Friday, April 23, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Worst Books You've Ever Read

Random Ramblings topic of the week is "Worst Books You've Ever Read." She's asking us to list our top ten worst books. The list isn't about being mean. Because reading is completely subjective. And just because I hate the book doesn't mean that you will hate the book.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy.

Oh. How. I. HATE. HATE. HATE. This book. The good news is that if I ever for a moment question why I hate this one, I have a good friend who will take the time to remind me just why this is one of the worst books ever.

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos

Part of me is surprised that I actually finished this one. It's not so much that this one is so horrible, so awful. It's not the writing I find fault with. More this book was so not for me. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I do think if you've got a very dark, very wicked, very twisted sense of humor, you might enjoy this one.

Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov

I regret reading the later Foundation novels. I do. I wish I could have just been happy reading the original Foundation trilogy. But this one, the last Foundation novel, really soured me on Isaac Asimov. I hate how this series ended. The writing (at least for me) just isn't as good as it should have been, could have been.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

I really didn't expect this series to end the way I wanted because I was Team Jacob. But I didn't expect it to end the way it did either. I wanted it to make some sense. Where do I start?!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

I don't exactly hate this one. It's one I love to hate, and hate to love. In some ways, this one could be described as beautiful. But. It could also be described as awful. I think I just find it so very manipulative.

Animal Farm by George Orwell.

I really hate this one. I wish I could unread this book.

The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer

I found The Book of Everything to be extremely offensive.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I have reread this one as an adult. But I still don't like it. Still don't understand how anyone could think this one is a love story. There is nothing romantic about this one. Nothing likable about these characters.

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

I have NEVER liked this one. And it's not because it's Shakespeare. It's not because the language is tricky. It's not because it ends badly for everyone. I do like some Shakespeare. (In fact, I love, love, love Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream.) I even like some of Shakespeare's tragedies. But this one, not so much.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

Can a book be so bad that you just have to keep reading? I think it can!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Bethany 5:51 AM  

Whoa, I am SHOCKED by this list! As a Hardy fanatic, I absolutely adored Jude the Obscure. You really haven't explained why you hate it so much!

Boy in the Striped PJs is a genius piece of prose, whether it's liked or not.

Wuthering Heights is SO romantic, but only if you're inclined to that kind of romance. 'Romance' comes to cliched and easily in many books these days that I feel like people lose what love can really be like.

Romeo and Juliet is fantastic, but I also really dislike it. Romeo was an idiot.

And I can only agree with Flowers in the Attic!

I just had to reply because it's so interesting to see the different opinions people have. Some of the books on this list are atrocious pieces of drivel, and yet some are wonderful works of literature, just that some don't like them!

Jeane 6:34 AM  

I agree with you on Wuthering Heights, though I haven't read it since highschool so my opinion could be dated!

And I did like Romeo and Juliet and Animal Farm. I've been looking forward to reading The Boy in Striped Pajamas, too.

The rest I've never read!

Melissa 7:50 AM  

1. Totally love this idea, and am going to steal it. :-D

2. I agree with you on Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet. Never really got the appeal of either.

raidergirl3 9:10 AM  

Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet must go together becasue I've never understood the love story in those books.

Have you seen the movie Flowers in the Attic? Makes you appreciate the book.(I confess to having read the whole series of Flowers in the Attic)

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 10:05 AM  

Just about any Hardy would probably make my list. I haven't read him in awhile, but I hated his books so much back in the day that I hesitate to try one out again. Catch-22 would make that list as well.

Anonymous,  4:10 PM  

Oh, loved the list - not because the books listed (although, well, you know... :) ) so much as what you said about each - made me laugh; so funny!:)

And I'd like to add that it isn't necessarily the case that a book one hates is badly written - personally I don't hate a badly written book, because they leave little to no impression; rather a well-written book with contents I don't like - there is no getting away from it then. L.

La Coccinelle 4:51 PM  

I've never been able to get into Wuthering Heights, either. I watched a movie version, and I have to say, I don't see why it's considered a romance. It was a sick, twisted kind of love. Everybody was mean and crazy. I don't get it.

I've never read Romeo and Juliet, either. I think I tried once. I much prefer Much Ado About Nothing; I guess I like my romances sweet and silly.

Jillian 1:02 AM  

Glad to have you with us this week once again, Becky! :)

Have you watched the movie adaptation of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? I recommend it. The book is nothing special, but I didn't really hate it.

Oh and I get all excited when I see a fellow blogger who hates 'Breaking Dawn!' Sooo awful, isn't it??

Other than two, I have only read Wuthering Heights & Romeo and Juliet. Both I liked. I do prefer Jane Eyre though.
And I don't know why but that cover of Flowers in the Attic is creeping me out.. haha!

zalx 6:13 PM  

Spoiler alert on Breaking Dawn!

Annette 10:42 PM  

I love Wuthering Heights it is one of my favorites; but I did not read it thinking it would be a romantic book or a feel good book. It is a dark story of characters that are dramatic and volatile. They needed some good meds.
I've not read any of the Twilight series.
Romeo and Juliet is not one of my favorites of Shakespeare' favorite is Macbeth.
Great post Becky!

Kim, Too 5:01 PM  

I completely agree with you on Wuthering Heights. What a bunch of unlikeable characters that book is peopled with! And I couldn't even get past the first few chapters of Animal Farm. Ugh.

Darla D 5:50 PM  

Oh, I wish I could unread Animal Farm as well. I picked it up off my family's bookshelves when I was oh, nine or ten, and it had these cute pictures of pigs and a horse on the cover. I think I'd just finished Mrs Frisby and was hoping for something along those lines. Talk about a dreadful shock!

And Jude the Obscure? Ick!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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