I remember reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea when I was a child (12-13 years old) and discovering halfway through the book that it was an abridged edition. I felt betrayed, knowing that I missed some part of the "real" story. I immediately stopped reading it and never picked it up again. I was so angry at the book that I felt sick for several days after learning this. I could not imagine at the time that it was possible to do something as horrible as selling books where you would cut out some parts of the story.
The Red Wedding nearly resulted in a paperback projectile.
*American Gods* did this for me. Everyone liked it, so I was pretty excited to give it a try.
Good gosh, I could *not* get on-board with the premise. I get that the main character was nothing but it was just so fucking stupid. Wednesday was annoying and not particularly interesting. The various other characters (Oester and such) were just annoying and there was so little to be insightful about with the book. We get it -- Americans don't really have beliefs. What are the rest of the 500 pages or whatever about? Oh, nothing?
I have never read a book before or since where I didn't like a single fucking character in the book.
Ready Player One. It got really popular, I read it, I thought it was written very poorly and was essentially nostalgia porn, and got mad that it was as popular as it was.
I've come to terms with nostalgia's current place in our society where a large number of people roughly my age seem to be obsessed with the things of our childhood and take it personally if we find remakes, reboots, and new properties based in their worlds lacking. It doesn't surprise me that a book that says, "EVERYTHING WE ONCE LOVED WAS AMAZING AND GREAT!" and not much more is popular. I had gotten over it but now that the movie is coming out the hatred is slowly creeping back into my system.
The Circle by David Eggers. What a steaming pile of shit. It's the only book in recent memory I refused to finish. In interviews he [boasts about the lack of research](https://www.wired.com/2013/10/the-circle-review-dave-eggers/
) and it shows. If you are trying to write a dystopian novel about the internet and tech culture, at least do some research.
I don't remember the name of the book, but I got incredibly angry while reading it because the protagonist was supposed to be writing her thesis on paleontology, and all the way through the book she kept bein COMPLETELY CLUELESS about ANYTHING regarding paleontology. You're about to get a degree on in and you STILL don't know anything about it? Not to mention that it was set in modern times, and the professors were still arguing about whether dinosaurs and birds were related or not.
Basically: DO. YOUR. RESEARCH. *Then* you write the book.
The ironically (for this topic) named **Furiously Happy**, by Jenny Lawson. It’s great to try to bring humor into such serious topics as mental illness, but I didn’t find her brand of “humor” very funny, and she rambled more than anything. I was really hoping for something better.
Yeah, I know people gush over it, but I did *not* find it compelling at all. Way to much infodumping, lots of tell with very little show, a paper-thin, predictable plot ...
I suffered through all of that, but then I came to the ending. Which I finished, but was *furious* with for wasting my time. Why?
Because it's not just juggling the idiot ball, but parading it around like a Hollywood trophy.
We'll start with the worst offender: The finale. Our protagonist is aboard a spaceship heading for a cruiser, trying to keep the antagonists from getting their with any of their bodies and escaping the system. When "SURPRISE!" there are multiple bodies of the antagonist on the outside of the protagonist ship, breaking in! And they can't let them, or they'll kill the protagonist, get to the cruiser, and escape. So what does our protagonist do?
The dumbest, most Hollywood-inspired, noble self-sacrifice move ever. They *blow up* their own ship by shooting an oxygen tank. Because this is "the only way."
I promptly read the scene to my roommates, and we *all* had a better solution in seconds. For example:
- Spin the ship. Like, that's not even hard to do. Just spin it nice and good. If they're not tied on, goodbye and you'll fall to your death in the atmosphere of the planet you're over or sail off to asphyxiate in deep space. If they're tethered, you work up a good spin and then play "crack the whip." The protagonist had AG. They did not.
- Turn around and re-enter orbit. Space suits are *not* cleared for atmospheric re-entry. Mmmm ... popcorn.
- The protagonist had a radio with much longer range than the antagonists. There were a bunch of other ships around. Have them scrape them off of the hull.
Etc, etc etc. There were so many *better* solutions that the author taking the most Hollywood, cheap "noble self-sacrifice" for the feels felt like such a dodge.
And then it got worse. After the protagonist survives blowing up their own ship (of course!) we're treated to them meeting with the ruler of the Empire to discuss the "magic" alien gun they had procured, which the ruler now has, and the following conversation (abridged) occurs:
> Ruler: I ordered all these guns destroyed. They're alien.
> Protag: I know. I needed it.
> Ruler: I understand. Still, we can't have a mysterious weapon we know very little about falling into the wrong hands. It's technology is like magic to us. Aide, take this to be destroyed.
> Aide: Yes sir! **The magic gun is taken away to be destroyed**
> Ruler (as the gun departs): You know, those aliens scare me. They're so far beyond us technologically. If it comes to war, we'd be on the back foot. If *only* we had something of theirs we could study to understand how their tech works.
> Protag: Agreed. Their tech is just magic. Their weapons terrifying. If we could just study something of theirs ...
> Ruler: Alas, we'll never get that chance. Hopefully it won't cost us. If only we had something of theirs that we could study ...
Yes. They both wax "philosophically" on this *while the freaking alien gun is taken away to be destroyed.* You know, the thing they could **study!**
Oh, and then in an author interview at the end of the book, the author talked about how she'd done something never seen before in Sci-Fi by basing her empire on *the Romans* and talked about how studying history gave her that idea.
Yes, she and the interviewer thought that *Justice* was the first Sci-Fi book to base its empire on the Romans.
That book was garbage. The plot was bad. The show/tell balance was abysmal. Had it not been for the massive marketing campaign and the attention garnered with the gender-pronoun thing, no one would have ever given it a second look.
The Alchemist. Awful book. Hated that I wasted time on that misogenystic pop drivel
Into the Wild. Someone with no training goes into the Alaskan wilderness and dies, like everyone he talked to said he would. I still don't forgive my English teacher for wasting my time with that book.
Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind and Anita Blake by Laurell Hamilton.
Wizard and Glass,
Book 4 of the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. A whole book about a flashback to a love story, streched over 900+ pages that gets wrapped up very suddenly, with the "main villan" not even being present for the "main battle". only to explain at the end that it wasn't the main plot point. The actual important event is then told in about 10 pages. Followed by a recreation of the ending of The Wizard of Oz, (literally) which I found to be completely unnecessary.
Atonement by Ian Mcewan
Never have despised a fictional little girl more than Briony. I read it for a lit class and Briony's evil was barely discussed.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
I almost tossed it across my room like Bradley Cooper did in Silver Linings Playbook because it made me so angry.
Augustus and Hazel were so shallow. I remember one line in the book was like “If a ugly boy was looking at you and smiling, it would be weird and creepy but a good looking boy was looking at you....well.”
They were also way too smart for their age. No teenager just rattles off a bunch of philosophy and metaphors the way they did.
I also felt like Augustus used Hazel for sex. It was way to coincidental that August mentioned he was a virgin then a few chapters later they had sex.
I didn’t understand why it was so popular in my age group at the time.
I also got really angry at the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubrick. Felt it was a little predictable, but not so much that it turned me completely off. I think the end was supposed to be the major twist, but it made the rest of the story pointless? Definitely more angry that I wasted 2 evenings on it.