Books Duds of 2013

I just finished a book that was a big letdown for me. Was I alone? Let's look through our reading pile this year and see what duds we have discovered. I am positive that we've all read at least one book that made us roll our eyes and shake our heads wondering what we had put ourselves through.

You know the type of book. Scraping your fingernails along a blackboard would be more entertaining. Counting sheep suddenly seems really attractive. Or perhaps these are the types of books that put you to sleep because you were so...

Wake Up!!!

Who knows why sometimes we persevere to see a book to the end. Perhaps because we just hope it gets better. Maybe they have been recommended to us, and we think if our friend loved it, we probably will too. Let me tell you that this is definitely not always the case. We close the final page realising that it isn't going to get better and we've been duped. Duped into thinking that a book was going to be interesting and really it was just a big turd.

So check out the duds we found below. Did you like any of them? We apologise in advance if you did.... We still love you! Different tastes for different folks!

Mildly spoilery after the jump.

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

This was one of those times where I thought, "this book sounds right up my alley". What could be better than a world where people use elemental magic to achieve their means? The main character, Gin, is an elemental, but she tries not to use her powers when out on the job killing people for a living. I mean, if you've got magic powers, why not use them? Sure, you've been scarred in the past, but that would make me want to fight back with all I had!!! Maybe I missed the point? Gin has two types of elemental magic, stone and ice. Ice magic came across as just some kind of parlour trick. The action was boring. Part of this could be that I didn't like knowing who the baddie was so early on. I love to be surprised. Some of my favourite books reveal the bad guy only near the end. It felt like the book dragged on... enough with the making food for men already!!!  ~ Wench Angela

Why did I just put myself through this agony?

Penelope by Rebecca Harrington

The book above and The Book That Shall Not be Named are my only one-star books of 2013 so far. I cannot tell you how horrible this book was, other than it was bad. I still want a Waffle as it was depicted in the cover. One would think there was something remotely related to Waffles with a cover like that, but not a chance!!!!!!!!!!! I was unable to relate to the characters. Just horrible. Stay clear.  ~ Wench Natalie

I would rather be clipping my toenails than reading this book.

The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy

My dud book of the year is The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy. It's not a new book, but I read it this year. I'm sure there are ardent fans out there who love these books, but they were just not for me. The male lead and the secondary characters were (mostly) enjoyable. But honestly, I kind of wanted to punch the lead character, Marty, right in the face. She is just not my type of heroine or woman. She is obsessed with her Mary Kay-like job, and color wheels, and finding the right color palette for everyone whether they want it or not. She's just very fussy and prissy, which is the exact opposite of me. So we were doomed from the start. The story was okay, and the male lead was pretty hot, but I just didn't find this book to be my cup of tea. But if you are a make-up-and-fashion kind of girl, you might really enjoy The Accidental Werewolf.  ~ Wench Anne

Is it over?

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

I had just finished reading Entwined with You by Sylvia Day, and wasn't ready to let go, so I looked for something similar. Our Wenchy friend, Ba, loved Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, so I decided to give it a try. It was okay. The animosity at the beginning was a bit off-putting, the heroine was much too weak and pitiful for my tastes, and the hero was supposed to read like an Alpha male (I assumed!) but somehow fell short. The two characters' back stories and growth were somewhat interesting, but not enough for me to read two more books' worth. The final scene was pretty fantastic, although over-the-top for a virginity-losing sex scene. I won't read on and I won't reread. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read, but it's definitely a dud, and I wouldn't recommend it to friends.  ~ Wench Barb

Why Me?

Entwined With You by Sylvia Day

This book began with a lot of angst and desperation. Honestly, I couldn't recall what had happened in the last book right away, so I was irritated to be immediately submerged in such a heavy scene. Then Eva and Gideon were together, and about to pledge their deep and undying love again (which means have pages and pages of hot sex), and I was done. Just like that. I was annoyed with these two self-centred, obsessive, melodramatic characters.I found out later that the Crossfire trilogy has been stretched to a five-book series. The horny lady-porn fandom will be milked for two more books from a series that has gone steadily downhill.  ~ Wench Donna

Dancing with a gun in my dressing gown is more fun.

Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie

I had never read anything by Rushdie, but thought this real-life tale of eluding a 1989 fatwa issued against him by the Ayatollah Khomeini for his book The Satanic Verses would be fascinating. The story might have been, but the book was not. I found it fussy and self-indulgent (which my own writing can be, so maybe I get enough of that already). I didn’t last past 100 pages. I did a quick Internet search for reviews and found a few citing the same grievances I had, so I decided not to waste any more of my time. It might be a great book, but don’t read it when you’re in the mood for a rousing defense of free speech, a straightforward narrative, or much action, at least in the first 100 pages.  ~ Wench Kathi

Moving right along now...

Honorary Mentions

The Actor and the Earl by Rebecca Cohen
The Book That Shall Not be Named by Charlaine Harris

I have to go, Eric needs occupying.

What makes you decide that a book is a dud? I usually give it 50 or so pages, and if it hasn't captured my attention by that time, 9 times out of 10 I will give up. I might carry on only if a friend has fervently stressed to me that the book will get better. But what might be a dud to us might very well be a book you adore, that fits the exact mood you're in at the time, so I'm not going to tell you not to read our duds.

Just be sure to enjoy what you read—and remember that nothing can beat The Book That Shall Not be Named as the biggest dud of 2013.

What book duds you have encountered this year? Have you have enjoyed any of our duds? If so, perhaps you can convince us why they are in fact great reads!



  1. Donna, I am with you all the way! It was such a disappointment for me, I stopped reading after 38%, could go on. Another dud for me was Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness, it was recommended to me as similar to Outlander, NO way, it was such a stereotype story, I knew what was going to happen before it did, I don't like it when there is no surprise and anticipation for me.

    1. Merit, I had a really hard time too getting through Into the Wildness. I thought I would enjoy it based on the hype about it. It was exactly a dud for me, well maybe it was, in that I didn't want to continue on after the first book.

  2. Although it's not a new book, my 2nd biggest dud this year was The Host, by Stephenie Meyer. I had not planned on ever reading this book, but it was chosen by my book club. There were so many holes in her mythos for the universe it detracted from the story. This book was pretty much the Twilight Saga in a Sci-Fi setting. I would have been able to tell you who the author was without even having been told.

  3. Definitely, the book that we don't speak of. UGH. And Devon, anything by Meyer is bound to be atrocious. So I'm not surprised...

    1. Agree Zee re Meyer. I've read The Host as well a while ago and it just isn't my thing. Maybe if I was fourteen.

  4. Biggest dud for years to come, The book That Shall Not Be Named. *spoken in a very deep and thunderous voice* On tge other hand, I feel a lot of loyalty to some characters like Gideon Cross for example. So it pains me to say it but I was let down by Entwined. I was so excited, then nothing! It hurts. Don't authors understand that some of us has irrational emotional attachments to characters and when they don't deliver we become hostile?! Well, it still won't stop me from reading all her other books. Unlike the one author I can't even name after the book I can't even name. As far as she's concerned, I'm done.

    1. As are we all Liv. I've calmed down a lot since that book came out, but it has already won the title for Dud of the Year.

  5. My biggest dud was "the book that shall not be named"...honestly, no book was able to disappoint to such depth after that GIANT let-down.

    1. Agreed Shau. Never again will that author be read by many of us.

    2. You said it! I actually thought about reading Harper Books but then "the book that shall not be named" happened and I just crossed her of my list for good.

  6. 'The Book That Shall Not Be Named' was a big dud for me, I still grumble about it, which makes my husband chuckle. Also I was irrationally angry that the Crossfire series had been strung out, especially as it was ready to be wrapped in a neat little package already. I won't be reading further.

    1. L that is a gripe I have too. I use to read Robin Hobb, maybe not again, and she always wrote trilogies, always. The last series was four books and the third book was a complete waste of time. I was bitterly disappointed. Maybe even more then that Dud of the Year. Too many authors carry on series past their use by dates I find.


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