So I have a secret–I’m a bit of a book snob. So much so, that I’ve created an anti-TBR list.
We’re all guilty of it–seeing that one book over and over again so many times that it just puts a bad taste in your mouth, even though you’ve never read it.
I spend a massive amount of time in bookstores, and I work in a library, so there are definitely a few of these books that have come across my desk in some way or another. I find that the books that I tend to be most turned off by are ones that are way overhyped on social media, books that have a less-than-appealing cover, and books that seem poorly written. I know, no matter how many times I see these books, that I’ll never read them. And thus, I’ve begun to create a bit of an anti-TBR.
Now just like my to-be-read (TBR) list, I seem to have compiled this anti-TBR list of all the books that I have judged prematurely and I’m 99% sure I’ll hate. And honestly? There are enough books out there that I’ll probably never have to do myself the disservice of tackling my anti-TBR list. But, I figured it’s at least worth talking about these books and why they’ve come to be on this said anti-TBR list. So, let’s get into it. These are all the books I refuse to read.
#1: Anything by Colleen Hoover
I swear, I haven’t always hated Colleen Hoover. I read ONE of her books, It Ends With Us (you can read my review on that one by clicking here). I didn’t hate It Ends With Us, I just didn’t love it. I felt like Hoover’s writing style was a little immature for me, and honestly I can see her becoming the next Danielle Steele or James Patterson or something–it seems like there’s almost a cult following of her books and I just don’t get why. Don’t get me wrong, I think her books are great for some readers, but I don’t think I’m one of them. That being said, I’m so tired of seeing her books raved about on literally every other BookTok video and if that’s one reason I’m turned off from her writing, it’s one reason that’s enough for me.
#2: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
This book has been SO popular for so long, and I just don’t really get the hype. I think The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is primarily why Taylor Jenkins Reid has become a popular author (she has tons of other books out), and it is rated pretty freaking high on Goodreads. If I didn’t see this book all over social media, I probably never would have even though twice about leaving it on the shelf–it’s just not something that I would normally go for. That being said, I can’t stand when things are overhyped, and this book has certainly become one of those novels that’s just TOO talked about. Although this book is firmly rooted on my anti-TBR list, I will admit that I did pick up ONE of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s older books the other day that seemed interesting, so I might attempt to tackle that one to see if her writing is really that good or if she’s just another Tiktok trend.
#3: The Maid by Nita Prose
Okay, so I don’t necessarily have anything against this book (at least as much as the other two), but let me tell you why it’s on my anti-TBR list. The main character in this book is essentially an anti-social, awkward woman who clearly is supposed to be autistic. As someone with living with Autism, I find representation to be very important–that’s why I was initially excited about this book. Yet, I’ve heard nothing but terrible reviews from neurodivergent readers that felt that the protagonist was a poor representation of autism. Perhaps that’s why the author chose not to directly identify the character as autistic–but either way, it’s just not something I have any inclination to read at this time.
#4: The Summer I Turned Pretty Series
Okay, so I actually READ the first book in this series way back in 2009 (yup, I was a reader even then). This book came out while I was in high school and it had a nicer cover back then and a less popular following. Anyhow, I didn’t enjoy The Summer I Turned Pretty the first time I read it and I can’t seem to understand why full-grown adults are loving this book when I couldn’t even get into it as a teenager. I don’t love Jenny Han’s writing style and the premise of the book is kind of just overdone, to me anyway. And, just like every other over-hyped book on this list, even if I wanted to read it, Booktok has destroyed it for me anyway. So, onto the anti-TBR list it goes.
#5: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Out of all of the books on my anti-TBR list, Sea of Tranquility is probably the one that I hate the least (so maybe hate is a strong word–should we go with dislike?). I actually read Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven before that one became popular, and I struggled to finish it. In fact, I think I might have read about half of it and then finally dropped it because I just couldn’t get into it. Don’t get me wrong, I love dystopian novels as much as the next person. In fact, it might be one of my favorite tropes. Yet, I just couldn’t identify with the writing of this author. That being said, I don’t have anything against her books, and I actually picked up this one for my brother for his birthday since he DOES like writing styles similar to hers, so maybe he’ll enjoy her work more than I do. It might be a really good book, but whether it is or not–it’s just not for me.
Even though these are all books I will never read, I would never discount the author or anyone else that’s enjoyed them (so don’t get your panties in a twist if you disagree–you’re still allowed to love them even if I don’t). If you have an anti-TBR list, I’d love to know what books are on it. What five books would you add to your list? Let me know in the comments below!
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