While I wish that every book I read was amazing, that’s an unrealistic goal. Unfortunately, I read some books this year that I hated. I also DNFed a good number of books, which you can read about here.
Let’s get to it. Here are the worst books that I read in 2019.
10. (TIE) Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry & A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher
When I was putting this list together, I couldn’t decide which of these two books I liked less, so a tie it is. The reason I didn’t enjoy Let’s Call It a Doomsday was primarily due to feeling like the synopsis was misleading. I thought I was going to be reading a post-apocalyptic novel, but it wasn’t that at all.
As for A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, my feelings changed over and over while reading it. There were times when I enjoyed it, but more often than not the story didn’t work for me.
9. The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson
This was a very recent read for me, and one that I actually requested from the publisher. The story and dueling timelines were not laid out in a way that made sense, and I found myself confused and frustrated during much of the book.
8. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
Oh my gosh, this book. I’m not even sure why I read it, as I’m not a fan of YA or new adult contemporary literature, but the only way I can think to describe this book is with a cringe. There are characters with names like Pilot Penn and Babe Lozenge, and the main character, Shane, is most definitely based on Christine. While I enjoyed reading this book in a guilty pleasure sort of way, it was in no way good literature.
7. The Municipalists by Seth Fried
I kept forgetting the name of this novel’s main character while reading it. Everything about this story was forgettable, and, even though I read this in July, I would have trouble describing the plot to you. It was disappointing considering how cool the cover is.
6. Binti by Nnedi
I really wanted to enjoy this novella, but I don’t think Nnedi Okorafor’s writing is for me. While there were things I enjoyed, like the main character’s development, there was just no real story here. I struggle with novellas in general because I’m a huge fan of elaborate world-building in my fantasy and science fiction. This story definitely could have used more of a buildup.
5. If We Had Known by Elise Juska
This novel is about a mass shooter, told from the point of view of one of his old teachers. There was quite a bit I struggled with in this novel. The main character, Maggie, makes a lot of bad decisions and has a bit of an ego problem. It also frustrated me that none of the characters (the story is told from multiple perspectives, Maggie’s being the main one) actually knew the shooter personally, making the story feel irrelevant. The plot was convoluted and there was no real theme to the story that I could determine. I definitely would not recommend this novel.
4. The Protector (Men of the North #1) by Elin Peer
This novel receives my award for the most disgustingly sexist book of the year! Yay? I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and I found this book via Kindle Unlimited. I felt like trying out romance, and since this was a romance story combined with a post-apocalyptic setting, I thought it would be a great choice! As you can guess from its inclusion on this list, it wasn’t. The world-building was weak, the story and plot are offensively sexist (which I think was intentional to be edgy, but it didn’t work), the main characters all act like spoiled children, and it was horribly predictable.
3. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
It’s such a shame when beautiful books have such terrible plots. My issue with this book, and the reason I gave it a low rating, is that the main character has an extremely problematic relationship with the love interest. He treats her poorly and she’s his prisoner, and yet, of course, she still falls for him. He literally takes everything from her. It’s such a terrible message to put in a young adult novel.
2. Infected by Scott Sigler
If you’re a fan of this novel or of the author, Scott Sigler, then ignore what I’m about to say: I thought this book was garbage. It was so terrible. I’m not even sure how to classify the genre of this novel. Comedic body horror sci-fi, maybe? The plot of this story felt ridiculous to me. There are blue triangle alien rashes on people, that talk to the victims in their heads and then burst out of their bodies when they’re grown. Yeah, I know. Also, the story was boring, the characters were bland, and the writing was bad.
1. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
This might be a controversial opinion, I’m not sure. I think there are people who really enjoy this book and the film based on it. I have a fundamental problem with this book that prevented me from enjoying any of it – its representation of mental illness is offensive. The two main characters, one of which has a brain injury and the other having depression, talk and act like children. Guess what? People with mental illnesses or brain injuries can still act and think like adults. Especially for the character with depression, her character and issues were written off overly-simplistically and her depression was displayed as just a “quirky” personality trait. I recommend clicking on the title to read my full review if you want to know more about why this is my least favorite book of 2019.