The best books you love to hate


A student reading a book that’s so bad it’s good.

Azriella McClearen, Features Writer

Every book might be a New York Times Best Seller, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. Almost any reader can think of one book they have picked up with an amazing summary but horrible execution. The book and a car wreck are one and the same: you can’t stop reading it but, wow, it is bad. It’s time to examine some novels that are so bad they’re good.
“The Summer I Turned Pretty” by Jenny Han
This coming of age novel follows the character Isabel “Belly” Conklin, while reading you watch her grow into adulthood throughout the summers of her life. In the beginning of the series Belly finds herself stuck in a love triangle with two brothers. Jeremiah is her childhood best friend, and Conrad is his brother. However, there are plenty of reviews claiming this book series doesn’t deserve the current 4.5 star rating on Amazon. The most common complaint about this book series is the main character herself.
“Belly annoys me, her actions and choices in the book are so dumb….All she thinks about is herself she thinks the world revolves around her. I hate her a lot,” says a three-star Amazon reviewer.
Some even went as far to call her a “pick-me” in their Amazon reviews. For those who don’t know; a pick-me is a woman who only looks for male approval and usually puts other women down. Still it’s definitely one of those books you can love for how bad it is.
“Stayed up all night reading it and finished it in one night. The book is infuriating but also in an exciting way and draws you in more and more,” said the three-star Amazon reviewer.
This book is now a trilogy, and has a tv series on Amazon Prime Video with 4.7 stars on Google reviews.
“Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood
“Love Hypothesis” takes place at Stanford University, and the main character, Olive Smith, is a woman in STEM. Following a series of questionable circumstances, she winds up being in a fake relationship with the most hated professor on campus. Most people can give props to Hazelwood for the originality of the setting, but that’s about all they can do.
“As long as the book lasted, it felt good. Of course, many parts were repetitive and just cringe. I do not feel that any specific part stood out even though the writer tried to fathom some romantic scenes, but they all come off as grotesque,” said a one-star Google reviewer.
The book starts with a surprise (read: nonconsensual) kiss between Olive Smith and the love interest Professor Adam Carlsen. This was her unplanned way of convincing her best friend that she is over her ex boyfriend, and that it is okay for her best friend to date him. But the 2-dimensional recipient of the kiss Adam Carlsen is the nail in the coffin for most of the readers.
“I felt that Adam was an empty character, and the reader doesn’t know much about him at the end. Example: what food does he like? Olive very clearly likes sweet food, and it is explicitly included in the story. Adam likes… vegetables?…I want to feel a connection to both characters, and to do that I need to know more about them,” stated another two-star Google reviewer.
But as stated by the one-star Google “if you are new to this fake to real kind of relationship plotline, It will be a good read.”
The absolutely ridiculous circumstances the book includes will not only have you question how someone could have written it but question why you can’t stop reading it. Just be aware of some mature and way to drawn out aspects that are included towards the end.
“A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas
This series is the most recommended fantasy series on tiktok, that follows multiple characters, but first starts off with one main character Feyre Archeron. She is a huntress who one day while hunting sees a wolf hunting a deer. She finds the hard way though that it wasn’t a deer, and it wasn’t a wolf. They were actually faeries, part of a whole different fantasy world where this story takes place. To pay the price of this killing she is taken to The Faerie Lands. A fantasy-dystopian like this most would expect to be good, but this book has a lot of criticisms, some even claiming it’s problematic.
“Stupid writing. Just a simple case of redundant language that’s not very believable for the world it’s set in…. Take a sip of Mountain Dew every time Feyre calls someone ‘pig’ (literally the only insult in her arsenal) or makes a ‘rude gesture’ and you’ll have a heart attack 30 pages into book 2,” said two-star GoodBooks reviewer.
Repetitive language might be something you can look past but readers have also expressed concerns of the content in general.
“Boring and outdated ideas of female attraction. Hints of masochism. Written by a woman but feels like it’s written by a man. Won’t read the next book for many reasons, but the main one being I know the main character ends up with her abuser in a way that is presented as good and exciting,” says a two-star Google reviewer.
Like it was for this Google reviewer, that in itself is probably a deal breaker. The cherry on top for the rest though, there are no people of color in the entire series.
So if you’re looking for a book to hate, this one definitely will be for you.
Simon Snow Trilogy by Rainbow Rowell
The Simon Snow trilogy starts with the book “Carry On.” If you loved the Harry Potter series you will definitely be intrigued by this published fanfiction of Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. Harry Potter replaced by Simon Snow, and Draco Malfoy replaced by Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch (Baz) . It is their last year in school, Simon Snow has just gone through a hard break up, and the pressures of being “the Chosen One” are starting to get to him.
But some reviewers say that this should have just stayed a fanfiction.
“To me Carry on felt like a bad joke. One of those jokes that are supposed to make you laugh but make you cringe instead. It gave me this fanfiction vibe that I couldn’t shake off. And I’m sorry, but I’ve read better fanfictions,” says one three-star GoodReads reviewer.
Even if it reads like a fanfiction that isn’t an automatic red flag, so how does Rowell make up for this fanfiction vibe of a book?
“But it’s a fully-fledged novel and it honestly didn’t read like one. The characters were carbon copies of the Potter world, they fell extremely flat, the plot had no structure. No originality. It was so frustrating to read,” said another one-star GoodReads reviewer.
This book is great with showing diversity in characters, and the romance can be captivating. Although this book is only just a retelling of the Harry Potter series, if you liked JK Roweling’s you will find this a very diversified spin.
It is important to remember a book doesn’t have to be good to make it hard to put it down, if you haven’t been able to find a good book just read a bad one.