By Angelica Bottaro
I’ve been an avid reader since I was old enough to hold a grown-up sized book in my hands. I started off with young adult reads like Stones by William Bell and Pet Sematary by Stephen King at an age where these books would likely be considered off-limits reading material.
I couldn’t help myself when it came to combing through the infinite amount of stories sitting on the shelves at my local library. I waited for the Scholastic Book Fair with anticipation like Christmas morning. Books were everything to me.
Some books leave a lasting impression on the reader. They take a piece of our souls and nestle it snugly between their pages. Others don’t have that same effect and can end up being nothing more than time wasted—time that could have been better spent turning the pages of an entirely different story altogether!
I don’t feel regret for reading many books throughout my life so far, but I do consider the following would be better implemented as a paperweight rather than reading material.
The Twilight Saga By Stephenie Meyer
At the time, I enjoyed every single bit of the vampire series. They were new, exciting, and full of the type of love story that young naïve girls dream of. The way Stephenie Meyer managed to capture that feeling of eternal love—which is often how first loves feel—seemed amazing at the time. After the release of the movies and the hype surrounding it though, I was left wondering why on earth they had gained such popularity. Surely, they weren’t that good.
The Twilight books are run of the mill, and the writing isn’t going to go down in history as brilliant literature. They are mindless reads that feed the simple desire to be loved. That’s it. The endless publicity and fandom they received is nothing short of a miracle.
The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald
I had to read this sleeping pill of a novel for a class in high school and let me just say it’s nothing short of astounding that I even passed the assignment. The Great Gatsby was a complete snooze-fest, and yet, it’s still one of the most popular novels out there. I couldn’t say whether the writing was good or whether F. Scott Fitzgerald has truly earned the accolades he received for all his work. But this book, in particular, is a huge miss for me.
The fact that they made many movies of it and managed to rope Leonardo DiCaprio into starring in one, just shows that you don’t need truly good storytelling to gain credence.
It’s Kind Of A Funny Story By Ned Vizzini
Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely adore the film adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s novel. The story about a boy suffering from mental illness is simply beautiful. The novel, however, was just way too hard to get through. The characters in the book version of It’s Kind Of A Funny Story didn’t come across as well as they did on-screen, and I didn’t get that same feeling of connection.
Perhaps it’s because I saw the movie first and tried to read the book after? But either way, it didn’t quite land for me.
Room By Emma Donoghue
How did Room even get made into a movie? Someone needs to explain what they saw in this disaster of a novel. The story is sad, sure, but reading through it from a 5-year-old’s perspective is just annoying. The way he speaks—the way any 5-year-old would—is difficult to navigate from an adult’s mind and took me out of the story way too often.
It could be argued that I just didn’t ‘get’ the premise and that the award-winning author took an ever-popular kidnapping narrative and transformed it into something fresh and exciting…but I just don’t see it.
The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton
Is there anyone on the planet that doesn’t get a “Stay gold, Ponyboy” reference? The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton was so popular that even if you hadn’t read it, you knew what people were talking about when they mentioned the greaser gang. It’s hard for me to fathom a world where this book is actually good. I just loathed the entire thing. It was another required reading, followed by a requisite watching of the movie, so I’m well versed in how little this story means to me.
Compiling this list was difficult for me because it’s not often I regret reading a book. Usually, the only books I have remorse in reading are ones I wish I could do-over with a clean slate of a mind to experience all over again. If you are looking for your next read and haven’t been inundated with pressure to read the above books on my list, do yourself a favour and skip them. You can thank me later.