The 5 Most Over-Rated YA Books

There are some books for which the anticipation of reading them is far better than actually reading them. You know what I’m talking about. Those books that friends swore up and down were great, brilliant and genius, the ones publishers touted as the book or the last book in a series which just falls flat. There are some books which surprise you in a good way but then there are those which shock you and make you  kinda understand what people mean when they say ‘I don’t like to read’.

Well these are mine. My disappointments, fails, whatever you want to call them. The top 5 most over rated books I’ve read or at least tried to.


 

1.)

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

Book: Lord Of The Rings

Author: J. R. R. Toilken

Description:  Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring — created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier — is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron’s lair.

Why it’s on this list: It was probably the writing. Did Toilken really have to drag and stretch everything out? If you thought the ooh-pretty-picture syndrome in Eragon was bad, then there are simply no words to describe the sheer over-description in this book. Does each tree need a rhapsody sung about it? Does each flower need a ballad in its name? Do you like it when world history is info dumped on you in annoyingly large chunks of poetry? Well, unless your answer is yes… then you won’t like the writing style of the book.

Another thing that annoyed me about this series (or book actually I didn’t get too far) was the insipidness and shallowness of the society the characters live in. It’s as if other than a few major players, no one in the world gets a personality; they’re just zombies.

I think this book put me off fantasy for quite a while.


 

2.)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

Book: The Selection (The Selection #1)

Author: Kiera Cass

Description: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.


But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Why it’s on this list: You should read my review here. It’s practically a rant on what all I hate (a word that’s not nearly strong enough) about this book. The sketchy world-building with the awkward caste-system and nonsensical history was a major complaint. But that complaint was eclipsed by the shallowness of the characters and their interaction. Nothing about this story was smooth- from the dialogue to the plot. It all seemed very haphazard and thrown together. I’m not at all sure why this book was so celebrated. I mean, sure it had a nice cover but this book is the reason people say:  don’t judge a book by its cover.


 

3.)

Looking for Alaska

Book: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Description:  Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

Why it’s on this list: If you know me, you probably know my opinion on John Green’s books. If you don’t, well you can read it here.  And if you want my opinion on this book particularly you can read it here. This book was kind of an awkward read for me. There were several parts in the book where I was like : Wait, what? Why would they do something that stupid? The answer wasn’t clear to me by the end of the book. So this was a pointless read besides a boring one.


 

4.)

Matched (Matched, #1)

Book: Matched (Matched #1)

Author: Allie Coondie

Description: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Why it’s on this list: Yet again, it’s the characters which break this book. The world building wasn’t too bad. But only because the world was completely lifted off The Giver by Lois Lowry (fantastic read, by the way). The romance in this book was completely screwed up. We have a love triangle which features Cassie: the robot, Xander: the best friend and Ky: the ‘aberration’. So completely predictable. Forbidden love Romeo and Juliet-esque style follows and it is mind-numbingly insipid. But it makes sense because that’s what the characters are too. None of them have any sort of free thought or talent. I’m all for making characters ‘ordinary’ and ‘believable’ but this was just overdone.

 


5.)

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Book:Twilight

Author/Authoress: Stephanie Meyers

Description: First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

When Bella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back…

Why it’s on this list: A lot of you are probably wondering this. I mean it’s not like Twilight has a good reputation, so how can it be over-rated? It had a good reputation. Once upon a time. In 2009 or so? But here are the common list of complaints: Bella Swan is a boring,wimpy Mary-Sue based on the author, Edward Cullen is a creepy, blood sucking, sparkly stalker and the romance between them is unhealthy.  And that’s basically the summary of this 498 page fiasco. How could you possibly not say this book is overrated?


So that’s the list. Which book do you think is the most over rated?

The Selection:A Book Review

Book: The Selection (Selection #1)

Author/Authoress: Kiera Cass

Cover:3/5

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

 

The cover’s gorgeous but let me make it clear- it’s the only thing about this book that is. I guess it teaches me not to be lured in by fancy covers and false pretences. But if there was ever a time, I could be forgiven for judging a book by it’s cover- it’s this book. I saw a pretty but frivolous model wearing a pretty but frivolous dress on the cover and what do I expect? A pretty but frivolous book. Duh! What else was I supposed to think after this book claimed to be like the Bachelor? I expected a light fluffy read that you walked away from shaking your head but with a smile on your face anyways. As you might have guessed from my mini-rant, it wasn’t. Not even close. The selection was the kind of book you want to throw repeatedly at the wall until the cover which led you there fell off. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do this (I read an e-version of this book) so I’m contenting myself with writing a scathing review.

Plot:1/5

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself�and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

You know how people always say that satisfaction is the result of what you get divided by expectations?

I opened the book with very little expectations. I didn’t expect something profound and beautiful from the book. So how was it that what I got was even less than my expectations? I’ll tell you why.
Hmm… maybe it was the messed up plot? When I heard ‘the Bachelor’ heres what I thought of. Cat fights, makeup, eliminations, etc. And that’s clearly what Kiera thought of too but somehow she’s managed to mess it all up. I really couldn’t bring myself to care about the eliminations since I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters. The makeup thingy- oh we were totally ripped off. Despite America being adamant she was just ‘average’, she refused to get a makeover. The cat fights were shallow, frivolous and totally fake.

Characters:1/5

Our MC, America Singer (have you seen a more pretentious name?) spends the first half of the book complaining about her doomed Romeo-Julietesque romance (more about that in romance) and the abject poverty her family suffers from.  Pasta and apples slices for dinner, two full wardrobes- and she claims that she is ‘poor’? Forgive me for not believing you, America Singer.

What else do I hate about her? Well for starters, America thinks she is ‘average’. Of course we all know that in the young adult world, ‘average’ means amazing and modest. ‘Average’ heroines are the ones who are as beautiful as the sun and stars put together, the ones who know how to play a thousand different musical instruments and knows a gazillion different languages. They are the ones who are assured and reassured by their love interest that they are not just ‘average’- they are beautiful and smart and kind and… the list goes on. (Rolls eyes)

So what does our main character have going for her? Oh yes! She just happens to be just pretty and talented enough to capture the attention of dearest Prince Charming. She gets the chance to be in the most retarded game show ever to win the hand of the most eligible bachelor ever- the aforementioned Prince Charming.  But because Kiera Cass doesn’t want to make out heroine sound money-grubbing and opportunistic, she takes the opportunity to add some more tension to the mix and make her heroine dead set against the idea of even entering the contest.

But that’s only the beginning. This book is an array of shallow narcissistic one dimensional characters.

Our MC’s mother is an overdone version of Mrs. Weasely. Pushy, shovey, red-headed and not above bribes to get her children to do stuff they should have had the common sense to do anyways. Face palm.

Everyone in this book from Prince Charming to the ‘villain’ Celeste is a huge stereotype. If you plan on reading this book, don’t read it for the characters.

Action: 1/5

There were supposedly some raids but the main action in this book is Celeste demanding America give her her dress. Stupid, shallow and…did I mention stupid?

Romance:1/5

Aaargggh! A love triangle. Between Prince Maxon and a childhood friend  boyfriend ex-boyfriend palace guard Aspen. I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing over the names.
Maxon- Prince Maxon was seriously one of the most awkward characters I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. He’s a walking stereotype in the fact that he’s a typical Disney Prince- Perfrct, nice, naïve, calling everyone ‘my dear’ and completely boring.

And at the same time, he’s so contradictory. He claims to be bad with women but then proceeds to charm his way through all of the beautiful contestants. Apparently they found his awkwardness and creepiness endearing. Or something. (Personally I found it creepy) But then it’s possible that they were charmed by the glittering crown on his head.

 His behaviour makes even less sense. America wrongly assumes that Maxon is about to rape her then she proceeds to knee him where it hurts and then he doesn’t even care? Pathetic and weird. Then she tells him that she’s here for the food and in love with someone else so she doesn’t even want to be the damn princess. Well, I’m guessing any sane, non-pathetic guy would have eliminated her on the spot. Even if he’s kind and caring-especially if he’s kind and caring because he’d give the chance to someone who actually wanted it.

But we’ve established that Maxon’s neither kind nor caring. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when he threatened to kick her out when she claimed that one of the other girls was sabotaging the rest of the girls. But…talk about double standards and ‘for the sake of the plot’ moves.

Aspen- Aspen’s even worse.  He’s a chauvinistic prig who just can’t stand his helpless, dainty woman lifting her delicate, unmarred hands to get him some food. He throws an immature, prissy tantrum and breaks up with her when she makes him dinner. Dinner for God’s sake. Personally, I think the only reason Kiera Cass made the duo break up was because she couldn’t stand the thought of her pure, innocent little MC actually cheating.

Worldbuilding/Plotholes: 1/5

Kiera Cass you shouldn’t even have gone there. Seriously. Your world building sucked. I have no idea what ‘poverty’ in The Selection World is like. Unless it’s chicken, pasta, apple and iced tea. I have no idea why the Chinese would want to attack the Americans for having a massive debt. Waging wars are expensive. Neither do I get why they would want to use Americans for labour. For decades, Americans have been using machinery and cheap imported labour. They wouldn’t know how to do real labour if their lives depended on it. And I have no idea why America would suddenly consent to being named after a man who supposedly greatly aided them in winning them their freedom from the Chinese (they only gave George Washington a state and the capital). Or for that matter why they would accept the shoddy caste system in which they are all ranked from 1-7. As the saying goes: More full of holes than Swiss cheese

Overall Rating:1/5

So, if you can see past the obvious plot holes and if you don’t mind the messed up plot or the contrived, fake romance or the  shallow, self-absorbed characters or the utter lack of action… then you truly deserve to be lured in by the misleading cover into this horrible toilet paper thing that’s masquerading as a book.