Okay, so I’ve written a post telling you what my top reads of last year were – but what about my least favourite reads? Usually, I am determined to finish everything I start, but this year I’ve been a little kinder to myself & allowed myself to put books down, even if I haven’t finished them… there’s a couple of reasons for this; one is that I requested far too many NetGalley books in 2017 & it got to the point where I had too many books to read, so I decided that if I wasn’t enjoying something I would put it down. The second reason for putting down books unfinished this year, is because three of the books I picked up were damn-well offensive!! And the third reason? Why should I waste time on books I’m not enjoying?!
In June of this year I started a book called Touch No One by Joseph Hirsch; I’ve already done a post on this book, which can be found here; but for anyone who hasn’t seen that post I’ll do a very short summary of why I put it down, very quickly. This book was pure trash – it literally offended every marginalised group I can think of, including women, the mentally ill, those with learning disabilities, trans individuals and people of colour! And that was only in the first 11% of the book. The author is also a total creep as he keeps liking & un-liking my very honest review of his book on GoodReads.
A few months later, in September, I picked up a book called Water in May by Ismee Amiel Williams; I had such high hopes for this book as it’s about a young half-Dominican teenage girl who falls pregnant – sounds good, right? Speaking up for minority groups gets a big tick from me. The story takes a sad turn though, when main character Mari finds out that her unborn baby has a hole in their heart, & they may not survive. The story was definitely sad, but I was actually really enjoying the read & was just starting to get really invested in the story, when at 40% Mari starts throwing out some homophobic language, aimed at her best friend’s brother.
Sigh, next please.
And in December I gave up on The Territory by Sarah Govett; I was sent a reviewers copy of this book by Firefly Press but read hardly any of it because at 14% the main character referred to someone with brain damage as a “vegetable” – I’m really not okay with that y’all. It’s a shame really, because I was quite looking forward to reading The Territory as it sounded quite different from other books I read in 2017, but I just can’t deal with ableism.
Thankfully, they were the only three books that I picked up this year that were so offensive I had to give up on them; the other books I abandoned were books that I just couldn’t connect with. One of these was The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen. I was ridiculously excited for this read & was counting down the books until I could finally pick it up to review! Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with the writing & apart from the first story, I didn’t find the tales very interesting. I gave up at 24%, *shrugs*.
The second book that I gave up on as I couldn’t get into the story was The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman… in the past I’ve had mixed feelings towards Hoffman’s writing; I mean, come on, she’s written so many book that it can only be natural that I don’t like all of them & this just turned out to be one I didn’t enjoy. I couldn’t get invested in the plot, but I also didn’t like that a 14 year old boy was having sex with his older cousin & a married woman & there was some body shaming too. I gave up on this at 20%.
The only other book I turned by back on this year was The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke – generally, I’m a big fan of the work of Asian authors, but I just couldn’t get into this one… honestly, I found it a little strange & it bothered me that the protagonist called his blind dog “Blindy“. It didn’t really feel like the first story in this book was going anywhere so I didn’t even bother with the second. This one went onto the DNF list at 17% – sorry, not sorry.
If you fancy giving any of these books a go yourself, then I’ve linked the covers to the relevant GoodReads pages! Did you read any of these books – did you feel how I did, or did you enjoy them? Did you read any really offensive books last year? Let me know in the comments!