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Friday, December 23, 2016

Our Favorite LEAST Favorite Books of 2016

Posted by Staff

At this time of the year it seems like everyone is making lists of the best books of the year, but we thought it would be interesting to talk a little about books that were our least favorite. Most readers end up with a few books each year that they really didn't like. Sometimes it's because they thought, based on description of the book, it was a different kind of book. Other times, the book just did not stand up to expectations.  Here are our favorite least favorites of the year.

Sally A.
The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg 
I have read her before and enjoyed her books. They take place in Sweden and you can be sure there will come good twists. This book just never got started for me. I didn't particularly feel connected to anyone and I was a bit annoyed by one of the characters. I will admit to not finishing it because I just wasn't enjoying it. (so many books, so little time) I probably missed a great ending!

Tirzah D.
United as One by Pittacus Lore
This is the seventh and last installment of the Lorien Legacies series. Just as I thought a year ago after reading its predecessor The Fate of Ten, I think everything could have been wrapped up in that book. While reading this one, I was wanting the end to come and that is not a feeling to have while reading the last book of a series/trilogy. In summary, the story started out good but dragged on too long with too many books to the point of losing my interest. I am glad I read it to finally see the ending, but it was just unexciting.

Katherine R.
I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Ian Reid
I absolutely hate it when authors "trick" the reader into thinking one thing and then pull a "ha-ha fooled you" at the end. This book makes you think one thing is happening and then at the very end you find out that you were completely wrong. Luckily this book was very short but because it is a very intense page-turner, I think my disappointment was increased.

Amanda E.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard 

I quit the story like 40 pages from the end. It was unintentional, I just set it down one day and didn’t pick it back up before it was due back at the library. To me, that speaks volumes about how little connection I had with the story and how unengaged I was. I read this at the beginning of the year so I don’t remember what was so unmemorable about it. It could totally have been a case of “not the book I need to read at this time” but I have very little desire to go back and give it another chance. 

Jill S. 
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
One of the highlights of my reading year is usually the Man Booker list, so I probably began this book with unrealistic expectations to begin with. I do not necessarily need to like the characters in a book to appreciate the story, because even nasty characters & filth can further the artistic purpose or lead to a brilliant finale. However, in this case, the plot did not make up it. While I found the character of Eileen to have potential in the beginning, I was soon disappointed with the repetitive nature of the prose. Other characters’ motivations were unclear and their actions illogical, and the events intended to be shocking at the end were rather predictable. The judges of Man Booker found it compelling enough to include on both the long and the short list, so clearly they found literary value that I just could not recognize. Other readers have said they thought the portrayal of Eileen was brilliant, because she would appear like a dull & ordinary woman in her daily life at the office but was something else entirely. 

Devin G.
Dog Stars by Peter Heller

This book has elements that normally make for a killer read. A deadly flu pandemic, the fight for survival, and a cute dog are usually huge draws for me, but the execution was lacking and major plot points felt too cliché. Our narrator isn’t incredibly likeable either, which made for a difficult read. 

Zach H.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

To me, it’s a testament that just because a book is considered a “classic” doesn’t mean that it’s actually good. There’s not a single relatable character in the book, nor any real difference between them to the point that I had to keep reminding myself which character was which. In short, the story is boring, overly political, and told from the perspective of a white colonist who saw the natives of the Congo as savages. This is one of those rare cases where the movie adaptation (Apocalypse Now) is way better than the book.
Sam O.
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
This book is the third in the Ender's game series, which I liked very much as a whole. I didn't particularly like this book only because at times it seemed a little too lengthy and philosophical for my liking. I didn't finish the book mainly because of my own laziness, but I still think that it is a good book in concept.

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