While I read some amazing books this year, 5 of the 130 I read were Terrible (got 1 pity star). In order of reading them:
- Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
It’s company policy that someone from IT monitors their email (the Y2K- internet panic is real, I guess). Two friends completely ignore that and continue emailing each other about life updates, etc. The ‘someone from IT’ (who works nights, plays D&D, stays with mother, no girlfriend/29 year old not over his high school sweetheart- that kind of stereotyping) reads these emails and falls in “love” with one of them.
This is so, so creepy. First of all, why would you discuss your personal life over work email (that you know someone else is reading)? Second, Big Brother much? Why would you hire someone to read people’s emails? That’s so…. Third, HOW DO YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU READ THEIR MAIL??? Fourth, oh wait, the guy is actually hot, muscular, whatever dreamboy that you save at the end, because of course. Five, why would the girl reciprocate what can only be called a clearly creepy obsession?
Why on earth is this book a romance, I’ll never know. Try horror/thriller. I worry about people sometimes.
2. Geekerella, by Ashley Poston
In one sentence- There was no need for this book.
Geekerella had a lot of potential to be a good book. It’s based on a classic fairy tale we all know, right? And there are lots of flaws in the way the tale turns out too. So the plot could move in pretty much any direction, and the book could turn out good. But it didn’t. And I’m so, so upset.
To begin with, Cinderella has been done a million times before, and so there really was no need for a new version unless it brought something new to the table. And this one didn’t. It stuck to the tale so much that even a little bit of discrepancy felt off.
Second, the premise of famous rockstar/actor/etc meets girl next door has also been overdone. There literally was no need to combine the two. It seemed like two different stories that just didn’t mesh well together.
Third, the character of an ‘I have insured my abs and I’m a heartthrob but with serious self doubt issues’ just doesn’t seem plausible.
Also, how did Elle’s dad NOT write a will? It just bothered me too much. I was hoping it’ll come up, but it didn’t.
The plot was predictable, the characters unidimensional and the style of writing was really not up my alley. I’ve definitely read better written fanfiction than this.
Overall, it was an echo of an imitation that really isn’t unforgettable.
3. Who Me Poor, by Gayatri Jayaraman
Where do I even start with this one?
This book is poorly researched, and executed in the form of a defensive, emotional tirade. First of all, no amount of defensive explanations would be enough to call I-Take-Ubers-to-work/ I-can’t-cook-so-I-order-out-every-day/ I-have-a-gambling-problem excuse giving people ‘poor’. No, there is no perfect definition of poverty; no, owning a smartphone might not make you poor, but owning a luxury car does make you rich.
Yes, Trump won because some insecure white people thought electing him would get them all jobs, but also yes, they’re privileged, because if they’re homeless, they’re still better off than so many.
Can we please, please think more before we write/publish such insensitive books (The publication house is Bloomsbury, you guys. Bloomsbury. 😦 ) that not only takes away from the real struggle (yes, when you don’t even have that much disposable income to spend on an Uber everyday, when you have volition with money and expenses, it is a more real struggle), but also reads like a common propaganda of Privileged people? Here’s ten reasons why I am rich and am scared to live in a capitalistic society! No! You can’t have it both ways.
Also read more here (Because I wrote it yaay.)
4. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I had so many expectations off this book, because girl coder going to Stanford? More of that PLEASE. But Dimple is a shitty person, who thinks she’s better than others, because she’s ‘not like other girls’ and ‘doesn’t like make up’ and your usual crap. And Rishi is stupid. Who meets someone and says I’m your future husband, without irony? This book was really doomed from the beginning. Where is coding in coding camp, buddy? Why is it full of fancy lunches and first edition copies, and dance-rehearsal on an SRK song? Why does Rishi’s brother teach them dancing? What???
And there was no plot. Let me summarize in 5 sentences: Girl and boy’s parents arrange their marriage. Girl doesn’t know and is tricked into going for coding camp. Boy knows, and is forced into going for coding camp, because parents are god. They hate each other, but are paired together (I have never been more surprised in my life. Eye roll). Boy woos girl by dancing to a song where the boy woos girl by dancing. The end.
It really felt like the obligatory POC based book to fill in the diversity quota. 🙄
There’s literally nothing that makes sense in this book. It was cringe-worthy from the beginning, and the character development was very, very shoddy. Just no.
(Or maybe I should not read YA?)
5. The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur
I don’t want to get on the hate on Rupi Kaur Bandwagon. This is legit not the worst book I’ve read this year. There was a LOT of potential in this, actually. I loved (well, not loved) the ones she wrote about her mother. For example, if she built upon the idea “in a dream/I saw my mother/with the love of her life/and no children/it was the happiest I’d ever seen her,” it could have gone places. But then, there were some really random phrases (not done well) like “never feel guilty for starting again” or “i will welcome/a partner/who is my equal” which is really not new, nor revolutionary (not even the turn of phrase is out of the ordinary. So no. Definitely a terrible book.