5 Books I Hated This Year

I have become a more and more avid reader in my adult life over the last few years. I was a voracious reader as a kid, but then the inevitable required reading in school definitely turned me off of “reading for pleasure” for a bit. I really got back into it in 2015 when I opted into the Goodreads annual reading challenge. The challenge allows you to set a goal number of books to read (I set it at 36 that year not really knowing what I would be able to accomplish, and made it to 40!) and “check in” every time you finish one. Beyond the tracking abilities I love Goodreads for recommendations and discovery, as well as to keep a running list of my “to read” books. I’ve met my goal for this year — set at 48 and I’m already up to 53!

One thing that really helped me reach my goal so quickly this year was using Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t realize it was a part of Prime until recently, but once I did I started loading up my Kindle with anything and everything that looked interesting. I got on a Royals and White House kick for a while and read ‘The Queen: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, A Royal Biography,’ ‘The Day Diana Died,’ and ‘Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies‘ all for free! Highly recommend utilizing this feature if you’re already a Prime member.

Just because I’ve met my goal, though, does not mean that I loved each and every book. There were some real grinds, plodding along page after page; I’m stubborn and won’t just skip out on a book I don’t like, I absolutely have to finish it. Here are five that I finished (and counted towards the goal!) but certainly would not recommend.

Whisper Me This

A common theme among the books I disliked, this one just felt very unimaginative. The “twist” if you could even call it that was not well hidden, and the character development was weak at best. I never found myself sympathizing with the main characters or wondering what was coming next for them. A true slog, I only found myself only trying to get to the end.

The Way of the Shepherd

This was a required read for a leadership class at my job and I couldn’t have suffered through it more. The whole premise is kitchy at best, preachy and religious-foisting at worst. I made sure to leave lots of feedback in the post-class survey about how much I disliked the content, writing style, and combination of boredom and lack of inspiration it instilled in me.

This Is Where It Ends

Another theme that emerged for me in books I didn’t like, is that of the obvious storyline with little (to no) plot that tries to rely on transparent or conspicuous characters. This one met all the worst qualities, in my opinion, with no real creativity behind the writing. It felt like the author was just trying to cash in on a trendy subject (school shootings) and latch onto current events.

The Life She Was Given

Interestingly, this book took about half of it for me to start disliking it. I was intrigued at first at the deception and secrets, but once things started to “unravel” they did so in such an obvious manner that I was pretty turned off. Coupled with the fact that a fair amount of the “secrets” were never really fully explained and you have a recipe for disaster.

Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

Throw this one on the obvious pile, I found it derivative at best, trying to be a mashup of Eat Pray Love and The Girl on the Train. The characters lacked depth, the storyline was so unbelievable it was easy to poke holes in the plot lines, and the hollow, trite dialogue was almost too much to bear. Probably my second-most hated of the year (only to be outdone by The Way of the Shepherd).

Who has book recommendations to give me to redeem the time I lost on these five?? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. this post is part of our 30 Blog Post Goals for 2018, check out the full list!

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