Five of the worst bestselling YA books


Grace Halvorson edited with Canva

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In the last couple of years some books have blown up on social media and just all around have been raved about by readers; personally, I don’t think these books lived up to their high ratings. Disclaimer, the following is my opinion. This article is purely for your entertainment. If you are bothered by these opinions, I suggest a friend to rant to or the lovely suggestion box that looks suspiciously like a trash can. With that out of the way, sit back and enjoy. 

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses    

This could quite possibly be the most cheesy fantasy cover I’ve ever seen. (Fair use photo from

Allow me to throw us into the deep end to start with. Now, before you all start after me with your pitchforks and your torches, please understand that I tried to read this book three times. I would have given up after the first try with any other book. The only reason I kept trying to read this was because everyone on social media loved it. I couldn’t stand A Court of Thorns and Roses. What was the plot? Someone explain it to me. I got halfway through, and she was just living in the castle. Boring. Don’t tell me “Oh, the third book is the best. You just have to make it to the third one.” No. The first two books of a series being bad doesn’t justify the last book. I am not going to claw my way through two books just to get to a third book that might live up to the hype, believe it or not, I do have better things to do. 


2. We Were Liars

I was so excited for this book and was let down like a leaf falling from a tree. (Free use photo from


This is another controversial one. There was one thing that was redeeming about this book, and it is too weak for me to justify having spent money on it. The supposed plot twist at the end that everyone talked about was flatter than an old bottle of pop. I feel it could have had so much more build-up to it, or even just the way it was revealed could have been more dramatic to make the twist more shocking. I found the reveal lacking in some pizzazz.

Sartell High School senior, Kelsi Linn stated: “They could have made the large plot twist more interesting and shocking. It was supposed to be more impactful than I felt it was.”

The book was fine. I would give it a 4.5/10, but it doesn’t live up to all the hype it got. 


3. Children of Blood and Bone

Don’t look at me like that. Okay, I know it was supposed to be so good. I personally found

This cover art is too beautiful for such a boring and predictable book. (Free use photo from

it boring, confusing, and the main characters were just plain annoying. I did manage to finish this book. It is a series, but the first book was enough for me. I think my real issue with this book was the concept. The plot felt overused like I had read it before which made it painfully predictable. Along with that, some of the character’s choices are dumb and really only aided in dragging the book out. I guess it was fine, the cover was gorgeous, but definitely not a read I would recommend. 



4. Shadow and Bone-specifically Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising 

The start of this series was great. Then it all went downhill from there. Can we talk about the fact that her physical and emotional abuser was romanticized? Alina was suffering from PTSD and having hallucinations about the Darkling, part of her love triangle. Moving on, Bardugo made Alina’s best friend and one of her love interests, Mal, a terrible guy, then still had Alina end up with him. The entirety of social media hated Mal by the end of the series, but heaven forbid the main character not have a

The cover art themselves show the rudimentary essence of these books. (Free use photo from

significant other by the end of the book. I believe you can tell that this series was one of Bardugo’s older series. Her books have gotten so much better as she becomes a more experienced writer. For example, The Six of Crows series is great. It is one of my favorites. King of Scars is also practically perfect. The Shadow and Bone series not living up to my expectations. Fun fact: the Netflix series has included all of Bardugo’s Grisha universe. The Six of Crows could stand on its own, but Shadow and Bone could not. 


5. Outlander 

We are talking about the book here, not the show. The first book specifically is what I have beef with, mainly because I couldn’t get through it and did not bother reading the others. The idea has potential: Claire Randal travels from 1945 to 1743 in Scotland and finds herself as a nurse for a powerful clan. I got halfway through the book, and she wasn’t doing anything to get back to her time. Our main character talks about how she wants to get back and how she needs to return to her fiance, but then she doesn’t look for ways to go home. The entire novel is just her going about her new life day by day.

The cover is beautiful. On the other hand, it is also simple and plain, like the plot of this book. (Free use photo from

Outlander is one of the top 10 best-loved novels of America according to PBS, but I was left waiting for something, anything, interesting to happen. 




There it is, my two cents for the day. I hope you found this article as liberating as I did, or at least mildly entertaining.