I need to get this off my chest. I read a lot of books in 2016 and coming out of the year with only three flubs is pretty good. So this is Pt 1: The Books I Didn't Dig. I'll be doing Pt 2: Books I Did Dig in 2016 eventually.
I'll preface this with the usual: the below are my opinions and if these are books you like, sorry. We each are entitled to our opinions and if you'd like to disagree, please do, but do it respectively, as I'll try to do here.
1.Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I spent two weeks walking around my dorm, talking my roommate's ear off about this book but I can boil it down to one word: Problematic. I watched the movie first and it didn't jive well. So I read the book, hoping that maybe it would redeem it somehow. It didn't? At all?
If you're unfamiliar, the premise is that Will, who was the epitome of action and activity, sustains a spinal cord injury and after the accident, is a person with quadriplegia. Will struggles with his injury emotionally and has decided to go ahead and have a medical-assisted suicide. The main character, Louisa, is brought in to basically "cheer him up."
I've never read a book with a main character who has a disability and part of the majesty of reading is expanding empathy - it helps the reader understand a variety of perspectives that they can't experience. This book didn't do that. The lesson it seemed to teach was: "if you can't use your legs, that's no way to live."
Here is a fantastic video (because I can't get it to embed lmao) that explains the problematic undertones in MBY a lot better than I can. All I can say is this was a bust.
2. The Vorrh by Brian Catling
My friend loaned me this book without saying much about it. She didn't really recommend it. She just kind of handed it to me.
Here is where I would put a plot summary... if I knew what it was about. I have no idea??
I read maybe 200 pages and then read the last ten and I felt I had missed nothing. I found the characters to be a little stale - they lacked depth and individuality, and the plot was so disjointed that I couldn't ignore one component for the sake of the other.
The writing wasn't bad, either, but it felt like every line was trying to be really profound. Like, if this book was personified, it would be that person in the room who would interrupt to say something "clever" and then would wink at you like, 'Did ya get it?'
3. Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
You can read the linked Goodreads description, lol. I'm not going to bother to break this one down because there's a lot happening.
Basically, there's a girl (Blue) and she has to interact with a group of magical (for lack of a better word) boys (the Raven Boys) to do the plot thing.
Over the summer, my friends and I had a book club and I picked this book. I was so excited for it. A few people recommended it to me. I read the first chapter online and it had this whimsical and dark feel to it.
The writing - like the words on the page - stayed well done and interesting but the characters and plot really unraveled. I felt like I couldn't connect to any of the characters - there was this invisible wall and I just couldn't get past it. Nor did I buy the relationship between the boys and their interactions with Blue. Things just kind of happened. And then it ended with this huge cliffhanger that kind of did not make sense given the context of the whole book; it was intended as a segway for the sequel but it came across really out of the... Blue. Lol. Bad pun. I JUST WANTED TO LIKE IT SO BAD AGH.
There were just a lot more questions than answers and I didn't have the patience for the rest of the books. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So those were my three. What were the least successful books you read this year? Why?