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Adrianna's Worst Reads from 2010

  • Jul 19, 2011
It took me a long time to create my worst reads list from 2010 because I didn't immediately review one of the books that I had  wanted to include. I finished Nothing Personal back in December of 2010, but it took me until July of 2011 to write the review. Yes, it was that uninspiring! Even writing a review for the book didn't sound like fun. Now that I've finally completed the review, I'm ready to compile my list.

The following list includes all my reads that received a negative rating on Lunch.com. I've arranged them in order of worst to least worst read (if that makes sense). 
Under Man's Spell
Read my review of Under Man's Spell by J. K. Muta: Men = Evil.

The concept was there. Unfortunately, the story and characters were not.

This book is about women in Tanzania and all the hardships they face while fighting for equal gender rights, both in rural and city areas of the country. I was expecting a writing style and similar themes like those found in novels by literary giants Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but when an author can't inspire any type of emotion in the reader, then there's a connection problem. The scope was too large for one story, and all the characters were flat. There were no honorable or "good" male characters, and the setting/plot were boring. I couldn't even admire any of the female characters that were obviously the focus and heroines of the piece. It felt like J. K. Muta was writing about topics she knew very little about. Her writing read more like a business textbook than a creative fictional story.

The only silver lining from this book is that I discovered websites like The Policy on Women in Development in Tanzania. In the end, Under Man's Spell is amateur writing that most readers will dislike.
See the full review, "Men = Evil".
Nothing Personal
Read my review of Nothing Personal by Elisa Adams: A second-rate romance, Nothing Personal.

This is a romance novel about an older woman and a younger man. It's a contemporary romance, so I hoped the author would tackle certain social stigmas, to name a few:

  • Women's aging
  • Career women versus homemakers
  • The attraction of self-confident and beautiful older women

Unfortunately, the book was your typical fluff romance: no depth and it maintained all stereotypes, both about women and romance novels. 

While the situation was mildly amusing and caught my attention, the characters and plot were boring. Even the intimate scenes left the reader yawning. Nothing Personal also contained a pet peeve of mine: editing errors. It's simple laziness when publishers and editors leave these types of mistakes in final copies that make their way to bookstores across the world.
See the full review, "A second-rate romance, Nothing Personal".
Night World No. 1: Secret Vampire; Daughters of
Read my review of Night World No. 1: Secret Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Spellbinder by L.J. Smith: Only Slightly Better than the Twilight Saga.

And there you have it in a nutshell: This book is only slightly better than the first book of the Twilight Saga.

This collection includes three stories by L.J. Smith: Secret Vampire (book 1), Daughters of Darkness (book 2), and Spellbinder (book 3). Each book focuses on different aspects of the Night World be it vampires, witches, or werewolves. Although none of the stories are connected, some of the characters make appearances in books 2 and 3. 

The entire concept of the Night World is fascinating because Smith creates a "dark" world for teens and mature children. I like that she tries to be unique in her approaches to these timeless legends. However, the key word is "tries." The first book, Secret Vampire, is by far the weakest being almost an exact copy of Twilight. It's predictable, and I couldn't stand the female protagonist Poppy. Smith's strongest book in the collection is Daughters of Darkness, mainly because it contains a coven of witches. I'm a sucker for strong women that stick together. Spellbinder was perhaps the most interesting read, but I didn't enjoy the relationship between the two cousins. 

Overall, I have a feeling that a lot of younger readers will enjoy this collection, especially fans of Stephanie Meyer. Don't let the huge number of pages fool you either. It's a relatively fast read if you can get into the stories. It wasn't for me, though. I've been finding most YA reads lacking either in style, content, or character development.
See the full review, "Only Slightly Better than the Twilight Saga".
I Smile Back
Read my review of I Smile Back by Amy Koppelman: Depressing Book with No Hope (Review: "I Smile Back" by Amy Koppelman).

Although I was the most disappointed with this book, it was actually the least worst book in my list. It is the complicated story of a woman named Laney whose mental instability damages not only herself but her family. 

At the time I read it, I was not in the mood for a depressing novel with no hope. So, it soured my reading experience. The other aspect that annoyed me was that the writing had the potential to be as great as Sylvia Plath's and Kate Chopin's. Unfortunately, it never reached the literary height that I desperately longed for. Still, it was very well written with a flow and style unique to author Koppelman. My main compliant would be that she tried too hard to be deep and thought-provoking. It didn't feel like a natural writing style. It was forced.

The worst part about this book was seeing how Laney's children suffer from her nerusoes. If you thought that Room by Emma Donoghue was a tear-jerker, then wait until you read this one. It had me cringing and squirming as much as poor Eli's eye tick.
See the full review, "Depressing Book with No Hope (Review: "I Smile Back" by Amy Koppelman)".

What did you think of this list?

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September 28, 2011
Funny Adrianna that you only read four stinkers last year. I wish I were that lucky! I will definately try to avoid these but I would much rather see you list of good reads because those are the ones to go after! BTW I just finished an advanced copy of Michael Connelly's The Drop and posted my review. I was also thinking if you could put together a Michael Connelly badge since he has so many good books and three strong characters (Harry Bosch, The Lincoln Lawyer and Jack McEvoy).
July 19, 2011
good thing I stopped by and saw this cool list! boogah boogah.
July 19, 2011
Always a pleasure when you stop by for a visit, Woopak. So glad you liked the list! I'm going to create a favorite reads one for 2010 too now that I have all my 2010 reviews written. I'm way behind with 2011, though. :( I'll be playing catch up on all my Lunch stuff too. Been super busy the past few weeks!
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Adrianna Simone ()
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