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Books/Characters > The Worst Book You've Ever Read

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message 1: by Bisky (last edited Dec 18, 2013 04:57AM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
When I first joined GoodReads, I was in the middle of querying a Urban Fantasy novel, I'd had 30 rejections in one day and, out of spite, I gave two UF novels I had bought in a store for 6 pounds each (alot of money to me) one star each.

They were bloody awful, they went straight in the bin, but I'll admit it's still not really a nice thing to do. I should have just not given a star at all.


But I still think they were some of the worst books I've ever read.

So, what are some of the books that you have really disliked? What were they about, and why did you dislike them?



"I knew the Demons had put a GPS tracker in my backpack, but I had no where else to store my gun. I put the gun back in the backpack and slipped it on my shoulders as I went to find a hiding place in the abandoned building. I hoped they wouldn't find me."

*Throws book across the room*


message 2: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White | 10 comments Bisky wrote: "When I first joined GoodReads, I was in the middle of querying a Urban Fantasy novel, I'd had 30 rejections in one day and, out of spite, I gave two UF novels I had bought in a store for 6 pounds e..."

I can't remember the exact name of the book, but it had something to do with a library. It was AWFUL. I literally got just four pages into it and threw it across the room. The writing, the stereotypes, the chauvinistic approach to women by both the character and the author was just too much.

It was so bad I still don't know the name, it was so forgettable.

I have to say, that your example above, is a prime display of lazy writing. A write should never have a character without another option - saying there was nowhere else to store the gun, but keeping something that had a GPS tracker when they're trying to escape is sloppy. As a writer, you give them a pocket or something to compete with, or you have them skillfully discover another bag in a trash bin...anything. As a writer, there should never be a moment where your character is at a loss. That means you don't know the story enough.


message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner Hunters of the Red Moon, by Marion Summer Bradley, c. 1973.

It was a train wreck, and so bad that I couldn't put it down. I was glued to the darn thing just to see how much worse it could get. This must have been a fluke for him, though, because his other books were written quite well.


message 4: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 360 comments Twilight... I just couldn't take anymore after forcing myself to read 120 pages of "I like him so much!" I'm glad I read The Host first. I actually enjoyed that one. If I had read Twilight first I wouldn't have bothered. I also read a couple of bad indie books, but they were at least interesting enough to finish.


message 5: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White | 10 comments Brian wrote: "Twilight... I just couldn't take anymore after forcing myself to read 120 pages of "I like him so much!" I'm glad I read The Host first. I actually enjoyed that one. If I had read Twilight firs..."

Yes! I forgot about that one. I started reading it after semi-enjoying the films and I got 30% of the way through, and even that was a struggle, before I finally gave up. It was so repetitive and boring. I actually wrote an entire blog post about it. You can check it out here if you want - http://ellelainey.wordpress.com/2013/...

We probably had some of the same views about it.


message 6: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
When I was in my late teens I tutored English Lit and Maths to kids with learning difficulties. Twilight had just come out and I hadn't heard of it. I didnt really watch tv or read the news (PC gamer lol) so when one of the 10 year olds started reading one of the more ... interesting scenes. I was just sat there o_o

And decided that I wouldn't read it.


message 7: by G.G. (last edited Dec 18, 2013 05:38PM) (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
I don't know but if demons would put a GPS in my backpack, no matter what I need to carry, I'd find something else, pronto. The gun could have been tucked in his/her pants with his/her shirt hiding it, so that was either a ridiculous excuse. The protagonist was rather stupid to think that hiding with a GPS was a good idea. That would have made him/her lose points, and a character with low points makes for a blah story for me. So I have to agree with you... WTF was the author thinking? ;)

Edited: For some reasons I thought the protagonist was a male but that was kind of sexist. :p


message 8: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
Nah, it was a woman. A weak damsel in distress hah. I would have understood if she needed to hide the gun, but she was in an abandonded building. Once she found her hiding spot she took the gun out again there was really no need to have the backpack at all other than for the demons to find her easily lol


message 9: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
Let just say the author had a blond moment. /ducks


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner Lol, I hope my book doesn't end up on this thread :P


message 11: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
@Mark What? It's just free publicity... :> No but seriously, I hope that no one here gets theirs in this thread or any threads like this unless they become as famous as E.L. James (Fifthy shades of Grey). At that point a little beating doesn't matter anymore. I think it even helps. :p


message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark Bordner Lol, agreed, GG. :-)

About Twilight, my little girl has recently gotten into that. Please pass the Tums.


message 13: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
Nope Mark, I wouldn't do you a favor if I'd offer you Tums. If she got into Twilight you may need something daily. Go with Prilosec instead. :P


message 14: by Bisky (last edited Dec 19, 2013 07:48AM) (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
Is there as much bonking in the second book (Twilight) as there is in the film? And I have mad respect for E.L James. Shit story telling but she's brilliant in online marketing.

P.s this thread is for mainstream basing anyway :p FSOG left the indie lines months ago lol


message 15: by Jim (last edited Dec 19, 2013 08:06AM) (new)

Jim Gunnee | 1 comments Elizabeth Kostovo, The Historian.

I've read quite a few bad books (looking at my stats there are 12 2 star reviews) But this stands out because it could and should have been good.

There's a good 250 page novel buried in 900 pages of drivel.


message 16: by Author Nicole (last edited Dec 20, 2013 11:52AM) (new)

Author Nicole Castro (NicoleCastro) | 116 comments A Catcher in the Rye. My god. I have never hoped and prayed for a main character's demise in my life.

I borrowed it from a friend because I wanted to read a "classic". It classically sucked a _____. After I finished and returned it to her, I told her that I hated it and she quickly announced that she did as well. We had a ceremony of ripped out pages then promptly threw it in a bonfire. I am not joking.


message 17: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
I just loled :p so dramatic hahhaha


message 18: by Kevin (last edited Dec 21, 2013 12:57AM) (new)

Kevin Wolfenberger | 85 comments I don't usually read books I don't like, so even the ones I like least aren't that bad. Still, I found "Dead or Alive" by Tom Clancy quite dry. I found all the characters in "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley far too simplistic and irrational. And I'm also apparently one of the few people who didn't care for "The Book Thief". I just didn't like the narrative choice (sure, it's unique, but why bother?). Plus, the pacing threw me off.


message 19: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Fridge (entropyalarm) | 36 comments Oh man, all this hate on Twilight. I remember when I was younger I had really bad taste in fiction, so if Twilight came out during that time I would have totally been a fan. Just my three cents on that.

But, seriously, one time I got a book as a gift from a person who had no idea what's my taste: James Patterson's The Quickie. I tried, I really did, but the writing, it was so bad. The protagonist kept going on and on about how compatible she is with her husband, and then out of bleeping nowhere he turns into this psychopath... in the first three chapters... and it changes to his POV while he's going berserk, killing any sort of suspense. Twilight may be annoying, but this, this was a train wreck.


message 20: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
hahaha I don't know about Twilight as I've never read the book but I would choose that over the book you described Adrian.
Personally, I don't hate Twilight. I don't hate the movies, although the one where she is pregnant was blah, that one I didn't like at all. Many women might hate me for saying that but I don't like the actor who plays Edward. If someone else would have played the part, I might have liked the movies a lot more. (There I said it. Now, I'm ready for the rocks and rotten eggs that will get thrown at me for speaking my mind.)


message 21: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Fridge (entropyalarm) | 36 comments Also, not necessarily a book, but I hate it when authors write a really amazing story and then somewhere in it they insert something that makes me chuck the whole thing across the room.

Example would be this one short story romance that was really potent because it described the emotional baggage of someone you love attempting suicide and trying to mend the hurt. And then: surprise incest. *SIGH*


message 22: by Carl (new)

Carl | 424 comments This is like the joke about what happened to the worst student in law school. Became a lawyer.


message 23: by Kevin (last edited Jan 01, 2014 12:34AM) (new)

Kevin Wolfenberger | 85 comments Maybe I shouldn't admit this openly, but I actually read the first Twilight book after some of my friends insisted it was the greatest work of fiction ever. In retrospect, they were definitely being sarcastic. The characters were underdeveloped, sappy and desperate for romance. Still, I honestly didn't hate the book. I was more bored with the story line than appalled by it, because I'm really not a fan of the genre. But "Born to be Wild", the only other romance novel I've read, was a more painful read than this one.

[Edit] Just realized my first post of 2014 was on Twilight. This year is going to be rough.


message 24: by Yveta (new)

Yveta Germano | 5 comments I actually read all of the Twilight books because my daughter liked it. The first book was okay, the second got boring and the last two books were kind of painful as I struggled to get them over with because I always try to finish the books I read. I must say, I hated the movies because even though Kristen Stewart is beautiful, she's the worst actress with only one facial expression - painful to watch. And yes, the dude who played Edward is just plain ugly. That just ruined all that was left of my "book liking."

One book I truly hated was The Gargoyle. I bought it because it had a great cover and interesting blurb. It was the most boring and confusing story ever. I wanted to throw it out so bad, I donated it to a library instead... I suppose one cannot trust the book blurb ...


message 25: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments I think you guys are right about Twilight. Book one was the best out of the series. I like to finish what I start too, so I finished them. Myers could've cut out half of each book. (Way too wordy) I don't find Edward repulsive, but I think Bella should've gone for the guy with the muscles...Jacob ;-D. Just sayin'!


message 26: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 360 comments The actor that played Edward is Robert Pattinson. I mentioned once that his nose looked like someone hit him on the face with a baseball bat. Since then I am not allowed to talk about him in front of a friend. She is a huge fan, and doesn't tolerate anything negative about her "fake boyfriend".


message 27: by Claire (new)

Claire (cycraw) | 278 comments I totally skimmed the last books of Twilight because they were so wordy. I just wanted to know what happened already.

Concerning Pattison, I think that the makeup artists made a disaster out of his vampire look. He looked better in Harry Potter as a regular old human. Kirsten Stewart was done so much better when they introduced her vamped state.

And don't get me started on Kirsten. I think she plays her characters like she isade of wood. She stands stiff like a board and looks like she's posing for a portrait, she never moves her facial muscles. I hated her in that Snow White movie as well (the name elludes me at the moment).


message 28: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Fridge (entropyalarm) | 36 comments Folks, to keep this thread on topic, I made a "Venting about Twilight" thread for all of you who want to continue carrying the conversation about Twilight more freely.


message 29: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments Hahaha!


message 30: by Chanta (new)

Chanta Rand | 2 comments I've read a few bad books in my day, but the worst book I've read recently is called The Master's Daughter. It had very poor grammar and unbelievable characters. I posted my review on Amazon last year. I hate giving bad reviews. I know how hard authors work to produce their books. But this one was just awful.


message 31: by Kate (new)

Kate LeDonne | 15 comments "Prep" by c. Sittenfeld was just awful. It was a bestseller for go knows what reason, so I picked up a copy. Kept waiting for it to get better, and it just never happened. It's really the only book I've ever been mad that I wasted my time reading.

Also, I think it's hilarious there's now a separate "venting about Twilight" section. Wouldn't touch that with 40 ft. pole!


message 32: by Cat (new)

Cat Lumb | 7 comments I'm going to be controversial and, given I'm fairly new to this group, go out on a limb and say...
I really disliked Wuthering Heights. Catherine was whiny, Heathcliffe was vile (didn't he kill her dog?) and even though I'm a Yorkshire lass I struggled with the dialect in the dialogue.

So yes, just my opinion...please be gentle! ;)


message 33: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
@Kate I think it's quite natural to have such controversy about books. The most popular ones always have their personal 'fight clubs'. Of course Twilight comes to mind but it's certainly not the only one. Fifty Shades of Grey is a great example. Think of all the hate posts it received and yet, it sold millions. I don't think it would have sold that many if not for the anti-fans ranting about how bad it was.


message 34: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
@Cat Hey! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I haven't read the book but your reasons seem fair enough. Especially if the story takes place in your neck of the woods and the dialects aren't accurate. I read a book where the woman was supposed to be a French native and her French was so bad, it made me cringe, so I won't be throwing you rocks for speaking your mind. :)


message 35: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
I must admit I never got to the end of wuthering heights lol but i never really gave it much thought since i was perhaps 15 when i tried, but i dont feel any pull to start it again haha

I think I go easier on 50 shades because I want to learn her promotion secrets xP


message 36: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 360 comments Her promotional secret was to write something that people talked about. Word of mouth is the best kind of promotion even if it's bad. Some people look for train wrecks just so they can poke dead things with sticks. I'm starting to look further into wattpad. There is a large hyperactive community built around that website. 50 shades started out as a Twilight fanfic that was posted on Wattpad. I'm thinking that might be a great place to build a fanbase. I have been posting some writing up there, but not participating in the community as much as I probably should. I'm going to go exploring a bit tonight.


message 37: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
I didnt know it was posted there! Think i will stick some stuff there afterall :3


message 38: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments Just for the record, in the movie Wuthering Heights, Tom Hardy plays Heathcliff. Just might change your mind @Bisky!! ;-D


message 39: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
... To the television!!


message 40: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Hawes (little_red_writes) | 143 comments I'll join you @Bisky. (I won't reveal how many times I've watched WH;-)


message 41: by Brian (new)

Brian Basham (brianbasham) | 360 comments The community on wattpad is definitely hyperactive. In some of their forums there are people bumping their threads up to the top every few minutes. I found a guy that was doing a wattpad e-zine for writers who are posting serial stories similar to what I am currently doing there. He is trying to do something similar to Shonen Jump for serial stories to help promote them. The guy has over a million reads on his current series, and over a thousand followers on wattpad.


message 42: by David (new)

David Thirteen (DavidJThirteen) | 95 comments Brian wrote: "The community on wattpad is definitely hyperactive. In some of their forums there are people bumping their threads up to the top every few minutes. I found a guy that was doing a wattpad e-zine f..."

I have been on Wattpad for about six months now. There is a lot going on over there and depending on what your looking for you may just find it (just about everywhere you look something else is going on). Personally, I have found a wonderful community of developing writers, who are generous with their encouragement and constructive criticism.


message 43: by Kate (new)

Kate LeDonne | 15 comments G.G. wrote: "@Kate I think it's quite natural to have such controversy about books. The most popular ones always have their personal 'fight clubs'. Of course Twilight comes to mind but it's certainly not the on..."

I agree. What I was saying was I wouldn't read that pile of poop for anything. I like entertaining books, but well-written is a requirement. At least properly punctuated....


message 44: by Mary (new)

Mary Farmer (marylfarmerwriter) | 6 comments At one point I was thinking of writing YA, so I went to the library and checked out some random YA books to 'get a feel for the genre.' (BTW, I have actually read the Harry Potter series and some of Suzanne Collins's, Stephanie Meyer's, Veronica Roth's stuff, etc. too but I wanted to see what the 'average YA' book was like.) All I can say is, wow. A *few* of them were tolerable, but most of the non-best-sellers were so awful I couldn't get past the first chapter. Now granted, I'm not in the target audience of these books dealing with high school angst and the like, but many of them were/are WRITTEN by people my age so I thought, why not check them out? Needless to say, I WILL NOT be writing YA if the stuff in those books is what young people like to read. One book, called The Juliet Club (or something similar, I forget the exact title) had this for an opening line (and it was a line of dialog, with no intro whatsoever): "Which one of Tommy's eyebrows do you think is cuter? The left or the right?" Ugh, really? I'm not knocking the YA genre, but I can't believe how much BAD young adult fiction is out there. I almost feel sorry for my kids when they get older.


message 45: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
Actually i remember those kind of books when i was growing up. Usually with club in the title, horse club, mermaid club kinda things. Along with spinoff books that stemmed from nickeloden shows. Ive always wondered if anyone actually reads them. They are the cheesey overly american hallmark dramas of the literary world


message 46: by Kate (new)

Kate LeDonne | 15 comments Yeah, I never read the Flowers in the Attic or Harlequins that the others were reading. I was reading James Bond. In high school I was reading lots of Shakespeare and Moliere for school and Camus for fun. Yeah...I know...


message 47: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 1024 comments Mod
I've read Harlequin, and other kinds I don't remember... (I must be way too old!)
I also read a lot of books from a protagonist called Bob Morane. His adventures were often scary, like fog creeping in town and turning bones into living creatures. Of course the town had a museum with dinosaurs... I remember having a splitting headache but needing to finish that book.

Sorry, I deviated from the subject of this thread. I can't really think of a book that was so bad I had to put it aside. Maybe it's because I have to finish a book once I start it? There might be one or two that I haven't finished. One was a self publish so I won't mention it. (Although it wasn't that bad, and I may go back and finish it some day...) The other was from a very popular author. I read the first and second of the series, but couldn't finish the third even though I dropped it and picked it back up at least 5 or 6 times. The series was called Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams.


message 48: by Rick (new)

Rick Soper (RickSoper) | 169 comments Ok I'll bring it back to books I hated...

I agree Twilight was horribly bad

I also agree that The Historian would have been good at 250 pages instead of the 900 that made it dreadful

After hearing everything, everywhere, all about it, I ended up reading just ten pages of 50 Shades of Grey before I couldn't take anymore

But the one that I really hated was The Dante Club by Mathew Pearl! As a man with an English Lit degree I should have liked the multiple references to multiple great American authors, but there was something just so grating about Pearls writing style that just infuriated me.

Oh and Hemlock Grove wasn't too great either...

Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni had all the potential in the world, but came up frustratingly short, and ended up being just bad


message 49: by Helen (new)

Helen Gray (scribberlings) | 53 comments Well, looks like the Twilight series will never make it onto my reading lists!

Anybody ever read any James Herbert? As I'm writing in the horror genre I thought I'd check him out, so I read 'The Secret of Crickley Hall' over Christmas.

OH MY GOD!

There is no suspense, no scares, none of the characters' decisions make any sense and seemingly no care was taken over the prose. However, there is plenty of cliche, boring pointless description, info dumping and worst of all constant EXPOSITION! Even during what should have been an exciting ending... the intended murderer stops in front of his victims and explains his life story! Wtf!

I might try reading The Rats one day, but that's it for me and James Herbert. Dreadful.

Also got bought a chicklit book by my MiL for Christmas. The female protagonist starts off by dreaming about quitting her job and starting up an American Diner. So what does she do when in the next chapter she gets made redundant and gets a huge pay off? Yes, that's right, she goes off to San Francisco for six months! I mean, WHAT? *throws across floor*


message 50: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (Bisky_Scribbles) | 2482 comments Mod
I've not read the secret of crickley hall but James Herbert does some great books. The Domain (third rats book) is a favourite one of mine from his. His description style has definatly influenced me as a writer :]

He also wrote Fluke :3


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