Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amanda reviews 3 books that were absolutely terrible

I would like to start this post off with a disclaimer, which will remain in place for any and every subsequent post where I review a book: It takes balls to put your work out there for people to criticize, and I appreciate that. Everyone is talented in their own way, and they should let their writing flag fly if they want to, it's their choice. But it is also my choice to criticize said work if it sucks and is terrible, especially if I paid money for it.

That being said, I went ahead and reviewed three books I read in the last year that I hated so much and that made me so angry I wanted to rant about it on the internet. I'm still considering posting these to Amazon, because all three of these books got major 5 star reviews on there and it makes me question the intelligence of humanity in general. Here we go (in no particular order):

1. Taking Chances, Molly McAdams

Synopsis: Harper heads off to her first year at college and immediately falls in love with two guys - Chase and Brandon. She then proceeds to jerk them both around for the majority of the book. While Brandon, who she has "officially" made her boyfriend is away, she succumbs to her overwhelming passion and has sex with Chase. She gets pregnant. Chase dies really, really unceremoniously. Since Brandon is still so in love with her, he is able to forgive her for cheating on him and getting pregnant by another guy, they get back together. They live Happily Ever After, including getting married and having another child before this girl is out of college.

My Take: I hated this book. Now that that's out of the way, I can tell you why. First, I have a thing about super annoying female protagonists. Harper whines about being in love with Brandon, and then she whines about Chase, and then she just continues to whine until she gets pregnant. Then she decides that OMG BEING WITH CHASE IS THE ANSWER even though I still kind of love this other guy, who has been nothing but a totally fantastic boyfriend for the entire book. Sometimes love triangles work. Usually they're just an annoying plot device, but if done right, I can understand them. In this book, it seemed like the author wanted a love triangle, and then wrote herself two fantastic guys that the protagonist couldn't choose between. Instead of having her character make the hard choice (re: Katniss and Peeta; yes, I went there), she kills one of the guys and BAM her problem is solved. Harper mourns Chase for like ten seconds, and then immediately realizes that Hey, Brandon is who I wanted all along anyway, so this worked out perfectly for me.

And then, instead of maybe naming her child after his dead father, she names it after her new boyfriend's dead father. I hate pregnancy as a plot device (especially in teenagers/college students) and this is just the icing on the cake for me. Harper is needy, co-dependent and indecisive and has managed to woo the shit out of three hot guys? Whatever. I think I almost threw my Kindle while reading this book and I really, really love/have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle.

Did I mention that the book ends with Harper, who is a teenager - actually, she could be 20, I can't remember how old she was when it ended because I skimmed the last half - married with two kids. That's a HEA if I've ever seen/heard/read it.

2. On Dublin Street, Samantha Young

Synopsis: Joss moves to Scotland after her entire family and best friend are killed. She refuses to form attachments of any kind because of this, resulting in only one friend who literally knows nothing about her. Joss then moves in with Ellie and meets Ellie's super hot brother, Braden, and tries to pretend he's not perfect for her or whatever. They embark on this stupid not-relationship and she refuses to admit that she likes him for basically the entire book. After Ellie gets really sick, Joss decides she shouldn't have any emotional attachments for realsies, and she completely abandons everyone, including her sick friend. Then she and Braden make up and get married.

My Take: I skimmed the last 50% of this book, too. Joss is selfish, ridiculous and completely unsympathetic. I have never experienced personal tragedy on the level this character has, and I know it's different for everyone, but Joss literally refuses to make any friends because she's afraid they will leave her. I mean...okay, then. That's fine. But the author tells us this mindset for the entirety of the book. She mentions it on every other page, and it makes me like Joss less and less as the story goes on.

That aside, I didn't think Braden was all that swoon-worthy. If I'm reading a romance novel, or an erotic romance, I want the male character to be swoon-worthy, and this guy just didn't do it for me. Not to mention that he wouldn't he listen when she tells him to go away like nine thousand times? I know some guys are persistent or whatever, but don't you think he'd get the hint and just find someone else? Joss isn't that fantastic. The writing also left a lot to be desired for a book rated so highly - half of the time I was reading, I was screaming in my head about how terrible the writing was. And then I was remaking the sentence so it sounded better and so I could continue on without stabbing myself.

This is how I imagined Joss
Also, the sex was hot for the first two times, and then it was repetitive and after I read each scene I couldn't help but think, "people read this and think this is good sex?" Totally baffling.

AKA the most relevant image ever
3. My Favorite Mistake, Chelsea M. Cameron

Synopsis: Hunter, a "blue-eyed bundle of charm" moves into Taylor's dorm room. They talk and then fight and then have a sing-a-long and Taylor generally acts like a crazy person. Then they make a bet: Taylor will either prove that she truly loves Hunter, or that she hates him, and if she can do that he'll move out for good, which is what she really wants because something shitty happened to her and she is afraid of all men, and loving men, and whatever. They fall in love. She gets over the really shitty thing that happened to her in like 2.5 and they do it, and HEA ensues. Also, something bad happened to Hunter too but I can't remember what it was because I skimmed 75% of this, and then only because I paid for it and was being stubborn.

My Take: Taylor is batshit crazy. Like, an actual psycho. She is mean, spiteful, hateful, bitchy and just an all around unlikeable person. How does someone like this have any friends at all? She was a huge douche to everyone for no reason, and yet Hunter still pursues her because she was "different." If by different, you mean fucking certifiable, then sure. It baffled me that a guy who is supposed to be super hot, and was not an unlikeable character, would continuously pursue someone who was such a douchenugget. She was violent for 90% of the book, and then they have sex and suddenly they love each other? There is one scene in which she literally physically assaults him, and he's totes fine with it. I mean, no. Just no.

Harper. All the time.
Aside from the totally unrealistic plot lines (I doubt a college would ever place a guy in a dorm room with three girls), terrible characterization and just all around suckage, there was one small thing that bothered me more than almost anything else about this book. Typically, when authors add a detail into the story, it's for a reason; that detail will come back and become important later on in the book. Well, not in this case. One of the glaring examples of this is when, at one point, Hunter and Taylor go do something I can't remember and she is walking up some stairs and is suddenly SO TERRIBLY AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. I mean..okay fine, be afraid of heights. But maybe have some other indication that she is afraid of heights at any other point in the book. It's literally mentioned one time and then never heard from again and it really, really bothered me. The author, and Taylor, make a huge deal of out of it for an entire chapter and then it just generally means nothing, which I guess can describe the majority of the things that happen and characters in this book.

So, there you have it. More to come.

Just in general.

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