Everyone has their own opinion about what qualifies as a good read, whether based on literary merit or the joy of reading it.
But there are some titles that people can pretty easily agree took a turn that really didn't do the book any favors.
Redditor 2D_brain asked:
"What's the worst book you've ever read?"
50 Shades of Grey
"'50 Shades of Grey.' It's just the worst. Not remotely interesting. There is way better erotica out there. Way better. This is just the worst."
The Darksword Trilogy
"'The Darksword Trilogy' by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It started out as a decent enough swords and sorcery series. Nothing special, but an amusing time-waster."
"Then, towards the end of the last book, a wormhole opens up, and the US Army invaded their fantasy realm."
"I’ve read 'Mein Kampf' for a history project and it definitely is the worst piece of literature I've ever read."
"Not only by the message, which already would make it the worst, but it’s just horrible writing. Feels more like an angry social media comment than a book."
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
"I want to tack on 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas,' as well. It's not literal Nazi propaganda, but it basically perpetuates Nazi myths like the Clean Wehrmacht and has you sympathize with the Nazis. In fact, not any Nazi, but an SS and leader of the Auschwitz camp."
"But even ignoring the plot itself, the book is so awful. It's full of historical inaccuracies. It claims to aim to bring awareness of the Holocaust to a young audience, but there are so many better literary works including those written by actual children as they went through the experience. But nope, let's go with the historically inaccurate book written by someone with basically no connection to the Holocaust (like, not Jewish, minority, researcher, that kind of thing) stupid drivel."
"So, of course, it made millions and got a movie out of it. There are now millions of children who think this story is true and might have become more sympathetic to Nazis as a result as well. None of that money (last time I checked, has admittedly been a while) went towards anything relating to education (or awareness...) regarding the Holocaust or anything else related or tangentially related to the Holocaust."
"I hate this book. It's nonsense and it is insidious."
Go Ask Alice
"'Go Ask Alice' when you’re old enough to realize it’s just propaganda to scare kids and not an actually found diary of a drug user."
Go Set a Watchman
"'Go Set a Watchman.'"
"'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a masterpiece. Her first book, it won the Pulitzer and then Harper Lee lived the rest of her life a recluse, never publishing another work. UNTIL… her caretaker/grifter sister came forward right before Harper passed away and announced to the world that there actually was another book, a sequel to TKAM."
"It was awful. Poorly written, boring story, rehashed characters…except for Atticus Finch. In Mockingbird, he was one of the greatest characters in american literature. In Watchman, he was a dime-a-dozen redneck racist. There was clearly a reason she never published it."
"'Wicked.' My wife and I listened to the audiobook on a road trip because friends had invited us to see the play. It was way too long and I remember it seeming like it was written by several different writers who didn't really communicate with each other."
"One was a totally nuts conspiracy theorist, another was on a really bad acid trip, and another was a child from a strict household who'd been told they could use no-no words and say naughty things all they wanted."
"We came super close to making up an excuse to not see the play but luckily we didn't. The play was actually terrific! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend going. Just skip the book."
"Everything after Book Three of the 'Maximum Ride' series. I use them as my go-to examples of bad writing and they are what made me entirely lose faith in James Patterson. The last book especially cost me so many brain cells."
"I wish I'd had the foresight to stop with Book Three, but I finished the whole thing. The last book was... interesting. The whole thing had the most self-contradicting plot and conflict stuffed with a hasty attempt to wrap up loose ends by just killing everyone and just as the cherry on top, the sky explodes in the end? I don't know, it was kind of unclear."
The Divergent Trilogy
"I loved that series so much until that ending..."
The Dune Prequels
"'The Dune' prequel books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Talk about missing the point of the original series! They read like a YA fan fiction based in the Dune universe."
"I was hoping someone would mention Colleen Hoover, if only to talk about how absolutely terrible and hilarious her book 'Slammed' is. Reading it was honestly just such a ridiculous experience that I may never find again in another book."
"'The Necronomicon.' I found it pretty boring and repetitive after the first five pages. Got halfway and said f**k this and read 'Good Omens' again."
"'Darling Girl' by Liz Michalski. It’s a Peter Pan spinoff where Peter Pan impregnates Holly Darling, Wendy’s daughter, and then abandons them, and when the girl is a teenager, Peter tries to take the daughter back."
"I couldn’t stomach the idea of Peter Pan, a childlike figure, impregnating someone and all that ick. Peter Pan is 'the boy who never grew up.' But he’s a father now? No thanks. I got about 30 pages in, and literally gave up."
"'The Fountainhead.' I was going to put 'Atlas Shrugged' down until I remembered how much worse 'The Fountainhead' was. And yes, I read both; any suffering inflicted by 'Atlas Shrugged' was something I deserved."
Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and they should not be ashamed to read what they love to read. But they also should not feel bad about wasting time on a book they are not enjoying, when there are hundreds and thousands of books out there that they'll love that they could read instead.