Books We Wish We Could ‘Unread’ in 2023

With 2023 in the rearview mirror, we’re taking a look back at the absolute stinkers we read last year. As literary martyrs, we’ve made these sacrifices so you don’t have to. Don’t be tempted by snazzy covers and catchy titles; let us guide you through our ‘Why Did We Even?’ list of books.

Think of it as a public service, saving you from the perils of literary disappointment.

Scattershot by Bernie Taupin

My review on our online catalog said it all. And it hurt me to post because I’m such a fan of Elton & Bernie’s early work. Mr. Taupin, in my humble opinion, is an artsy, egotistical weirdo but I’m glad he came through the fame, alcohol, and drugs with his life intact. Plus he got to live out his childhood dream of being a cowboy!”

– Cindy

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

“Orlando has such an interesting synopsis that promises a novel well ahead of its time, and while some aspects are, others seem very stuck in the time they were written. Overall, it was an extremely boring book that sounded as if it could’ve been way more fun than it was.”

– Silas

Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

“I was very disappointed by In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune. I found the characters flat and I couldn’t get invested in any of them, the story uninspired, the plot slow and plodding, and overall it didn’t keep me interested.”

– Dawn

A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

“A 19-year-old illiterate indentured servant, bound to her utterly useless family, is taken away by a wealthy faerie man after she murders one of their kind. She is supposed to be executed, but he spares her because she’s attractive and ‘not like other girls.’ He brings her to his beautiful mansion, where she has access to an actual bed, good food, nice clothes, and a shower. This luxury blinds her with rage over the unfairness of her situation.”

– Elizabeth

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

“I had to read it for my English class and in my opinion, it is one of the most boring books I’ve ever read. It uses a lot of old English and even though I like Shakespeare, the way Scarlet Letter was written made it borderline unreadable. The plot didn’t have any twists or exciting moments and the characters involved were very boring. I feel very strongly about having to read this book and take tests about the themes that were barely present.”

– Emma

Haunting Adeline by H. D. Carlton

“I hated this book! The story’s characters feel shallow, the plot lacks depth, and there’s a missed chance to explore the ethical issues of the main character’s actions. Unrealistic portrayals of stalking and a lack of inner conflict make the narrative unsatisfying, resulting in a one-star rating and a wish for a refund.”

– Robin

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

“The book is so vile it made me nauseous and I only managed to read a quarter of it. It is about a father abusing his daughter. It contains rape, incest, and bestiality. I cannot even express…I do not have enough words to describe how much I hated this book. Reading it made me angry, and I felt like I needed to take a shower after reading the parts that I did. I wanted to rip the words out of my brain. If this was not a library book, I would have burned it!”

– Johanna

So, there you have it, fellow readers: a sneak peek into our ‘Hall of Literary Laments.’ Remember, reading time is precious – choose wisely, or you might end up wishing for your own literary time machine!

Until next time, keep turning those pages (of better books)!

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