Worst Books of 2019

Hi! I’m back! I’ve neglected this space (and a lot of other things, to be honest) at the end of the year – truth is, I just got overwhelmed. But I’m back with post ideas and lots of motivation to write them, so I decided to start with a few posts summing up my 2019 reading year.

Let’s start with the worst reads of the year.

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

My first read of 2019! Honestly all I knew about it is that it was a dystopian with robots and cyborgs etc. Lifelike ended up being a total disappointment, and a book I’m still not sure about how it got so popular (other than because it is by Jay Kristoff). I went into it expecting greatness, all of the reviews I’ve seen were positive and yet the book flopped for me. The world building was nearly nonexistent, the characters annoying, underdeveloped and caricature like, and there was instalove. I do not like instalove. I barely made it through this book and ended up 2 stars.

Full review here.

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

Here’s another book I had great expectations for, just to be disappointed. I was sold on the premise – loved the idea of female gladiators! Unfortunately the idea was the only thing this book had going for it. Fallon was probably one of the worst main characters I’ve read about. She’s “not like other girls”, she has no personality and we’re told she’s oh so tough and a great warrior, but everything she does proves otherwise. And (once again) there’s instalove. Forbidden instalove, between the main character, who’s a slave and a Roman soldier. What a disaster. I gave it 2 stars, but thinking back I think it deserves 1, because the writing was horrible, too – “Cleopatra’s grin spread into a full, white-toothed smile.” someone please explain to the author what a grin is (she did it on nearly every single page).

Full review here.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Victoria Schwab blurbed this one and I let my hopes go way too high. I thought the potential was enormous here, but ultimately the book did not deliver. It’s steampunk, it’s about clock towers controlling the time itself, and timekeepers, fixing the towers when needed. It sounded like an interesting and unique premise. So what didn’t work for me? Oh, let’s see… I felt no connection to any of the characters. They didn’t feel like real people and didn’t develop as the story progressed. The plot was stagnant. Pages upon pages upon pages of absolutely nothing. And… wait for it… there was INSTALOVE. There’s nothing to make me dislike a book quite like instalove. It pissed me off, quite frankly, because I expected romance from the get go (I picked it up because it’s a LGBTQA+ novel and I seek those out), just not shitty instalove where the characters meet and fall in love straight away, with no chemistry. Again, 2 stars, is anyone surprised?

Full review here.

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

This has not been on my radar until I saw it on NetGalley, requested it and got approved for it. I was in the mood for a contemporary about an important and rarely talked about subject. The book is about virginity, consent, sex, how religion treats sex, slut shaming and victim blaming. All of those are extremely important and need to be talked about more, especially in YA. The main character is dumped by her boyfriend after they have sex, because he wants to get “closer to god” and so she follows him to Jesus camp to win him back. This is a great movie concept but it would’ve worked as a book if not the ending. The main character, though developing throughout the story, ends up reverting to the same point in the end. There are lessons she needs to learn, and she’s getting there, just to do a complete 180. The great message of the book is lost in a overly vivid and somewhat clinical description of sex, clunky dialogue and the overall resolution of the book. The lost potential made me very angry. My original rating was 3 stars, which I dropped to 2, and now I firmly stand by it.

Full review here.

Dune by Frank Herbert

My only 1 star rating of the year belongs to Dune. I could go on and on about how much I hated it, but it’s been a good couple of months and the anger is mostly gone. This book was horrendous, to put it plainly. I’ll start with clarifying that I LOVE sci-fi, just so no one tells me maybe sci-fi isn’t my genre. For such an acclaimed book, Dune is just a terribly written story with minimal plot, a Mary Sue like main character, supporting characters lacking any depth whatsoever, poor world building and lots of telling, not showing. I have nothing positive to say about it. Hebert butchered a story that could be genuinely good and it was a laborious feat to get through! Quite frankly, I regret reading it.

Full review here.

And that’s my list of worst books I’ve read in 2019. Which books made it onto your worst list? Do you disagree with me on any books I’ve mentioned here? Lets discuss it.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! I’ll be back soon with another post.

3 thoughts on “Worst Books of 2019

  1. I left off ‘Lifelike’ about half-way through 🙁 To think of how excited I was when my library finally got a copy after I’d been having my eye on it bcuz of all the rave reviews, and how I love sci-fi and robots! So sad 😢 I’m glad to find someone else who agrees with me though. Instalove can ruin books for me quite easily and one of my pet peeve’s when a character’s appearance is mentioned for a needless amount of times. I was hooked for some reason in the beginning and then things waned. I was left wondering why it was so hyped.

    I had my radar on ‘Dune’ but was unsure cuz of my experience with sci-fi classics. They’re usually quite boring and filled with unnecessary info. Plus, Dune is extra large. I like thick books but it needs to be worth it.

    Enjoyed your post!


    • Thanks so much. I haven’t seen many reviews of Lifelike that were similar to mine, I genuinely thought I read a different book to everyone else. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I like sci-fi, but Dune was painful.

      Liked by 1 person

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