Off With Their Heads! The Worst of Cannonball Read IV
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Off With Their Heads! The Worst of Cannonball Read IV

By Mswas Sawsm | Book Reviews | December 31, 2012 | Comments ()


Our Cannonballers want to warn you away from these books. They're all 1 or 2 star reviews on the Cannonball Read IV group blog. It's no surprise to see 50 Shades of Grey on here, but Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris also got a bunch of votes. Take heed, Charlaine! (For 5 star reviews, check out The Best of Cannonball Read IV.)

Sara Habein:
Oh man, EASILY EASILY EASILY it was Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith. It was awful.

The Concubine's Gift by K. Ford K.
While the Savage Sleeps by Andrew Kaufman
No Rest for the Dead by various authors

The worst I read, by far, was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler was pretty terrible as well.
The Ickiest book I read was Bonk by Mary Roach.
The biggest letdown was the Second Empress by Michelle Moran, because her Madame Tussaud book was fascinating, and I expected a book about Napoleon's second wife to be far more interesting.

Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
An American Story by Ethan Russell

Gone by Michael Grant
The Cellar by Richard Layman
Eerie by Blake and Jordan Crouch

Wake by Lisa McMann.
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin. I'm sure some people have this as a five star book, but it just didn't work for me. It was my first review of the year, too. Not a great way to start.

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
I Only Have Eyes for You by Bella Andre
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
At Your Pleasure by Meredith Duran

Mrs. Smith:
I only gave 1 star to one book: Shame by Karen Alvtegen It was truly, truly awful.
I gave 2 stars to The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown I thought I was the only one, but I got lots of comments that I'm not alone on that one.

The worst book was definitely Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. This is pretty subjective though because I know a LOT of people who love it.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

El L Cool J:
Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
A Hologram for a King by Dave Eggers

Answer Me, Answer ME by Irene Bennett Brown

Goddess of Apathy:
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Chime by Franny Billingsley, HANDS DOWN. It was so awful. Muddled, a weird dialect that is never explained, extremely underdeveloped characters whose motivations seem completely random, and a story that just makes no sense. In a nutshell: Terrible.
A close second is Lament by Maggie Stiefvater. At least comprehensible, it was an utterly predictable schlockfest, complete with instant love between the good girl and bad boy. Ugh.
And finally, Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris. Somebody just take that series behind the woodshed and shoot it.

The Fatling:
The Shooting Party by Isabel Colgate
America Pacifica by Anna North

Mrs. Julien:
To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood by Bronwen Evans

The worst three books I've read are:
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
The Kissing Club by Julia Clarke
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Key

If you're looking for books to add to your "to read" list, head on over to the Best of Cannonball Read IV.

(You, too, can be just like these fine folk in 2013. Sign up for Cannonball Read V!)

Even Chuck Norris Approves: The Best of Cannonball Read IV | Even Chuck Norris Approves: The Best of Cannonball Read IV

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Sara Habein

    My one sentence review up there is far less diplomatic than my review was. But still.

    Actually, there was one book I didn't even finish, it was so bad: RAYLAN by Elmore Leonard. I don't often not-finish books, but that one was out after the first third of the pages. Life's too short.

  • alwaysanswerb

    I was away and didn't get to send in a list, but I would have added One Day. That dreck was the WORST

  • I'm actually kind of happy to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and The Magicians on here. Both those books come so highly recommended and I hated them so very, very much.

    My library fooled me into reading this wretched Christian horror novel (and Christian horror doesn't have to be and isn't automatically wretched, but this was) that was full of great ideas executed horribly and brain damaged characters I wanted to just die already. And for real the dumbest ending I've been disappointed by in ages. I don't even remember what it was called. I blocked it out. Stupid fucking book.

  • Krista

    I am the hater of The Magicians. I wanted to like it so much because I heard great things about in in last year's Cannonball Read and I liked it okay until Quentin went to college. Then I just felt like it was never-ending drudgery.

  • I completely forgot that I've been recording what books I read on Goodreads. It was easier to figure it out than I anticipated. House, by Ted Dekker. Seriously, do not read that book.

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    I just checked Sitemeter on Mrs Smith Reads, and my worst picks were clicked through from this post far more than my best picks. I'm assuming this is because readers were thinking Shame was the novel from which the Fassbender flick was derived. You would be wrong, but I made you look....

  • kirbyjay

    Devil in the White City is not a new book (I read it a few years ago) but I agree, BORING. In the Garden of the Beasts is Larsen's latest ( I think) and what could have been an interesting subject was again infused with tedium, repetition and boredom. Two more of his books that should probably be good reads, Isiah's Storm and Thunderstuck, I won't bother with. Eric Larsen could turn a carnival into a wake.
    I don't read a lot of fiction so my choices are somewhat limited and I have to go with an older book too. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Loved the movie, the book was a snoozer and I never finished it.

  • Malin

    evenstevens, your selection of Chime and Lamentwounds me. How can we be so much in agreement on Deadlocked and yet you loathe two books that I've got on my favourites list? *sighs mournfully*

  • Even Stevens

    Oh man Malin, I just can't even with Chime. I have so much loathing for that book. SO. MUCH. Lament was more of a "meh" for me, but Chime? NO. I hope we can still be friends ;)

  • Malin

    Disagreement about literature is one of the things that fuels many of my friendships. And we are united in our disappointment in Charlaine Harris' current output. How can I be mad at you for too long?

  • Irina

    I hated 13 Reasons Why, and I read it because so many people loved it. I guess I don't see the appeal.

  • pyrajane

    I'm with you on that. I liked the plot and delivery, but by the end I was horrified to see a glorification of teenage suicide. Suicide is AWESOME and it will make everyone pay attention to you and feel guilty for how they treated you!

  • Krista

    I hard with you both so hard on this. When I was done with 13 Reasons, I was like... Did he basically just tell teenage (and otherwise!) readers that suicide is ok? And maybe it's just because I have a very thick skin and am really resilient, but I also felt like Asher never really made it seem like Hannah had it that bad. Bad, yes, and definitely not anything happy... And perhaps what I consider to be just bad is horrific for someone else. But I guess what I"m trying to say is that it just wasn't real or believable to me.

  • John G.

    So, no one agrees on what the worst book in the list is? I mean, besides the knee-jerk and obvious "50 Shades of Grey", you guys had very different opinions about what was bad.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I think they would have had to actually read 50 Shades to declare it their worst.

  • kirbyjay

    This is true. Didn't read so I shouldn't have an opinion but I do. It's for horny, dumb people.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Considering that I've read nothing but romance this year, can you imagine just how bad the one I named was? There was a guinea pig. Named Tinkles. In the Regency.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Hold up! Wikipedia is telling me that it would have been possible to have a pet guinea pig in the Regency. Doesn't change the fact that its name was Tinkles. Or that the book was horrendously awful.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    The two worst books I read all year were part of my "Cain" reading phase:
    Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer - not remotely credible. not particularly entertaining. Did you hate Da Vinci code? This version reads like a comic book/pulp fiction fan's poor attempt to copy it, without any of the scientific or cultural references.

    Curse of Cain by Powell and Meagher. I know I mentioned this book earlier in the year when my disgust was fresh. A book I can't even bring myself to give away, lest someone else waste a precious portion of life reading it. Historical fiction about the assassination attempt on Lincoln, with the least competent/charismatic protagonists imaginable, weak plot twists and and a what seems like an attempt at a happy ending (even though Lincoln, of course, was shot)

    And a book that was a freebie from a friend in publishing
    Based upon Availbility by Alix Strauss - a faux-deep book about disconnected women in NYC. This book found next to nothing redeemable about any of the characters. Actually drove me to write my first Amazon review.

  • malechai

    Discovery of Witches had a lot of potential, but lost its way halfway through. I didn't hate Deadlocked as much as everyone else in the world, apparently. It wasn't good, but I wouldn't classify it as a "worst". Both these books were just guilty of not living up to my expectations.

  • While reading Deadlocked I didn't think it would be my worst of the year (actually, it's my second worst). However, when I was explaining to a friend that I didn't know what to write for the review since I just didn't feel ANYTHING at the end she asked me to summarize. As I did I realized there was a lot of unnecessary writing and weak plot developments that really got us nowhere.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Hmm...I'm judging people by what they hated here...I should maybe sign myself up for judgment too...

  • fluff_fluff

    I was surprised to see Night Circus on so many best lists. I hated that more than anything else I read this year, and I read a lot of crap.

  • Bothari

    I missed my chance to add to the official list, but will second the Discovery of Witches hate, and add Heroing, by Dafyd Something Welsh. Blech!

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