Happy Friday, the day that feels like Tuesday! Today, I talk about all the books that I disliked or disappointed me throughout the year. Luckily there weren’t that many this year, so that means this post will be short (is that bad or good?!). All books here will have a 2.5 star rating or lower: 2.5 for me is the first ‘I disliked’ it rating. Any higher, and I was neutral about the book at least.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman – 2.5 stars – To be fair to this book, I realized this year that I dislike anthologies in general. Beforehand, I had an inkling that it was the format and not the stories, but reading this really solidified that. So unfortunately, it took the brunt of that discovery by taking this rating. None of the stories had an impact on me and honestly I can’t tell you a single thing about any one of them other than one of the main characters in one of the stories liked dancing. That was it. This book had zero lasting impression. And that was the reason for the low rating: It bored me.
I appreciate what it was trying to do: It gathered stories from different Asian cultures and showing that hey, yes, there are all sorts of stories from Asia that are about totally different cultures and peoples and languages and creeds, but…. the execution was lacking.
StarCraft: Frontline vol 1 by Paul Morrissey – 2 stars – This one was a bummer. I’m a huge fan of StarCraft, so I was hoping to love this. I love the lore of the StarCraft world, I love the characters, I love the game play… but this story was difficult. It trudged through what little plot it had, the artistic style made the reading experience feel dense, and considering it’s a manga, making it feel dense was some feat. So overall, it was not a good experience for me, and I won’t be continuing it. I’m hoping to pick up Heaven’s Devil this year, a novel in the StarCraft universe, and now I’m antsy that it’s gonna feel the same way as this did. Augh. Fingers crossed.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – 1.5 stars – This book, ladies and gents, was the most disappointing one of the year for me. I bought it on release day, and I started it right away… aaaaand I hated it. The only reason it didn’t get a straight one star from me is because I finished it. I only give 1s to books that I can’t finish because they’re so awful. But this one, I did. I think it was because I was mad at having dropped over twenty bucks on the thing, only to end up hating it so much. So I read it out of spite. I got my money’s worth, dammit. (Or did I?)
Anyways, nothing in this book agreed with me. I hated the main character, I hated the side characters, I hated the plot, I hated the shock-factor violence, and I hated the way that sexual violence was just a part of society in the book, not called out as bad, never questioned as ‘hey maybe we shouldn’t literally rape people to death’, and even was promoted by the main character. It really was just a gross book, and it rubbed me the wrong way. If you could get past that and liked it, props to ya, but for me? Ew.
And that… that is it! I only had three books this year that fell below a 3 star, and while that’s good because it means I liked most of what I read, it kinda leaves my ‘worst of’ post a little bare bones. That’s okay though – I’d rather have a short post and more books that I liked than visa versa.
If you read any of these books, lemme know! If you liked them, tell me why! If you didn’t, commiserate with me!