I know, I just finished a tag literally ten minutes ago, but I logged into YouTube to be greeted by Joel Books‘ video ‘The Grinch Book Tag’. I have not been in a particularly festive mood yet, to the extent that I will do those tags with overly festive questions. Saying that, this tag summarises all of the negative things that could be said about books and links them to the bad aspects of Christmas – perfect for a pessimist like me! As there are a lot of questions, I will not go into too much depth on each one, especially as I have presented pretty strong arguments for some of these in other posts (which I will link in the appropriate places). However, I will probably end up getting myself into another of my miniature rants, so read on and watch me list books, characters or series that I hate and link it back to what can make Christmas a pretty miserable time!
1. Half of the lights on the Christmas tree are burnt out – Name a book/series/character that started out well and then went downhill.
My choice is ‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’ by Michelle Hodkin (find my review here). I was vastly enjoying this book until 2/3 of the way through, after which it became very very bad, very very quickly, and I no longer care to continue on with the series.
2. Annoying relatives won’t leave you alone – Name a book that you did not enjoy but everyone else seems to love, and it will not stop haunting you.
As is stated in my ‘Book Sacrifice Tag’ for the ‘overrated book’ category, and also in my ‘Insurgent’ book review (found here), I hate the ‘Divergent’ series, however, as that is my automatic answer for this question, I am going to list another popular book that I absolutely despised and say ‘Shatter Me’ by Tahereh Mafi. I never reviewed this book, as the internet was down when I read it, but I really wish that I had catalogued my notes as I read it, as at the time I had so many criticisms with the book. Now, three months later, not only have I forgotten the criticisms, but I do not care enough to recap it or even consider continuing the series. One thing I can recall very clearly, and I know that I’m signing my own death warrant here, is that *whispers* I hated Warner so much. He was a repulsive character and the idea that you are meant to warm to him as the series progresses frustrates me. This book was a monumental disappointment for me, and I feel like the only person in the world who really didn’t ‘get’ this book. It was for this reason that I never mentioned this before, but there you have it. I hated ‘Shatter Me’. I’ve said it.
3. Your pets keep knocking over your Christmas decorations – Name a character that kept on messing everything up for everyone.
I’m not sure whether this one has to be a bona fide villain or not, but I’m going to say one that isn’t a villainous character, as I doubt that anyone really calls their pets evil and means it. For this one, I am going to select Adelina in ‘The Young Elites’ by Marie Lu (my review here). I loved this book and I mostly loved Adelina, but she managed to both intentionally and unintentionally screw things up royally for just about everyone in the duration of this one book. There’s still two more books, so how much more damage can she do?
4. You hear your parents putting presents out and learn that Father Christmas is not real – Name a book you were spoiled for.
It’s an obvious choice and I have said it before, but I tend to avoid spoilers, so the only one that I can really say is ‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth, which I knew the ending of before I even started the series. I didn’t care in the end, but it’s the only example I can remember off the top of my head.
5. It’s freezing outside – Name a character you just couldn’t warm to.
The character that I am choosing is Akiva from ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor. He was a good character in a great book, created by a brilliant author. It all sounded so promising… but for reasons that I am not 100% sure of, I just never invested in Akiva as a character. This is not a fault with the writing or characterisation, nor due to any glaring character faults; I knew that I should warm to him, but I just felt nothing but indifference.
6. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is being played a lot on the radio, giving you anti-romantic feelings – Name a couple that you just could not stand.
A couple that I just could not stand is Tessa and Will in ‘The Infernal Devices’ by Cassandra Clare. To be fair, they are at a disadvantage as I despise them both individually (anything with Will in doesn’t stand a chance!), but I honestly do not think that they make a good couple at all. I would ship Tessa with Jem, as they make a much more relatable and believable pairing, if it weren’t for the fact that Jem is far too good for her. My all-time least favourite couple is therefore Tessa Gray and Will Herondale.
7. The scratchy homemade jumper that you got for Christmas years ago but have never worn – A book that has been sitting on your shelf for years that you are not motivated to read, but do not have the heart to get rid of.
Considering that I buy many books and get rid of practically none of them, there could be many suggestions here. I am going to settle on ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexandre Dumas. I bought this a couple of years ago in a bargain bookstore with every intention of reading it straight away. It is still languishing on my classics shelf with a fair few other classic books that I am daunted about starting, but cannot get rid of, as I know that I will have to read them all at some point: they aren’t classics for nothing!
8. Grandma has gotten run over by a reindeer – Name a character death that you are still mad about.
*Unavoidable Spoilers Here – ‘Harry Potter’ Books 5 and 7*
There are many character deaths that I will not get over, and J.K. Rowling is to blame for a fair few of them. In the end, I am going to choose two of my favourite fictional characters of all time, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin from the ‘Harry Potter’ series. I mean, I get that Sirius probably had to go, but was Remus really necessary? Really? I have been very fond of the pair of them since I first read ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’, and she killed off them both. I was one very unsatisfied kid.
9. Shops are overcrowded with shoppers for the holidays – Name a series with too many books, or that went on too long.
Due to my inability to get past book one of 90% of series that I start, I do not have many options for this one, as if it goes on too long, I put it down. I’m going to settle on one that I actually adore, and have done ever since I was a child, but there were far too many similar books with rather indistinct plot-lines to keep track of: ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket. While I did read and enjoy all 13 instalments, the majority were very similar, and I don’t think many people would notice if the plots of 5 or 6 of the books were taken out.
10. The Grinch – Name a main character that you absolutely hate (not a villain).
It is possibly a lot easier to add this link to my ‘5 Least Favourite Characters from the Major Book Series’, as this answer is essentially a toss up between Tris Prior from ‘Divergent’ and ‘The Infernal Devices’ “heartthrob” Will Herondale. I think I will just direct you to that ranty post rather than rehashing my entire argument, but for the answer’s sake, and due to the fact that both books have already been used in this post, I am going to call it a tie.
There we have it: me being suitably miserable with regards to both books and Christmas. Nothing out of the ordinary then. Bah Humbug.