Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Worst things I've read and watched in 2014

Except for the movies and TV shows, which I didn't privately grade this year, these are things that got 1.5 stars or less (although not all of them - again, based on "gut feelings"). I hate that it's so much easier to explain why I disliked something than why I liked it.

Books and stories:
  • A Lot Like a Lady (e-book) by Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman - I was expecting a fluffy and forgettable historical romance. Instead, I got a bunch of characters who didn't react in ways that made any sense. This e-book is no longer being sold, and, quite frankly, nobody's missing out on much. Correction: this book is now available for purchase, although it wasn't when I reviewed it.
  • Spoonfuls of Sugar (e-short story) by Elizabeth McCoy - I keep trying McCoy's stuff, hoping to find something as good or better than her Queen of Roses. So far, things haven't worked out, but most of her works have eventually grown on me. This one, however, had some serious problems.
  • Wings of Destruction (e-novella) by Victoria Zagar - I knew, going in, that this post-apocalyptic asexual romance would probably not be very good, but I was still disappointed. Also, I now have an extremely low opinion of Less Than Three Press. Congratulations, you put out a typo-free e-book. However, a well-edited work is more than just typo-free.
  • Trusted Bond (book) by Mary Calmes - Change of Heart was a guilty pleasure of mine. I was hoping for more of the same from this, the next book in the series. Instead, I got a confusing, rape-y trainwreck.
  • The Paratwa (book) by Christopher Hinz - A huge chunk of this book was just plain boring, and Hinz did badly by all his female characters. This trilogy started out great and ended so badly that I was left angry with myself for all the time I wasted on Books 2 and 3.
  • Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!: A Very Grimm Tale (audio book) by Yuri Rasovsky, featuring a full cast - This featured good voice acting, but everything else was pretty bad. I loved Rasovsky's Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls, so I was very disappointed by this one.
  • Flying Solo (e-short story) by Wade J. McMahan - This was a pointless short story that wanted to be funny and wasn't.
  • A Promise of Romance (book) by Kyoko Akitsu, illustrations by Tooko Miyagi, English translation by Translation By Design - This is supposedly a m/m romance. It was a "meh" read with a silly premise, right up until one of the male leads raped the other one. The guy who was raped hated his rapist until he suddenly decided he loved him. So much NO.
  • Snap! And the Alter Ego Dimension (e-book) by Ann Hite Kemp, illustrated by Zak Kemp - This was a stiff, clunky read, with characters that never felt like real teens to me.
Manga and graphic novels:
  • No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! (manga, vol. 1) by Nico Tanigawa, translated by Krista Shipley and Karie Shipley - I didn't see the slightest sign that Tomoko might later grow as a person, and I couldn't bring myself to read past this first volume. I loathed her and the way she constantly judged others, whether they were strangers or "friends." At the same time, I hated that readers were expected to laugh at her.
  • The Devil Within (manga series) by Ryo Takagi, translated by Christine Schilling - The only good thing about the series was that it was short. The romance was gross, and the supernatural stuff made no sense. Even the art could have been better - Takagi had zero torso-drawing ability.
  • Angel Nest (manga) by Erica Sakurazawa, translation by Yuki Nakamura  - I had seen Sakurazawa's works recommended a lot, so I was surprised at how bad this was. The art was nice, and Sakurazawa does an amazing job with curly-haired characters, but the stories themselves were pointless.
TV series:
  • Diabolik Lovers (anime TV series) - So much blood rape. Did anyone out there actually want Yui to end up with one of these monsters? If so, why? Why would you want something like that? I honestly do not understand.
  • Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (live action movie) - "I really want to save my mother, except now I've fallen in love with this guy who I just found out is going to die. Because of that love, I'm totally okay with the idea of being stranded in the past!" And the ending was pointless.
  • Babylon 5: The Gathering (live action movie) - As much as I like the series as a whole, this is not a good movie. Thank goodness this isn't where I initially started watching the show, or I'd never have continued on.

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