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Recommendations > Book Anti-Recommendations?

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message 1: by Chris, kingtermite (last edited Aug 06, 2015 08:31AM) (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
LOL....I couldn't resist.

It's not even in this group's genre, but lately I've been reading the Divergent series. I've only continued because underneath it's a mildly fun story, but OMG the author is horrible.

Seriously.....I'm finishing because I'm more than 2/3 done now, but if you haven't read these and they were on your radar. STOP! DON'T!!

My wife said when the first movie came out she saw a review who's headline read "More holes than a caulander". Well, I think the books have to be even worse. I can understand writing one thing in the beginning of the book and forgetting and contradicting at the end of the book, but she (the author) will contradict events from the beginning of the chapter to the end. And there are so many HUGE holes in the basic story/plot that it's downright comical.

I understand it's Young Adult, but these sentiments are even after taking that "handicap factor" back out of it. I remember people saying how bad the Twilight books were and their author. I wonder how this compares (I've never read them).

What are your "anti-recommendations"?


message 2: by Pavle (new)

Pavle (pavleramah) You know, I'm not that bothered by contradictions in books. Hell, even some of the arguably biggest and most important works are filled with it (Don Quixote comes to mind). But what I absolutely despise is bad writing. Nowadays, everyone can publish a book. It's a good thing. But it's also a curse. And boy do I believe you when you say that Divergent series is a piece of sh*t. I have to say, as a kid I thought that every book is worth a read and some praise. It's written after all. I probably couldn't do it. I was deeply wrong and because of that got burned many times.

As for my anti-recommendations, probably anything that's about conspiracy theories. Wow, do I hate those.


message 3: by Chompa, Founding Father (new)

Chompa | 477 comments Mod
I've had a number of books I couldn't finish. Some were bad writing, some were just dumb, some just annoyed me. Whiny main characters who keep repeating how horrible their life is are probably my biggest pet peeve.

That said, all of those books had their fans.


message 4: by Chris, kingtermite (last edited Aug 06, 2015 09:30AM) (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Yes, Pavle, you are right about the bad writing style. That's also VERY STRONG in the Divergent series. Contradictions to me, though, are part of bad writing style. This book has both, believe me.

The whiny teenage angst "does he love me, does he hate me" stuff is so overdone, I want to vomit at times. The last book suddenly changes format and instead of being first person by the main character all along, it now puts another person in the spotlight and goes back and forth in 1st person between them, but there is NO change of voice/tone. They sound EXACTLY the same.


But it's the contradictions that bother me the most. If they were few and far between, it wouldn't bother me so much, but when I can't make it through a chapter without.....

a character who was with the group (for a specific purpose) and then suddenly gone and reappearing elsewhere with no explanation as to them even leaving

or

a character shot with a gun and the description of the bullet going in the back of the shoulder and then exiting out the front of the shoulder, and then the scene where they are trying to cut the bullet out with a knife a few minutes later

or

a group of refugees who can ONLY make it though a gated fence because one of their members happens to know the code, but no explanation of how another party went that way the day before and seemed to get through with no description of how they were able to do so

or.........I could do this all day.


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) YA has traditionally terrible prose and plotholes everywhere. They have pretty much ruined dystopia. Divergent had a great idea in the first book but she just didn't find a good explanation for the rest of the "conspiracy." That said, big big kudos to her for (view spoiler)

Some YA that I hated hated Ship Breaker, Angelfall, Prodigy, Partials.

But then, there's many gushed over fantasy that I thought was super lame: Promise of Blood, The Way of Kings, The Warded Man and I wonder what is WRONG with you people! ;)


message 6: by Pavle (new)

Pavle (pavleramah) Hey Heather,
I kind of agree about The Way of Kings since Sanderson isn't known for the quality of his prose BUT the book has some pretty impressive world building and plot progression, so I've given it 5 stars. It's fantasy, I'm not asking for Dostoyevsky here. And The Warded Man was a big horrid cliche IMO.

What can you tell me about the Promise of Blood? I've been wanting to read it, but I just haven't had the time. Now I'm scared a bit.


message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) To me Warded Man was a male author writing about what it's like to be female and failing!

Promise if Blood is a decidedly boy book. The characters are all kinda the same based on gender. The men are grizzled gun shooters, mostly. Lots of oogling at women, shooting, snorting gunpowder, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, daddy issues. I found it hard to follow because he separates different narrators by paragraph. That said, most people loved the book(s), so I must not be a good fantasy fan.


message 8: by Chompa, Founding Father (new)

Chompa | 477 comments Mod
People have different opinions. I'd like to think that my having a different opinion than others doesn't invalidate me in any way, but I'm a starry-eyed optimist I guess. Who loves reading Grimdark. Go figure.


message 9: by Pavle (new)

Pavle (pavleramah) You being an optimist is a given, especially because you read Grimdark. Can't imagine a pessimist reading the genre, I think it would be way to much for their psyche. Or it would just be boring, just imagine:
-I bet this guy is going to die.
*the guy proceeds to die*

It's much better not expecting it and naively hoping for a fireworks-return of the jedi-like ending.


message 10: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
I hated this Under Heaven. Overrated, pretentious crap. I ende up giving it 3 stars simply because the writing was good, but I hated everything else about it.

Also did not care for Graceling, Fire or Bitterblue. Bad writing, lame characters, awful worldbuilding.


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark | 113 comments Didnt like the The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever and The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and book 3 of the assassin series by robin hobb.

but its down to what we like ourselves.


message 12: by Jasmina (new)

Jasmina (dark_heart) I love Guy Gavriel Kay, but his Ysabel killed me. I wanted to poke my eyes out while reading it, and I kept on just because I started, and I don't like to leave things unfinished. The story was not very well explained, it was extremely slow-going, the main character is a kid of 15 years. I wanted to smack his head against a rock at least 30 times. The only reason I gave it 3 stars is because two characters reappear from The Fionavar Tapestry.

As for the non-fantasy deal, 50 shades of Grey. I read it because of a stupid bet, and I could feel my IQ lower by the page I read. But, as I've said, I don't like to leave books unfinished, so I read everything and I hope EL James burns in hell. Her writing is at the level of a 10-year old child, her vocabulary even lower, the characters are unreal (even for that shit)... seeing that it was born out of a Twilight fanfic, it couldn't have been good. I just had to make sure it was as bad as people said.

It was even worse.


message 13: by Heather (last edited Aug 06, 2015 01:27PM) (new)

Heather (bruyere) I also think almost everything by Heinlein is lame. I'm completely convinced that he was only a "master" because he pushed ideas of sex instead of science. I'm onto you 60's men!


message 14: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "YA has traditionally terrible prose and plotholes everywhere. They have pretty much ruined dystopia. Divergent had a great idea in the first book but she just didn't find a good explanation for the..."
I haven't read much YA in the past. My only previous experience in YA were Harry Potter books and The Hunger Games and both of those I thought were very well done.

Agreed about how the first book set up a very interesting story (even if you had to peel away a lot of bad prose and plot holes to find it), but then she (the author) sort of fizzled it by trying to make the story even bigger and then contradicting some of her original main points of the story.


message 15: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I also think almost everything by Heinlein is lame. I'm completely convinced that he was only a "master" because he pushed ideas of sex instead of science. I'm onto you 60's men!"

I don't know. I read "Stranger in a Strange Land" (when I was pretty young - early 20s) and thought it was an amazing book. I remember it was one of those that had me thinking about it still, months after I read it.

I read my second Heinlein earlier this year, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It was "meh" at best. Very immature.

Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) If you read people's reviews of 60s/70s sci-fi, most have glowing remembrances from youth. I read them for the first time recently. Stranger in a Strange Land was just weird - religious sex orgies, women swooning every time they kiss the alien - I just kept giggling.

Moon is a Harsh Mistress would have been mostly fine except the computer was just overly powerful. I kept expecting him to go HAL on their asses. No such luck. He threw in the polygamy to get an award, I guess.


message 17: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I don't like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel. Too boring and bloated for me. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey was pretty bad too. Unsympathetic characters and arguably misogynistic. And of course probably everybody knows I don't like Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns.


message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I wasn't as fond of Prince of Thorns but the rest of his books are some of my favorite fantasy books.


message 19: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
I finally finished the "train wreck in slow motion"...er, I mean "Divergent Series" last night. Thank god it's over. Time to move on.


message 20: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I have some other horrible YA books to recommend if you hate yourself.


message 21: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I have some other horrible YA books to recommend if you hate yourself."

:) Nice.

Thanks, but I'm not a glutton for punishment. I still have "The Maze Runner" on kindle that I picked up on sale a while back. I may wait a while to heal from this wound before trying that though.


message 22: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
Don't want to put you off, but Maze Runner was meh at best. Its one of the few books where the film was actually better!


message 23: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) The first one is more annoying than the next two. That said, agree movie is better.


message 24: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
I thought the first one was the best and I didn't care much for the end of the series.


message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) It was very Lord of the Flies and I hated that book. The slang drove me NUTZ. That said, it made the most sense. The science got pretty fuzzy the further we got.


message 26: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "It was very Lord of the Flies and I hated that book. The slang drove me NUTZ. That said, it made the most sense. The science got pretty fuzzy the further we got."
You want slang that drives you NUTZ, read A Clockwork Orange. It's hard to make it through a sentence without slang. Slang terms for nearly every common work you can think of.

P.S. I hated Lord of the Flies too.


message 27: by Heather (last edited Aug 12, 2015 04:55PM) (new)

Heather (bruyere) Yep, I ditched Clockwork Orange! Now I need to think of other books that had dumb slang. There were a few that made me crazy, but Mazerunner was the worst.

PIT! in Promise of Blood.


message 28: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 552 comments Mod
This thread is cracking me up. It always amazes me the different thoughts people have on the same book. I think it mostly comes down to preference? I've said it before but it will the writing that turns me off from a book. I cannot stand being written to like I'm an idiot!


message 29: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 552 comments Mod
And it's not the genre usually. I can read a good YA book or even a children's book thats written well. My son and I have started the Percy Jackson series and I'm even enjoying it for what it is!


message 30: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 552 comments Mod
Darkheart wrote: "I love Guy Gavriel Kay, but his Ysabel killed me. I wanted to poke my eyes out while reading it, and I kept on just because I started, and I don't like to leave things unfinished. The story was not..."

How many times can one's breath "hitch" in the span of one page? haha


message 31: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) It's weird that editors don't catch repetitiveness. I remember listening to Wil Wheaton reading Redshirts and losing my mind over each sentence ending in "he said/ she said" even when it was a question!


message 32: by pisang (new)

pisang - Florian | 66 comments Chompa wrote: "I've had a number of books I couldn't finish. Some were bad writing, some were just dumb, some just annoyed me. Whiny main characters who keep repeating how horrible their life is are probably my ..."

Some will disagree, but I got very annoyed with the writing style of Patrick Rothfuss. It felt just over the top and I could not finish it.


message 33: by pisang (new)

pisang - Florian | 66 comments Silvana wrote: "I don't like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel. Too boring and bloated for me. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey was pretty bad too. Unsympathetic characters and arguably misogynistic. And of course pr..."

Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrel was to boring for me as well.. Had the same feeling with the first book of Robin Hobb.

PS: Jonathan Strange has his own TV serie now a days. Gonna give it a try.


message 34: by Jasmina (new)

Jasmina (dark_heart) Chris wrote: "Heather wrote: "It was very Lord of the Flies and I hated that book. The slang drove me NUTZ. That said, it made the most sense. The science got pretty fuzzy the further we got."
You want slang tha..."


I had to read Clockwork Orange for a class in college, and it was awfully terrible.


message 35: by Mark (new)

Mark | 113 comments Just to be awkward especially with it been a group read, I couldn't get into the The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) by Scott Lynch .


message 36: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Just to be awkward especially with it been a group read, I couldn't get into the The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1) by Scott Lynch."

I've heard a couple of people say it just didn't 'click' for them. Hasn't put me off though, I'll get round to it one day!


message 37: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I liked it but the ending made me disappointed. I felt like Locke went out of character with what he did at the end. I also was expecting a lot more of a twist.


message 38: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 552 comments Mod
To each their own. I wasn't 100% invested at the beginning. I got lost in the scenery a lot it seemed, but in the end I loved it


message 39: by Brenno, The OCD guy (new)

Brenno | 121 comments Mod
Pisang wrote: "Some will disagree, but I got very annoyed with the writing style of Patrick Rothfuss. It felt just over the top and I could not finish it. "

OMG! I love Patrick's style hahahaha

But that’s the beauty of our discussions here... so many different opinions


message 40: by Brenno, The OCD guy (new)

Brenno | 121 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "But then, there's many gushed over fantasy that I thought was super lame: Promise of Blood, The Way of Kings, The Warded Man and I wonder what is WRONG with you people! ;) "

Really? The Stormlight Archives series became one of my favorites after Words of Radiance I cant get enough of it...


message 41: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
Yeah I'm a Sanderfan as well and I really enjoyed Kingkiller. I seriously struggled to get into The Eye of the World and pretty much anything by Terry Brooks. His writing is just, I don't know, lazy?


message 42: by Chris, kingtermite (last edited Oct 28, 2015 08:36AM) (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Tracey (Queen of Blades) wrote: "Yeah I'm a Sanderfan as well and I really enjoyed Kingkiller. I seriously struggled to get into The Eye of the World and pretty much anything by Terry Brooks. His writing is just, I d..."

Again....different opinions. I love Terry Brooks. He's probably my favorite author. I don't find his style lazy at all. It's just more approachable. He doesn't try to be poetic or super clever (that doesn't mean it's dumbed-down either). It's just good old fashioned fun story-telling.


message 43: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
Like you say different strokes and all that, his books just never quite click for me.


message 44: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Tracey (Queen of Blades) wrote: "Like you say different strokes and all that, his books just never quite click for me."
No worries. Understood. I've been like that with some popular authors too.

Sometimes an author just doesn't click with someone. That's just the way it is.


message 45: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I admit that I only got 1/3rd into Sanderson's Radiance book. I was bored and frustrated by the style. People keep telling me, if I could just slog through to the end it's worth it! I'm like....10 books of this? Augh....


message 46: by Tracey the Lizard Queen, First In, Last Out (new)

Tracey the Lizard Queen | 573 comments Mod
I know how you feel, I can't understand how some people don't like Malazan. It's like they were reading a totally different book! It's one of the many beauties of reading, everyone gets something different from it.


message 47: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
I read Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy. It was good, but I wasn't "blown away" by it. I'd probably read more of him, but I wouldn't throw him up in my list of favorite authors or anything.


message 48: by Brenno, The OCD guy (last edited Oct 28, 2015 02:55PM) (new)

Brenno | 121 comments Mod
I should mention that I did The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance in audiobook, so it may be a factor... The narrators are excelent


message 49: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I tried it by audiobook and it was a huge negative for me. I'm not very tolerant of what I perceived as pointless verbose prose. I switched it out for the ebook in case skimming might make it palatable.

I read Victorian lit regularly so it's not that I have a problem with long books. It's just something about fantasy novels that I have little patience. Considering people gush about the things I dislike I feel it's more my problem....Or all of you have horrible taste? :)


message 50: by Chris, kingtermite (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 468 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "Considering people gush about the things I dislike I feel it's more my problem....Or all of you have horrible taste? :) "
I can only speak for myself, but surely I do. :p


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