Mini Reviews of Books I Didn’t Love

I usually won’t finish reading a book I’m not into because let’s face it: there are more books available than I’ll ever be able to read in my lifetime. It’s not worth plodding through something unenjoyable. Yes, sometimes a book can make a surprising turnaround halfway through, or the ending redeems the whole thing, and how are you going to know unless you finish? If I think something like that is likely to happen, I’ll push through to the end. Sometimes they don’t deliver, and those books get 2 stars. They had potential, but ultimately disappointed.

Not everything is everyone’s cup of tea. Here are some 2 star books I didn’t love.

Needful Things – Stephen King

★★☆☆☆

I know, Stephen King? I love that guy. I probably would have loved this book too if it had involved fewer characters. Everyone in town was a protagonist, and every chapter switched to a different POV. Nothing really wrong with that, except I got attached to one or two characters that I met in the beginning, but then more and more and more came through until I couldn’t keep them all straight. Someone’s name would be mentioned, and I struggled to know who it was. (Also, sometimes the names were way too similar: there was Brian who bought the baseball card, and in the same chapter, a Brion. There are so many names in the world, Stephen.)

Maybe because I was trying to keep up with the characters, Leland Gaunt, the baddie, just didn’t do it for me. He was a very sit-back-and-watch-it bad guy. By the time I reached the climax, I was skimming. I’ve read long books before that pulled it off. This one didn’t.


Who do you Love – Jennifer Weiner

★★☆☆☆

Jennifer Weiner is another author whose disappointing book startled me.

This book started out so well. I cared about the characters and about them being together. I loved the young love aspect of the storytelling (the characters are children when they meet), and seeing a child/teen protagonist in an adult fiction book really portrays what it felt like when I was a kid. No glossing over the bad things to make it more palatable for a young reader. No damn teachable moments. I want more books like that.

Just like in my real life, adult life is painfully boring. The characters got involved with sororities and running, and then work and running, and it was like all the joy drained away.

The last forth of the book was full of emotional pulls I never did feel — like the author was trying to manipulate me. Once they finally met again (and left to believe they’ll get back together), I was done with them.


Just a Geek – Wil Wheaton

★★☆☆☆

I wanted to like this book because I’ve always liked watching Wil Wheaton. I mean, Wesley Crusher was a big draw for me watching Star Trek: The Next Generation when I was a kid (well, and Data), and seeing him play himself on The Big Bang Theory frankly makes that show bearable to watch.

This book chronicled a list of failures. While I understand he battles with depression (as do I), the whole point of the book seemed to be for him to mope about never getting work (while a glance at his IMDB page says that maybe he doesn’t get starring roles, but he does work).

I was glad to be done with this one. 


Keep You Safe – Rona Halsall

★★☆☆☆

This book started out so well (as most of my 2 star reviews begin). The characters were interesting and the author kept just enough information hidden that I was compelled to read on. But as I got closer to the middle, the more monotonous the plot became and (this is my fault, not the author’s) I didn’t really care about the baby. I wished a little something other than trying to get back the baby would happen (a subplot), but the character was one-tracked and I got tired of following her. I know better than to read a book about trying to get a child back … just can’t relate.

In the end, I guessed the twist (although it oddly felt pulled out of nowhere), and I was so tired of the cliche’d phrases and evil laughter, I was happy to be done with the book (I skimmed over most of the climax).


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