Welcome back! This post will be more about the 37 books I read this year, but focusing on my least favorite books. I have to point out, because there is one very unpopular opinion on this list, that just because I put the book on this list doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the book. In fact, there’s only really one of these books that I can definitively say that I didn’t like. The other two that I put on this list are really just books that disappointed me in some way more than any of the other books I read this year. So let’s just jump right in.
This is the one book that I didn’t like even a little bit. Which is really unfortunate because it was recommended by Katie from Katielovestoread who I really love because she reads more adult SFF which is a smidge difficult to come by on Booktube. Unfortunately this book missed the mark for me.
When I picked this up it was because I thought the premise sounded amazing. I mean, a dude who’s half fey and figures out that there’s an otherwordly war going on that he somehow gets caught up in sounds pretty neat. However, this book really isn’t about that. While I was reading it I kept waiting for something fantastical to happen. And occasionally something cool would happen, but the book was basically just about Liam doing human things with a little teeny tiny fey twist. It’s about him growing up and realizing that there is something not quite human about him, but none of the cool fey stuff is even brought up or really confirmed until almost the very end of the book, which was the only exciting part of the whole thing.
It is the first book in a series called The Fey and The Fallen, but I will not be continuing because this first installment was just so boring.
This book was SO COOL for almost the whole time. It’s such an interesting take on vampires that was fresh and new, and I decided to pick this up from a twitter thread of cool non-Twilight-y vampire books because I was feeling the need to read some. I can’t remember who recommended it, or who was asking for recommendations unfortunately, but I picked up some pretty cool books from it so I’m thankful despite the fact that this one was disappointing.
As a warning, my discussion about this book will have some spoilers, but I feel that at least these next two paragraphs contain information that is important to know going into the book if you are someone who thinks that you may become triggered by pedophilia. Proceed with caution!
There are a LOT of issues with this book though. For one, there is a huge trigger warning for pedophilia despite the author seemingly trying to make it seem like it wasn’t “real” pedophilia. The MC, Shori, is a 54 year old vampire girl in the body of an 11 year old, if I remember correctly. In this story, the vampires are a race called Ina and they essentially collect humans as symbionts to act as both companions and their source of blood. So the deal is that the Ina have venom in their bite which acts as a sort of drug for the human symbiont. The issue is that the venom causes the human to become…er, sexually attracted to the Ina. I’m sure you all see this coming but there are several very uncomfortable sex scenes between this 11 year old girl and fully grown adults.
I read some goodreads reviews about how Butler is “exploring the relationships between people when there is a power gap” and blah blah blah, but I think it’s pretty gross to be talking about sex between an 11 year old that is continuously described as having the body of a little girl and adult male characters who are always “wishing she had breasts.” Clearly I’m not the right audience for this book because I don’t care about exploring those kinds of relationships.
One thing that was good and well-done about this book was the discussion about racism. Shori is a black vampire, which gives her abilities that her pasty-skinned brethren do not have, like being able to survive in sunlight, and being able to stay awake during the day time. I don’t want to go too far into this aspect of the book because it would be difficult to talk about it without spoiling everything, but I think this subplot was very well done.
This is the one that I know is a very unpopular opinion. And I want to start by saying that I didn’t NOT like this book, I thought it was well written and an interesting concept and I actually rated it pretty high on Goodreads. The reason I chose this as one of my least favorite books of the year is just because it was not exactly what I expected when I picked this book up.
The reason I ended up picking this book up is because it seemed like it would have a similar vibe to The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera which I read in December of 2017. I cannot remember now who I saw talk about it initially but they had it in a video that was a sort of “If you liked X read Y” type of video, and The Tiger’s Daughter is definitely one of my favorite books still to this day. I’ll give it this, it did have a similar vibe with the Asia-inspired setting, but that was honestly about it. So my quest for a similar book continued (though now I’m reading The Phoenix Empress, which is the sequel to The Tiger’s Daughter, so I guess that means I was successful?).
So like I said, I actually did enjoy this book, it was just pretty disappointing at the time because I was looking for something else. That being said, I did not think that it was as good as a lot of other people seemed to, I rated it 4 stars but I think that it was a just-okay fantasy. I will be reading the sequel when it comes out though!
I wanted to mention the three books that I ended up DNF-ing this year as well! I won’t go too much into them because I did not finish them, but I’ll talk a little about why I put them down. Two of these I’m completely done with and actually already unhauled, but the third I held on to because I may go back to it one day.
This is a romance that I picked up because Whitney from WhittyNovels hauled it in a vlog and I absolutely love her channel. Unfortunately I only got I think two chapters into this before I had to stop because the writing was just not good. Already that far into the book I could tell that the characters were not going to be fleshed out enough. I think that this book was self-published and honestly, it shows. This book needed some serious editing.
This book irritates me to think about. I wanted to read this because everyone seemed to love it so much and the premise sounded really good, but unfortunately the way the book is written is like the author is trying to make the reader feel stupid. At least in my opinion, which is clearly the unpopular one. I just think the language used was super inaccessible and unnecessarily complicated. I only made it a few pages into this one.
This is the one that I still own and may go back to one day. I made it about half-way through this chunk of a book and was really intrigued and I still want to know what the deal is, but I think that I just needed a break from Murakami’s writing, which is very unique as many know because he is a very popular author. I like it, it is just difficult for me to read for some reason. One day I’ll conquer this giant!
So those are my least favorite reads of 2018. Not the worst reads of the year, but my least favorite. I am not the end-all-be-all of book reviews and I know that many of my opinions are the unpopular ones. If you enjoyed these reads I am so happy for you!
What were your least favorite reads of 2018?