5 Worst Books of 2019

December 30, 2019

2019 was a great year for books. Not only was there many new releases (click here to see my top 15), but I personally discovered a lot of great new books by great new authors. However, as always, there are those reads which fall short of our expectations, failing to deliver in one way or another. Here are the worst 5 books I read this year. 

(Not all of these books were released in 2019, but 2019 was the year I got around to reading them). 

Genuine Fraud - E. Lockhart 

I didn't even realise E. Lockhart was releasing a new book until Genuine Fraud popped up on my Amazon earlier this year, and I decided to give it a go. My expectations weren't particularly high, because I was disappointed with the ending of We Were Liars, but I do think Lockhart is a great writer and hoped that this book would go the extra mile. Sadly though, I will not be reading anymore of her books after this. It's such a shame because I love her writing, her dialogue, her funky storylines - right up until the end, where everything seems to fall apart. Every time I've finished an E. Lockhart book, I've been left with the very distinct feeling that she started writing it with no idea where it was going to end up. That's obviously not the case, but my point is there's nothing neat, nothing explained, about her books, and they end on an anticlimax with too many plot holes for me to bother with one of them again. 

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

I realise that I am 100% in the minority with my ambivalent feelings towards this book, but I just couldn't force myself to care about it. The worldbuilding was lacklustre (five Londons? where? what? why? how?) , and I hated Lila with a passion. I wish writers would stop inserting 'strong female characters' who are capable of little else but protesting their strength whilst lacking any agency. It's so contrived. I also get really irritated by the adult/YA debate surrounding this book. I understand that V.E. Schwab intended it for it to be an adult fantasy, but I really don't see how it can be classified as anything but YA with the insta-love, undeveloped world and predictable plotline. To anyone who is considering reading this, I would recommend to just read something by Leigh Bardugo instead. 

Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco 

I'm in the minority again here, but I thought this book was absolutely dire. I've actually covered this before in my Unpopular Bookish Opinions post, but we had another classic case of a 'strong' female main character in Audrey here (who doesn't actually achieve anything during this book without a man by her side), as well as the typical insta-love and predictability of a bad YA novel. The book was also pretty disrespectful towards the facts of what happend to the Jack the Ripper victims, and Maniscalco had clearly used the case as a backdrop to her story for clout purposes and little else. I couldn't believe the entire section at the back of the book which explained and apologised for the historical inaccuracy of what she had written - if you want to write a fiction, write a fiction. Don't have a mashup between fact and reality to sell more copies of your book and disrespect all of the women who were killed and their families in the process of doing so. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han 

I absolutely loved the Lara Jean trilogy when I read it all in one go this summer, so I moved straight onto the Summer trilogy with my hopes sky-high. I don't know what happened to Jenny Han in between writing this trilogy and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, but I'm glad it happened, because this book was one of the worst books I've ever read. I couldn't (and still can't) believe these 2D characters were written by the same author who is responsible for the indepth and complex Song sisters - some of the best constructed characters in YA! There was also far too much jumping back and forth in the timeline of the story here, so it was hard to even remember what was happening at points. A total shame, because I would've loved to love this trilogy. 

The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson 

I think I was always doomed to dislike this book because I very rarely like stories which leave the ending open to the reader's interpretation. That said, I do think it can be effective if it's executed properly, but I didn't find this book much more than messy and confusing. I also hated all of the characters which, again, can sometimes be effective, but here just made it an absolute chore to get through a 150 page book. I haven't watched the Netflix adaptation yet, but I may still give it a go because I've heard it's very different to the book - which makes sense, because I don't know how you'd make a TV show out of a book in which nothing happens. 

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