The Worst Young Adult Novels You've Read


I have to say, sometimes I just pick up a book and I’m blown away at how bad it is, being anything from poorly paced or just plain uninteresting. I think the worst offenders of this are definitely young adult novels. They’re almost all carbon copies of each other, and I get it, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But at least some of them add at least one interesting plot point or a new twist on something we’ve seen before. However, there are some books that are complete copies of better ones, with little to no new plot devices and are riddled with common fiction tropes.

The last book I read that I personally feel has fit this description is Wondrous Strange. I don’t know if any of you have read it, but it’s a take on the “supernatural creatures in NYC” (why is it always New York City?). In this novel its Faeries, but they’re all named after the characters in a Midsummers Night Dream. Many predictable plot points ensue, and of course, the romantic subplot involving a human girl who was actually special the whole time, and the powerful, attractive Fae warrior with washboard abs and a pretty face. None of the conflict feels detrimental in the slightest, because we as the reader already know what’s going to happen. It’s so predictable.

A book similar to this one -with the whole Shakespeare inspired faeries- is the Iron King series. I remember really enjoying the first two books because they had their own well-developed world, a good balance between reality and fantasy and the main character didn’t make me want to scoop my eyeballs out with a spoon.

So, my question to you, what horribly written, disappointing or otherwise completely unoriginal books have you read? What are examples of similar books that have succeeded in making you feel connected to the story?


I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I know there’s a lot that I just put down at the first chapter. A lot of the things that really annoy me are clichés, and stories where the unpopular girl suddenly has tons of admirers, or only one admirer, but it’s the most popular guy at school. I also dislike when books have underlying sexism or racism.

EDIT: @Goddess probably has some books :smile:.
EDIT 2.0: Is Twilight a young adult novel? I really disliked it.
EDIT 3.0: YA novel characters are really annoying. They are too intense (I met you yesterday, but I love you more than you could ever imagine), there are too many love triangles (I’d be happy if one guy liked me enough to ask me out over two fighting over me like I was some prize to be won).
EDIT 4.0: Ninjaed by @Syphon


I think Twilight was meant to be geared towards the young adult audience, but it became really popular with tweens, mostly because of the brooding attractive people and the god-awful, nausea-inducing love triangle :laughing:


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To be honest, I’ve read just as many shitty adult books as YA books. I don’t think it’s really fair to say YA has more trash than the rest-- I think it just gets a bad rep because it’s popular with teenage girls. That said, I’ve read some pretty awful books so I’ll share them with you :wink:

Hush, Hush-- Everyone in high school told me to read this books and it was… so bad. I thought Twilight showcased an abusive relationship, but it has nothing on this.

The Selection-- God, what awful, boring characters. And the most uninsipred world building, I s2g.

Chosen-- I really wanted to like this books when I was a kid, because the main character is a Native American vampire. That sounds awesome, right?? Nooooope. So many racial caricatures, so much awful dialogue… and it never ends. My friend still reads them and she says they’re on book 20 or something.

Since I never bother finishing books I don’t like, I suppose these books could have gotten better after I put them down. But I honestly doubt it… I have a long, long list of awful ‘adult’ books as well.


Let’s see. I think I’m the only one who disliked the Chronicles of Narnia, but that might’ve been because I had just finished the glorious series Harry Potter. Narnia was shallow, and I felt that the world wasn’t developed properly. (I think someone else agrees because I saw a discussion about the CoN series a while back, but I’m not sure.)

I dislike books like “Gossip Girl” in genderal. :wink:

I dislike hyped-up vampire books, although some of them are really good. I wish more people had @Sashira’s talent at writing vampire. Anyway, for the horrible vampire series books award I nominate: The Vampire Diaries and Twilight. The characters are just flat and plain - out boring.

More on Twilight: It’s not very well written. It also sends the wrong message to young girls, basically teaching them that they should throw away their life and marry some guy at eighteen. Like our only goal in life is to marry, have babies, and let your husband do all of the work. No. Just no.

Eragon also wasn’t that great. It had bad grammar and big words. And it’s kinda dry.

However, (going slightly off-topic, but whatever) some books I liked have been ruined by the movies: LIKE THE GREATNESS THAT IS PERCY JACKSON!!
(Prepare for rant.)
The movie literally has the characters 4 years older than they are in the book. Like, if going by the book, Percy at sixteen already defeat Kronos. And the second movie is what, three years later? WTF is this? I’m actually really glad it was discontinued. Secondly, they don’t add in the prophecy. No, Percy just goes off on a random quest, and Annabeth tags along. But guess what? It gets worse in the sequel. They actually go into the belly of the beast and have to escape. Pinocchio rip-off. I don’t want to get into too big of a rant, but I have a lot to say. Sorry if that was hard to follow, but what I’m trying to say is that YA movies could also be handled better. Well, that, and I’m telling the Director of PJ to have a look at how the director of HP handled things.


Twilight certainly twillight. Many bad books exist in the world (YA and not YA) but twilight gets the cake not just for how terrible bad it is in so many ways, but also for the terrible things it did to the vampire mythos. Every damn time someone now says “I like vampires” it’s always answered with “Oh, so you like Twilight?”. No, no I don’t, I said I like vampires and with that I mean real vampires. (same goes for the werewolfs).

And books that got ruined by movies: the golden compass/northern lights. Those were pretty much the first books that really animated me to read through half of the school library and the movie was just…I don’t even know what it was.

Edit: And lets not forget that 50 shades of grey was based on a twilight fanfiction so that comes in addition for why it really is bad.


Oh boy, the chosen series…:dizzy_face: before reading them I thought, hey, a mother-daughter author duo? How cool and inspiring! And then it was just downhill from there. The forced character clichés were some of the worst I’d ever seen. Especially for Aphrodite. They named their popular, pretty, and flirty character Aphrodite…ugh…it hurts…can’t go on…


I feel your pain on the YA movie front. City of Bones was one of my favourite series and then the movie was just…I don’t even like thinking about it. And now there’s the Shadowhunters show based on the series and I can’t decide what’s worse anymore :speak_no_evil:


Hmm… There was a book I read the other month called ‘I’m watching you.’ it wasn’t bad as in badly written and a poor plot. It was bad because how derailed it became halfway. It’s sort of a love novel so I guess it counts.

A stalker mystery. Somebody framed for a murder they did not commit, they served their sentence and now the true killer is stalking a young woman and framing the the same guy to put him back in jail so they don’t figure out the truth.

Fantastic so far, really drawn me in and then so freakin’ suddenly it was almost like the author said to themselves ‘screw this! Let’s make every recurring character have sex with one another!’ and they really did. Everybody was having vicious and animalistic sex, nobody gave a crap about the mystery until the last three chapters .____. It was painful to read, especially how ridiculous these love scenarios were and how graphical they made the sex. I pushed through because I wanted to know who the real killer was (by the way I guess the killer correctly. It became too obvious after awhile.) and then I put the book down. I could not survive another description of rough lovemaking.


That’s unfortunate, sounds like such a missed opportunity for a good story. I’ve read enough bad fan fictions to know exactly what you’re talking about though :confounded: there are some words I just can’t look at the same way anymore.


Let me guess. This isn’t exactly the right time and place to show my support for the pro-Twilight camp :wink: (Go Twilight :flags:)

Sure, the movies were pretty awful (not the worst movie adaptation of a novel I know of tough. That questionable honor goes to the one based on ‘Blood and Chocolate’), but IMO the books were pretty decent, especially the later parts. They’re not exactly literary masterpieces, but I really admire Stepheny Meyer’s ability to somehow make it feel like the challenges the characters are faced with would be impossible to overcome at one moment, and then all pieces fall in place not much later and the problem more or less solves itself. It’s a bit cheesy, sure, but it’s quite nice if you just want to escape reality for a few hours. (Not to mention my not exactly sunshine and rainbows writing projects :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

When it comes to depicting mythical creatures, especially the darker kind, I prefer methods like the ones used in ‘Blood and Chocolate’ though. (Love the way the werewolves are portrayed in that one)

Life of a highschool vampire[wip/idea/concept]

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Oh, wow I have A LOT for this topic :joy:
My poor straining bookshelves filled with terrible terrible YA Fiction … Granted, I bought and read most of these when I was 13-15 and am now a better educated 19 year old (or I’d like to think so :joy:)

  • @iris already mentioned Hush, Hush - good god terrible series, I made the mistake of reading three out of the four books.
  • Then there’s Fallen Series which kind of followed that same trope of Deadly Abusive Bad Boy Fallen Angels Destined to Love Mediocre Girls that Hush, Hush featured.
  • @Syphon I still can’t decide how I feel about the Mortal Instruments series cause it was originally intended to be a trilogy and then sort of spiralled in book four which I only read half of? Movie Adaption though: :thumbsdown: AND NOW THERE’S A TV SHOW??
  • The same goes for Wicked Lovely - not necessarily a bad read but not earth-shattering either
  • By far, the worst one was one I picked up I think last year? The Dead Girls Detective Agency: I was so so so beyond disappointed by this book. Not only was it written by an author completely out of touch with their audience but no no no it had so much potential like The Dead Girls Detective Agency?
  • I never really liked the House of Night series? I have like seven of the books and I hated almost everything about it: the main character, the general everything ughhh
  • Vampire Academy. I’m not going to say anymore, just… Vampire Academy
  • I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT EVERMORE - SO BAD SO BEYOND BAD, if I was at all impressionable when I read it I would have been properly tainted growing up ugh no its so bad. The main character seemed to put so much emphasis on losing her virginity and it was just???

Unpopular Opinion Time:

  • The Hunger Games - just not into it? I don’t know, I tried to read them and I might try again?
  • The Fault in Our Stars - or just any John Green book really. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s well written I was just never properly drawn or interested in that or any of his other books

tldr; when I was twelve I liked Twilight, was obsessed with vampires and angels for a bit, and The Dead Girls Detective Agency ruined my life :tada: :tada:


Well, I did get pretty anxious the first time I read those books, even though I already sort of knew the general plot from hearing people discussing the movies. Might just be me though :wink: (And besides, aren’t the weaklings usually the people who get gruesomely annihilated? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)


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Um, well, if I don’t like a book I don’t continue reading it, so there pretty much isn’t a single book that I have read and also disliked since I don’t finish them, or at least young adult novels.


Well, aren’t those kind of things usually up to the author to decide? If the author of a story is optimistic to a fault it shouldn’t be too surprising that everyone survives and lives happily ever after (as cliche as it might be).


I really can’t think of any bad books but there a lot of books ruined by their movie adaptations such as Percy Jackson as mentioned earlier (God I cringed through both of the movies)
I can’t wait for the Rangers Apprentice movie adaptation. (good book BTW)


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