Weekly Musing: Regretful Reads of 2015

To paraphrase a famous quote “Read everything you can get your hands on.” This means the good, the great, the bad, and the truly atrocious books. Up until the last few years I was always one of those people who had to finish a book no matter what. Even if I hated the book early on I still stuck it through in the hopes that perhaps the book would get better. However, the older I get and the more books I acquire, the more I realize if something doesn’t do it for me then it’s okay to not finish the book.

Even armed with this philosophy I still wind up finishing most books I start. There were a few I simply couldn’t finish and didn’t think it was fair to include those on my list of least favorite books of 2015.

Jessica Jones: The Pulse by Michael Bendis – I can’t really go into too much about this since the Netflix’s series Jessica Jones has recently premiered and I’m not sure if they pulled anything from this. Let me quickly state I read the first set of comics the Jessica Jones character appears in and loved, loved them. This joy didn’t transfer over to The Pulse which is the second volume of comics she is the center of.

And that’s one of my biggest problems with it. What made reading Jessica Jones: The Pulse rather unbearable is that despite being written by the character’s creator, she barely resembles herself. Supposedly she has a job with The Daily Bugle acting as a liaison between the paper and superheroes but she doesn’t actually do anything. All she does is whine. I guess when you leave your private investigation business you become annoying as hell.

Another thing that bugged me is how many of the stories don’t center on her. It’s more about other superheroes and J. Jonah Jameson. When she is there, she just exists. No clue where the gritty, troubled, and utterly human Jessica Jones we were first introduced to went. I have a hard time believing just because The Pulse is supposed to be more PG or PG-13 that that somehow meant the writer felt he needed to gut the character. Major disappointment.

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White – I’ve previously reviewed this book so my reasons for putting it on this list have already been documented. I’ll save everyone the time of rehashing.

Amethyst by Lauren Royal – Much like last year when I read a book called Danielle simply because that’s my first name, I decided to read this book because the main character’s first name happens to be my birth stone. I need to stop doing that. They do nothing but disappoint.

Amethyst is a typical historical romance in that we’ve got our female heroine who meets by accident a rich, young, and handsome Duke, Baron, whatever title. Naturally they fall in love and live happily ever after despite trite obstacle after trite obstacle. And of course both our leads are involved/promised to other people they clearly shouldn’t be with because they are horrible people.

The only thing that was kind of neat was Amethyst was the daughter of a jewelry maker (hence her name) and was talented in her own right. Other than that, this was incredibly forgettable.

Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne – This book was weird which isn’t what I had a problem with. When a story is set in a hippie commune in modern day Wales it’s to be expected the characters and story are going to be a bit weird. What bugged me most about the book was not so much the head-hopping but which characters’ heads the reader was forced into.

If the author had stuck to the family at the center of the story then this book would have been better. After all, the heart of this book is how a family that has existed solely within the commune deals with the modern world as it creeps into their sphere. If the book had stayed focused on this family dynamic rather than subplots that really did nothing to support the main plot, then I would have enjoyed it more.


There you have it a nice short list of books that bugged me to read this year. Next week’s list of books I truly enjoyed is longer. Maybe that shows I’m getting pickier or maybe I just don’t want to waste my time. Who knows.


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