Great Reviews of Terrible Reads!

At AAR, we love good books. We are delighted to find them and thrilled to be able to recommend them to you.

But we also have a huge soft spot for bad books. As a reviewer with over 350 notches to my reviewing bedpost, I have to tell you, writing reviews for the stinkers can be really therapeutic. And based on what you all have told us in several comment threads lately, you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy writing them.

I asked AAR reviewers to share some of their favorite low-grade reviews, and here are some of our choices.

Wild and Wicked, an F review by Marianne Stiliings

“​​Okay, I have a name for books like Wild and Wicked: McRomance. Carefully packaged, lots of filler, and little nutritive value. Generic, lackluster, uninventive. You know exactly what you’re going to get before you get it. Occasionally leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Wild and Wicked is a McRomance, sub-genre McMedi. Thin plot, unsympathetic characters, purple prose, anachronistic language. A t’was here, a nay there. That about takes care of the medieval authenticity. A big McWaste-of-time.”

Wagon Train Sisters, an F review by Lisa

“Here, dear readers, is a short list of things you would be better off reading instead of Wagon Train Sisters: The back of a Mr. Bubble label. An outdated encyclopedia, cover to cover. A Bazooka Joe comic. And, last but not least, the pull tag on a pillow.”

Dusk with a Dangerous Duke, an F review by Blythe

“In my house we are fond of quoting Jane from Pride and Prejudice; when someone can’t understand the appeal of something, someone else will say, “You do not allow for differences in situation and temperament.” I can’t imagine the situation or temperament that would enjoy this book.”

The Witch of Clan Sinclair, C+ review by Caroline

“And then there’s Logan’s hazardous dick. Oh, yes. Lifting Logan’s kilt reveals a whole world of WTF. He needs a support undergarment so he doesn’t injure himself with his giant man-wang. Honest to God, Logan tells Mairi, “If I didn’t wear one, I’d be bruised.”

Fall for Me, F review by Caroline

“The only way I could finish this book was by making sure it was the only thing I took with me on a long airplane flight. Even then, I only read it after finishing Air Canada’s entire En Route magazine (including the feature on monogrammed beachwear), the emergency evacuation card, and the Skymall catalogue. Overall, it was less engaging than reading the oxygen mask instructions. In French. Which I don’t speak.”

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae, D review by Dabney

“I literarily wended, linguistically traveled, and read with eager purpose, burgeoning desire, and incendiary yearning. Utterly determined — alone and seeking a reviewer’s sweet satiation — engaging my somnolent disbelieving emerald orbs – fraught and needy, laboring to find the pinnacle of completion, desperate beyond measure to finish this book. Done. Basking. Glorying in the magnificent awareness, the enthralling conviction I will no longer – never again – have to read prose like that found in Ms. Laurens’ overwrought and overwritten tome The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae.”

A Woman Made For Sin, D- review by Caz

“Well. If my Kindle’s calculation of the time it took me to read this book is accurate, that’s five-and-a-half hours of my life I’m never going to get back.“

Hot Pursuit, D- review by Caz

“Do women of thirty really say things like “That kind of thinking was totally crazypants”, or “it was totally amazeballs” and actually MEAN it? Sure, I’ve said things like that, but only when I wanted to take the piss out of something. Or how about you look at a guy and think he’s “A breaker of hearts. A slayer of vaginas”. A slayer of vaginas?! What is this – Muffy the Vagina Slayer?!”

And of course Marianne Stillings’s legendary review of To Tame a Renegade, in which a black stallion becomes a gray gelding halfway through the hero’s ride.

What about you? What are some of your favorite reviews of terrible reads?

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