Yes, we have a million other tags to attend to, but did you honestly think we’d pass up the opportunity to throw shade? If we get murdered by the book community after this, it’s on you, Jenna! 😂
Thank you to Alex @ Lost In Translation for making this fabulously salty post 😛
1. The Not-So-Perfect Genre
Pick a book that undermines the genre as a whole
Nish: Fallen – in the era of supernatural abundance in YA fiction that came post-Twilight, this book STILL managed to stand out as absolute trash. Bad characters, bad writing and literally a nonsensical plot (and THIS got made into a film. Sure).
Ngoc: The Book of Ivy. I read it last year, and even though I feel like I exhausted my love for the dystopian genre about a decade ago, I don’t think that’s why I gave this book a 2 stars. There was zero urgency, the plot was weak, and the main character just really needed to get her priorities straight.
2. The Not-So-Perfect Dialogue
Pick a book with dialogue written so poorly that it made you cringe
Ngoc: These Broken Stars – as I mentioned in my discussion post last year, the dialogue was drier than the Sahara desert.
Nish: I read the Fifty Shades series (I know, I KNOW don’t judge me too harshly) ages ago and I still can’t get past how awkward and un-sexy the dialogue was! I thought the whole point was Christian Grey was meant to be a very attractive man… honestly confused.
3. The Not-So-Perfect Setting
Pick a book that takes place in a location that you wish hadn’t been picked
Ngoc: Honestly can’t think of a book that had a setting I didn’t enjoy 🤷🏻♀️
Nish: Saaaaaaaame sorry guys! I have never really had a problem with locations!
4. The Not-So-Perfect Main Character
Pick the most annoying main character
Ngoc: *cracks knuckles* Oh boy.
Nish: *laughs in anticipation*. While Ngoc prepares for her rant, my least favourite main character has been America from The Selection series. The idea of these books are so cool and I did read them super fast once upon a time. Did I like the series? No. America is so whiny, and indecisive in certain *spoiler-y* situations and I cannot handle being in her head.
Ngoc: Look – I have an extensive list of fictional characters on my hit list, but if I had to pick the most annoying main character, I’d go for Frances from Conversations With Friends. I couldn’t find a shred of sympathy in my entire being for her (I’m sure Nish can confirm that I don’t actually lack sympathy IRL.) I can’t explain why I find her character so unredeemable without giving the plot away, but I’m planning on doing a salty review sometime so grab your antihypertensives and watch out for that!
Nish: Can confirm Ngoc does feel PLENTY of sympathy at our hospital placements every day and yet feels 0/10 sympathy for Frances.
5. The Not-So-Perfect Blurb
A blurb that was so far from the truth that it made you do a double-take and check you had read the right book
Ngoc: The Notebook – “an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever.” HA. HAHAHA. The enduring power of love? I’m sorry, but my idea of a beautiful love story does not involve cheating on your fiancé with a man you had a summer fling with fourteen years ago and have not been in contact with since. And the only thing miraculous about this book was that I managed to finish it without throwing up.
Nish: Mine was actually Me, Earl and the Dying Girl. This book sounded interesting, but the blurb did not capture how absolutely, laugh-out-loud funny it would be. So for the opposite reason to my poor other half (who I can honestly trigger by whispering the words note and book together) I enjoyed a book about a dying girl far more than I would have thought!
6. The Not-So-Perfect Friend
From whiny attention-seeker to full-on traitor, pick a character that you think is the worst friend ever
Nish: I can’t go past Serena and Blair from Gossip Girl. I used to love these books (and to be honest I haven’t read them for a long time) but I remember when I was younger I thought they were great! I never realised until I got older how actually problematic these two were! Like would not even want a friend to treat me they way they, as “besties”, treat each other. Hard pass thanks.
Ngoc: This tag is gonna make me public enemy #1 of the book community but I have to say Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series. You could argue that she’s fiercely protective of a select few in the series, but I’ll never forget when one of her friends almost dies fighting for her in Empire of Storms and while said character is struggling to recover from her injuries, Celaena is having sex on the beach. She’s stubborn, arrogant and vindictive, even towards people she was formerly friends with and who definitely don’t deserve it (y’all know who I’m talking about.) She could honestly be your best friend one day and then plan your gruesome murder the next. Plus, she’s constantly making life-changing and dangerous decisions without consulting her allies (I mean considering they’re usually key players in said diabolical plans, it’d be nice of her to give them a heads up once in awhile, ya know.)
7. The Not-So-Perfect Love Interest
Pick a character you think would be an awful romantic partner
Ngoc: Noah don’t-remember-what-his-last-name-is-and-couldn’t-care-less from The Notebook. When Noah first meets Allie, she’s on a date with someone else so naturally his response is to hang off a Ferris wheel and threaten to plunge to an untimely death if she doesn’t go out with him?! And then on their actual date, he drags her into the middle of the road to have a little lie down just for fun. I mean, don’t you just love it when you get bullied into a date and then spend said date almost getting run over by a car?
Nish: Honestly I hate to one-up Noah but HARDIN SCOTT IS LITERALLY THE WORST BOOK CHARACTER I HAVE EVER READ. If you want to know why, I reviewed After here, but essentially imagine a guy who has 0 positive aspects, is physically abusive to others, emotionally abusive to his partner AND cheats. I believe that is the whole package right there.
8. The Not-So-Perfect Villain
Pick a character that you thought would have amazing evil plans but fell short and disappointed you
Ngoc: The Volturi in the Twilight series, but specifically in Breaking Dawn. Stephanie Meyer basically built them up to be these ruthless monsters without mercy (so scary), and there was no question that Breaking Dawn was going to end in bloodshed, most likely the blood of my favourite characters.
Nish: Not going to lie, teenage me was NOT prepared for Carlisle to die.
Ngoc: Joke’s on us, because NOTHING. HAPPENED. #wastehertime2009
Nish: Relieved then, confused now.
9. The Not-So-Perfect Family
Pick a horrible bookish family
Ngoc: Hidden spoiler alert for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
The bookish community is going to have my head for this, but I wasn’t a fan of the Covey family from the TATBILB series. Hear me out – I adored them in the movie adaptation. But I think people forget that in the book, Kitty doesn’t mail out Lara Jean’s letters because she wants her introverted sister to get out and make some new friends – she does it out of spite! Also, let’s not forget that LJ and Josh (yes, Margot’s ex) actually kiss in the book. I mean, Josh started it but LJ does kiss him back for a hot second. Minus 50 sister points, LJ!
Nah tbh the Covey family was not my favourite either (Ngoc and I are the same human so yeah). I honestly can’t think of a real stand out right now, but from a recent read it would be Daphne’s family from American Royals. We’re doing a review soon so I won’t get into it here, but let’s just say every time I had to read them I was NOT a fan.
10. The Not-So-Perfect Plot Twist
Pick a book with the worst plot twist
Ngoc: There’s Someone Inside Your House. So the thing about thrillers is that they’re kind of supposed to…thrill you. I feel like revealing the identity of the killer halfway through the book significantly detracts from said thrill factor. The second plot twist was regarding the MC’s ‘dark past’ – which had absolutely nothing to do with the murders in her new town. In conclusion, both plot twists fell flat and I love Stephanie Perkins but I think this genre is not her forte.
Nish: Hidden spoiler alert for Liar by Justine Larbalestier
So the premise of this book is that the main character is a liar. A compulsive one. And the big plot twist at the end? Is that you couldn’t trust her the whole time – EXCUSE ME? Um I am sorry but who DIDN’T see that coming.
11. The Not-So-Perfect Trope
Pick a trope you wish would be avoided in all future publications
Nish: I bet five dollars, I can tell you what Ngoc will say. Begins with cheating and ends with cheating? I don’t know the name to encapsulate mine, but it’s when a girl has a “normal, aka boring” life and nothing has ever happened to her in her entire existence worth discussing and then she meets a boyyyyyy. And THEN she becomes interesting. No. Especially in light of International Women’s Day, I think this trope needs to be lit on fire yesterday.
Ngoc (as Nish predicted): CUTE. CHEATING. There is no justification for and absolutely nothing cute about cheating on your partner – I don’t care if they’re a fire-breathing dragon with mumps, JUST FREAKING BREAK UP WITH THEM FIRST BEFORE YOU HOOK UP WITH SOMEONE ELSE. I’m looking at you, Étienne St Clair.
12. The Not-So-Perfect Cover
Pick that awful cover that almost made you miss a great book
Ngoc: I’m not a big fan of faces on covers (although I don’t mind actual people on them.) Why are you peering out from behind some unidentified vegetation? Unless this book is about a serial plant killer – in which case, I relate.
Nish: The Vampire Academy books. I love this series so much but the covers are so cringey! And I own physical copies of them all and refuse to look at the covers whenever I reread. Like a girl’s face and school gates? I get that the book is about a vampire academy and we are taking that very literally, but surely someone could come up with something much more interesting.
13. The Not-So-Perfect Ending
Pick a book that has the most disappointing ending
Nish: For me it has to be Allegiant. I was so, so, SO invested in this series that when I read the end, I literally threw my book across my room and cried in a corner until my mum came to check on me. 0/5 stars.
Ngoc: Hidden spoiler for Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
I honestly can’t deal with the fact that the ending of Christine’s book is basically a cheap version of ’13 going on 30′ (or ‘Suddenly 30,’ depending on where you live.) You can’t just have two thirds of your book be a solid contemporary and then all of a sudden decide you’re going to throw magic into the mix at the last minute?!? This is just lazy writing in a nutshell.
14. The Not-So-Perfect Expectations
Pick a book that was so hyped that it disappointed you, and you can’t understand why everyone loves it so much
Nish: A Dog’s Purpose. Ngoc and I just read it for bookclub (and I am sure Ngoc agrees when I say) that this book was so hard to enjoy! I love dogs. I would, and I am not being dramatic, die for my beautiful golden retriever (his name is Rocky and he is a baby angel and that is not the point). But this dog. He was just both wildly intelligent and incomprehensibly stupid at the SAME TIME. WITHIN THE SAME LIFE. HOW.
Ngoc: There are quite a few overhyped books that disappointed me, but I can usually still see why people love them so much. This was not the case with We Were Liars. I didn’t hate it exactly, but everyone was saying how it emotionally wrecked them and I remember thinking really?!? Were we reading the same book?
Hope we haven’t lost all our online friends with this post – let us know if you want to defend the honour of any of these books in the comments. 😛 Or even better, if you agree with us!
Tag you’re it!