As the year’s end approaches, I want to reflect on what I have read. Some of these posts will probably upset someone. My intention is not to make anyone feel bad for liking these stories, however, I want to simply say that I was disappointed when I read them. Obviously, I recognize the talent that these writers have, because, for the most part, I see why people like these stories.
10. queens of geek by jen wilde
Why is it that books dealing with fandom do not take their readers seriously? I found this book to be very surface level in its attempts to be inclusive. No, you don’t get brownie points just by including an overweight character, or a bisexual character, or a story set in a fan convention. Books can have such an impact, and it makes me sad to see contemporaries not communicating about serious life experiences and perspectives.
9. uprooted by naomi novik
I know a lot of people like this book, but it was overly descriptive. Plus, I felt like the romance was verbally abusive. I wanted to get to know the Dragon better. The main friendship between the two girls was sweet, and I wish there was more of it, yet the story was bogged down with all the flowery descriptions. I can normally handle magical realism and fantasy, but this was over the top.
8. You know me well by david levithan and nina lacour
Hastily formed friendships are fine, but I at least wanted them to work on it throughout the story. I cannot even remember the characters’ names; that is how forgettable they were. Yes, we should have more inclusive and #ownvoices stories. But, no, we cannot just haphazardly create stories that have no depth. I mean, it’s okay if that’s what some people want to read, but I like a little bit of substance to contemporaries. Why do people not take contemporaries as opportunities to take a stroll in someone else’s shoes?
7. graceling by kristin cashore
Dull as all heck. This story is all about fighting, and then hunting things. Maybe I am just not a warrior type of person (very possible), however, the whole time, I was grasping for any kind of human connection between her and Po. Anything. Just show me why the heck are you attracted to each other.
6. the girl in the steel corset by kady cross
The point of steampunk is the contrast between conventions of a rather conservative society and technological advances that were not actually present at the time. I don’t understand how some random fellow gets to call the main character “sweetheart” even nowadays. Also: it has no rhyme or reason to the attraction between the main characters in this book either.
5. the song of achilles by madeline miller
Again, this is a favorite among the book blogging community. I just did not like the romance, or the main characters. Most importantly, I did not like the way women were treated by the writer. Why can’t we see the validity in their perspective? I want feminist Greek men, for crying out loud. Surely they existed. I mean, since you are creating goddesses and divine prophecies, you can squeeze in a chapter or two from the women’s perspective.
4. fire study by maria v. snyder
I adored the first two books. Look, I care about Yelena’s potential self that could have kicked so much butt–and gotten her butt kicked several times. People who are naturally good fighters, good at magic, and they have the coolest boyfriend in the land irk me okay?
No, I don’t want to talk about it.
Actually, wait. I can articulate. I like characters to slowly become infatuated with each other. But, no. the love interest is just like, “I love you!” And, he never shuts up about it in consequent books. Bleurgh. He only serves the purpose of whatever Yelena wants. No, no! That’s not okay. He was a bad-ass. Come on, Snyder. Why did you do that.
3. timekeeper by tara sim
It was an okay read. Judging by the reviews, I was expecting fireworks and celebratory trumpets playing the whole time while I read it. Nope. Underdeveloped romance, no sense of society or world development, and most of all, the most infuriating of all a tofu of blandness for a main character. What makes Danny, Colton, Cassie, Daphne, or Luke memorable? Matthias, with his unclear purpose, could have added depth to the narrative, but no. We don’t get to see his point of view at all.
2. the school for good and evil by soman chianani
Girls who like to look pretty are villains basically. Also: everyone must be paired with someone else.
1. the wrath and the dawn by renee ahdieh
Shahrzad: “Oh, I will get vengeance.”
Shahrzad: “I love him! No more vengeance.”