So last year I made a post where I listed my least favorite books I read during the year. I figured if I’m going to give you a list of books you should read, I should also give you a list of books to avoid. I really enjoyed that, so I’m sticking with it this year.
If you have any of these books on your TBR, they may not be worth it… (in my very valuable opinion, of course).
(And if you’ve actually read any of these, I’m sorry, hopefully you liked them more than I did.)
Top 10 Worst 2021 Reads
1. Opal by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle, #4.5) — 3 stars
When I said I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters of The Raven Cycle, I meant it. But guys, this ain’t it… Though we do get a little more from Adam and Ronan (and unfortunately Opal), it’s not anything worth reading, in my opinion. It’s a short story, so if you haven’t read it, don’t worry about it. It’s from Opal’s perspective (very weird) and not much happens.
2. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens — 3 stars
Did we all think this would be about gay pirates? Because it’s not. It’s actually a high seas fantasy. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing, but the story was interesting enough to keep me reading. I also felt the worldbuilding lacked and I never felt an emotional connection to the characters. I still gave it 3 stars, though, because I enjoyed all the action and the interaction between the two main characters.
3. Randomize by Andy Weir (Forward Collection) — 1.5 stars
So far, the only Andy Weir work I’ve enjoyed has been The Martian. His novel Artemis was one of the worst books I read last year, and surprise surprise, Weir makes the list again this year with his short story Randomize. The plot was dull, the characters weren’t flushed out or interesting, and it just felt predictable as a whole. Did not enjoy this one.
4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart — 3 stars
This book was wildly popular back when I was in high school/college. My college roommate actually really enjoyed this one! I finally got around to reading (TikTok has been hyping it up, lately) and was super disappointed. I wish I would have read it back in 2014 or something because I think I would have been more impressed with it then. The pacing was off and I didn’t really like any of the characters. I also guessed the twist pretty early on, which never happens when I’m reading these types of books. But the mystery aspect of the story, and just the plot in general, was interesting enough to keep me reading. Very middle-of-the-road for me.
5. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi — 3 stars
The first half of this novel is incredibly slow and a bit boring. I also hated all the characters, which makes it hard when reading a contemporary like this. The thing I liked best about this novel is the way Choi handled difficult topics really well. I related to some of the things being discussed and thought Choi wrote about these themes and topics in an honest but respectful light. Mostly I just think this book wasn’t for me, not that it was bad or “meh.”
6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig — 2.5 stars
I was really excited for this one, guys. And it actually severely disappointed me. As I read, I quickly lost interest in the story. I did not connect emotionally to the main character. The writing style wasn’t my favorite—the whole book seemed a little self-help-y. Very campy at times. This one just wasn’t for me.
7. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix — 3.5 stars
This one really wasn’t so bad. If you like slasher films and horror in general, I genuinely think you could enjoy this novel a lot. I wasn’t really the target audience. I mostly wanted to read it because I’d real Final Girl by Riley Sager and hated it, and with this book having such a similar premise, I wanted to see if Hendrix could do it better. And he did! It’s ridiculously fast-paced and the twist definitely fooled me. Still wasn’t 100% for me, but it wasn’t bad.
8. You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus — 3.5 stars
Again, this one isn’t really that bad. But it disappointed me as a huge fan of McManus’s One of Us Is Lying series and her standalone Two Can Keep A Secret. Those books were so good! And then The Cousins was not so good. And this one? Kind of in the middle. The twist got me, and I enjoyed the slow-build suspense, but I didn’t connect to the characters and I felt it could have been written better. I don’t know. I guess I’m just constantly looking for that high of reading her earlier books.
9. I Would Leave Me If I Could: A Collection of Poetry by Halsey — 3 stars
I may not be a huge Halsey fan like I was a few years ago, but I still like her music (just not her newest album…). I was excited to read her book of poems, especially after absolutely loving the poem she read a few years ago at one of the women’s marches in D.C. I was super engaged with this book until about halfway through. I resonated with quite a few of the poems and even loved some of them. But halfway through it felt like they all started to sound the same and I felt uninterested. This could have been shorter. I wish she would have picked half as many, just her favorites.
10. The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins — 2.5 stars
This book was SO DISAPPOINTING. I really liked There’s Someone Inside Your House, just on a pure level of enjoyment. It was exactly what I was looking for in a YA horror novel. But this??? No. The Woods Are Always Watching was not what I wanted. The entire beginning half was slow and boring. It’s mostly inner monologue from characters that I really do not like. Some parts of this novel were enjoyable, but mostly it just left me wanting more.
I picked my books wisely this year. There are only __ books I actually disliked or simply tolerated. That’s much better than last year! Most of these are 3-star books that aren’t bad, they just weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. And thus they became my least favorites of the year.
Here’s to another year of only reading good books!