While I am woefully behind on my 2018 Goodreads goal, I made a real effort to get a little caught up this month.
Now that my house is finished (construction was a special brand of Hell I’d never wish on anyone), I have time for things like reading. But I’m a very picky reader, and I don’t tolerate the following:
• Weak women
• Whining women
• Codependent women
• Judgy women
Bearing that in mind, here are the books I read this year that I hated. Some were not published this year, but it’s when I got around to reading them. Now I wish I’d spent that time on other things.
1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
So many women I know LOVE this book. It spoke to them. It helped them alter their perspective. For some, I know it was truly life-altering. And if it genuinely helped people break free from the prison of giving a fuck about what others think, then I give it genuine applause.
Personally, I found Rachel’s perspective and advice to be confined and limited to a person of specific means and opportunities. While she indicates her childhood wasn’t absent of abuse, her overall life experience isn’t relatable to many women. Hollis’ advice isn’t anything new to me or my girlfriends, we’ve been saying these things to each other for decades. Her wisdom is that which is gleaned from experiencing life’s hardships and the cruelty of people. In other words, life will eventually teach you all of these lessons, too. Skip this book and decipher your own lessons from this grand thing we call life. The book’s sage wisdom boils down to one thing; you do you and don’t pay attention to the haters.
2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
I don’t even know where to start with this book. I was fooled for the first few chapters, thinking I had stumbled upon an author capable of weaving words together with heartbreaking creativity and melody, but I WAS SO WRONG. As Goodreads reviewer Emily May said “this is not a novel, it is a collection of similes and metaphors, most of which don’t make sense.”
YES. THAT. I stopped reading at chapter five. The premise could be interesting if Mafi would ever get to the actual plot and what’s happening. I felt lost and confused with no plot to anchor me through all the purple prose. The environmental dystopia Mafi hints at is interesting to me, but it wasn’t enough, and not enough is revealed about it, to keep me reading. I then read in reviews that the MC falls for her captor/abuser and that’s always a HARD pass for me.
3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I know this book is several years old. I tried to read it then and didn’t finish it. I tried again this year and still could not finish it. Not since Anna Karenina have I read such a tediously slow book. This time I got as far as chapter 12 before giving up. I cannot for the life of me tell what this book is really about, where it’s going, or why I should care. While I liked the MC, her family, and their psychic abilities, I could not muster a shred of concern or interest for any of the boys in the book. I love rich stories with loads of detail, but all of that has to spark empathy for the characters and an investment of emotion in the characters’ stakes. This book didn’t inspire anything in me. I really wanted to like it because it seemed everyone did, but it was a big fat mehhhh for me.