In Which I Admit That the Books I Hate Aren’t COMPLETELY Terrible (yes, it was hard)

So, I have a few books that one could call my arch-nemeses. There are books I strongly dislike, and then there are books that came into my house, punched me in the face, and stole my dog. (Actually, I’m just a drama queen.) I’m here to talk about the latter! In a strange way, I kind of love them. I mean, I hate them, but I love them, so why not talk about them? I just want to talk about the good things these books had going for them and why, ultimately, those good things weren’t enough to get me to like them. Poor books.

Sarah came up with this idea, and it was too good for me to pass up. So I stole it.

Six of Crows

That’s right! Because I like to start things off with a bit of spicy controversy, I’m here to bash the book community’s fave.

I mean, say good things. That’s what we’re here for.

I like that Inej was Romani-coded? It’s sad, but I’ve hardly ever seen Romani main characters. They’re usually relegated either to the MyStIcAl side characters or else to the eeeevil vagrant role. Sometimes both, for good measure! So yeah, I liked that this book actually gave Inej a real, major role.

I also liked…

Hold on. Let me think.

Okay, okay, I’ll be fair. I actually liked or at least didn’t mind most of the side characters. Inej, the deuteragonist, was underdeveloped with poorly written trauma, but her basic concept was good. I couldn’t connect with Jesper, but again, I think the basic concept was good, and he wouldn’t need nearly as much fleshing out in order to get me to like him as Inej. I actually genuinely liked Wylan and Matthias! I’ll always (sometimes) have a hankering for the cute, soft characters, so Wylan was nice, and Matthias was the one character I would say was genuinely fleshed-out and complex. I legit loved Matthias! He was cool! And yeah, he did a lot of stupid things and had kind of violent tendencies, but I think it definitely made sense in context with his backstory. I like characters who go through some kind of conflict. Especially characters who realize they’re on the wrong side and slowly realize they have to leave behind everything they were taught. Just…God, I will always love that kind of arc.

(As a side note, it’s been a while since I read this, but I cannot remember one personality trait Nina had? Did she have any??)

Anyway, I don’t think I’d hate this book at all if it weren’t for the fact that I wanted to punt the smirking edgelord of a hero across the Pacific the whole time I was reading. (Did Kaz smirk? He seems like the sort of guy who would smirk.) Now, I don’t think I would have liked it even without Kaz–I personally didn’t find a lot of depth to the story–but Kaz did a LOT to tip my feelings over the edge.

Also, I just love gratuitous glorified torture scenes!! 😍 We stan complex handlings of violence. (And the anti-Asian racism–I’m SORRY I know I’m supposed to be saying good things.)

In conclusion, I stan Matthias and kind-of Wylan and would ditch everyone else.

The Cruel Prince

Madoc. Madoc was the only good part of this book and I stand by what I said. The book kept trying to tell me he was sooo violent and unmanageable but he was actually the most reasonable and intelligent character in the book? I still agree with what I said in my review about how he should have been the protagonist of the story. Also, he’s the only character who actually, you know…does stuff?

I also like the premise of this story! Human girl takes over fairy kingdom is not a bad plot at all. I just wish there were more actually-taking-over-the-kingdom parts and less vaguely rapey parts.

Red Riding Hood

Actually, you know what, there were no good parts of this book. Throw the whole thing away.

I reviewed it, sort of

Snow Like Ashes

Oh God.

I hated this one for the girl-hate and the dissing of sewists. And also Meira was a brat and the soldiers fighting for the villain were demonized even though they were literally magically brainwashed?? Apparently? I guess? And the plot was the most cliche high-fantasy plot you can come across 😷

I read this when I was young, so it has been a while, but I thought the concept of dividing kingdoms into seasons was very cool. Like sure, it’s not actually possible if you apply logic to it, but fantasy doesn’t always work off of logical assumptions! Also, I liked how the people from Winter had white hair and were immune to the cold, especially because I would also like to be immune to the weather.

Also, THERON OR THEON OR WHATEVER HIGH-FANTASY NAME HE HAD. HE WAS THE BEST. I stan my poet prince! He literally was so unproblematic and just wanted to help people, and was so good at connecting with people on an individual level 💙 But of course Meira went for the cardboard one instead.

The Belles

The fat queer character got killed off in a really graphic and unnecessary way, but I mostly just disliked it because every character (aside from the fat queer character who died) was flat. And the worldbuilding wasn’t that developed, either?

But! I don’t really have strong feelings about this book one way or the other. I mean, I didn’t like it, but there wasn’t a lot I hated, either. I do think that, while the world was underdeveloped, the story definitely created a strong atmosphere? I liked that. Also, it was nice to have a black mc in a fantasy novel! (Do I capitalize the words black and white when referring to ethnicity? Google keeps giving me conflicting answers and I’m so confused.) Having a black main character in a fantasy shouldn’t be something that’s unusual, but unfortunately I feel like black mcs in fantasy can be a little hard to come across. (They’re definitely there, though!) Either that or else I’m looking in the wrong places.

I don’t even hate this book, I just dislike it. So it shouldn’t even be on this list, but I needed a way to pad out that word count somehow ❤

Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares

I said on Goodreads that this duology felt like a fever dream, and I stand by what I said! It was long-winded and just sooo problematic >.< The handling of slavery and sexual assault was low-key abysmal? I mean, Eril-Fane was okay, but Ruby being implied to assault slaves was not as quirky as the story thought it was! And Lazlo was such a Mary Sue, my God. Anyway, this and The Cruel Prince are my favorite books to hate! (I have favorite books to hate because I’m an incredibly hateful person.)

I think some of the concepts set up in this book were very, very cool. I still love the idea of the ghost bird, and I love the idea of someone who can manipulate dreams! I’d kind of like to write a character with dream powers myself someday. Also, I loved the library and I kind of wish the whole book could have taken place there!

Eril-Fane is the king of character development and you cannot tell me otherwise. He deserved a better book. He deserved to be the protagonist. I love him! (And frankly, I’m kind of salty over the fact that the narrative kept dragging him over the coals for killing those kids. Which sounds like an absolutely RIDICULOUS thing to say out of context, but seriously, he had no reason to believe that the kids wouldn’t be super-powered montrous spawns of Satan. His decision definitely made sense in context with both what Eril-Fane knew at the time and with everything he had been through, and he was just trying to prevent his country’s people from going through systematic mass rape and murder again. In fact, you know what? The kids we saw were spawns of Satan. I say Eril-Fane should have killed more kids and we should all respect his right to kill kids–is that a mob with pitchforks and torches I see outside my window?)

And the way science/alchemy (kind of the same thing in this world) was portrayed in this was beautiful and amazing and it should have!! been the focus of the book!! The science was waay more interesting than any magic systems the book had. But really, I think the author honestly got the magical, wonderful nature of science that a lot of people miss. (Including me. I FAILED at science.)

I loved Thyon, but I have no idea if I would have latched onto him if there were other good characters who had screen-time. (My king Eril-Fane deserved SO much more screen-time *cries*) There were…a lot of things that went wrong, to say the least, but his arc was so compelling! But yeah, I liked him because he was mentally ill and queer thank GOD I have Wei Wuxian to fill that need now he was a fairly unique take on a character type I love! Give me all the cold-hearted characters who realize they have feelings, okay? Some of his scenes were really emotional, especially in the second book? I wish the whole book could have been like the best Thyon scenes.

Anyway, there’s a lot I like about this book, which is why I hate it so much. There’s nothing I hate more than something I wish I could like. What was it Cardan said? ‘I hate you so much all I can think of is you?’ ‘I hate you so much I can barely breathe?’ Something like that? But I have a simple plan to fix this book, and all disaster can be averted! Except not, because it’s already published. But oh well!

anyway, I think the story should have been a trashy, problematic gay romance between Lazlo and Thyon. That, cutting most of the purple prose, and adding in some adventure would have made this one of my favorites. As well as cutting the weird parts with the sexual assault, the unhandled xenophobia and internalized homophobia (seriously, a word of advice to people out there, if you aren’t going to handle important topics and devote time to them please do not put them in your story), and the weirdly ableist bits. Then we would have the perfect story.

Or, you know, it could have just been a tasteful novel about Eril-Fane and Azareen and that would have been great.

Anyway, while you guys are absolutely not allowed to read my Strange the Dreamer review because it was my first review and it was TERRIBLE, here’s my Muse of Nightmares review

The Guinevere Deception

This isn’t a book I hate, more one that I have strongly mixed feelings about, but I put this here so I can say one thing:

MORDRED.

That is all.

Many thanks to Sarah for letting me borrow her idea! I literally had so much fun with this. I feel like this was more of a roast than actually saying good things about the stories, but oh well.

The Identity Crisis Book Tag

Sophie (I love her name, btw) did a book tag this week, and while she didn’t tag anyone, I loved the tag so much? I had to do it. 🙂 It’s not like I have anything better to do then take a lot of quizzes, anyway. A plague is happening! I might as well have a bit of fun.

So, basically, I have to take a bunch of book quizzes and find out which characters I’m most like! I’m excited.

The Rules

  1. Take all the quizzes down below and record your answers somehow. I decided to just copy the text from each quiz and paste it into my post, but screenshots work too! Whatever floats your goat (Yes goat. I SAID WHAT I SAID).
  2. NO CHEATING. You get one shot to take each quiz my friends. I’m watching you. ∗Suspicious squinty eyes∗
  3. Use this post to give credit to the creator Loretta @ The Laughing Listener or tag me on twitter @LaughnListener so I can see everyone’s answers!!
  4. Tag some friends to spread the fun

(Sophie added a couple of quizzes and changed some of them, I think, so it’s a little different then how it was originally. Also, the quiz answers are in italics)

Shadowhunters

I barely remember this book. I think I read it when I was like…eleven? I thought it was dumb, but I was like eleven, lol. I’m not rereading it to find out, though!

(I chose Riverdale for the tv show and spite as my motivation lmao) (I don’t watch Riverdale but the clips I’ve seen of it were hilarious in the worst way possible and I loved them)

Jem Carstairs and Alec Lightwood!

You’re selfless yet guarded, protective and romantic. You value those around you more than yourself, and sometimes you need to be reminded to take a moment for yourself! You’re the friend that everyone loves to have around, even if you doubt it sometimes.

JEM?? I haven’t read the book he’s in. From what I heard, isn’t he the cute, sweet guy who’s always picking up the pieces after Tessa and Will’s toxic relationship? And he’s like, been poisoned or something? And Alec is the queer character, right?

I’ve never read the Infernal Devices and it’s been a really long time since I’ve read City of Bones, so I apologize if I got something wrong, but anyway, I couldn’t be happier with this result! Jem sounded like the best character in the book.

Throne of Glass

I know nothing about this book!

Chaol Westfall

You’re Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guard: you’re loyal and dependable to the death, with a mind as sharp as the swords you wield. But watch that your sardonic sense of humour doesn’t come across as plain old sarcastic, and lighten up from time to time – who wants to be seen as a grump?

I…I guess? I don’t know who this is. Fun quiz though!

The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen

You are strong-willed, enduring, determined, and sacrificing. You are not afraid to speak your mind and there is no use in trying to change it, because you’re here to get down to business and to protect your loved ones, no matter who stands in the way.

As surprised as I am by this–I kind of thought I’d get Peeta–this makes a lot of sense. I think I am the most like Katniss. We’re both pretty guarded and we have a sharp, sarcastic sense of humor, I think.

Harry Potter

I legitimately have no idea which Harry Potter character I’m most like. Buzzfeed, inform me!

Neville Longbottom!!!

You’re awkward and clumsy and hate being the center of attention. But you’re brave and big-hearted and people can always trust you to help them out in a bad situation.

I mean, this does not describe me at all and Buzzfeed is wrong, but I still feel so lucky! I love Neville.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I know nothing about this book other than what Cindy said about it! (From the youtube channel Read with Cindy. She’s hilarious. I feel like I have a good idea of what the book is about just from her.)

Amren

You are Amren. You can come of as vain, cunning, and temperamental, but under all that you can be caring. You prefer being by yourself. Nearly everyone is terrified of you and don’t want to get on your bad side, because you would make there life worse than hell. You only have a small group of friends and you would do anything for them, and them for you.

Okay, I have no idea who this is, but I feel like I’m getting a lot of the mean characters here and it’s starting to be kind of funny. In case you’re wondering, yes, most online quizzes have told me I’m a Slytherin.

The Raven Cycle

If I don’t get Gansey the quiz is wrong

Update: I got Richard Gansey!!

Ah, Gansey. You really know how to get people together and you probably have no idea how important that skill is. You’re likely invested in one particular subject or task, or you have a great interest in finding what someone might call “the meaning of your life”. Like Gansey, you’re a natural mediator. You have an almost supernatural trait which allows you to easily communicate with different kinds of people. A trait that makes you very likable amongst your peers and surroundings. Though, be careful not to hide your feelings under all that politeness. People are not made of plastic.

So, I’m not sure if the description fits me, because I’m not sure if I’m good at talking to people or not, but I definitely am a lot like Gansey in general. I love history and folklore, and I would drag my friends off on a silly quest to wake a sleeping, centuries-old king regardless of the consequences! (If I had friends, that is. XD ) But seriously, I’ve always really related to Gansey. I’m probably a mixture of Gansey and Ronan, because I like learning things but I’m also really angry a lot

Twilight

This book is such a guilty pleasure for me.

Jasper…Hale?!!!

Hey, Jasper. Howdy there! You’re quite reserved, but we know there’s a whole lot of personality underneath that icy undead skin of yours. People look to you for leadership in times of conflict — no one’s better at strategizing than you. Just remember: It’s OK to smile every once in a while.

So I am, apparently, the Confederate soldier who wants to eat people. Yay!

I’m even from the South. The quiz knew. *sobs* I’m so sorry, everyone. Is it bad that I find this hilarious?

The Cruel Prince

I hated this book lmao

I’m going to say I’m most like Madoc, though! I related to him most, at least

Jude.

You are strong and once you make a decision, you won’t back down. Your resilience is both admirable and terrifying at the same time.

Oh.

Whatever. I’m most like Madoc.

Lunar Chronicles

Fun fact! I have never read any of these books.

Winter

Step-daughter of Queen Levana. She regarded as the most beautiful person on Luna, even with three scars across her face, which are rumored to have been caused by a jealous Levana. She refuses to use her Lunar gift of glamouring and manipulation and has slowly been driven crazy as a result.

She sounds cool!

Percy Jackson

If I don’t get Nico it’s the quiz’s fault, not mine! I have related to that kid since I was a wee eleven-year-old.

Magnus Chase

You’re super resourceful and self-reliant, although this can encourage your loner instincts. But when you make friends, you stick up for them. You just do this in your own clever, funny way, avoiding conflict unless absolutely necessary. But hey, we know you’re not averse to mixing it up if you have to. The fact that you can make it all look so easy, all while focusing on diet and fitness? Teach us your ways, Einherji.

What? I don’t even know who this is. Whatever.

An Ember in the Ashes

I loved this book a lot

Elias

Like Elias, who doesn’t want the violent life of a soldier that’s been carved out for him and is fighting for his soul, you value freedom above all else.

I knew I’d get this cinnamon bun! I love this boy.

Six of Crows

I didn’t really like this book either…*hides* *I’m sorry it’s my fault* I hope I get Wylan or Inej, though. They were both really cool.

Kaz…

Okay, before I post the description, I have to say, WHAT? I’m so mad.

You are most like Kaz, a criminal prodigy and rising star among Ketterdam’s gangs. Cunning, quick-witted, and a born leader, you are a planner who leaves nothing to chance. But beware: though you excel at trickery, you’re dangerously good at fooling yourself.

Okay, okay, maybe the ‘dangerously good at fooling yourself’ part MIGHT be true, under certain circumstances. I’ll be right back, I have to become a seventeen-year-old Gary Stu mob boss and pull off a heist. (I’m eighteen, though. This is already going to be hard.)

I would like to apologize to everyone’s problematic faves I insulted! I love YA, but I love bashing YA more. This was such a hilarious and fun thing to do (I still can’t believe I got JASPER of all people, that was probably the funniest one to me).

Okay, and before I forget (because I’ve been forgetting for about a month), I am now on Goodreads! Or something. I still can’t figure out how Goodreads works, and I’ve accidentally posted a review before I was ready twice now, so that’s fun!

Anyway, I’m not tagging anyone, but if you want to do this, feel free. 😉