I haven't finished reading any fine vintage literature lately, so I don't have a review to post today. Instead, a few months ago there was a rather hilarious bookish tag going around the blogosphere, and I thought I'd fill it out. Here goes...my unapologetic thoughts on 5 books that I could definitely do without.
#1: An Over-Hyped Book
Situation: You are in a bookstore when the zombies attack. Over the loudspeakers you hear the military announce that over-hyped books are the zombies' only weakness. What over-hyped book will you chuck at the zombies?
The Hunger Games. Seriously. It's not that The Hunger Games is a bad book - indeed it's better than a lot of the YA fiction I've dipped my toes into - it's just that then I read Red Rising and realised that it was everything I'd wished The Hunger Games had been, and wasn't.
#2: A Sequel
Situation: You are caught in a torrential downpour and you're probably the type who melts when you get wet. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself.
Maybe this is cheating a little, but let's say Zorro: A Novel by Isabel Allende. The original Zorro of Johnstone McCulley's pulp novel The Curse of Capistrano (no, I'm not kidding) was a swashbuckling hero who dashed about with sword, pistol, and black horse righting injustices and stealing hearts. In Isabel Allende's dour, sour reboot of the story, highbrowishly subtitled ~*A Novel*~, Zorro rates high on gender equality and racial inclusivity but fatally low on suavity, swashbucklery, dashitude, or fun.
#3: A Classic
Situation: You're in English class and your professor won't stop going on about a classic that "revolutionized literature". Personally you think the classic is garbage and you decide to express your opinion by hurling the book at his head. What classic is that?
The Great Gatsby. I did not like that book. Now that I am grown, I suspect that I was not meant to like it, but where is the point of reading something meant specifically to annoy? Down with you, Gatsby.
#4: A Least Favorite Book
Situation: You're hanging out at a bookstore (where else would you be?) when global warming somehow manages to to turn the whole world into a frozen wasteland. Naturally, your only hope of survival is to burn a book. Which book would you not regret tossing into the fire?
To this day the worst book I have ever read is Kathleen Winsor's Forever Amber. *shudder* I could probably keep warm for a century burning the planet's supplies of Forever Amber, and the world would be a better, brighter, braver place for it. But I'm actually not sure I could face ten minutes with nothing to read but a giant pile of my most loathed book of all time, let alone a century.
#5: A Series
Situation: There's a flooded stream you have to cross on your quest and you can't get your feet wet. Which series (oh yeah, btw, you brought your whole bookshelf and also probably local library with you) will you use as stepping stones?
I never told the kind friend who loaned me this series at the time, but I could barely stand John Marsden's Tomorrow When the War Began series and after the only character I liked died at the end of Book Three I loathed it. (Sorry, Alice). You probably have never heard of this series, but it's basically Red Dawn in Australia, and while looking back I can appreciate certain aspects of the storytelling, which could be very gritty and brutal, mostly the memory just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. (Also, the premise is kind of ridiculous. Australia is overrun in a night or two by some unspecified Asian nation, really? And none of our allies want to help us...except New Zealand? Seriously? I love NZ, but they aren't exactly a military powerhouse...and, they make fun of our accent.)