Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not All Books Are Great

For those of you who don’t own a Kindle let me fill you in a little before I start my rant.  In the Kindle you can make folders (I like to think of them as bookshelves that I carry around in my purse) to organize your books.  
In my Kindle I have many different “bookshelves” with many different names.  As you might guess, “Paranormal” is the largest boasting well over 90 books.  Sadly, the smallest is “Classics” which holds only 3. 

What might the second largest folder be named?  Meh.”  It is nowhere near as big as Paranormal, but still I think that it bears looking at. 

So why did I name the folder “Meh”?  Well, because the books I put in it, for the most part, aren’t terrible, they’re just… Meh (that little sound you that you can’t help but shrug a single shoulder when saying).  They are mostly ones that I didn’t bother to finish.  Not because they were objectionable, but because they were a waste of time.  Some are in there even though I did finish them.  They are the ones that when I got the end I just didn’t feel they deserved to honor of being put in a category where they might accidentally get read again.     

Some are poorly written, some are just the dreaded word “boring.”

               Vanish by Sonny Daise (please tell me that’s a pseudonym) – 
                    poorly written
               Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson – 
                    boring and predictable
              The Whispers of theSprite by Joanna Mazurkiewicz – 
                    poorly written and boring 
              Failing Test by J.M. Pierce – 
                    finished but not worth a re-read

Then there is one book that I wanted to make a new folder just for, entitled: “Worst Book Ever Written – Keep Away.”  The book was called Sojourner by Maria Rachel Hooley.  What really confuses me is that when I looked up the author a) this wasn’t a high school student trying their hand at writing, b) she has written over 30 books, c) this book got an over-all rating of 3.68 on GoodReads (with over 800 ratings)!  What?!?  

Besides the weird things like – written in 1st person and yet it mentions other people’s names before the main character has met them (or been told about them) – there is also the fact that the plot doesn’t flow smoothly AT ALL – the characters do strange things that make no sense – and then the clincher… I put the book away when I couldn’t take the high-school-student-type metaphors any more.   The worst I remember was: “His voice is rough-silk music, the ends unraveling.”  Can we just examine this for a minute?  I’ve seen “nubby” silk, but it still has a quality to it that defies the word “rough”.  The music part might make sense if all the words around it did, but how can it be both a type of fabric and a melodic sound, ie. music.  And then, I get how silk can unravel on the ends but how does a voice?  A voice can “crack”, or “waver” but not really “unravel.”  There were many other terrible metaphors, but this one was the last I could take.

So that’s my rant about the worst book ever.  How about you?  Do you have books you’ve tried that deserve a “meh” rating?  What would you rate as “THE worst book ever”?  Please share... I'm sure we'd all like to know what deserves the "steer clear" category.

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