Hey Guys! I am Max and I will be attempting to construct one of the articles in my “end of the year series” today. This series consists of Worst Books of 2020, Best Books of 2020 and Most Anticipated Releases of 2020. Today, I will be manufacturing the most controversial article in this series and that is the Worst Books I’ve read in 2020.
Disclaimer: Please do not get offended if some of your favourite books are on this list. The books that are mentioned on this list are based solely on my own opinions and taste and please, just take my words with a grain of salt.
*Side Note: this list will go according to my least disliked to my most disliked books of 2020. So, we will start off with my least disliked and make our way down to my most disliked.
So, without further ado, let us dive right into the list!
9. Blue Ticket By Sophie Mackintosh
Blue Ticket is more of a disappointment than a straight-up egregious book. I had high hopes going into this novel because I really thought that it would blow me away with the story and the writing as the synopsis of this novel suggested that I can and should put all my expectations on it as it has everything that I love: notions on feminism, dystopian society, discussion on body rights, segregated society and it is written in a literary fiction style and instead of getting those, the final product of this novel is a confusing and convoluted plot, the lack of world-building and a plethora of chances for the story to swirl in the right direction but the author decided to let the story bite its tail. Therefore, it made it on my Worst Books of 2020 list.
Here’s the full review for this novel that I had constructed in July if you are curious to see the ups and downs of this novel.
Final Verdict: 50% (D)
8. Midnight’s Twins By Holly Race
Young Adult fiction has been a hit or miss for me this year and this is, no doubt, a miss for me. The characters in this book, other than the protagonist and the protagonist’s brother, have zero character trait and radically, they are just caricatures and their foremost objective there is to advance the plot. Also, I did not say this in my review but the names of the characters, especially the name of the protagonist’s mom, are way too fantasy-like. They are supposed to live in our world not in some fantasy world with unique sounding names. In addition, the world-building for the dreamscape land called Annwn is very weak and it does not make sense on several levels. Therefore, it is number 8 on the list.
Here’s the full review for this novel that I had constructed in mid-December if you are curious to see the ups and downs of this novel.
Final Verdict: 45% (E)
7. The Other Americans By Laila Lalami
The writing style for this novel is, no doubt, beautiful and easy to absorb. The story, however, is a different situation altogether. It is extremely forgettable and it does not have re-read value. The characters in this novel have different motivations and most of the time, I do not understand why they do the things they did. The pacing is atrocious; it is a hybrid of both slow and fast and it is very unevenly distributed. Every time I put this book down, I do not have the urge to pick it back up. Besides, there’s a drug abuse scene where the protagonist’s sister is about to confess to her but did not manage to do so and it is never brought up in the novel again. This can be potentially triggering to people with a history of drug abuse and I do not fancy how the author executed this element in the story. Moreover, topics on racism are brushed under rug so often in this novel. I do not understand why the author would bring it up and put it aside as quickly as possible.
Oh, let’s not forget that I thought this book was a literary thriller but apparently, it is not. The synopsis of this novel makes this book sound like it is a literary thriller and I think it is purely for marketing purposes only. If you want to read this book, keep in mind that it is more of a character study (although the characters are not that exceptional to study anyways) than a thriller/mystery.
Final Verdict: 40% (E)
6. In The Shadow Of The Wolves By Alvydas Slepikas
Going into this book, I was expecting to love it and instead of enjoying it, it made it on this list. The writing style for this novel is both beautiful and over-the-top. It is beautiful when it has amazing quotes like:-
“Lotte poured some boiled water from the teapot into a cup, and gave it to Helmut. There hadn’t been any wolves around for a long time; these days they existed only in fairy tales. People were like wolves now.”
-but the author had to switch it up and made it over-the-top without any reason. Sometimes, the children in this novel do not even sound like children. They sound like dramatic poets in the making.
Although everything in this book is morbid, I do not feel attached to anyone or anything in the novel because of how inordinate the author had written this book. I tried really hard to get into the right headspace and to immerse myself into the story but I could not do it. The writing style made it impossible for me to get into the story and therefore, it is on this list.
Final Verdict: 38% (E)
5. The Ghost Bride By Yangsze Choo
Are we even surprised The Ghost Bride made it on this list?
I had not thought about it ever since I finished writing the review in May and I could not really remember the story (but have a vague idea of it) and that shows how utterly forgettable it is.
The romance in this novel is laughable. It is purely ‘love at first sight’ material and the protagonist of this novel is a dumbass. Like what I commented in my review: “He could be a kidnapper or an en masse murderer and I bet Li Lan will still be languishing over him and not see the facet he is wearing.” The pacing of this novel is an abomination and it should never have seen the light of day.
I have a full rant review up on my blog and if you are interested in that, you should click into it. What I wrote above is just the icing on the cake and there’s a more in-depth review of this book on that rant review article.
Final Verdict: 35% (E)
4. Vanishing Girls By Lauren Oliver
The only pro in Vanishing Girls is the astounding writing style. Other than that, it is all cons.
First of all, that closing is one of the worst closings I’ve ever read in my entire life. The conundrum or rather, the centre of the mystery falls flat towards the end of the novel. It is inconceivably anti-climatic and it is eminently predictable as well. When I read a thriller, I want to be pleasantly startled by the plot twists and the structure of the story but this did not assuage any of that.
Second of all, the pacing of this novel is disastrous. Normally I am okay with slow-paced books but this novel is so slow from start to finish and nothing happens for about 70% of the way through this book and things only pick up towards the end and even that can’t save the book. Note that this book is only under 300 pages.
Lastly, the young adult characters are the exact image of any other thriller novels you will find under the sky and they are one-dimensional characters. I expected better from Lauren Oliver because she wrote one of the best Young Adult books I’ve ever laid my eyes on and that book is Before I Fall. For that book, she manages to capture the essence of a teenager but for Vanishing Girls, the essence is gone and it is replaced by amateur character structure.
Final Verdict: 25% (E)
3. Tuck Everlasting By Natalie Babbitt
To summarize my review for this novel, it would be:-
-the writing style has more “tells than shows”, this book promotes pedophilia despite being a classic children novel, the pacing is shambolic, the messages the author is trying to convey are not evergreen and they have been talked about time and again in recent years.
Here’s the full review for this novel that I had constructed in 3 days ago if you are curious to see the ups and downs of this novel.
Final Verdict: 15% (F)
2. Angels’ Blood By Nalini Singh
Where do I even begin?
This book is, undisputedly, smut. It does not really have a plot. The author makes it seem like the plot of this novel is secondary and the smut is the primary focus of the novel. Everything else is tertiary and not important. The ‘everything else’ includes character development, world-building, writing style and atmosphere. None of those is present in the story, the only thing that the author wants you to know is that there are smut and an overabundance of sex in this book and those are the primary focus.
The plot of this novel is quite absurd and it does not make a lot of sense. Characters that got together do not have any chemistry or anything in common and do not even get me started on the number of times the protagonist screams “NO!” to the mind-controlling thing that her alpha-angel-boyfriend does to her. I cringed inside every time she says “NO!”. Consent is basically non-existent in this novel.
The ending of this novel is another one of the worst endings I’ve ever deposited my eyes on. It does not make any sense! How did they surgically sew a pair of angel wings on the protagonist’s back when no one in this world knows that that is a possibility? It is remarkably ludicrous and it made me laugh like a horse.
Final Verdict: 10% (F)
1. The Cheat By Marita A. Hansen
The only reason I requested for this book on Netgalley is because I want to read a book that is from a genre I’ve not explored before to get out of my comfort zone but… I would pretty much like to go back to my comfort zone now.
Both of the protagonists of this novel do not have the basic knowledge of consent. There’s a ridiculously large amount of fatphobia in this book which is absolutely infuriating to read about. The scene where the mother of the female protagonist who is frantically watching the male protagonist stripping and practicing onanism by his window scarred my eyeballs. There’s cheating in a relationship in this novel which did not get resolve by the end because this is a 4-part series. Also, the female protagonist watching the male protagonist strip by his window is weird (she thinks he doesn’t know she is watching) but what’s weirder is that the male protagonist does it on purpose and he did it with pride and he knows she is watching so he does it. *allow me to retch in the toilet.*
The writing style of this novel is amateur at best. It does not have the most ludicrous writing style and it does not have the most lucrative writing style either. It is just… there.
Final Verdict: 5% (F)
And that concludes my ‘Worst Books Of 2020!’ Be sure to let me know what your worst books of 2020 are in the comment section below! I hope you all enjoyed this article and follow me with your email/WordPress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!