I ran a poll on Twitter a while ago asking if you guys would also like to see my least favorite reads of 2018 and it turns out you did! So here they are, I will be linking my full reviews to each book if they are available.
I did include DNF’d books in this post so if you don’t agree with DNFing books please skip those titles as they will be labeled. I personally DNF books and enjoy reviews or mini reviews of DNF’d books so I’d like to include them.
I really do enjoy Amy Lukavics’s books but this one just wasn’t as great, it wasn’t completely terrible but I’ve come to expect a lot more from her books. “The Ravenous” wasn’t as creepy and the twist ending wasn’t as shocking, I feel that if the synopsis for this book didn’t give away the one big twist it could have been a lot better. It’s kind of hard to get into the book when the first quarter or so isn’t suspenseful whatsoever because you already know what’s going to happen. Sure I didn’t know EVERYTHING but like I said the big twist was ruined and just took away a lot of the enjoyment for me.
This one started out decent enough mixing supernatural elements in with some historical fiction set in 1880’s New York. Essentially it’s about a girl who possesses supernatural powers and a cliched group of bad guys hunting her down for it. However, half way through the story it starts to suffer from some super slow pacing and the plot got lost in itself, it became very dull and confusing.
Beyond A Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake – DNF
I just could not get into this one, it was just super boring. Honestly if a book can’t grab my attention within the first 20% I’m probably not going to enjoy it. Which is a real bummer with this one since it features Irish mythology, vikings, the Morrigan, and fae. That sounds amazing! But it just wasn’t for me, which is a shame.
What happened here?! I was supposed to love this book! It has vikings and a female main character! I think this was easily my biggest let down of 2018 and I’m also in the minority I believe because everyone else seemed to love this one. The plot felt non-existent, it was extremely slow and boring, and everything (characters, story, world building, etc.) could have used a lot more development. I was expecting a lot more action for a book about vikings and what I got was the main character doing a ton of chores.
I’m really thankful I didn’t read a ton of bad books this year, however, if I had to pick the WORST book out of all of these? This would be it. This book is just terrible and that makes me feel bad because the author worked hard but……this was bad. There just wasn’t anything positive about this book it was one giant mess with a confusing plot that made zero sense and characters I couldn’t care less about. It’s supposedly a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ retelling and NOWHERE in my entire reading of the book did I get that impression, plus like I said already the entire story was pure nonsense. Nothing made sense. At all.
The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer – DNF
Why did 2018 entice me with books promising Irish/Celtic mythology and fae and then I don’t enjoy them and DNF them? Life’s not fair. I don’t have much to say about this one other than I made it to the 25% mark before I gave up. Nothing grabbed my attention.
Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand – DNF
Another big disappointment because this book SOUNDED so good and I couldn’t do it. I made it in over 40%. 40%!!! And I couldn’t get into it, that’s more than a fair chance if you ask me. This book is definitely unique with it’s concepts and ideas and I did like what it was trying to do with prophecies, angels, a Sun Queen and Blood Queen, a cosmic war, and magic. Sounds great, right? However, the plot didn’t feel like it was really going anywhere and I loathed the characters. Don’t get me wrong I love some morally grey characters but one of the MCs was just a straight up terrible person and I couldn’t be convinced to take any interest in her or her story. On top of that I was just bored with everything overall.
Oh boy, time to talk about “Hullmetal Girls”. If you didn’t know already this book caused quite a stir when it was released, if you would like more information on the controversy you can see the post here.
I include trigger warnings in my reviews and this book features a LGTBQ+ character being outed in a manner I don’t agree with. This was a big part of why I dislike the book but on top of that it was a dull, there was hardly any world building, and the characters weren’t developed or interesting.
In the Vines by Shannon Kirk – DNF
I think my little Goodreads “review” sums up my thoughts on this pretty nicely:
“This isn’t at all what I was expecting. I wanted a creepy/gothic mystery thriller filled with family secrets but this is just……boring. The writing is far too dense and wordy feeling, it didn’t feel like I was reading a story at all but rather like reading an inner monologue about nothing from someone who spends all of their time reading a thesaurus.”
Sometimes I surprise myself and actually write some coherent thoughts when I DNF and don’t review the book! Anyways the synopsis of this one really does imply a lot of dark family secrets, which I live for those kinds of thrillers but I couldn’t get into it because of how dense and wordy the writing was.
SO. MANY. TROPES. I honestly think every YA fantasy trope there is was crammed into this book. This is your typical YA fantasy filled with no action, a cliched plot, a special snowflake main character, and slow pacing. Plus there’s almost zero world building and it was very predictable. Overall nothing new here whatsoever which is disappointing since this was supposed to be about a strong female character who hunts evil witches. I mean I guess that’s still what it’s about but……less cool.
This was just…..so unfair. I personally feel like YA horror books are pretty few and far between so when I discover a new release I get excited especially when I get my hands on an ARC! However, I don’t really know what to call this mess because it really wasn’t horror (more like psychological thriller if anything). It was boring, it felt like nothing was happening, the characters were underdeveloped, and the ending was really unsatisfying. Overall I don’t know how I trucked through this without DNFing.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
What were some of your least favorite reads of 2018?