Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

You know the worst part about reading a bad book?

A lot of the times you won't know it's bad until you've finished it.
While you might get a sense a book is bad a few chapters in, it's all in how the story leaves you feeling, and there's nothing worse than feeling bad after devoting time to a story with lame main characters or an unsatisfying finish.
SPOILERS for all stories listed below, obviously.

Reddit user, u/Lukestep11, wanted to know what to avoid at their next bookstore visit when they asked:

What's the worst book you've ever read?

Kids and young adults need good books, too. While you should never discourage a young person from reading something they like, try to steer them in the direction of something quality.

Rules Need To Make Sense

"The Giver by Lois Lowry"

"It was alright but it explained the dynamic of that fictional world way too late in the book"


A.K.A. Tale Of The Special Chosen Special One

"Honestly, "Divergent" is one of the worst books I've ever read. I never continued after the first one because I genuinely didn't care and I'm not at all surprised the movies performed so poorly that they never got to finish in theatres.... or even out of theatres. I'd say about 75% of that book is Tris (I think that's the protagonist's name) thinking: "Four is looking at me. Why is he looking at me? Surely he can't be looking at me, plain Jane Tris." It just really beats you over the head with the fact that Four wants to bone her. Anyway, the whole thing is just a series of dystopian YA novel cliches. Maybe I'm being too harsh on it, but eh."


"Ah yes, the five personality traits: Nice, Honest, Farmer, Evil and Parkour."

"And if you have more than one personality trait, you're super special."


"Basically an entire book catering to the demographic of teenagers who believe that they are very complex and sophisticated, and everyone else in their life is bland and boring"


From The Mouths Of Fanged Babes

"Twilight. I decided to give it a try when I found out a girl I was seeing loved those books. My God it reads like bland fanfiction. Although in fairness, being a guy in his late 20's, I was probably not the target demographic."


"I read it as a 14 year old girl and still hated it lmao, so I can assure you it's not just you"


Want To Get Bleak? Let's Get Bleak.

"The Last Children of Schewenborn. It is an acclaimed children's book but in my opinion, it's way too dark and traumatizing. It is a post apocalypse children's book about what happens after a nuclear explosion."

"Story starts with a visit to the grandparents house when they witness a nuclear explosion on the way."


"The grandparents seemed to have died early on from the explosion when they went out to the supermart to shop for the visiting family. They are the lucky ones. The rest of the family survived.... Only to have sister dies from cancer, the mother dies after giving birth to a child without eyes, hands and feet, the boy himself is implied to have some symptoms from radiation."



"Awakened, by Colleen Houck. I'm very much a completionist and hardly ever abandon anything before finishing it. I couldn't get past page 100. It has it all: casual racism, cringy dialogue, nonsensical magic system, spoiled rich mary sue-ish female protag, ""mysterious bad boy"" love interest who forces her into doing what he wants and casually gashlights her... it's essentially a bad YA bingo and I hate it."


There's a serious problem when a book tries to portray a relationship in a serious light and fails.


50 Shades Of Effed Up

"Tried to read 50 Shades of... not f-cking worth it. Horrifically written, incredibly bad portrayal of BDSM/SM/DS relationships."


"I had heard this was horrible, but I borrowed a friends copy and read it anyway, because I didn't want to judge without knowing for sure. I don't know who got a better calorie burn-Ana "I can't believe this flithy rich god like man loves me of all people" Steel or me, from the continuous eye rolling."


Treat Your Husband Like A Infant. That'll Do It.

"A marriage advice/help book written by a pair of popular Youtube vloggers who mostly make parody songs and family vlogs."

"I was asked to read and review it for publication and had to give up after a few chapters because the advice was so unrealistic as to make me puke. One chapter on sex had the wife saying when she noticed her ridiculously hot husband moping around and being sh-tty, she would go "Oh honey do you need to have sex? Do you need it RIGHT now?" like he was a toddler and she was giving him a toy to appease him because he was grumpy. Like, WTF? I found it to be overly infantalizing and puke inducing."


People Share The Most Selfless Thing They've Ever Secretly Done | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Pretending To Better Than You Are

"Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis."

"Under the guise of giving tough-love advice, she plagiarizes a bunch of quotes by other people and she details an extremely toxic relationship with a man who ends up being her husband."

"After this dumpster fire book, she and the husband pretend to be experts in relationships and marriage and charge people thousands to go to their seminars..."

"They're divorced now."


Just because something is considered a "classic" or written by a popular author doesn't necessarily mean it's any good.

Also, Just Because It Has A Movie Doesn't Mean It's Good

"Dreamcatcher by Stephen King."

"I tried. I swear. The perspective made it hard to follow and the story itself was incoherent at best. Supposedly King was high while writing it, which is very much reflected in the words."


Tried And Failed Multiple Times? Just Give Up.

"Depends on your definition of 'worst'."

"Ulysses falls into my category of the worst book I've attempted to read. After multiple failed attempts, I've resolved to stop cracking my head."


Socialist Twist!

"The Communist Manifesto. It's honestly not as good as people say it is."

"I'll stick with reading the Doctrine of Fascism"


So Boring You Dropped It

"The only book I've ever put down without finishing it was The Red Badge of Courage. A complete bore hole."


Don't Start Your Life With A Single Absolute

"Atlas Shrugged."

"nothing more needs to be said."


"I can respect the idea but man... its like a psychopath trying to justify being a horrible person."

"I think it's a masterpiece. Not because the message is good but the opposite. The message is deranged and a great look into the mind of someone who was privileged, lost that privilege, and whines it's their birthright or they "deserve" it, whatever."

"My wife loves it and she's the absolute opposite of the people in the novel, kind and empathic. It's the weirdest thing."


Yeah, What Is Age?

"Jane Eyre"

"I mean seriously the dude could have been 40 and he was going to marry a 20 year old, and not tell her about her crazy ex wife that was living with them. WTF."


Feeling That Way While Reading Is Not A Good Sign

"Wuthering Heights was filled with some of the most detestable characters I've ever encountered in literature, so I'm going to go with that."


"Holy f-ck Wuthering Heights. I had to study it in school and it made me want to crack my head open on the desk"


Read what you want. Enjoy what you want.

Just don't be surprised if someone else thinks what you like is trash.

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