The Not-So-Perfect Book Tag

In a society where cancel culture is the new norm and COVID19 has forced us into isolation, let’s spread even more negativity with the Not-So-Perfect Book Tag. Because, what else would we do with our lives? Just kidding but not really.

But jokes aside, get comfortable, maybe even grab a glass of wine as we discuss a whole lot of not-so-perfect books, plots and characters. Spoiler alert: it’s about to get snarky.

But, before I get into it, I’d like to send a virtual social-distance-approved hug to my salt sisters Nish and Ngoc from Nish & Ngoc’s Book Nook. My “saltmates” are the reigning queens of salty reviews. Not only will they rip into your favorite books, but you’ll die laughing as they do. Thanks so much for the tag, girls. ❤ Also be sure to check out Alex’s original post over at Lost In Translation while you’re at it!

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☆ If possible try to not mention the same book twice, it’s more fun that way [Spoiler alert: I did – whoops]
☆ It’s a funny tag where you can rant about terrible (or just meh) books so have FUN!
☆ Just do whatever you want ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
☆ Tag me if you decide to do it, I would love to see your answers

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1. The Not-So-Perfect Genre – a book that undermines the genre as a whole

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Retellings have become a serious trend in the world of publishing and while I’m a sucker for a good retelling, there are a lot that fuel the retellings-aren’t-necessary flame. Roseblood is one such book. A modern take on the Phantom of the Opera, Roseblood completely undermined the brooding complexity of the source material. I mean, Roseblood is basically an angsty high school drama riddled with supernatural cliches hidden behind it’s overly flowery prose. Oh and the Phantom is now a subterranean energy-feeding vampire because sure, why not?

Phantom Of The Opera Recovery GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Actual footage of me reading this book.

2. The Not-So-Perfect Dialogue – a book with dialogue so poor it made you cringe

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For the most part, I enjoyed Virgin River. It’s got that wholesome small-town-vibe and some seriously feisty characters. And I mean, it’s an adult romance novel that boarders on woman’s fiction so it’s not like I was expecting modern literature. BUT, I opening cringed super hard at a lot of the dialogue. Phrases like “that’s my boy” and “oh, baby” are tossed around and – I kid you not – “boy howdy” is a line actually used. Multiple times. Like, okay??? Is this a phrase we’re seriously using these days???

3. The Not-So-Perfect Setting – a book that takes place in a location you wish hadn’t been picked

I’m sorry – I honestly tried but I have nothing for this one.

4. The Not-So-Perfect Main Character – the most annoying protagonist

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For anyone who hated on Bella Swan, prepare to eat your words and allow me to introduce Lisel. Yes my friends, Winteresong – my arch nemesis – is rearing it’s ugly head once again. I never pass up an opportunity to roast the actual crap out of this freaking book. For good reason. Lisel is the “ugly” sister who somehow still managed to land the Goblin King. Lisel is dull, seriously insecure and annoying AF as she whines and whines about her “ugly” appearance. Lord give me strength.

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5. The Not-So-Perfect Blurb – a blurb that was so far from the truth that it made you do a double-take and check you had read the right book

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I dragged myself though Distant Waves way-back-when in my Titanic prime. I took one glance at that cover, it’s haunting imagery of a gown suspended, weightless in water and didn’t look back. Distant Waves promised an ill-fated voyage aboard the RMS Titanic with five sisters, complete with a high stakes fight for survival. Instead, I was forced to trudge through a flimsy plot featuring spiritualists and Nikola Tesla? Um… what? The Titanic doesn’t make an appearance until the end and was criminally misused. Talk about a freaking tease. #stillsalty.

6. The Not-So-Perfect Friend – from whiny attention-seeker to full-on traitor, a character you think is the worst friend ever

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Don’t get me wrong – I love After. It’s the best kind of trash and I basically lived for the angst. Not sure what that says about me as a person. That being said, Steph Jones, Tessa’s edgy, obnoxious, seriously destructive roommate and supposed best friend is the actual worst. If you disagree, come back and face me after reading the third book. I mean, this girl straight up tries to seduce her sister’s husband. Like, enough said. When we first meet Steph, we’re led to believe that she’s loyal – spoiler alert: she’s a master manipulator.

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7. The Not-So-Perfect Love Interest – a character who would be an awful romantic partner

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Lolita will forever be one of my favorite classics. Basically the jail cell confession of a pedophile, Lolita is a powerful, complex story of a man’s obsessive infatuation with his teenage step-daughter. Humbert Humbert, equal parts protagonist and antagonist, poses as the romantic hero, painting his abusive relationship with Lolita as a tragic love affair. This man is NOT romantic. He’s NOT a star-crossed, mooney-eyed lover. Don’t make the mistake of falling for his flowery prose and hopeless declarations of love. Humbert Humbert is a vile man who abuses, grooms and manipulates a young girl’s innocence.

8. The Not-So-Perfect Villain – a character you thought would have amazing evil plans but fell short

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That’s right – I’m 100% recycling Wintersong and breaking the rules because apparently my hatred for this book knows no bounds. Basically, S. Jae-Hones pissed all over David Bowie’s iconic antihero with her under-developed and seriously unimpressed Goblin King. I feel that S. Jae-Jones’s goblin king attempted to be this mischievous and alluring antihero but fell woefully flat. That, and the fact that while imitating David Bowie, she missed the entire freaking point of Jareth’s character. All I’m going to say is that there were some MAJOR consent issues and I was not here for it.

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#sonotmygoblinking.

9. The Not-So-Perfect Family – a horrible bookish family

We’ve seen some pretty abusive families in the wide world of literature. But perhaps the worst bookish family since the Dursleys are the Carters from Journey to the River Sea. While the sweeping adventure down the Amazon was perfect, the Carters are anything but. Basically, our orphaned protagonist, Maia finds herself at the mercy of her distant relatives and their vicious, spoilt twins. In true Cinderella fashion, the Carters bar Maia from the jungle and exploit her allowance to settle their debt. Also the Carter’s treat their staff as slaves, forcing them to work their failed rubber plantation. Yikes.

10. The Not-So-Perfect Plot Twist – a book with the worst plot twist

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It’s a hard pill to swallow but there are some sequels that are just really, really not necessary. Wayfarer is a straight up mess, suffering from a serious lack of structure and horrendous pacing. Then there’s that final nail in-the-coffin plot twist that felt very left field and literally came out of NOWHERE. Let’s be real: the whole thing with the Belladonna and the Shadows was bad plotting. Not only did it throw a wet blanket on the torch I was carrying, but the twist was never foreshadowed or fleshed out. Where was the explanation? All I’m saying is it had ZERO relevance to the first book.

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11. The Not-So-Perfect Trope – a trope you wish would be avoided in all future publications

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Honestly, if the whole dystopian trope was bared from all future publications I wouldn’t lose any sleep. I’m 100% done with the idea of dystopian rebellions and failed uprisings. I feel like there’s just nothing we haven’t already seen before. I mean, you know how it goes: we have a corrupt futuristic utopia but there’s stirrings of political and economical unrest. As the seeds are sown, our protagonist unwittingly finds him or herself at the center of the uprising and must sacrifice everything for the cause. Blah, blah, blah.

12. The Not-So-Perfect Cover – that awful cover that almost made you miss a great book

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Fest your eyes on this monstrosity. Take it all in – I’ll give you a moment. What the actual heck were the design/marketing team thing when they coined “Vampire Academy” then slapped it with that ungodly cover??? This cover is a travesty, criminally painting a feminist, action-packed series about sisterhood as yet another trashy vampire novel. I mean, where’s the substance? Where’s the flair? Not here, that’s for sure. Yikes.

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13. The Not-So-Perfect Ending – a book with the most disappointing ending

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Once upon a time I read Dracula… then roasted the actual heck out of it with a salty AF review. It was a ranting masterpiece and I’m pretty sure Bram Stoker actually rolled in his grave. Basically Dracula was sluggish, disappointing and dry. Don’t even get me started on that anticlimactic cop-out of an ending. After all the blood, sweat and tears, I didn’t even get an epic showdown between Dracula and Van Helsing??? I mean, the final confrontation was done and dusted within seven pages. Seven freaking pages. Let that sink in. To this day, my blood still boils at the mention of this travesty.

14. The Not-So-Perfect Expectations – a book that was so hyped it disappointed you and, you can’t understand why everyone loves it so much

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Every man and his dog recommends A Darker Shade of Magic. Also, every man and his dang dog raves about A Darker Shade of Magic. Me? not so much. I’m still 100% convinced I didn’t read the same book everyone else did. [Honestly, what book did ya’ll read???] A Darker Shade of Magic just didn’t click with me. I wasn’t emotionally invested in the characters or the plot and I just felt so detached from the beat of the novel. I can see the appeal – the premise is seriously intriguing – but the execution doesn’t live up to it’s immense hype.

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I’m 100% aware that I always tag like the same five people [sorry!] so I’m leaving this one open to all my bookish friends. Tag – you’re it! ❤

All jokes aside, I just want to take this moment to remind everyone that is is a stressful and unsettling time. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed or anxious. Keep smiling, stay positive and as always, if you need a friend, I’m always here.

14 thoughts on “The Not-So-Perfect Book Tag

    • I wanted to love A Darker Shade of Magic – really I did! EVERYONE seems to love it. You can bet I’ll be giving the series another go one day. I’m a serious mood reader and my moods often effect my reading experience/ rating. We might have another Cruel Prince scenario when I’ll eventually end up loving it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Despite not having read most of the books on this list – I loved your answers! I definitely agree with you on dystopia as a genre, I was never able to get into it when everyone was raving about all the books on the internet. I am planning on reading A Darker Shade of Magic soon so I’m interested to see how it turns out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww thank you! I honestly don’t get the hype around dystopian??? Everyone is already raving about the new Hunger Games and I’m just like meh about it??? I really do hope you end up loving A Darker Shade of Magic though – happy reading! ❤

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  2. i completely get why adsom is on this list!! i was a bit underwhelmed by it when i read it (and thinking back, i should have rated it a lot lower than the 4 stars i gave it — i just read it during 2017 when i was letting the hype get the best of me for Everything lmao). the rest of the series is monumentally better imo! and haha i get what you said about dystopian — i think for me personally i’m done with the typical white dystopian stories you see, but i feel like there have been some dystopian releases lately that have some twists to them that i really enjoy!

    great post, alexandra, i loved reading your answers ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • They do tell me that the series gets better after A Darker Shade of Magic – I just haven’t had the urge to press on yet. I’m getting to it though, I promise! 😂 Also I splurged on the hardcover editions so I sort of owe it to my bank account to see it though!

      Actually one dystopian I’d love to give a try is the Red Rising Saga, I’ve heard good things from a lot of bookish friends who’s judgement I trust so I might just pick it up.

      Thank you so much for reading, May! I hope April has been treating you well x ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Um, so I wrote an ESSAY of a response to this post & I went to see if you’d replied to it – AND OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVEN’T BC IT NEVER GOT POSTED??? WORDPRESS WHY YOU DO ME LIKE THIS 😡

    So basically this is the salt-post OF MY DREAMS. Like hold me back, sister, I need some antihypertensives 😂I honestly can’t believed Wintersong failed to deliver on the MC *AND* the villain? I guess that takes some kind of special talent? 😂 And um Roseblood – THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA TURNED INTO WHAT NOW???

    I honestly forgot that this was the Not So Perfect Book Tag & almost added Distant Waves to my TBR on sight, then I read the rest of your comment lel 😛

    Alexandra did you just – DID YOU JUST CANCEL THE WHOLE DYSTOPIAN GENRE??? 😂Honestly though, I totally agree. I loved it once upon a time, but now I feel like everything that could be done with that genre has already been done & done well by a select few books. Can we stop already? 😅

    V.E. Schwab is an amazing writer, but I’ve never really felt all that emotionally invested in her characters. Like sure the stories are unique & the writing style is phenomenal, but I’m just not emotionally attached to her characters at all??

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS TAG, THIS TOTALLY MADE MY DAY!!! 😍

    💛 Your saltmate

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH MY FREAKING FREAK WORDPRESS – YOU HAD ONE JOB! NOT HAPPY, JAN! 😡😡😡
      [Lol – you were probably thinking “WTF ALEXANDRA? WHY ARE YOU IGNORING MY GLORIOUS ESSAY???”] 😂

      But thank you so much for sending me said essay because honestly, not only did you make me cry ugly happy tears of joy but you made me laugh so dang hard. Nothing was going to live up to the sheer saltiness of your post so I’m glad you enjoyed mine! But girl, seriously take my word for it – Wintersong was a straight up MESS. The entire time I was like “WTAF is this freaking GARBAGE???”. There was so much potentially but the author just pissed ALL OVER IT. It’s been two years and I’m still seething. LOL. I will probably never recover.

      And yes – you read that correctly, A.G. Howard made the Phantom of the Opera a freaking vampire. Like thanks – I freaking hate it. I was like NOOOOOOOOO! Talk about a BIG yikes!!! FYI, one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read.

      AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO NOT ADD DISTANT WAVES TO YOUR TBR!!! Or do. But, it’s your funeral. 😂😂😂

      Also, you bet your butt I just cancelled the entire dystopian genre hahaha. Yes, I have the audacity! 😉

      And finally, THANK GOD I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO ISN’T EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN THE DSoM CHARACTERS! WHO HOO! Honestly, I thought I was alone in my unpopular opinions. I get why people like her worlds but there’s just something about V.E. Schwab’s writing that doesn’t grab me? My eyes were glazing over the entire time! I feel compelled to give it another shot one day – I splurged on the hardcovers so I owe it to my poor bank account!

      Thank you so much for your message! It also made my day!!!
      Lots of love, your saltmate xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • HAHAHA I was like ‘oh it’s been awhile since I’ve heard from Alexandra’ & then I checked & was like LEL THAT’S COS WORDPRESS NEVER POSTED MY FREAKING ESSAY 😂

        Ugh, I’ve heard SO many gross things about Wintersong – it’s honestly left the orbit of my existence. Unless someone trades me a date with Zac Efron in exchange for reading the book or something 😂OMG WOW, 2 YEARS?! That terrible, huh? Sheezus 😨

        HAHAHA I mean on the plus side, if I read Distant Waves, we can write a joint review so salty that the post will have to come with a warning for anyone that has a heart condition 😂

        OH NO YOU SPLURGED ON THE HARDCOVERS?!? NOOOO YOUR POOR BANK ACCOUNT!! I haven’t actually read ADSOM, but I’ve read Vicious & This Savage Song by V.E.Schwab. I thought the writing itself was quite good but yeah I didn’t really care much for the characters & don’t really have any intention of reading the sequels. 🤷🏻‍♀️And as someone who EASILY gets invested in fictional characters, that’s saying something!

        Awwww thank YOU for this MAGNIFICENT, SALTY PIECE OF ART!! 😍

        💛 Your saltmate

        Like

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