Least Favourite Books of 2017

I had a pretty good reading year with a total of 43 read book or 44 if I manage to finish Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone until New Year’s Eve. I’m very content with most of the stories I’ve discovered this year and I’m very excited to write a post about the best books I read in 2017. However, there’s always the other end of the spectrum because you may also come across stories you don’t particularly like whether you weren’t the target audience or you just didn’t resonate with what you read.

I don’t feel comfortable with the so-called term “worst books of the year” because I’m sure that what I dislike in a book, another person from across the world may love, so the following works of fiction are just my least favourite books of 2017. Bear in mind that I won’t repeat what I’ve already written in each review, but if you want to learn more about these books, please check out the links to each book. For Zorro and Chiriaș la Cluj, I’m going to leave the links to the Mid-Year Book Tag and Series I Won’t Be Finishing post, where you can find a few pieces of information about these two books I’ve read and reviewed in Romanian.

Zorro by Isabel Allende

Maggie Elisabeth Harrington by D.J. Swykert

Wild Child by Mike Wells

George the Orphan Crow and the Creatures of Blossom Valley by Helen Fox

Chiriaș la Cluj by Marius Oliviu Iacob

Which are your least favourite books of 2017?

Series I Won’t Be Finishing

Besides reading, I also love watching book-tubers talking in front of their cameras about the books they own or got from the library. Though I enjoy wrap-ups and book unhauls, I’m also interested in learning about books they didn’t like or series they are not going to finish. It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of book series, especially those long ones because life is pretty short and I have to do a thorough selection of the volumes I’m really excited to pick up and hopefully enjoy. I know that there are some amazing series out there for every age group, but the book industry is also full of volumes I’m not interested in or I didn’t feel the urge to continue reading. Personally, I don’t believe in unpopular opinions because everyone has the right to speak one’s mind in a decent manner without tearing the book apart or insulting its author. Therefore, the six series I’m going to talk about in this article are not necessarily bad, but rather not my cup of tea.

The genres of these first instalments range from young adult dystopian to adult mystery or contemporary. I bought some of these volumes in eBook format, while others were received from authors for an honest review. The ratings for these books are between 2 and 3 stars.

1.. Gates of Heaven (Balthasar Family Saga) by Pamita Rao is a fantasy adventure series set on a planet called Myrth where the world comprises of medieval kingdoms conquered by King Creed, but he wants to rule other realms too; therefore he plans to kill his son, Prince Neelahaim, in order to find the Gates of Heaven. However, the gates reveal themselves only to the chosen ones and let them pass through. Will Alaira, Horace and their friends manage to keep the child safe and fulfil the prophecy? This is a high fantasy book with dark and elemental magic whose end was gripping and for me, it read like a stand-alone.

2. Dawn of Rebellion by Michelle Lynn is a young adult series set in a dystopian world where Britain is an empire again and the US is its colony. After Gabby is sent to the colonies for shoplifting, her sister Dawn and Gabby’s love interest (Drew) go on a mission to save her. We follow three perspectives and we get a glimpse of the totalitarian society, the US’s lost identity and the family secrets the two siblings didn’t know about. Though this story gave me the creeps, I can’t say that post-apocalyptic dystopias are my thing.

3. Maggie Elisabeth Harrington by D.J. Swykert is a fictional story based on the life of a real person. Sounds interesting, right? Well, the first chapters were enjoyable, but the young protagonist who lived in Central Mine (Michigan) began to be very annoying due to her repetitive thoughts about the world and the people around her. Though this book was pretty short, I deeply regret reading it because it was a waste of time and energy.

4. Wild Child by Mike wells was a pretty big disappointment for me because a young adult thriller from the author who writes ‘unputdownable’ espionage books sounded great, but… it actually wasn’t. Now, the idea of two teenagers finding a strange green substance that heals wounds and strengthens the body is a pretty cool concept and if you add two CIA agents who are interested in the location of the miraculous water, it’s even more intriguing. However, I didn’t like the story that much and I’m not planning to continue this trilogy. The characters were thinly fleshed out and Briana Fox was so annoying that I didn’t care too much what happened to her.

5. The Greeks of Beaubien Street  (The Greektown Stories Series) by Suzanne Jenkins is pretty much marketed as a mystery, but it reads more like a family saga – the family dynamics of the Greek-American Zamos Family) which was very interesting. When it came to the mystery aspect, it was a bit overshadowed by the other plotline of the book. Jill Zamos is a homicide detective from Detroit who has to solve the murder of Gretchen Parker and she does that with the help of her colleague and friend, Albert Wong, and her visions. I was pretty disappointed that the mystery was not the focus of the story and it wasn’t clear enough for me who actually killed the girl. This book also has some disturbing scenes, so be aware if you are a sensitive person.

6. Chiriaș la Cluj (Fiziologii extrase dintr-un jurnal) by Marius Oliviu Iacob is the Romanian contemporary story of a middle-aged man called Hipolit Sterea (or Hip as his friends call him) who lives a pretty miserable life due to its low wedges from the publishing house where he works. He blogs about real estate as a hobby and writes funny stories online, but his dream is to write a book and his friend Oli (Oliviu) is willing to support and help him make his wish come true. Hip is the type of person who doesn’t seem to blend in anywhere, that’s why he rents his apartment from Cluj and becomes a tenant himself. To be honest, besides a few jokes and literary hints here and there, this book lacked everything I love in a book, including a plot and likeable characters.

These are the series I’m not planning to finish now or anytime in the near future. I will also write an article about the series I might continue, but until then, I would like to know which series you’ve quit or want to abandon.

Review: Wild Child by Mike Wells

Book 1 of Wild Child

A Teenage Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller

 

Note: Wild Child, as well as all of Mike Wells’ first instalments in his series, is a freebie!

 

Title: Wild Child

Subtitle: A Teenage Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller

Author: Mike Wells

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

First published: 1998

Year of Publication of This Edition: 2014

Self-Published

Series: Wild Child

Rating: 2/5 stars

Here’s that time again when I post a review for a book I didn’t enjoy. As a side note, I devoured most of Mike Wells’ thrillers I read and he is definitely one of my favourite writers, but sometimes I happen to come across a book that isn’t my cup of tea or it doesn’t feel specific to the author’s style. So, as awkward as it may seem, I have to underline how I feel about the story, hoping that the devoted fans of the book will respect my opinion because we all come from different cultures and see the world through our unique perspective.

Wild Child is the first instalment in Mr Mike Wells’ eponymous trilogy and it’s A Teenage Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller, which made me curious to pick it up, taking in consideration the fact that the author usually writes series for an adult audience. In short, Kyle Dunlap and Briana Fox are two teenage friends who go for a swim in Lake Carlton, but Briana has a terrible boating accident and you would expect her to die. . However, she survives due to a mysterious green substance she finds at the bottom of the lake. After this drug-like healing water is tested, two government officials question Kyle about the location of this strange water that heals wounds and fortifies the body. Will Kyle give in and reveal the location of the mysterious pool of green water? And what will happen to Briana who can’t get enough of that strange substance?

Though the premise was interesting – the strange healing water that also acts like a drug – I didn’t feel invested into the story because the plot was a bit thin and the characters were underdeveloped. Briana is bossy, overly stubborn and rushes headlong into danger. I found her very annoying in the first chapters, but her wild nature calms down a bit when the effects of the magic water fade away. On the other hand, Kyle is quiet, cautious and more sensible than Briana, even though he acts a bit too boldly in front of the two government officials. And speaking of those two CIA agents, I think that this part of the story is a little far-fetched due to the lack of depth of the plot. Okay, I understand that this book is part of a trilogy, but besides a few suspenseful moments, which are characteristic of Mr Wells’ writing style, the story fell flat. The writing was okay and the descriptions of the lake and caves were interesting, but it didn’t do much for me. Though the book is around 100 pages, I got bored while reading it and I pushed through just to see if it gets better. The suspenseful moments and an ingenious twist saved the book from hitting the bottom of the rating scale.

In the end, those were the thoughts I wanted to share with you about Wild Child. I don’t know if I should recommend it or not because I didn’t enjoy it that much; but if you are still curious, you can check it out. Personally, I think that I will stick with the author’s adult series because they are more my thing.