It is the time of the year where I get revenge on all my least-favorite books! Begin Part 2 of Amy’s Least Favorite Reads of 2019.
This Pen for Hire by Laura Levine
The minute the heroine explained her name was “Jaine Austen” because her mother loved Jane Austen but couldn’t spell, I knew this wasn’t a mystery for me. But I unwisely kept reading anyway. Jaine likes eating, mocking skinny people, drinking margaritas, and whining about her lack of love life. When not doing any of the above she solves a murder. Her motivation made no sense and I found the book in general really irritating.
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Virginal descendants of Alexander the Great who go around killing unicorns? Heck yeah. If only the plot lived up to its amazing premise. Alas, the execution of the story is rather mediocre. The characters are underdeveloped and the villain downright cartoonish. Finally, a behind-the-scenes rape added solely to push the story along left this book solidly into one star territory.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I did not connect with this book on any level. And I feel kind of bummed about that fact. I appreciate the way the author kept certain information and slowly released it. It made me wonder if I somehow missed something but actually I just hadn’t been told it. But that is about the nicest thing I can say about this book. I did not like the writing; I did not like the commentary about sex. I did not like any of the characters. I didn’t so much hate it as feel generally disappointed and disgusted.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
So, admittedly, the problem partially lies with me because I was under the impression this was a middle school novel. It most definitely is not. It also contains a whole list of thing I personally dislike: precocious children (à la The Little Prince and Be Frank With Me), child narrators for adult readers, attempted profoundness, confusing plots that jump everywhere, multiple unclear narrators, casual discussion of a sexual encounter, kissing…sisters?, angst, so.much.angst.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Unfortunately, this book lost me pretty quickly and never regained ground. I stayed perpetually irritated right up until the end. Not even turning the Beauty and the Beast plot into the story of Psyche and Eros (my favoritest myth ever) salvaged it. The hero is as bland as butter. The heroine is a moron who does literally the opposite of what she is told no mater the consequences. Lots of lust-fueled attraction. Not a series I will continue with.
Bespelling Jane Austen by Mary Balogh, Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard, & Janet Mullany
Jane Austen retellings with a paranormal twist. The Northanger Abbey retelling was clever. The other three made me want to gouge my eyeballs out with a spoon. Very TMI.
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
So, you are part of an elite team of scientists sending two people into the past to retrieve a long-lost manuscript of Jane Austen’s, do you:
A. Send two people who actually look like the siblings they are posing as
B. Find two people mature enough not to give into their lust and endanger the entire mission by becoming lovers while posing as siblings
C. Choose two people who won’t run afoul with the racist and anti-Semitic attitudes of Regency England
D. None of the above
What? None of the above? Well, you would get along fine in this book! The rest of us will stand over here rolling our eyes.