Welcome to the Bad Books mini challenge! 

Reading is a wonderful hobby, but not everyone has quite the same taste. Can you piece together the “bad” book from these scathing 1-star reviews? 

Here’s the challenge: Identify the books based on the bad review. 

A lil’ hint: All of these books have been featured as nominees (and sometimes winners!) in the Goodreads Choice Awards (Years 2015 to 2019).

The rules? There are none! Have fun! Don’t cheat because that’s boring. But feel free to browse the nominees if you need a little nudge. These are pretty challenging, but I hope some of them make you chuckle. I always love reading negative reviews even when I adore a book because it helps me think critically about what I just read. Of course, sometimes people are totally right or very very wrong 😉 

Mostly, enjoy reading these really mad people describe their least favorite reads.

Note: These may be excerpts from longer reviews. Normally, I’d link back for credit but that would spoil the game! 

One winner will be picked at random to receive a $15 gift card for ThriftBooks. To enter into the draw, please leave a comment with your answers! (You don’t need to get them all right. You don’t even need to answer them all! If you have trouble commenting, feel free to send me a msg on Goodreads, Twitter, or Instagram)

I’ll putting the answers on my Instagram Stories and announcing the winner at the end of Hour 24.

1. Category is….FICTION

Let’s start with an (maybe?) easy one!

I know that X didn’t really want this published. And I know that this is supposedly a rough draft that the publisher rejected before X was published. BUT THIS WAS A TRAINWRECK.

2. Category is…SCI-FI

This one is one of my all-time favorite books, but to each their own, I guess!!

The best part of theorizing about a multiverse with infinite realities is that somewhere there is a version of me that chose not to read X.


This one was mighty popular not too long ago…

Sadly I have read Fifty Shades of Grey, so I cannot call X the absolute worst book ever. Instead I’ll just call it awful. Truly. In all ways. All of it. From its portrayal of mental illness, to its utter lack of believability, to its stupid, stupid, stupid characters. One of whom gets an eyeball gouged out and I almost feel like doing the same to myself for having read this whole thing.


Sometimes it’s the little things that irritate readers…

Awful! Her facts about the Carolina coasts were often inaccurate, for example, we do not have fireflies on the coast. There are mussels but no one eats them. The scenes involving the court were excruciating. I do not recommend this book under any circumstances!

5. Category is…HORROR

A lot of people had epically negative reactions to one of my fav books I read last year….. 

Boy you can bet I am glad to see the back of this baby. Teeth or no.

6. Category is…NON-FICTION

This one was a popular non-fiction book that topped many bestseller lists.

The author, X, appears to have a mnemonic memory going back to her early childhood. She relates conversations and events that occurred when she was barely past her toddler years, something I find very difficult to believe. 


Here’s a review of my least favorite book of all time. Sometimes it’s nice to know other people feel the same way!

The entire plot relied on the male protagonist being the stupidest human being to have ever existed on the planet. I just couldn’t believe his poor logical reasoning at all. The rest of the characters are also one-note: the mother is hysterical the entire time and doesn’t use her brain once, their neighbor’s only characteristic is being skanky, and the detectives are super unprofessional and aggressive. The writing often relied on telling instead of showing by blatantly telling you a character’s motivations and personality traits without actually describing it for you to decipher. Overall, this was a lackluster thriller that doesn’t have much substance with painfully idiotic characters. 

8. Category is…POETRY

A very subjective genre!

i am

still not 

a fan of people

who use 

random line

breaks in otherwise

simple phrases and

think it’s



I don’t get it.


The New Yorker published a piece last year about this author being shady AF.

To be honest, I wasn’t intrigued by the premise of X, so it’s probably unfair to complain about not being into the story. But there are a few tropes here that I generally don’t like including (but not limited to):

alcoholic, lonely woman


obviously shady online friend

lazy cops

repetitive am-I-crazy-monologs

10. Category is…FANTASY

Sometimes a book just isn’t for you!

They said this was meant to be romantic… oh please! Don’t make me laugh/cry. There was no romance whatsoever. The girl feels bad for the fish god and wants to save him. So she does. Than proceeds to have sex with it *puke* 

11. Category is…ROMANCE

Okay I guess I’ll use my own review for this one….

This was gross and problematic in so many ways. But it makes a great drinking game if you take a shot every time you read “Vita Mia”


  1. Pingback: Hour 21 – Let’s Talk About Pizza – Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

  2. 1 The Testaments
    2 Recursion
    3 The Silent Patient
    4 Where the Crawdads Sing
    5 Baby Teeth
    6 Girl, Wash Your Face
    7 The Outsider
    8 The Sun and Her Flowers
    9 The Woman in the Window
    10 The Shape of Water
    11 Fifty Shades of Grey


    • Hey Marisa! You’re the randomly selected winner of this challenge! I’ll email you your prize within the next few days. If you didn’t include an email when commenting please reach out to let me know what it is!


  3. My guesses:

    1. Go Set a Watchman
    2. Recursion
    3. The Silent Patient
    4. Where The Crawdads Sing
    5. Baby Teeth
    6. Not That Kind of Girl
    7. The Couple Next Door
    8. the princess saves herself in this one
    9. The Woman in the Window
    10. The Shape of Water
    11. ?


  4. 1. Go set a watchman
    3 the silent patient
    5. Baby teeth
    6 how to be a boss?
    8. The sun and her flowers
    10. The shape of water
    11. Deeper


  5. 1) Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
    2) Recursion by Blake Crouch
    3) The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
    4) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
    5) ?!
    6) I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
    7) End of Watch by Stephen King
    8) ?!
    9) Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
    10) ?!
    11) ?!


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