter how hard I read to engage with the story, there was nothing hooking me to it. Yes, the concept was interesting and I found myself inspired by it myself; the characters fell flat, and the plot had so much unexplained that nothing moved forwards. I couldn’t connect with it at all, and it was so underwhelming after reading so many great reviews around it.
Great | Sara Benincasa
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retellings, LGBT, Fiction
Contains: Violence/Anger, Death, Suicide, Homophobia
Okay, as a huge fan of The Great Gatsby, giving this book such a low review isn’t exactly fair, as personally I feel like nothing can top the original. However, for a book promoted as a modern retelling of the classic novel, I kinda expected it to have a few similarities other than the fact there’s a lot of parties? Plus, what is it about Young Adult novels that use Mental Health terminology as an attempt at humour?! I swear, I spend half my time on this blog pointing out all the horrible uses of ‘Mental Ward’ and ‘kill myself’, and it’s getting tiresome. Please, YA writers, stop!