As I mentioned in a previous post, today is the one year anniversary of Read Yourself Happy. As part of the celebrations, I wanted to share the top ten best and worst books I’ve read and discovered in the first year of my book blogging journey.
Let’s start with the ten worst books I’ve read, so we can end on a positive note!
Weirdly enough, I really enjoyed Rupi Kaur’s second poetry collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, but Milk and Honey left me feeling bored and as though Kaur was trying much too hard to be edgy and provocative. At the time that I posted the review, I gave it 3.5 stars, which, looking back, is much too generous. I’ll never change my ratings in my posted reviews, but I did recently change my Goodreads rating of it down to 2 stars. I disliked the formatting of the collection and it definitely didn’t live up to the crazy amount of hype surrounding it.
I chose this book as one of my Book of the Month Club selections, and, although I absolutely love the cover art, the book ended up being a 2.5-star read. It was the kind of book that made zero impact on me, to the point where I couldn’t remember the name of the main character while reading it. I didn’t DNF it because I kept hoping it would get better, but by the end of it, I was having to force myself to push through. The Municipalists is a humorous science fiction novel but the humor felt very forced much of the time. I also found myself annoyed by OWEN, a holographic AI who is the main character’s sidekick. There are much better funny science fiction books out there, so this is one best skipped.
I knew going into Elin Peer’s The Protector that this is a book that is out of my comfort zone as it’s a smutty romance novel, but I wanted to try something new. This book was available through Kindle Unlimited and was rated pretty highly, plus it had a post-apocalyptic setting, so I figured it would be a decent introduction to the genre. Turned out, however, it wasn’t the book for me. The world of The Protector is incredibly sexist and misogynistic, and I couldn’t ignore those aspects while reading it. The world-building was weak and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Many of the main characters act like children and none of them are believable.
psst – if you’d like to try Kindle Unlimited (there are great books on there, just not this one), sign up through this link to get your first month free!
Going into this book, I had high expectations. I like fairy tale retellings, especially when they’re based on Norweigan stories. The book is one of the most disappointing I’ve read, however. I found the story to be incredibly problematic. Our main character, Echo, constantly forgives and then falls in love with a manipulative, possessive, abusive love interest, and that was just something I couldn’t support. The novel is also the most trope-y book I’ve ever read.
Infected is one of the very few books I’ve rated 1 star. I got it for free through Amazon Kindle Deals way back in the day, and just got around to reading it this year. I hated everything about this book, and I honestly don’t know where to start. It’s gross (lots of body horror) and ridiculous (aliens manifesting through blue triangle rashes), and I didn’t like any of the characters.
I was inspired to read this book after hearing Emma from the Booktube channel Emmmabooks rave about it. It’s one of her favorite books, and hearing her reviews made it sound really interesting. I think retellings are fun, and this is a modern retelling of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. I did not think that this book was fun. In fact, I actually DNF’ed this book. All of the characters were either annoying or bland and the plot seemed ridiculous to me. I also struggled a lot with Cynthia Hand’s writing style.
Invincible Living is another book that I DNF’ed. In the review, I go into really deep detail about all the reasons that I disliked this book, but to sum it up quickly: it’s a lot of fluffy words and recommendations that have zero scientific studies to back them up. This book is about as woo-woo as you can get, and some of the things Guru Jagat wrote were so ridiculous that I had to keep reminding myself that she was being serious.
Let me preface this by saying that Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. I literally grew up reading my parents’ editions of his older books, like The Shining, Carrie, and The Tommyknockers. Elevation, however, is the worst Stephen King book I’ve read so far. First of all, I keep seeing this book classified as a horror novel, which it most definitely is not. It even won the Goodreads Horror Award for 2018. Next, this story is very shallow, and the only reason I actually finished it is that it’s less than 200 pages. All of the characters were over-played stereotypes. I rated this book a well-deserved 1-star.
People of the Sun was one of the very first NetGalley books I received, and as such, was very excited to review. I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and as a result, it’s not hard for me to suspend my disbelief for a book. This book, however, asks for the reader to suspend too much disbelief. The book is about aliens that live in the center of the sun and come to earth to obtain resources for their dying race. The aliens act and think like humans, which is boring when you go into the story looking forward to a narrative told from the point of view of the aliens. Also, there are sentences like this: “Then it melted and slid down the formation like a pickle smeared in ketchup thrown against a window.”
It might shock a few people to see that Matthew Quick’s popular book (which inspired the equally popular film) is my least favorite book in a year of blogging. I really disliked the mental health representation in this novel, and I was also misled into thinking it was a novel that featured bipolar representation, which it most certainly does not. Our two main characters, Pat and Tiffany, talk and act like children, which is offensive to people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, which both are said to have. Quick’s writing was simplistic and sloppy, and he also spoils the endings of several classic novels in the book. There was nothing I enjoyed in this book, and it is the worst book I’ve read in my first year of blogging.