I hesitated last year and ultimately didn’t blog about my least favorite reads but this year, I’m going for it. If you haven’t seen it, I did post my Best Reads of 2022 yesterday and thankfully there are more books on that list than this one. Out of the 100 books I’ve read this year, these are the 10 books that when scrolling through the full list I couldn’t help but think of how bad/disappointing my experiences were with them and I needed an outlet, so here it is.
I am not saying these are bad books but everyone is entitled to their opinion including me. So please take this in the spirit intended.
Without further ado and in no particular order, let’s get started.
Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Let’s start off with one that is sure to make some people mad, including my sister and many others who have recommended it to me. I did not like anything about this book. It was boring and the writing style was way too flowery. I didn’t write a full review on this one but I think my Goodreads review sums it up: “I just wanted it to be over.” 1 star from me for this much beloved book.
Hooked by A.C. Wise
In 2021, I gave Wendy, Darling by this author 4 stars. I really liked it but the ending was horrible. Then I saw this one on NetGalley which IS NOT MARKETED AS A SEQUEL. Then I start reading and not only is it a sequel but it was just a continuation of the ending I hated. It was confusing and weird and I have absolutely no idea what happened. My ranty 1 star review can be found here.
A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
Rarely have I found a book that I can’t say any nice things about but this is definitely one of them. I’ve tried to block most of it from my brain but from my 1-star Goodreads review: “This was bad. I really didn’t like any of it. The initial premise seemed interesting but it quickly turns to a story of homophobia, misogyny , and hate. The triggers right in the front of the book warn of these things but I’ve never read a book where not only are these things so blatant but there’s no turning point and the main character buys into it completely.”
This is Kind of An Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender
I loved Felix Ever After so I thought I’d read this earlier book by the same author. This book was filled with horrible teenagers constantly cheating on each other. Lots of stuff didn’t make any sense and there was some of the most cringey smut I have ever read. But my favorite part of my rant of a review now makes me laugh: “if you’re going to do an audiobook for a book that constantly references Friends, learn to say “phalange”, the last 20 minutes of the book when it was supposed to be all epic and such, I couldn’t stop thinking about this dude saying the plane was freaking out about a broken “fill-ang”, come on people.”
The Beholden by Cassandra Rose Clarke
I read this >500 page book and have no memory of it except anger that I wasted my time. I read it in January 2022 so it’s been almost a year and I’m still mad. Characters, setting, plot, it was all bad. It does have a pretty cover. It’s an ARC so I did a full review and I did find something nice to say so it wasn’t all terrible but this isn’t really singing praise either: “The gods were an interesting idea and the whole growth versus decay bit had potential but it was buried among so much other nonsense that I had a hard time caring.”
Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
I have seen people including this on their best reads of the year lists, it was a Goodreads choice nominee, and I just don’t get it. I liked the beginning but it fell apart for me and I was really glad it was over by the end. My biggest issue was that her magic was manipulating people and the lesson seems to be that this is a good thing. It’s just never talked about how weirdly unsettling her magic is and that’s the only thing I cared about at that point. I didn’t hate this one but it was really disappointing given the praise others are giving it. I gave it 2 stars in the end, full review here.
My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth
Another Goodreads Choice nominee and a book I would have thrown across my room if it hadn’t been on my Kindle. I should have adored this book. I’m a female mechanical engineer who has spent hours in the robotics lab. I was so excited to read this. I don’t think this author ever bother to talk to an engineer, much less a female one. The “I can’t do it, I’m a girl” narrative was appalling. I can see why people like this book but I will not shut up about the “representation” being terrible because I think they should know. I know I like to know if any representation in a book is not good. This is probably the longest review I’ve ever written but I couldn’t stop writing and over 7 months later, I could still rant on this one for a long time. I stand by the conclusion of my review: “I don’t need the story of a flaky girl who happens to be a secret genius with robots.”
The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman
I just didn’t like this one. It’s not a bad book but it read really young for YA and everything was solved a little too conveniently. I’d say this was a case of just not being for me but a lot of reviewers seem to land where I did. If the plot was tweaked very slightly, there’s a good middle grade book in here but it would take a lot of updates to get a good YA book.
Something Bright and Burning by Whitney Amazeen
I wrote in my review that this was one I’d soon forget and boy was I right. I just remember being disconnected and slightly horrified by a few of the plot points. Everything was pretty one dimensional so I just powered through and didn’t care at all which is a big problem for a story that was obviously supposed to be emotional.
Notorious Sorcerer by Davinia Evans
And last but not least, the adult fantasy book that decided world building was completely unnecessary. There’s was a ton of plot, forgettable characters, and some kind of magical world that the author talked about like it was a city we should already know about. I’ve never been so confused. And left to my own devices to figure stuff out, my review sums up how I saw this world: “So the Bravi are some sort of street gang but I’m still not sure if they’re good or bad and they “dance” with their swords and run on rooftops so in my head, they are chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins.” Well, at least my review makes me chuckle.
And there you have it, my 10 least favorite books of 2022. Here’s to hoping I don’t have 10 books to make a list in 2023!