It happens. No matter how much you love to read, you inevitably run across a handful of books you just did not like. Sometimes the beginnings are awful, sometimes the middles plod, sometimes the endings are terrible, sometimes the whole thing is dreadful, and sometimes you can’t even finish it. Here’s my list of books I just cannot make myself like.
1 Paint It Black, by Janet Fitch
I’m actually really upset that I don’t like this book. I read it through once and hated it, and have since tried to reread it several times just to make sure. I can never get past the first few pages. I think Janet Fitch is a wonderful writer, White Oleander is one of my all-time favorite novels, but this one didn't measure up to me. The story didn’t hold my attention, I found Josie a little whiny and puerile, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, and everything about it is forgettable to me.
2 Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
This shames me but it’s true. This is the only book on this whole list I couldn’t finish -- not even when it was assigned to me in my favorite professor’s literature class. I cannot get past the first four pages no matter how hard I try -- and I try frequently, because it just seems to me that I need to read this book or else the fact that I haven’t will some day haunt me.
3 Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
I have never really liked Anne Rice, but back when Goth kids the world over were losing their minds for her, several people I considered extremely cool and smart and sophisticated (I was a dumb kid) recommended this particular book, so I gave it a try. I still wish I hadn’t. For the record, I still haven’t watched the movie, either. There’s something slightly pretentious about the writing to me, and I have this theory that it might be related to the subject of vampires…
4 The Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer
I know, I know, and for all you fans out there, I am so sorry. I have issues with Stephenie Meyer, though, and some of them stem with issues from this series. I promise you though, I read every book, I gave them my very best effort. It’s just that I have problems with Mary Sues and self-inserts, and there are dozens of warning bells going off in my head every time I read about Bella -- or about something Meyer has said in the press. I will grant you all that Edward Cullen does have some serious pull but … I’m still totally a Jasper girl.
5 The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
I really, really, really love Stephen King. I really do. I will read almost anything he writes, with few little exceptions and one big exception: the Dark Tower Series. I have read some of them, but by no means all of them. I just cannot get into the story, and the really weird part is that I love other books and stories that are peripherally related to the series. Insomnia? One of my favorites. “Everything’s Eventual,” the short story in the book with the same title, is awesome. Yet the tales of Roland himself just don’t tickle my fancy -- but I’m gonna fight the good fight.
6 A Child Called “It,” by Dave Pelzer
There’s something funny about this book. I want so badly to be sympathetic, to believe that the monotonous, unformed, vague descriptions are simply products of below average writing, and not at all due to the fact that the unbelievable story really shouldn’t be believed. Lots of people have lots of questions about this book, similar to the questions that formed around James Frey and his Million Little Pieces. I just like to know whether I’m reading fiction or nonfiction.
7 Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
Speaking of which! I don’t outright dislike a lot of authors because I want to be one and it’s not my place to judge or to be bitter. But I loathe Augusten Burroughs and his books. His character comes off as pretentious as his writing, and that sense of condescension is a little unforgivable when attached to a story that isn’t even horrible enough to be unbelievable, but rather seems to be the product of an active but generally dull imagination.
Everybody has different tastes, and my Best Book Ever might be your Worst Read in Life, but that’s cool, because opposite opinions make for some incredibly interesting discussions. What’s your least favorite book? Should I give any of these another try?
Top Photo Credit: bluemarla
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