Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

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Member's Chat > Worst YA books

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Personally I did not care for the Chronicles of Narnia. I just never got into the books. The movie was OK, but I really didn't enjoy that either.


message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen (squirrelgirl) Angie, I didn't care for them either. Mind you I only read the first two... but that was all I could take. I thought I was the only one who didn't enjoy them. Perhaps if I had read them as a child I might have enjoyed them. Someone had me read one when I was in high school, and I didn't care for it then. I tried to re-read them as an adult and I enjoyed them even less.


message 3: by Megan (new)

Megan (meganmme) I read the Chronicles for the first time as a grad student and was unimpressed. The story was alright but there was so very little meat to the story it felt very shallow next to books with well developed worlds (harry potter, neverending story, etc).

I read them all since I had (foolishly) bought them as a boxed set but I think they got progressively worse.

I haven't really been read another YA series I didn't but, like Kirsty, I'm sure they are out there...


message 4: by Elizabeth (last edited Apr 24, 2008 10:48AM) (new)

Elizabeth | 25 comments I'd say any of the Gossip Girl, Clique, It Girl, and so on are pretty awful. My main issue isn't even that they're trashy, because trashy can be fun, but they're poorly written, which is a cardinal sin, in my opinion! It makes me sad that teenagers are being presented with this type of writing and are getting the message that it's acceptable.

I liked Chronicles okay, but I did read them in 6th grade. Since then (many years, heh), I've read so many fantastic series, that Lewis kind of pales in comaprison. The religion is bit heavy-handed, too, when read as an adult. As a kid I missed it, but I re-read LWW in college for a course I was taking, and it really is obvious!


message 5: by Katie (last edited Mar 05, 2010 05:32AM) (new)

Katie (katiefogarty) | 1 comments Evermore the first book from the immortal series was just so horrible, load of words just thrown together. It was the possibly the worst book I'd ever read.


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message 6: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (aliciaftw) I'm going to have to nominate Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Both have been hyped, and the characters are on a whole flat.


message 7: by Alison (last edited Mar 06, 2010 04:34AM) (new)

Alison (aliangel66) | 6 comments Alicia wrote: "I'm going to have to nominate Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Both have been hyped, and the characters are on a whole flat."

I am in total agreement with you on the Twilight series. The hype, and all the fans, it just makes me cringe every time I here or see anything related to this series.
The plot is so bad, it's boring, it's waaaaaay too corny, and the characters are just so demanding and dramatic.


message 8: by Alison (new)

Alison (aliangel66) | 6 comments I believe anything generic (eg Gossip Girl, Miley Cyrus etc), and the Twilight series are awful reads, and are a waste of time.


Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) @Jillian: So what exactly did you expect from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist? Why did you dislike it so much?


message 10: by Tara (last edited Mar 06, 2010 08:27AM) (new)

Tara Crispin: The Cross of Lead

Although it was an award winner, I failed to get engaged. I know for the most part it is not a worst book, becuase I can see why it won an award and can imagine some people who would really like it, but it was the only YA/Juv book I have read that I really disliked.


message 11: by Ralph Gallagher (new)

Ralph Gallagher | 53 comments I think Narnia is better read as an adult. I think when it's read as a child, you miss a lot of the symbolism in them. And even if you don't like them, you've gotta admit they're at least well written. (Unlike Twilight which made me wanna sit there with a red pen and edit the crap out of it.)

Twilight is at the top of my worst books list. It's not very well written. I think Meyers skipped a couple English lessons. It also sends the wrong message to young girls, IMO. It's teaching them to throw away your life to marry a creepy stalker at 18. It's saying that a woman's only goal in life should be to marry and pop out a kid. (At least that's what I got out of it.)

The next would be Eragon. It has a pretty decent plot, but it's horribly written. It had bad grammar and a lot of it sounds like he sat there with a thesaurus trying to sound smarter.

Can't really think of any others at the moment.


message 12: by Tasha (new)

Tasha | 4 comments I used to like twilight, but ever since it became popular it just seemed more ridiculous. Another series i didn't really like is the House of Night, oh and the Vampire Diaries, the main character was just so annoying, i also didn't care for Evermore that much.


Shannen *aka Mrs. Jericho Barrons* (shannybananny71) I think I must be an idiot because I love the Twilight series, Eragon and House of Night.


message 14: by Ralph Gallagher (new)

Ralph Gallagher | 53 comments Shannen wrote: "I think I must be an idiot because I love the Twilight series, Eragon and House of Night."

Oh, I enjoyed reading Eragon, but it would been 100x better with a decent editor. Twilight might've been good if they had an editor too. Never read House of Night though. But I'm extremely picky about my books being well written. (I think it has something to do with being an English major.)


message 15: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (aliciaftw) I've always thought the concept of Twilight was decent, and in the hands of another writer it could've been done well. I think Meyer has even said she's a story teller, not a writer. The only character I could stand in Twilight was Jacob, and he was ruined for me in the last book.

In middle school I tried to read Eragon, but I found it rather dry. I don't recall how far into it, but my impression at the time was, "And they were walking. And walking. And then they hit some guys. And walking." However, my younger sister really enjoyed it. (She was the one who suggested it to me.) I'd like to actually read it at some point to see how it really is.


message 16: by Amy (last edited Mar 06, 2010 11:09PM) (new)

Amy (aaammmyyy) I guess the recent influx of YA paranormal romance just isn't all that stellar. Well at least I think some of the worst YA books ever are:

Twilight & co. (New Moon, blah blah..)
-Like everyone says, the hype, the urgh romance that was the shoddy centerpiece of the entire series...I feel like there's only two stances people take on this book- LOVED like an obsession or HATED with a fiery passion.

Evermore (and most likely its sequels)
-If this is supposed to be a decent book, I fear for our future. The profanity, the writing, the characters, the romance- all just so horrible I would have burned this book if I had a copy. Thank goodness I don't.

Fallen
-It's not as bad as the other two above but I still didn't like it. I felt like the protagonist was bland and vapid and only cared about what the male love interest thought about her. She had no brains and everything was "Daniel this" or "Daniel that" or "why is Daniel ignoring me ?!?! " (Daniel is the love interest, btw). What kind of message does that send out to the readers? The book had some nice descriptions and cool setting though.

**Sorry if I got a little opinionated...maybe I'm just not one for paranormal romances, although I loved the A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Iron King, Hush, Hush, The Summoning, and The Dark Divine. And sort of the Vampire Academy series. I've read just about every YA paranormal romance released recently, but the love ends there.


MAXIMUM RIDE series
-Personally I disliked this series for a great many reasons. It has its redeeming qualities-Fang! and action scenes; but the series as a whole is bad. Why? It has no descriptions, no explanations, unanswered questions GALORE, the same plot in every book, and annoying characters (especially Angel). It frustrated me to no end.


ERAGON I thought was great if you just take it at face value. It's an epic, a fantasy, and a quest. It is the YA version of Lord of the Rings. It has deadly elves, cool dwarves, kick-ass dragons, evil kings, battles, prophecies, and more. There are flaws but I enjoyed it enough.. And HOUSE OF NIGHT is just okay... It's sort of a cross between EVERMORE and TWILIGHT but nothing that leaves too negative an impression. But then again these are just my own humble opinions! (=


message 17: by Alethea (last edited Mar 07, 2010 01:57AM) (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 46 comments Amy, have you read Incarceron? I really liked that one.

Fallen, I was hoping for so much more and I got poop.


message 18: by Miss Bookiverse (new)

Miss Bookiverse (missbookiverse) @Jillian: I see, thanks for explaining, I just thought you kind of hated it as you mentioned it in the "Worst YA books" topic. I accept your opinion but I totally can't understand it because I loved every character in the book and I totally felt the sparks between Nick and Norah :)


message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne Amundson (iswallowedthesnitch) I hate Twilight. It's basically a teenage love story being shoved down the throats of preteens. And it's just flat out bad. Terrible writing and editing.


message 20: by Court (last edited Mar 07, 2010 09:40AM) (new)

Court | 0 comments Anne wrote: "I hate Twilight. It's basically a teenage love story being shoved down the throats of preteens. And it's just flat out bad. Terrible writing and editing."

That's what most of young adult fiction love stories are. You can't bash Twilight without insulting most of the genre...
I think the worst ones I've read are:

Evermore
The House of Night Series (but I still read them anyways, ha...)
Bleed
Maximum Ride
Willow
Evernight


message 21: by Angela Sunshine (last edited Mar 07, 2010 09:47AM) (new)

Angela Sunshine (angelasunshine) I really liked Twilight, despite obvious flaws! :-(

I didn't like A Great and Terrible Beauty at all. I finished it, since I'd bought it, but have no desire to read the rest of the series.

I also didn't care for The Perks of Being a Wallflower or Looking For Alaska. I know they are very highly rated, but I just don't buy it. I'm not high school age, but I'm not THAT old and I've never heard kids talk like that at school. That super cynical, quick witted, smarter than the teachers act doesn't ring true for me. Not for that many characters for that long of a period. I don't feel like 17 year olds are capable of being "on" for that length of time. I know I'm alone on this one, but that's okay!


message 22: by Alethea (new)

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 46 comments AngelaSunshine, I was that 17-year-old! So were my friends. I don't think i'd enjoy Perks now but when I was 19 I thought it was brilliant.

I agree heartily on Evermore. At first I hated Evernight but I read the sequel & I loved it!

I think House of Night is awful and so is Blue Bloods--the writing is subpar--but I'll read Blue Bloods anyway :)


message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy (aaammmyyy) Alethea wrote: "Amy, have you read Incarceron? I really liked that one.

Incarceron is very high on my TBR pile and I really can't wait to read it!! :D



Courtney wrote: "Anne wrote: "I hate Twilight. It's basically a teenage love story being shoved down the throats of preteens. And it's just flat out bad. Terrible writing and editing."

That's what most of young ad..."


That's true but Twilight was the one that started the entire paranormal craze in the first place.

House of Night and Blue Bloods are both pretty bad, but I still read both series anyways! They're not as bad as Evermore or Twilight.

Evernight wasn't too good either but I think I hated the characters and not the story as a whole. Is the sequel really better? If so maybe I'll read it for kicks. (=


message 24: by ☼Bookish (new)

☼Bookish in Virginia☼  (ren_t) Howdy! I'm decloaking in order to comment ;)

I just attempted "A million shades of gray" by Cynthia Kadohata. I'd heard glowing reports about earlier books, but was apparently not in the mood for this one. I thought the writing was nothing special and the story didn't grab me.


message 25: by Paige (last edited Mar 07, 2010 06:16PM) (new)

Paige I have to say that I loved Twilight, though I did have one big issue. It really bothered me that throughout most of the books, Edward always acted like he knew what was best for Bella and what she thought/wanted didn't matter. The whole 'wolves are dangerous, you can't be around Jacob' bit really bothered me.

I just finished Fallen. Was annoyed that all my questions weren't answered, but there is a second book on the way. I did think there could have been some editing down of the book as really, not a lot happened in that 450 pages.

Evermore was o.k. Read Blue Moon. Can't get through Shadowland. It is just going downhill fast.

Love the House of Nigh Series. I think it is a good book, written on the level of 12 & 13 year olds.

Love the Vampire Diaries. And most of L.J. Smith's series. My friends and I read them when they came out the first time 10+ years ago when I was in High School.

I like the Percy Jackson series. The movie is just the tip of what was in the book, even at 2 hours.

Loved Hush, Hush. Can't wait for the next book.


message 26: by Amy (new)

Amy (aaammmyyy) Percy Jackson was wonderful! I loved all the Greek culture integrated in the story. And the characters were likable for the most part as well. For a middle grade book these were really awesome!

I know a lot of people will disagree but I didn't really like Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Overall I loved the beautiful writing but there was no plot. Maggie even admitted so in a forum chat! I am one of those who enjoy plot-driven rather than character-driven novels, so I didn't like it as much as others did.


message 27: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 29 comments My nominations for YA books that left me wondering how books get published are...
1. The House of Night series - yes I know I'm going to be in a bit of minority on this one (which I won't lie surprises the hell out of me because I thought this series was obviously badly put together)
2. Fallen - for a story that set itself up as a tragic forbidden love story, you really didn't get that connection, which is likely because the main female character was busy connecting with people besides the fallen angel who sacrificed everything for her. I didnt' think it was well written and the ending was a little confusing. Seriously people if you're going to tell us two people will love each other forever at the very least show us why! The love stories in YA fiction is sometimes so completely unbelievable it's laughable, although when it's done right it can be downright genius!
3. Evermore - completely kiddish and simply written. The way the first draft of a story should look like, it was just a really weak story for me, you didn't care for the characters and I'm sorry but the central love story was a perfect example of power abuse in a relationship, isolating her from her friends and family, acting aggressively and violently around her, telling her he was only interested in her well being etc etc - in a similar vein to the Edward and Bella Twilight relationship, although obviously the latter is less obvious an example of this but what is up with these YA stories which have become so popular and involve relationships where young female characters have decisions taken out of their hands by their male love interests - for their own protection - because they're so weak they wouldn't know how to look after themselves - excuse me??! I'm sorry to rant but this is a bit of a pet peeve for me - I just think it's a dangerous pattern that seems to be increasingly normalised in YA fiction, lets move past the you Jane, me Tarzan approach folks it's completely insulting and considering how the times have changed entirely ridiculous. These heroines should be rescuing themselves and making their own choices about their lives - the cute boy in the story should just be the added bonus, no white knights need apply.


message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy (aaammmyyy) Teine83 wrote: "My nominations for YA books that left me wondering how books get published are...
1. The House of Night series - yes I know I'm going to be in a bit of minority on this one (which I won't lie surpr..."


HAHA I love the "you Jane, me Tarzan" example you give; there's a lot I agree with here. And I'm curious to know, since you mentioned it- what are some love stories that are done right in YA fiction? At least in your opinion. I am dying to read some, given the recent avalanche of crappy ones.


message 29: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 29 comments Wow that's a good question and one which I'll need to think about for a little longer, but just off the top of my head some of the YA love stories I think were done well are;
1. Daughter of the Forrest - Sorcha and Red's story is beautifully written, who wouldn't love a story where the male lead could understand everything she said, even when she was forbidden to speak. Perfect example where you understood exactly why they each loved the other as well as they did, because you couldn't help falling in love with each yourself.
2. Graceling - Po and Katsa's romance. I liked that he accepted her exactly for who she was and didn't feel emasculated by the fact that she was strong particularly where he tells her that fact that she is stronger and faster than him didn't humiliate him so much that it humbled him and that was the difference.
3. The China Garden - Clare and Mark, probably more typical of your teenaged tumultous relationship but their shared destiny probably grounded this one a little more than usual.
4. Ella Enchanted - this might be a surprise entry but if you can ignore the ridiculous movie that was based on the book than you might appreciate what was a very sweet love story between Ella and Char that I liked because it seemed to develop quite naturally without the usual, boy meets girl and falls in painful love for no reason other than that the author tells you they love each other.
5. Host - another surprise entry for everyone who is over the Twilight fervour (of which I am a part) but I did like the Wanda and Ian relationship and thought that was really well written considering the very complicated love triangle, square whatever that was going on in there!
I have other examples, but those are just some random ones that come to mind since you asked the question. Happy to hear what other people think about this.


message 30: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Mar 08, 2010 11:15AM) (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Jillian wrote: "I have trouble labeling anything "worst books," but . . . well, here's a list of the books I just didn't like/care for (for various reasons) in no particular order:

*Nick and Norah's Infinite Pl..."


I am really surprised about Nick and Norah. We had that has a group read one month and I really enjoyed it! What didn't you like about it?

Edit... never mind I see this was discussed later! OOPS!


message 31: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Ralph wrote: "I think Narnia is better read as an adult. I think when it's read as a child, you miss a lot of the symbolism in them. And even if you don't like them, you've gotta admit they're at least well writ..."

Maybe I aught to give Narnia another try. Sometimes I have to be in the mood for books... and maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this?


message 32: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Shannen wrote: "I think I must be an idiot because I love the Twilight series, Eragon and House of Night."

HAHA Me too! I liked the first book in each of those series causing me to read all the series. I'm not saying the series turned out so great but the first books were fun.


message 33: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
It is crazy to me how many people don't like Evermore I haven't read it yet and now I am scared!


message 34: by Grace (last edited Mar 08, 2010 11:58AM) (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments I am in total agreement with you on the Twilight serie..."

You can count me in on this. I've listened to the first two books and I'm not sure I want to continue with the series. I have to admit, though, a part of the second book really got my attention and I started to believe that I was wrong. It's a segment where the main character is all alone and is talking about her feelings. It really seemed genuine - but the genuineness disappeared in all the scenes where she's not alone.


message 35: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Worst YA books? Hm, that's a tough question. Writing-wise the latest crop of Twilight rip-offs is quite atrocious:

1. Hush, Hush
2. Evermore
3. Beautiful Creatures.

My personal non-favorites:

4. The Luxe
5. City of Bones
6. Breaking Dawn

These were stand-out bad for me personally.


message 36: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 29 comments Jillian wrote: "Teine83 wrote: "Wow that's a good question and one which I'll need to think about for a little longer, but just off the top of my head some of the YA love stories I think were done well are;
1. Da..."


I haven't read anything from either of those authors but I'll definitely check them out now, thanks!


message 37: by Kelly (new)

Kelly RAley (kraley) | 100 comments I didn't like Nick and Nora's language, but I found the story engaging and ended up really liking it. As far as Finding Alaska and Perks (neither of which I really enjoyed, but were well written) the language and sarcasm is very reminiscent of boarding school. Maybe other kids don't talk that way, but I think at least Alaska was accurate. I thought the sexuality in Perks was far beyond what I would want my teens reading. I couldn't stand the House of Night series although I really liked the goddess marking her idea.

I didn't hate Evermore or Fallen, but I have been in a book drought and was desperate. I'm reading Wondrous Strange and am liking it.


message 38: by Kelly (new)

Kelly RAley (kraley) | 100 comments I'm listening to it in the car with my three daughters and it is much better than what the radio has to offer. I feel like the story isn't new though.


message 39: by Amy (new)

Amy (aaammmyyy) Teine83 wrote: "Wow that's a good question and one which I'll need to think about for a little longer, but just off the top of my head some of the YA love stories I think were done well are;
1. Daughter of the For..."


Good picks!! And all of them I've already read (dang it) but I agree.
Although for Daughter of the Forest, do you remember Simon? I felt really sorry for him and what he went through in the end that I couldn't really enjoy the story afterwards. He had such an unhappy ending! But other than that, it was good. And all your other picks I noticed have strong female characters, which I enjoyed.
The Host I believe was at least 1000x times better than Twilight in every aspect. The relationship had substance and wasn't snatched out of thin air rather like Twilight's was.
Ella Enchanted is one of my absolute favorite tales ever. The love story was beautifully done and for one I love how they were childhood friends- a personal favorite of mine.
If you have any other suggestions, please do tell! =)





Emily wrote: "I just finished Wondrous Strange-- not amazing, but not awful, either. Just my opinion."


Same here! It was just okay, nothing too great or too horrible. For me it struck the same chord as the Wicked Lovely series. I liked Lament by Maggie Stiefvater better; and have you read The Iron King by Julie Kagawa? I think that's the best faerie book out right now!


message 40: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Skeens (seeshelle) | 24 comments @Paige, I agree with your opinions except I don't really think House of Night is appropriate for 12-13 year olds. 15+ would be my recommendation.


message 41: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Skeens (seeshelle) | 24 comments My picks for YA books I wouldn't re-read (don't want to be harsh - writing is a tough job):

==House of Night Series books 3+. I think I posted my reasons on the House of Night board.
==Eclipse (not my favorite book of the series)
==Fade, although I'm still going to read 'Gone"
==Inkdeath (I loved this series - but felt a bit let down with this one)
==The Golden Compass - I just couldn't get through it.

Books I re-read often:
==Warrier Heir series
==Wicked Lovely series (took me a while to like "Ink Exchange" but once I did - I was hooked)
==City of Ember series
==The Hunger Games (just finished this one - LOVED IT)
==The Summoning
==Beautiful Creatures (I love huge books so I think that's a big reason why I liked it - can't wait to find out what happens next)
==Elsewhere - Different from my normal reads but I thought it was an interesting viewpoint on heaven and living life.


message 42: by Alison (new)

Alison (aliangel66) | 6 comments Anne wrote: "I hate Twilight. It's basically a teenage love story being shoved down the throats of preteens. And it's just flat out bad. Terrible writing and editing."

haha! This is a true and funny comment.


message 43: by Amy (last edited Mar 09, 2010 12:54AM) (new)

Amy (aaammmyyy) Jillian wrote: "The Iron King, though . . . I have it in my to-read pile already, and I'm excited to get to it quickly since I've heard such praise for it. :) "

Yes indeed! At least I adored it- finish it and tell me what you think of it! (The Iron King, that is!) :D I have to admit I started it with low expectations and was subsequently blasted out of the water with its awesomeness.


Michelle wrote: "My picks for YA books I wouldn't re-read (don't want to be harsh - writing is a tough job):
==House of Night Series books 3+. I think I posted my reasons on the House of Night board.
==Eclipse..."


I agree with you on Eclipse, House of Night, and Fade. I have to first re-read Inkheart, plow through Inkspell, then finally get to Inkdeath. Not for a while for me but I'm still rather looking forward to it. As for The Golden Compass though, what didn't you like about it? I found it well/fascinating enough to love, but I know some would differ =)

As for everything else you listed I LOVED! Heir series, City of Ember, Hunger Games, The Summoning- yes! But I think I liked Fragile Eternity the most out of all three Melissa Marrs out so far. I didn't really enjoy Beautiful Creatures even though I usually LOVE thick books...felt like there wasn't too much going on and Ethan was a bit of a lovesick puppy.. but that's just me! (x
Btw- if you liked Elsewhere, you should try Everlost and Everwild by Neal Shusterman! They are fantastic and tackle the subject of between-heaven-and-earth thing in a crazy adventure-ish way. =)


message 44: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 29 comments Amy wrote: "Teine83 wrote: "Wow that's a good question and one which I'll need to think about for a little longer, but just off the top of my head some of the YA love stories I think were done well are;
1. Dau..."


Amy I remember Simon's story and I did think it was sad, also interesting since the set up of the story between Sorcha and Simon would typically lead to the main love story( you know that she helped care for him and to return him to himself and that he waited all those years for her), that it didn't I thought was interesting, very sad yes, but I still loved her story with Red, I loved Red's character.
Yes guitly as charged I do prefer my fiction with strong female characters - and I definitely think that the Host was the better of Stephanie Meyer's offerings.
I've got to say I have yet to find a faerie book I've enjoyed, I love my paranormal and fantasy fiction but there was always something a little fickle for me about that particular world in that genre, so am interested to see what other people have noted as recommendations.


message 45: by Tina (new)

Tina (tinawoytasczyk) | 8 comments Tatiana wrote: "Worst YA books? Hm, that's a tough question. Writing-wise the latest crop of Twilight rip-offs is quite atrocious:

1. Hush, Hush
2. Evermore
3. Beautiful Creatures.

My personal non-favorites:

4...."


Too bad you didn't like Beautiful Creatures! I LOVED IT! What about it didn't you like?? I do agree somewhat about Breaking Dawn, I enjoyed it although it was the slowest of the series.


message 46: by Mila (last edited Mar 09, 2010 04:54PM) (new)

Mila Sure, Breaking Dawn was not great, but I liked Beautiful Creatures! Sure, it was slow at times, but I love that the plot isn't about sex-crazed vampires trying not to eat eachother but failing. I LOVE that it's written in a guy's POV!!!


message 47: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 29 comments Jillian wrote: "Amy wrote: Yes indeed! At least I adored it- finish it and tell me what you think of it! (The Iron King, that is!) :D I have to admit I started it with low expectations and was subsequently blaste..."

Hey Jillian, Yes it is that damn fickle faerie nature I was referring too, you completely hit the nail on the head with that description, it makes it difficult to really like the characters when they're so changeable and thats a big part of the reason why I'm not so interested in the YA faerie fiction options! I considered Wings too but like you heard so many average reviews on it that I decided not to bother.

As for beautiful creatures some of the issues I had with it was;
1. Despite being written apparently from a male POV - it sounded like a female perspective. I was actually surprised when reading the first page when I realised it was suppose to be a male character (I was literally saing 'what the?') There were so many moments while I read the book when I kept interupting my reading to comment to nearby friend or sister 'Come on, does this sound like a guy to you?'(insert read excerpt from book) It completely sounded like a male perspective from a female perspective (if you know what I mean). I just thought if you were going to write from the male perspective (which was an interesting approach) then at least be commit to it and be convincing.
2. Phew - I forgot how much number 1 bugged me, okay second gripe about it was the female character. After the initial attempt to make her out as being a bit of an outcast (why? Because she wore black?) her personality as it turns out was every bit as generic as your usual two dimensional underdeveloped character, her constant fixation on this idea that she was evil really began to annoy me after a while. Her powers were probably the most interesting thing about her.
3. It's always a little difficult to believe the central love story, particularly when they try to set up this 'fated' scenario between the two (the constant dreams of each other, this bizarre connection etc) when the characters in question seem too young (not in age but in attitude) to give weight to it. They had this destined love story (which YA fiction is always such a big fan of) and yet couldn't decide whether they were boyfriend or girlfriend? It was like they kept stumbling over your hand holding in the playground bit when the author/s also had them cast in a Romeo and Juliet star crossed lovers tragedy. It was tragic, just not in the way I think it was intended! Like to hear what others thought.


message 48: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) To explain my dislike for "City of Bones" and "Beautiful Creatures," I think it will be easier just to post my reviews here. Sorry for the rants. I really disliked these two books.

"Beautiful Creatures"
Uh, another overhyped paranormal YA creation. Just like so many readers, I gave into the favorable internet buzz and opened the book with an expectation of it being something special. Unfortunately, "Beautiful Creatures" is just another painfully boring overlong dud.

Having finally finished this book with a high level of irritation and disappointment, I decided to check out the favorable reviews to see what people like about the story. Turns out the most appreciated aspects of the book are: an original love story told from a male POV (oppose to those other romances told from whiny girls' POVs), truly original paranormal lore, and small town Southern setting. I personally found none of it especially striking.

The story follows same old dead-beat formula: a paranormal/human pairing, uncovering of the "mysterious" partner's true nature, the teens drawn to each other for some unknown reason (even my hope of some kind of reincarnation "twist" didn't quite work out), constant i-can't-be-with-you-cause-it's-dangerous back and forth, the inability to "be together" physically...

Male POV is also not successful. I am pretty sure Garcia and Stohl haven't spoken to a teenage boy in years, because I am yet to meet one who is nice to a fault, never has any lustful thoughts, fond of describing his GF's clothes, reads poetry, loves to spend time with his senile great-aunts, and likes to use Scarlett O'Hara's favorite dress style in casual narration. I think the book would have been better if told in 3rd person, at least the writers' inability to channel a voice of a 16-year old boy would have been somewhat concealed.

As for Southern small town feel, I am pretty sure even Charlaine Harris writes it better in her trashy vampire books. In "Beautiful Creatures" it never rings true and is based on old tired cliches of narrow-mindedness and drawl.

But even all these issues aside, the book is simply a too long, often pointless concoction. Yes, the world of Casters (witches) is fairly new, but it is never too interesting or believable and can't justify the book's 600-page length.

I am still willing to give the writers some credit for their apparent effort to write a better book than the majority of YA writers, with a more intricate back story and better developed characters, but for me personally this book was just an excruciatingly long and boring read. The chances of me ever reading the sequel are non-existent.

"City of Bones"

15-year old Clary witnesses a crime at a trendy New York night club. Interesting thing, nobody but Clary can see both the victim and perpetrators. As it turns out, there is an entire invisible to regular people world, and Clary is an unwitting important part of it.

"City of Bones" is one of those books that all my female friends and fellow readers simply love, Jace-mania all around. Needless to say, I had to jump on the bandwagon eventually and get me some Jace. Who am I to deny myself a pleasure to fall for a fictional hot, sarcastic and brooding guy? Imagine my disappointment, when I found out that this book was one big pile of hot mess! Sorry ladies, I said it, it's bad.

I had the hardest time sticking to the story and for quite some time I couldn't figure out why. Then gradually I realized that there were several reasons.

Let me start with the editing. I don't really think this book was edited at all, actually. Errors were endless and visible to even my untrained eye: wrong words ("noise" instead on "nose"); missing words in sentences; strange mix of POVs (the book is mostly told in 3rd person, from Clary's POV, but occasionally I saw both 3rd and 1st person narration in the same paragraph describing the same events, then there was a page from Jace's POV and a chapter from Luke's); Clary's father was called Jonathan in the beginning of the book, but John in the end. I can go on, but these were the things that I would normally overlook if the story itself was good. Unfortunately it wasn't, and the errors stood out.

I didn't think that the story was cohesive, it just didn't quite flow for me. It read as more of a series of events rather than a novel. I thought there were some parts in the book that served no other purpose but to give our hero an opportunity to act knight-like. I am talking about the entire rat-Simon/vampires extravaganza. This story line could have been edited out completely without any damage to the narrative IMO.

I couldn't quite relate to any of the characters either. What made my friends sigh with adoration, annoyed me. I hated the sarcasm, mainly because the jokes, although funny, felt often out of place, plus all of the characters attempting to joke, sounded exactly the same to me. I didn't feel the difference in attitudes of Clary, Simon, and Jace. If Clare had to make Jace a witty sarcastic type, she should have made the wisecracks his exclusive trademark, not everybody's.

The story itself was so ridiculously predictable! I do not normally see what is to come in the books, but in COB, I saw every "revelation" coming. Clare just doesn't have a skill to lead to them subtly, it's always in your face: "Valentine is alive" revelation (who in this book who was thought to be dead was actually dead? - a serious question), "your mother put a spell on you" revelation, the big "father/brother" revelation - I could see them all, and I am not the most astute reader out there.

Now, my biggest problem with this book - I've read/seen it all before! Clare borrows so liberally from "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and "Buffy," it is simply impossible to overlook. Valentine - Voldemort/Darth Vader combo; Jace/Clary - Luke/Draco/Leia/Ginny (if it is possible) combo; the Circle - reversed Order of the Phoenix/Death Eaters combo; the Clave - Ministry of Magic; Luke - Lupin/Snape combo; Hodge - Giles/Wormtail combo. I can continue, but will stop here, you get the picture. Granted, there is nothing absolutely original in paranormal genre, but a skillful writer can re-work an old theme and make it new, fresh, and unique. Whatever is original in COB, is not quite thought through. As an example, let's take a "stele." After finishing this book, I still have no idea what exactly it does - do you only write runes with it? how exactly do you use it in a battle? why it can open some doors and not others? it can heal, but not everything? it can make you be able to see through a wooden screen, but is it because you write a special rune with it or you use it as a wand? It seems to me stele is pretty much used as a deus ex machina, convenient whenever a quick solution to a problem needed. And what's with all the shadow folk? There is just so much mashed up together - fairies, vampires, werewolves, pixies, jinns. You name any mythical creature, it is in this book. And what about magic? I read about spells made by a warlock, stele rune tricks, curses, where does it end? The limits of magic possibilities were never defined. Bottom line, all these inconsistencies make for one unoriginal and messy imaginary world. And this probably was the main reason why I couldn't connect with this book.

Finally, I was a little surprised by some of Clare's creative choices. I found both flirtations of at least 35-year-old warlock (he might be older, his age was never mentioned) with a gay teenage boy and reversed Leia/Luke extravaganza quite tacky, if not disturbing. Although I know how Jace/Clary "family matter" is resolved in the end, I don't find possibly incestuous relationships appealing.

This review might make it seem like COB is the worst book ever written. I wouldn't say so, after all, I've read "Breaking Dawn," and that book doesn't have any plot. There were some nice Jace/Clary moments, the greenhouse birthday party comes to mind. But was COB the most blatantly unoriginal book I've ever read? Absolutely (although I haven't read "Eragon" yet, but I heard a lot about it).

In all honesty, I shouldn't give this book more than 1 star, but I will add a second one as a dedication to one Mrs. Jace Wayland. Would I recommend this book? Sure, many of my friends enjoyed it immensely. Will I continue on with the series? I don't think I will be able to convince myself to waste any more of my time on being mad at a book. I think I will just check out plot summaries on wiki and be done with the series.

P.S. I just read that Cassandra Clare is an avid and famous in certain circles fanfiction writer. I guess that's where all the liberal "borrowing" comes from. Mystery solved.


message 49: by Bess (new)

Bess (Neli) | 29 comments Tatiana wrote: "To explain my dislike for "City of Bones" and "Beautiful Creatures," I think it will be easier just to post my reviews here. Sorry for the rants. I really disliked these two books.

"Beautiful Crea..."

haha, that made my mini rant look completely tame in comparison, I laughed at all the things I agreed with! Sometimes its the hype around these books that is the official K.O.D


message 50: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 5 comments Do you guys really hate some of these books or do you hate the fact that the books have generated so much hype?
I admit Twilight wasn't the best written book but it wasn't horrible. It's just that whenever people think of it they think of screaming teenage girls.
So my question is is it the book's y'all dont' like, (dramtic pause) or the fans.


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