bookish listopia: these books were a bad plan

These Books Were a Bad Plan… Why Did I Read Them?!

Posted January 30, 2018 by Amber in Memes / 14 Comments


Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books.  I’ve gone through a lot of phases.  Not all of these books are gems.  That isn’t to say that they are the worst books in the world – in fact, for the purposes of this list, I’m going with books that aren’t necessarily bad books – but man, oh man… they were not good fits for me.  Looking back on these, I wouldn’t pick these up again.  The glitz and glamour is gone!

witchy divider

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Size 12 Is Not Fat

by Meg Cabot

This book was the most frustrating read because despite the title, the main character spends a lot of time trying (with limited success) to convince herself of the same thing.  I just was so exasperated about how empowering this book was NOT that I honestly can’t believe I finished it.

Okay, and here’s the other thing.   Heather Wells?  She’s the most shallow, frustrating creature.  The story itself isn’t bad, but Heather is silly and it’s genuinely amazing that she solves the crime.

This books is meant for readers who like fluffy, fun reads with a “spunky” character and a murder that’s solved with mostly luck.  Not for me!

Don Quixote

by Miguel de Cervantes

I like many classics, but Don Quixote was definitely not for me.  I didn’t read it in its original Spanish, so it’s possible I had a terrible translation, but the entire thing was a tongue twister of disappointment.  I do like the musical version of this story, “The Man of La Mancha”.

I think that behind the language, there may be a good story.  Sometimes I still wonder if I would love it if I picked up another edition, but I am not motivated enough to trudge through this 1000+ page book again.  The version linked is not the one I read… I read a green leather-bound one, and can’t find that edition… but if you see it, I’d advise skipping it….


A History of Pagan Europe

by Prudence J. Jones & Nigel Pennick

I went through a period when I decided I really wanted to learn more about Paganism and the ancient development of religion in Western Europe. Don’t  get me wrong – this book isn’t mad and I’m still madly interested in various religions, but trying to plunge through multiple non-fiction cultural and theological books tired me out very quickly.  I know that loads of people read nothing but non-fiction, but as interested as I am in the facts, my heart belongs to fiction.

I think this particular volume missed its point… giving random snapshots of each religion instead of an equal, in-depth description.  You learn some things, but there’s a lot of filler language.



by Laurell K. Hamilton

I discussed recently my love and disappointment with the Anita Blake series, and the novella Micah is the epitome of my disappointment.  I was a senior in high school and had finally caught up with the series… and then I purchased Micah.  As it turned out, Micah was just about a liaison between Anita and one of her many amours. *sigh*

If you like supernatural romance, and light erotica… the Anita Blake series is a good fit for you.  I just don’t understand why I can’t get a proper story without the plot being “Anita has sex”.





The Mill River ReclusE

by Darcie Chan

This was not a choice of mine – The Mill River Recluse was a book club pick through work.  My work book club is weird… we had three people with starkly different interest in books so every time one girl would pick, I’d be all bummed out, and every time I’d pick she wouldn’t be able to really get into the book.  We eventually disbanded, drawn together only by a mutual friend.

This one could have been a lot better, honestly?  It reads like it could have been a really good book about debilitating social anxiety, but a lot of time is spent on eating disorders, but it was bad rep and cliche.

Other reviews say this feels like a novelization of a Lifetime movie.  I’d say that’s fair.  Yuck.


Divine by Mistake

by P. C. Cast

I have learned to stay away from books written by a cast – Kristen or P. C. – because I never like them.

This book, in short, is about a woman who gets switched with a vain goddess through a magic vase.  She marries a very well-endowed centaur who turns into a well-endowed man for vigorous relations.  Then she leads a war and decides she loves being a goddess and there will be more books in this series.


See, I have learned to be a lot more careful about the books I choose.  One of my top three reasons for reading YA:  the fantasy novels don’t devolve into sex.


A Gift of Ghosts

by Sarah Wynde

For a brief period after I got my Kindle Fire, I decided I was going to read more eBooks and to begin, I started going through all the free options in the Kindle Store in 2014-ish.  For the most part, this resulted in a lot of DNFs.  I ended up with a couple reads I enjoyed, but for the most part I found books so poorly written that I couldn’t get past the first couple chapters.

Those were the sort of books that give self-published titles a bad name.  I still try to read things that are self-published and small-published because I don’t think it’s fair that they get lost in heaps of mediocre books when some are quite good.

A Gift of Ghosts is not the worst of these.  I finished it, after all.  It had a really hard time trying to figure out its tone, and it felt like it was trying too hard to follow a formula.



by A. G. Howard



I have such opinions of this book and I take a lot of opportunities to flail about all it could have been all it wasn’t.  This one?  I know why I read this one.  It’s an Alice in Wonderland retelling with a gorgeous cover.

What I don’t know is why I didn’t stop.  It’s one of those books you know firmly that is going to keep going downhill.  And so it did.  I should have put myself out of my misery.



by E. C. Segar

I have a soft spot for comic books.  Growing up, my brother had a million Garfield books.  I read them all.  For myself, I’ve always preferred Calvin and Hobbes for their childlike innocence mixed with philosophy.  At one point, I decided that I wanted to go back and read some other comics as an underappreciated medium in the bookish world.

I still think they’re underappreciated, by the way.

The thing with Popeye… I picked Popeye because when I was a kid, my maternal grandfather used to draw him and I adored that grandfather.  For the most part, this strip is decent, even though it was written in the 30s.

Oh boy, then you get into the racist stuff.

As seen in many of the pre-1960s cartoons and comics, visual representation of non-caucasian races is totally inappropriate and unacceptable.  I couldn’t get through it.  This book is gone.

The Rise of Darth Vader

by James Luceno


So, this book was given to me with the best of intentions, knowing I historically enjoy the Star Wars novelizations and had collected more than half the New Jedi Order series.  It’s the third book in a sub-series, totally not canon (nothing is really canon that was written before The Force Awakens at this point) but at least it can be read as a follow up to Revenge of the Sith.

As a Star Wars fan who genuinely likes (mostly) the prequels, Revenge of the Sith did not leave me wanting from more Anakin/Vader.

But I read it, because it was a gift, and as expected, I didn’t like it.  It was awkwardly written and I did not care about the characters (even though in all other forms, Obi-Wan is the best).

Oh well.

Top Ten Tuesdays is brought to us by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s prompt is:

Books I Can’t Believe I Read


Head on over to her blog to check out other books in the linkup!


Do you have any books you regret reading?

Have you read and enjoyed any of these books?

Do you ever purposely pick up books that you know you won’t like?

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14 responses to “These Books Were a Bad Plan… Why Did I Read Them?!

  1. I salute you for making it through Don Quixote, that book is one heck of a beast! I know exactly what you mean about Splintered despite the fact that I haven’t even read it. I was tempted to pick it up because I love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and I do love a retelling (and those covers are gorgeous) but I’m bored of retellings of this story involving mental hospitals. That retellings could inspire talk about mental health is fantastic, but I’d love to see it handled in a different way in regards to this source material. Great list!

    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Can't Believe I Read
    • Amber

      Man, with Splintered, it wasn’t even a GOOD rep of mental health. I’d mind less if it was good.

      Don Quixote was such a chore. Formulaically, it has so many things I ought to enjoy… but the writing… oy.

    • Amber

      I think it depends on WHY you were going into it. For me, the mental health rep was really disrespectful, the heroine was had zero self-worth and stumbled into the right answers while being manipulated by boys, and then the boys themselves were both brooding angry selfish jerks. Lol. BUTTTTT it has a really high Goodreads rating, so there are loads of people out there who LOVED it.

  2. It’s true that some books draw us in because of a gorgeous cover or hype or because they are a classic and “how come you’ve never read that?” but in the end, as you say, they are not a fit for us. The older I get the more I make sure I read books i like even while I still challenge myself to new genres.

    • Amber

      I think as I get older I’m actually getting worse! I pick up more books out of my comfort range than I used to. I’m a big re-reader, so any new book is a change for me. But it’s also a risk. I hope you find some amazing books this year!

  3. I still have no clue what ‘don quixote’ is about but I don’t think I’ll ever read that book. I think some classics you just skipped. I haven’t heard of the other titles on your list but I definitely would not pick them up.

    it used to be that bad books have terrible covers so you know they are bad but these days, even the worst books have the best covers. I would definitely take a peek at ‘splintered’ just by the cover.

    have a lovely day.

    • Amber

      It’s about a Spanish nobleman who sees the way the world is and looks back upon knights and Arthurian legend and decides it could – and should – be better. He decides he’ll be a knight errant and there’s a scene where he attacks a window, and he embarrasses all his family members. There is some argument that his behavior is caused by mental illness… but honestly, a lot of this I’m remembering from the musical – the novel itself was a bit difficult to decipher. 🙂

      The “Splintered” cover was such a draw in! It’s a trap, be ye warned. 😛

  4. Hahaha, I made a Youtube video that’s coming out soon about what series’ I gave up on, and the Anita Blake series made the list. I rant about it for a bit haha. Like, you’re about zombies, be about zombies!!!

    • Amber

      RIGHT?! The first three books were SOLID and it just went downhill to solid #NOPE from there. A lot of people still like them, of course, but dang it! I didn’t want supernatural erotica.

    • Amber

      You may still like it! A lot of people really enjoyed that book and it gets a pretty high Goodreads rating! I hope you have a very different experience than me and love it!

    • Amber

      ACTUALLY. I do like another series she wrote quite a lot – Abandon? It’s a Persephone retelling and I’ve only read the first book, but I loved it. It’s just Heather Wells that was #NOPE.