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The Jealous Haters Book Club 2019 Selection Final Voting!

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Hey there, everybody! Nominations are closed and voting is open! But before we get to the poll, let’s talk about which books didn’t make the cut despite receiving a high number of nominations. I disqualified three of the nominations for reasons I hope everyone understands. Those books were Faleena Hopkins’s Cocky Roomie, Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck, and Save The Pearls by Victoria Foyt.

Though a large number of you had hoped I would tackle Cocky Roomie for its sheer badness and the fuckery perpetrated by its author, I decided that whatever attention she’s seeking, she won’t get more of it from Trout Nation. If Cocky Roomie had become our 2019 selection, she could have easily spun that into her victim narrative, driving herself back into the spotlight and furthering her sales and support from the “Be Nice” crowd. Since I don’t care to feed her pockets or give her more publicity for her undoubtedly horrible indie movie she’s been working on, I had to take a hard pass.

When I looked into the issues present in Save The Pearls and Tiger’s Curse, I simply didn’t feel like I, a white person, am the right person for the job of recapping them and pointing out their problematic elements. Save The Pearls is apparently like if the Proud Boys decided to try their hand at YA, and Tiger’s Curse is rife with orientalism and poor representation of a variety of Asian cultures. While many of the racist themes in these books are totally obvious, there are probably a lot of subtle issues I would miss as a white reader. I don’t want to swerve out of my lane, speak on behalf of black people or Asian people, or create a situation in which glossing past issues I don’t understand would make the books seem less horrible than they are.

I know that those of you who nominated these books are probably disappointed, but I hope you can understand where I’m coming from on these titles.

Now, onto the books that made the cut.

 

Modelland, Tyra Banks

The cover of Modelland by Tyra Banks features a single, illustrated eye with lots of yellow feathers sprouting above it like eyeshadow.

No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.

But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.

Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.

Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Along the way, she learns all about friendship, courage, laughter and what it feels like to start to believe in yourself.

When you enter the fantastical world of Modelland, you’ll see that Tookie was inspired by Tyra’s life as a supermodel. All those crazy and wild adventures Tookie has with her friends? Some of them were ripped straight from the headlines of Tyra’s life! Tyra knows all about beauty and fashion and fierceness, and she shares everything here in MODELLAND. It’s fun, zany, and 100 bazillion-percent Tyra. 

Nominator comments: 

“1. It’s got so many *different* flaws and plot holes that the review won’t get repetitive and you’ll have lots of material to work with. 2. It discusses beauty norms and tries (and fails) to be progressive. 3. It was very clearly written by the actual Tyra Banks and not a ghostwriter. 4. Tyra’s super rich–you won’t be punching downwards if you get super-scathing. 5. Finally: It’s the kind of incoherent novel that only makes sense to its writer.”

“It’s just….such a trip. And the names are worse than in handbook for mortals.”

 

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline

The cover of Ready Player One shows a young man climbing some kind of rack in what appears to be a cyberpunk dystopia.

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Nominator comments: 

“It’s boring, overhyped trash produced by an asshole who thinks he’s God’s underappreciated gift to the world without realizing that he’s exactly like thousands of other smug assholes.”

“Some really problematic content, mixed with some really crappy writing. Author does not seem to grasp concepts like “time”. Would love to see you tear apart a book written by a Nice Guy.”

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas

The cover of ACOTAR features a red back ground with a thorny silver vine winding through the foreground. To the left, a girl is half-cut off the edge of the image. She's wearing a black gown with feather and lace embellishments.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Nominator Comments:

“Because it’s a ‘why is this so popular when it’s so bad’ trashfire and I think you would have fun!”

“There’s pretty words and an ostensibly strong heroine, but somehow it manages to pack an unbelievable amount of rape culture into itself.”

 

Beautiful Disaster, Jamie McGuire

The cover of Beautiful Disaster features a dirty-looking gray background and the image of a butterfly in a jar.

 

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Nominator Comments:

“Look. You hate her. We hate her. Everyone who doesn’t love her hates her. I read this book at the VERY beginning of getting into indie romance because my friend said it was a must-read, and I think an official record of this book’s horribleness is needed (and also the horribleness of Jamie Mcguire. IDGAF that she’s also from Oklahoma and we should ‘support our own’ or whatever bullshit. She’s shitty AF). I read it and when I told my friend I didn’t love it, she was shocked. People think there is NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. THEY THINK IT IS WONDERFUL. It’s got moments where I actually thought, ‘Wow, this is worse than 50 Shades of Grey.’ And FSOG is probably the worst thing I’ve ever read.”

“It is like 50 Shades of Grey. But written by Jamie McGuire, which SOMEHOW makes it so much worse. So so much worse. If an editor had a nervous breakdown while working on this book, I would understand. Also it would explain a lot.”

 

City Of Bones, Cassandra Clare

The cover of City Of Bones features a scruffy looking dude knelt before some kind of magic book, with a staff in his hand.

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Narrator Comments:

“Because it’s thinly veiled Harry Potter fanfic with an incestuous twist and a shitty male hero with piss poor writing heralded as one of the greatest things ever.”

“The author has a long history in the fanfiction circles, and has gotten into some epic fights with readers, reviewers, and professional authors themselves. She’s been accused of plagiarism, abuse against other fanfiction writers, stealing money from well-meaning fans, and I believe she’s been sued at least twice. Because she was a fanfic writer first, the book is HEAVILY influenced by Harry Potter and Buffy, so much so even those who didn’t watch/read those saw similarities. The author has also given birth to the trope ‘Draco In Leather Pants’.”

 

So, there you have it. Now, it’s time to cast your votes. I would super appreciate it if we kept things honest and democratic since I live in a place where there is no democracy and it would be awesome to see what that feels like. Vote, get your friends to vote, but it would be rad if nobody voted more than once.

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165 Comments

  1. Stella Price
    Stella Price

    Bitch. You made this fucking Hard. SERIOUSLY HARD.

    OH LORD ANY OF THESE DESERVES IT.

    October 22, 2018
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  2. Anna Kaye-Rogers
    Anna Kaye-Rogers

    These are all such good choices tho

    October 22, 2018
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  3. Neth Smiley
    Neth Smiley

    Sorry, put down “Ready Player One” instead of “Modelland”. DEFINITELY “Modelland”!!!!

    October 22, 2018
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  4. starcunning
    starcunning

    You don’t make it easy, do you?

    October 22, 2018
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  5. Anon
    Anon

    Oh goodness! I want to nominate Tyra Banks simply because I have never heard a single good thing about her as a person and I know for a fact she told lies on her talk show to get women to spend money on products that probably didn’t work. I know this because a girl I went to high school with was on once pretending to be just some random person trying a cellulite cream and the “before” of “her” thighs was definitely NOT her thighs and also she was an aspiring actress literally hired to pretend to be some random woman chosen to try the cream.

    Which is way TMI.

    But I feel like it would be nice to pan a male writer for once, so I want to pick “Ready Player One.” Although I always thought people really liked the book (never read it or saw the movie), so it was surprising to see it here! But then 50 was a book “everyone” loved, too. *sigh*

    October 22, 2018
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    • many bells down
      many bells down

      RPO is pure adolescent wish-fulfillment. The characters are all one-dimensional and there’s more literal deus ex machina than you can shake a stick at.

      I thought it was a fun popcorn read even though Cline has apparently never heard the phrase “Show, don’t Tell.”

      October 23, 2018
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      • Anon
        Anon

        I’m finding a lot of writers who haven’t heard that phrase and it’s maddening!

        October 23, 2018
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      • Regret
        Regret

        I love RPO, and I am scared what will be said so I had to choose it. Face your fears and all that 😛

        October 24, 2018
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      • Bee
        Bee

        I agree with you entirely. I voted for RPO, even though it was a fun nothing read, because Cline definitely has Eau de Nice Guy about him. And much of the book read like a school text book on 80s pop culture narrated by Ben Stein. “Here we have the classic movie Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox. And the classic movie WarGames starring Matthew Broderick. Who was also in the classic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Right, Mr. Bueller? Bueller? Has anyone seen Bueller?” I would not mind in the least to read Jenny ripping it to shreds *rubs hands like Mr. Burns*

        October 25, 2018
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  6. Lucy
    Lucy

    Awww I like Ready Player One.
    Modelland seemed like the obvious choice. But when reading the description it sounds like Tyra herself didn’t take it all that seriously. I went with Jamie McGuire, but I’d be happy with any of the other 3 I think.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Michael
      Michael

      That’s the thing, though–in the end, Tyra tries to tell a very serious story with humor in it, too. And she does not succeed. At all.

      October 22, 2018
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  7. Paige
    Paige

    It came down to Modelland and Ready Player One for me since the other three are things I put myself through and I can’t do that to you

    But I made my choice between the most nonsensical book I ever attempted and 80s Fanboy GateKeeping: A Novel. Fun fact: I got an ARC of Modelland way back when and expected a short lil book because its listed page count on Goodreads was around 270. Then it arrives in the mail and SURPRIIIIIISE, ALMOST 600 PAGES. I was horrified.

    And now I wish I’d thought to nominate PC and Kristin Cast’s Marked or The former’s Moon Chosen because the Casts are so outrageously racist in writing their POC main and side characters, but they would have been disqualified like Save the Pearls and Tiger’s Curse. You have entirely valid reasons for choosing to disqualify those two.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Jo
      Jo

      They’re also lowkey homophobic. Can’t forget the homophobia.

      October 22, 2018
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    • Rosetta
      Rosetta

      I nominated the Marked book series! I get why she wouldn’t have chosen it but oh my god was it a horrifically awful series I had to read the entire thing, and it just got worse with every book. One of the most Mary Sue books I’ve ever seen which is probably why it was so popular

      October 22, 2018
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      • Ambrea R
        Ambrea R

        Oh hey, I nominated HoN too! I really wanted to see what Jenny had to say about that mess.

        October 29, 2018
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  8. Ilex
    Ilex

    I’m so torn!

    I actually liked Modelland (its sheer weirdness and the fact that Tyra clearly wrote it all herself made up for its flaws for me), and I enjoyed City of Bones a lot more than I wanted to, so I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either of those.

    I went for A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I’m willing to read any of these books as part of the hateration, so it will be fun to see what wins.

    October 22, 2018
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  9. Ren Benton
    Ren Benton

    I tried to be an informed voter and investigate the candidates, but I went with the first one I looked at because page one made me want to claw my face off. Characters named Abby, Adam, and America. BUT WAIT! We mustn’t let the parade of A-holes distract us from the proximity of America and Marek.

    Anything that masterfully crafted at the character-naming level can only provide endless shish to kebab.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Elyssa
      Elyssa

      I can only accept ‘America’ as a name because I unapologetically love “Where The Heart Is” and Natalie Portman names her baby America and so I have to accept it. lol

      October 22, 2018
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      • Laina
        Laina

        America Ferrera is a person who exists 😛

        October 22, 2018
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      • Leigh-Anne
        Leigh-Anne

        The baby’s name was Americus, actually.

        October 22, 2018
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        • Elyssa
          Elyssa

          Oh NO. I rescind my comment then.

          Clearly I haven’t watched it in a while, and I need to remedy that immediately.

          October 23, 2018
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      • There’s also America Chavez, who’s a pretty cool Marvel superhero.

        October 23, 2018
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    • Amanda
      Amanda

      There’s also a guy named Brazil. So… that’s a thing.

      October 22, 2018
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      • Miimers
        Miimers

        I know an America irl and she’s an awesome person. I feel it’s a more popular name in Latin America than US

        October 30, 2018
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  10. Michael
    Michael

    First of all, I’d like to thank you very much for nominating Modelland! And to everybody reading this who’s at least considering voting for Modelland, but aren’t quite sure, let me give you these additional reasons:

    1. It’s got more amateur mistakes than any other book. Here’s a short selection: We’re expected to hate the bully character before she actually does any bullying; people’s special powers come and go for no reason; the heroine does almost everything the bully does and is not in any way vilified for it; the heroine very rarely has to work for her accomplishments; people keep quiet about vital information without having any reason to; Tyra thinks that making the heroine completely miserable automatically makes us find her likable and endearing; it’s almost never made clear to us what’s normal in the world of the book and what’s unusual even to them…

    2. It’s the most problematic of the books nominated–as in, it’s problematic in so many different ways. It’s bigoted against women, transgender people, men, people with albinism, the mentally disabled, the physically disabled… And those are only the ones I can recall right now. For instance, Tyra has all the people with albinism live in their own country called SansColor, and she honestly seems to think that this is not problematic.

    3. It’s the least sold book here (as far as I can tell), so it’s the choice that will introduce the highest number of blog readers to something new and unfamiliar.

    4. It’s not only the worst book here, but it’s also the most ENTERTAININGLY bad one.

    5. I cannot stress this enough: Modelland has more different flaws than I can imagine any other book has. It won’t be just the repetition of the same flaws over and over again like in many other bad books.

    6. On almost every page there’s another inconsistency or plot hole. Not kidding. I actually checked when I was reading it.

    7. The book is so haphazardly planned that you can tell Tyra herself was making it up on the spot. For instance: How much does the public know about what goes on inside Modelland? We don’t know. And it doesn’t seem like Tyra Banks is too clear on it either.

    8. To finish off: At one point the heroine needs to covertly get through an area that it’s impossible to get through without being discovered. How does Tyra solve this plotting problem? She just jumps until it’s done with, and writes that the heroine “couldn’t remember how she got through without being discovered…”
    No. Really.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Well if it wins, I look forward to it!

      (Unfortunately, I didn’t read the comments first and voted for the Roses and Thorns one. I just wanted to know how messed up or empty the Faerie setting was because it sounds like the heroine should’ve been named Tamlin, or something thereof, not whatever nonsense Feyre is.)

      October 23, 2018
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  11. ASMR Bookclub
    ASMR Bookclub

    THIS IS SO HARD! They’re all such good choices. I picked City of Bones because I think you’d have a lot of fun with it. The comment said it saw a Harry Potter rip off but it’s also trying so hard to be Buffy.

    October 22, 2018
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  12. Maaike
    Maaike

    Since I can’t cast an anti-vote for Ready Player One, I chose Modelland. That one actually sounds ridiculous and fun, maybe vapid wishfulfillment with nonsensical plot?

    Ready Player Whocares on the other hand has prose that melts my brain. The amount of unnecessary words/sentences/information is so, so, soooooo tedious. The talent of this guy to destroy his own tension (yes, I’ve listened to 372 pages we’ll never get back, though I do think those two guys are a little too smug and a little unfair whith some of their criticism) is baffling. Though I enjoy your writing lessons, from sentence structure to punctuation, there will be so many teaching moments that you will break your fingers trying to type it all out. (This is all from the feeling I got, maybe it’s not as bad as I remember :P.)

    I agree with the nominator, it would be nice to tear apart a book written by a Nice Guy, but please not this one! 🙂

    The others gave me the impression I’d be depressed by the end of it, like with 50 shades freed, but maybe they’d be fun. Can’t wait until you start :D. Hope it won’t be too bad an experience for you.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Iona Lovell
      Iona Lovell

      Having read Ready Player One for a book club – it is 100% as bad as you remember it. Maybe worse. It’s a shame the publishing industry is so hard hit right now, because that book could have used a hard-cutting editor. The first nearly 100 PAGES are nothing but EXPOSITION! It was SO BAD. And thats just the writing. Then there are all the problematic and TERRIBLE tropes he employs. UGH. Hated that book.

      October 22, 2018
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      • many bells down
        many bells down

        I read really fast so I tend to gloss over repetitive words and phrases in my own reading. But then I read RPO aloud to my husband and holy crap. EVERY minor action is narrated. “I stood up from my chair. I walked to the door. Turning the knob, I opened the door and looked into the hallway.” AAAGGH.

        I liked the book but seriously I don’t know how Wil Wheaton managed to record the audio version.

        October 23, 2018
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  13. I voted in a municipal election today, this is way harder.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Taylor
      Taylor

      Texan who needs to vote ASAP and is avoiding downballot research. (Beto O’Rourke and my House Rep, no problem. Some justice of the peace or court clerk, IDEK.) So thumbs up to you :).

      Voted for “Beautiful Disaster” on the grounds that I read one of the books in the series and the only thing that kept me from repeatedly throwing it across the room was “it’s a library book”.

      October 22, 2018
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      • Kitt
        Kitt

        Finding research on down-ballot stuff in Texas is really challenging. It’s like no one wants you to actually know anything about anything so you’ll give up and vote straight ticket or nothing. Someone who wanted to be elected to a district position actually brought a bio door to door and I was so happy it almost guaranteed my vote until I realized as informative as it was, it had no info on how they intended to govern. WTF, y’all?

        I went to school in LA and I miss the massive voter packets with info they published. Cali voters have no idea how much good info they are ignoring on the regular. I remember people being *mad* about it. Now I’m doing bizarre google searches and calling courthouses and randomly asking my postal worker stuff, because there’s just not enough information and the props are written obliquely and the people up for election have no public info, governing intentions, or voting histories available. This has got to change.

        October 24, 2018
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        • Kitt
          Kitt

          That is so cool, @lfc! I love it. I was specifically looking for more info on the local props and lower down the chain candidates who don’t have much public history, but I like that format and am sending it to some people who will really benefit from it. Thank you so much!! Very thoughtful and very helpful.

          October 24, 2018
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          • lfc
            lfc

            great! I hope it helps 🙂

            I get a lot of anxiety when voting, so I plan on bringing this as a little cheat sheet with me to the booth.

            October 25, 2018
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            Doesn’t League of Women Voters have a site searchable by zip code?

            October 27, 2018
  14. Sara
    Sara

    I accidentally voted twice. I’m sorry, my computer was being a spazz. But I can’t waaaaiiiittttt for this!

    October 22, 2018
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  15. Jo
    Jo

    Oh, boy, these are all tough choices. I actually read the firt Shadowhunters books a few years back and I didn’t think they were THAT bad until I hit the plot twist that was lifted directly from Star Wars and then contrived away so Draco and Ginny… I’m sorry, Jace and Clary could be together. But I didn’t find them infuriatingly bad.

    Anyway, I voted for Beautiful Disaster because I get the feeling that’s going to be disastrous…ly entertaining.

    October 22, 2018
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  16. Lily
    Lily

    I voted for Ready Player One because The Girl is a prize. Ugh. Not an official prize, but any reader can see she’s there to be won. I hate that.

    October 22, 2018
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    • starcunning
      starcunning

      What do you mean “not an official prize?” The last scene of the book has her sit down in the middle of a maze. She is officially a prize.

      October 22, 2018
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      • Indigo
        Indigo

        Let’s not forget, she’s also Not Like Other Girls. She’s *smart*, and not *shallow*, not like those slutty bitches who won’t even look twice at a Nice Guy like Ernest- I mean, Wade.

        October 23, 2018
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        • Failed Indie
          Failed Indie

          She doesn’t even KNOW she’s beautiful!

          …gah, that book.

          October 31, 2018
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  17. RedHandedJill
    RedHandedJill

    This is an almost impossible choice. I would love to see your take on City of Bones, mainly because it’s so bad and people really like this series (also many of my favorite authors are friends with Cassandra Clare, which is mind-boggling given her past behavior) but I feel like it’s opening a door to this never-ending universe (I mean, seriously, there are 4-5 spin-off series of this thing–she will never let this universe go). I wouldn’t want you to feel like you had to review all of them.

    October 22, 2018
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  18. Elyssa
    Elyssa

    Y’all. As one of the people who nominated “Beautiful Disaster,” I have to stump for it. Here’s why:

    1. For whatever reason, for like three years, this book was the gateway book for a TON of people into the indie romance world. (Please don’t ask me why, I don’t know) And because of that, it helped set a horrific precedent for bad, abusive, romanticized heroes in indie romance. Is it the only reason? No. But is absolutely one of them.

    2. The dude has nicknamed the heroine “Pigeon.” He, on occasion, shortens it to “Pidge.” This is the worst nickname I have ever heard. What the fuck.

    3. There’s a secret, underground college fight club. ?????????? This actually went on to become a very weird, weirdly common trope for a little bit. Thank god it ended.

    4. HE CALLS HER PIGEON. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.

    Thank you for listening to my speech.

    October 22, 2018
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Whoa. She used the nickname from Lady and the Tramp… I mean, that could be cute but it’s just…

      October 23, 2018
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      • Elyssa
        Elyssa

        I promise you the result is gross and weird, and not cute lol

        October 23, 2018
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    • NavigatorBR
      NavigatorBR

      I voted for this one on the premise of it’s kind of like “Fifty Shades” but worse, that sold me.

      But pigeon?
      Pigeon?
      Rats of the sky…

      *Rubs face*
      I want this to get in so bad now.

      November 8, 2018
      |Reply
  19. Taylor
    Taylor

    Texan who needs to vote ASAP and is avoiding downballot research. (Beto O’Rourke and my House Rep, no problem. Some justice of the peace or court clerk, IDEK.) So thumbs up to you :).

    Voted for “Beautiful Disaster” on the grounds that I read one of the books in the series and the only thing that kept me from repeatedly throwing it across the room was “it’s a library book”.

    October 22, 2018
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  20. Melodie
    Melodie

    Moddelland is BANANAS. It’s the most bugfuck mental book I’ve ever read.

    October 22, 2018
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    • many bells down
      many bells down

      I voted for that because I am never going to read it but I want to know JUST how bugfuck it is.

      October 23, 2018
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  21. Penn
    Penn

    I had to vote for City of Bones because I’ve actually read it (I’m still not sure why), but any of them should be entertaining.

    October 22, 2018
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  22. CL
    CL

    Tough choices, jeeze! Any one of these would be good!

    October 22, 2018
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  23. Chelsea
    Chelsea

    I voted for Modelland because I remember someone (maybe Mark Oshiro?) reading part of it and it was wild stuff. Plus the heroine’s name is Tookie. What is that? Why?

    It was a hard, hard choice, though. Between that and Beautiful Disaster, I was seriously torn. I’d be happy with either selection, and probably with the Maas one, too. I’d rather not give Cassandra Clare any more attention than she already has, and Ready Player One just sounds sooo booooring.

    Regardless of the final decision, I can’t wait to read the posts!

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      Tookie de la Crème. WTF. I wouldn’t be able to read it without laughing. I’d have to call her Cookies and Cream.

      October 25, 2018
      |Reply
      • Tez Miller
        Tez Miller

        “Tookie” sounds far too close to “Dookie”.

        October 25, 2018
        |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Tribute to Tookie Smith?

        October 27, 2018
        |Reply
  24. Kristin Bigz
    Kristin Bigz

    As one of the Tigers Curse submitters, I understand you not feeling up to dissecting it. I’m of Asian descent and I can’t unpack all of it. But daaaaamn . . . you didn’t make this easy

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
  25. Amanda
    Amanda

    This was entirely too hard but my intense hatred for Clare won out in the end.

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
  26. Amy
    Amy

    I voted for City of Bones, and glad you used my suggestion for it! =D

    The others were such hard choices. I would’ve voted for Ready Player One, but the few times I touched that book, all I saw was a sea of references to better known fandoms. Beautiful Creatures certainly deserves to be torn apart, but I’ve had my fill of rape culture from FSG. I didn’t know Tyra Banks wrote a book. I’mma gonna look that up.

    But to further justify City of Bones, Cassandra Claire’s online fights are well documented and her plagiarism has its own section on her wikipedia page. I’ve had so many teen readers talk about how much they love the book, then literally less than two years later, come back and tell me how much they hate it. This is consistent amongst the teens, and I have never seen them do that to any other book. I actually did read the original Draco Trilogy fanfic back in the day, so I have personal history (if you wanna call it that) with CC.

    I’m glad Faleena Hopkins’s book didn’t get chosen because others have been reading her stuff and it’s FUCKING BORING.
    I would’ve loved to seen Tiger’s Curse get torn apart, but I understand why you didn’t want to do it. The cover is so goddamn pretty tho.

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Paheli
      Paheli

      I was into the Gundam Wing fandom(3×4 is my OTP) at the time, and missed out on the whole Claire vs fanfiction.net debacle. My sister and a couple of friends were into it though and relayed what happened. It was very eye-opening for me to realize that fanfic authors could have that kind of “fame” and power. Then Mortal Instruments came out, and my friends got the book and then said sections of the story were the same from the fanfiction. And that Clary was very clearly Ginny, and Jace was very clearly Draco, and you get the drift. I am wondering if the other MI characters are HP characters as well.

      There seems to be a very clear divide in the fandom concerning Clare. You either hate her guts with the fire of a thousand suns for the plagiarism and her awful behavior. OR you think she is just the biggest boss ass bitch who played the game and won, and she is so effin awesome for that! She deserves respect! Fanfiction is itself plagiarism, and it’s not wrong to crib from the work of others! Everyone does it! Don’t like, don’t read! Magnus Bane is the best character! Malec! Malec! Malec! Seriously, the fans LOVE the Malec. JFC, do they love the Malec.

      October 26, 2018
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        I dont mind the fact if writers drawn from fanfic. My issue with Clare is she didnt drawn inspiration from them, she copy/pasted names. City of Bones is clearly fanfiction jn the same way FSG is clearly fanfiction. Because i have a long history with fanfic myself, i see all the tropes within her works. And it’s not the good tropes, it’s the dumbass ones from the early days of fanfic.net. Clare has not grown as a writer, and like EL James, tbis is telling me Clare will never write anything that is original to her own unless it is fanfic with the serial numbers scrapped off. She copied joss whedon so much, she even copied his mistakes, and right now, a lot of people are harshing on whedon for being a shite feminist and his work for never growing out of its buffy phase.

        Like lani sarem and El james, Clare didnt get success because she’s good at writing, she did it by playing the game, lying, cheating, stealing, and stepping on those who came before her.

        October 30, 2018
        |Reply
        • Rosetta
          Rosetta

          I didn’t know about any of the Clare stuff until I read through this comment section. It makes me pretty sad actually since I really enjoyed both the Harry Potter series and City of Bones (as well as the spin off stories) as a teenager. And now that I think of it, the best book she ever wrote in that world was co-authored with one or two other people. If jenny chooses City of Bones I hopes she rips it apart, I can’t stand plagarism but it seems so rife in the book industry.

          October 30, 2018
          |Reply
  27. Amber
    Amber

    Beautiful Disaster was so, so bad. So bad. I don’t get the love for it. I feel like it’s perfect for this blog.

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
  28. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth

    I picked Beautiful Disaster because I haven’t seen anyone review and snark it chapter-by-chapter, and because it sounds like there’s a ton of misogynistic tropes as well as bad writing to pick apart.

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
  29. RaccoonMama
    RaccoonMama

    I picked Modelland because I love Tyra Banks and the season of ANTM when this book came out featured at least one photo shoot/challenge based on the book and it was bizarre and everything she does is just a whole other level of wacky. Like, my mom and I have watched top model for many years and have a drinking game based around Tyra specifically.

    However, I did DNF court of thorns an roses despite it seeming like my catnip, AND I DNFed the sequels (basically, I keep checking them out of the library, reading the first two chapters, skipping to the end, read the last chapter and revel in my own confusion).
    And my sister (a fanfic writer herself) has nothing but bad things to say about Cassandra Clare so that would be interesting.
    And I know a lot of people can’t stand Ready Player One!
    Aaaaand underground college fight club whaaat???
    So really any of those would be interesting!

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • RaccoonMama
      RaccoonMama

      Forgot to add, there is a decent chance Tyra will somehow find out about this and hen do a dramatic reading of it somewhere.
      Also. Tookie de la creme. That is all.

      October 22, 2018
      |Reply
      • Ilex
        Ilex

        Cremalatta Defacake was my favorite!

        October 23, 2018
        |Reply
      • Ange
        Ange

        She’s almost as bad at naming as Charlaine Harris.

        October 23, 2018
        |Reply
        • Michael
          Michael

          Harris had Sookie, Tyra had Tookie… Yeah, you’re right.

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
          • Ange
            Ange

            She’s also had Fiji, Bobo, Manfred, Creek, Aurora Teagarden and of course the vampire named Bill. It gets WILD.

            October 24, 2018
    • Jessica
      Jessica

      It was the final ‘motion editorial’ or whatever she called it from the most effed up season from ANTM, The All-star cycle 17. It was So flipping weird!

      There was so much fuckery at the end of that season in general, I would say it’s worth a rewatch, but what they did to Angelea gave me a sad.

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
      • RaccoonMama
        RaccoonMama

        Ooo, that may be the one season I never rewatch because I wanted Allison to win AND YET AGAIN SHE WAS ROBBED.

        October 24, 2018
        |Reply
        • Elyssa
          Elyssa

          DAMN IT ALLISON SHOULD HAVE WON AND I AM STILL MAD.

          October 26, 2018
          |Reply
        • Thera Pitts
          Thera Pitts

          Is Allison the one with the big, freaky eyes? I loved her!

          October 29, 2018
          |Reply
  30. Smacy
    Smacy

    Wow these were great choices. I’ve heard so much about how bad Ready Player One is and it’s basically just some incel fanfic. And you’ve never done a male writer, so I’m into it. But you should be warned – that book has SWARMS of crazy fans. And they’re not like Twilight or 50 shades fans, they’re fucking nasty. So while I want you to do it…I also don’t want you to get swatted.

    I personally wrote a huge, angry review of beautiful disaster over on goodreads, so that would be good too. That is such an awful fucking book.

    I would say only do the Cassandra Claire book if you have a chance to dive deep into her fanfic history. She was the worst type of mean girl there. It says a lot about what she chose to write later. I’m fully convinced that if it weren’t for her massive harry potter fanbase, her books would not be as popular.

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Anon
      Anon

      50 fans are pretty nasty. I think Jenny can handle it.

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
  31. Tere B.
    Tere B.

    Tookie de la Creme? Oh Lord, I voted for Modelland!

    October 22, 2018
    |Reply
  32. Mike
    Mike

    I’m so torn I can’t decide which book I want to pick! Modelland seems like it could be so bad it’s funny, Beautiful Disaster seems like it would be incredibly hate worthy, City of Bones I’ve actually heard good things about so I would be interested in seeing a more critical look at it, and A Court of Thorns and Roses at least delves into the fantastical so it could be interesting to dissect. I’ve seen enough take downs of Ready Player One to not be especially interested in that one though. It kind of seems to be the in thing to hate on it since the movie. But then again, 50 Shades was also pretty popular to hate on too and Jenny still made those recaps hilarious and informative, so maybe that would be too… Dammit I just talked myself out of the one option I thought I was sure I could take off the list.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  33. Amanda
    Amanda

    Beautiful Disaster and here are 10 reasons why:

    1. It’s the only book I’ve ever rage-returned. The customer service lady hesitated to refund me when she saw that I’d obviously read it so I told her that she didn’t even have to give me money, to just take the book before I burned it (something else I’ve also never done. I didn’t want this trashfire to be the first book that ever made me commit that mortal sin). Luckily, I got my money back

    2. It’s very poorly written

    3. The plot makes zero sense. Every thing that happens is a thinly veiled plot device to bring these 2 fuck heads together

    4. The sex scenes are just fucking horrible. It’s like the author has literally never had sex before

    5. She’s also obviously never been on a college campus before because it just doesn’t work like that…

    6. It deserves to be bashed for making impressionable, young girls think that a guy trashing his apartment while in an uncontrollable rage because he just loves her so so so much is any way, shape, or form romantic.

    7. Character names like America, Brazil, Shep, Finch…

    8. …who are all enablers btw

    9. The fact that the author originally named this POS Red Flag… it’s like she knew!!!

    10. And last, but certainly not least, the random ass, out-of-fucking-nowhere secondary plot that pops up in the middle of the fucking book with absolutely no explanation as to what it’s doing there or WHYYYYY!

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Elyssa
      Elyssa

      ALSO HE HAS NICKNAMED HER PIGEON.

      I have said this before. And I’m not sorry. I can’t let it go. It’s the worst fucking nickname I have ever heard.

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
      • Jean
        Jean

        CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

        A character in the “Greasy Strangler” movie is nicked Hootie Tootie Disco Cutie. And there’s an accompanying dance whenever it is used.

        Also, IRL I call my hubby Fartbutt McGee. So… that’s a thing.

        October 23, 2018
        |Reply
        • Xebi
          Xebi

          My husband is called Fluffles, but don’t tell him I told you.

          October 25, 2018
          |Reply
          • Jean
            Jean

            He sounds super cuddly with a nickname like that.

            October 25, 2018
    • GS
      GS

      I raise you one. The German word for pidgeon is “Spatz”. A well-known Austrian old rich white dude got himself a trophy wife about a quarter of his age, and, in keeping with his tradition of giving all his wives/GFs animal-y nicknames (YUCK!), he called her “Spatzi”. She was not amused when she found out that “Spatzi” also means (REALLY small!) dick in Austria 😀

      October 26, 2018
      |Reply
      • Miriam
        Miriam

        Actually Taube is German for pigeon.
        A Spatz is a sparrow. But I happen to think that calling someone a pigeon is way worse as a nickname than calling them a sparrow, so the point stands 🙂

        November 1, 2018
        |Reply
  34. S
    S

    Ah that’s too funny — I just read City of Bones and the sequels for the first time last week. I have no context for the author’s shitty behavior, so I took it at face value, and tbh I liked it quite a bit. :/ I thought it was fun and an okay YA series.

    Honestly I could see how some of it is problematic but I think you could do the same thing to any popular YA series that appeals to teenage girls. It’s nowhere near as problematic as Twilight or FSoG and am not sure it deserves the same level of ire.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      The characters are thinly veiled Harry Potter knock-offs with a Buffy injection. One of them is just Draco in Leather Pants again. But I’ve never really read the books so take all of that with a grain of salt; that’s just what I’ve heard.

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
      • Goddesstio
        Goddesstio

        I actually also read City of Bones with no context on the author, and I enjoyed it too. I actually really liked the worldbuilding going on in there.

        October 26, 2018
        |Reply
  35. Tashilicious
    Tashilicious

    I voted for Ready Player One because I hope to christ you also include the poem Cline wrote about porn.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      HE WROTE A POEM????? I knew he said some gross shit about porn and sex workers, but he wrote a goddamn poem????

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
      • Mel
        Mel

        He did. I call this the try not to puke challenge:

        Nerd Porn Auteur

        I’ve noticed that there don’t seem to be any porno movies

        that are made for guys like me.

        All the porn I’ve come across

        was targeted at beer-swilling sports bar dwelling alpha-males

        Men who like their women stupid and submissive

        Men who can only get it up for monosyllabic cock-hungry nymphos

        with gargantuan breasts and a three-word vocabulary

        Adult films are populated with these collagen-injected

        liposuctioned women

        Many of whom have resorted to surgery and self-mutilation

        in an attempt to look the way they have been told to look.

        These aren’t real women. They’re objects.

        And these movies aren’t erotic. They’re pathetic.

        These vacuum-headed fuck bunnies don’t turn me on.

        They disgust me.

        And it’s not that I’m against pornography.

        I mean, I’m a guy. And guys need porn.

        Fact.

        “Like a preacher needs pain, like a needle needs a vein,”

        Guys need porn.

        But I don’t wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.

        I want porno movies that are made with guys like me in mind:

        Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world

        is a woman who is smarter than you are.

        You can have the whole cheerleading squad,

        I want the girl in the tweed skirt and the horn-rimmed glasses:

        Betty Finnebowski, the valedictorian.

        Oh yes.

        First I want to copy her Trig homework,

        and then I want to make mad, passionate love to her

        for hours and hours

        until she reluctantly asks if we can stop

        because she doesn’t want to miss Battlestar Galactica.

        Summa cum laude, baby!

        That is what I call erotic.

        But do you ever see that kind of a woman in a contemporary adult film?

        No.

        Which is why I’m going to start writing and directing Geek Porno.

        I shall be the quintessential Nerd Porn Auteur.

        And the women in my porno movies will be the kind

        that drive nerds like me mad with desire.

        I’m talking about the girls that used to fuck up the grading curve.

        The girls in the Latin Club and the National Honor Society.

        Chicks with weird clothes, braces, four eyes, and 4.0 GPAs.

        Brainy articulate bookworms, with MENSA cards in their purses

        and chips on their shoulders.

        My porn starlets will come in all shapes and sizes.

        My porn starlets will be too busy working on their PhD to go to the gym.

        In my kind of porno movies the girls wouldn’t even have to get naked.

        They’d just take the guys down to the rec room and

        beat them repeatedly at chess

        and then talk to them for hours about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

        or the underlying social metaphors in the Aliens movies.

        Buy stock in some hand cream companies

        because there is about to be a major shortage.

        And I’m not just talking about straight porn. Oh no.

        There should be fuck films for my nerd brethren

        of all sexual orientations.

        Gay nerd porn flicks with titles like “Dungeons and Drag-queens.”

        This idea is a fucking gold mine.

        I am gonna make millions,

        because this country is full of database programmers

        and electronics engineers

        and they aren’t getting the loving they so desperately need.

        And you can help . . .

        If you’re an intelligent woman is interested in breaking into the adult film industry,

        and if you can tell me the name of Luke Skywalker’s home planet,

        then you are hired.

        It doesn’t matter if you think you’re overweight or unattractive.

        It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re beautiful.

        You are beautiful. . .

        And I will make you a star.

        October 24, 2018
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          Excuse me but what?

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          This poem gave me worse indigestion than my breakfast of super spicy ramen and black coffee.

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
          • Mel
            Mel

            The first time I read it, my brain couldn’t even process everything that I hated about it. I think I went into a NOPE coma for a few minutes before I could form any coherent sentences.

            The best/worst part? This is actually a spoken poem. Yeah. There’s videos of this man performing this masterpiece of several layers of disgusting misogyny and objectification. It’s…It’s something.

            October 24, 2018
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          That is so gross on so many levels. Ugh.

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
        • Maril
          Maril

          I would say this was one of the most offensive things I’ve read in a long time but that prize still goes to most things around Brett Kavanaugh and Trump.

          Speaking as a very smart woman who puts more attention into work and learning than appearance and who values an intellectual partner more than a physical one, I genuinely hate this and I’m pretty sure I would be equally creeped out by someone fetishizing my intelligence as my body. It’s not really any less objectification because it’s still about HIS gratification. Her intelligence in this poem is still about HIS boner. Is it really that hard to think about sex in terms of ‘man, it’s so goddamn sexy when me and my partner are both really into something together’? Is that so outside people’s capacity to consider? Hell, just changing up the wording here to being about how hot her PASSION for these things is rather than how hot it is that she’s smart. It’s not about her enjoying learning it’s essentially a nerd dominatrix. He doesn’t want an intellectual equal who can keep up with him and inspire him, he wants someone who can intellectually beat him. He wants to be the submissive in an intellectual relationship rather than a physical one. And that’s… really no different? I mean, to each their own but don’t pretend to be all woke dude.

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
          • Mel
            Mel

            The thing that really gets me is that he’s not woke at all, he’s just terrible in a completely different direction but acts like he should get a cookie because he’s #NotLikeOtherGuys just because he likes a different type of girl but he treats them in exactly the same way that the “macho-men” treat the “fuck bunnies”.

            “But I don’t wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.”

            Said unironically by the douchetastic loser who just a few lines earlier says this about women he deems beneath his penis:

            “These vacuum-headed fuck bunnies don’t turn me on.

            They disgust me.”

            This poem is vile in so many ways, you could probably write a masters thesis about it and still miss things. Like, it’s just the worst thing and I kind of hate this guy.

            October 24, 2018
          • Maril
            Maril

            Yeah, that’s something else I don’t get is why the hell is it in all of these kinds of things that they can’t just leave it at them not being turned on by those types of women. It always has to go into straight up HATE. They are inferior and anyone who likes them is inferior for liking them.

            Also agreed on the whole vibe of ‘smart women can’t also be physically attractive and vice versa’ Bookjunk brought up. It’s weird and insulting. And super outdated. I mean, Hedy Lemarr was beautiful and she helped invent wifi. It’s not an all or nothing trade off. And having braces and/or glasses both doesn’t inherently make you smart or ugly either.

            There is just so much wrong with this poem… I mean, it’s even bad as a poem. Like, on a technical level. It’s more of a diatribe typed out in stanzas. But to be fair I’m not super up on poetry so maybe that still qualifies as a poem to people who are but I’m not really interested in giving him the benefit of the doubt after this.

            One last thing though; being into science does not automatically lend itself to being into science fiction. I love theoretical physics, I HATE Battlestar Galactica and most similar types of shows/movies. And I know a lot of very smart people who have absolutely not time or interest in super hero movies or Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Men and women alike. Some of them even enjoy brainless reality television because they want to decompress from all the other shit they’re thinking about! Shocking, I know. It is possible to be into both astronomy AND The Bachelor. It’s possible to love mechanical engineering and find Rick and Morty crass and unpleasant.

            It’s very obvious to me from this poem that Cline would be the kind of douchebag that tests women at conventions to see if they’re ‘fake geek girls’.

            I made the mistake of going back and reading it again before submitting this comment, so just one more thing; BEFORE he says the pretty women disgust him, he says that they are TOLD to look this way but then goes on to say it’s THEM he’s disgusted by. So he also decided to throw in some victim shaming too! He acknowledges that it’s society, men specifically, that tell women they have to ‘self mutilate’ to be attractive, but then goes on to say that THEY are the disgusting ones rather than the people who told them to do it. Awesome.

            October 24, 2018
          • Arlene
            Arlene

            Also, the whole smart girl = math/science/sci-fi nerd. Why are the “smart girls” never portrayed as artists/writers/musicians/actors?

            October 31, 2018
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          It’s got this weird ‘sexually attractive people are dumb and smart people are hideous’ thing going on. Like, really dude? He should just grow the hell up.

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
        • now is the winter of your pb&h
          now is the winter of your pb&h

          Sorta FU for this because it kinda made me puke in my mouth, but at the same time thank you because before reading that I had no strong opinions about this guy, now I hate him and hope Jenny roasts RPO on principle.

          October 24, 2018
          |Reply
        • L
          L

          Oh god, ohhh goddd… I’m kinda sorry I didn’t vote for that now… but also I don’t wanna read anything like this ever again… and as someone on the internet once said: “there’s a lot to unpack here but let’s just throw away the whole suitcase”

          October 25, 2018
          |Reply
        • many bells down
          many bells down

          Oh. Oh my god.

          October 25, 2018
          |Reply
        • What I think annoys me most is the whole bit where he rants about there not being any porn like that. Dude does not know how to search the Internet. Heck, that kind of thing is literally a category on Pornhub.

          It also reminds me a bit about that guy who complained about Hooters and came up with ‘suggestions’ for improving it. Suggestions which were just as creepy and misogynistic, but somehow even more demeaning.

          October 26, 2018
          |Reply
  36. Alison
    Alison

    Any of these would be good, so I went with City of Bones because it sounded most interesting. Also, is there some unwritten rule of bad fiction that the characters are not allowed to have real people names?

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  37. Jenny
    Jenny

    Oh my god!! You quoted me! Oh my god. That makes me so happy it is silly.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  38. I voted for Modelland. Not just for the horrendous names or the seemingly incomprehensible plot, but mostly because she went and gave the main character heterochromia. It’s just such a tired Trope.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  39. L
    L

    Oh man that was a hard one! I really considered voting for “modelland”, It sounds hilarious and we all already know jamie mcguire suck, but eventually I did vote for beautiful disaster, especially because tyra banks isn’t an author, no one ever claimd she was a good one… let her have her shitty book in peace! Regarding city of bones… I know now all the problems with it but it was my favorite book when I was like,15? So honestly can’t bring myself to even consider it as an option, for the sake of nostalgia…

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Michael
      Michael

      Tyra is an author, though. She had a book published and sold for money; that makes her responsible for making sure the book is a good one.

      October 24, 2018
      |Reply
  40. Sraf
    Sraf

    Aaaaw, do I have to choose only one?

    I’m leaning towards A Court of Thorns and Roses because (guilty admission there) I read it and kinda liked it – like sometimes I have liked really bad fanfiction. By that I don’t mean it doesn’t have huuuuge flaws, and it could be fun to see you have a go at something I’ve read and not abhorred.

    But the other propositions are so good… Ready Player One because of what the nominator said, or even City of Bones because of the purely selfish desire that I want to know what the fuss is all about but I don’t want to read it myself. (I tried listening to the audio book and fell asleep after a half-hour. It was mind-numbingly boring.)

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  41. Wow! So many good (bad) choices! As much as I’d love to see you have a go at Cassandra Clare, I’m going with A Court of Thorns and Roses. Maas thinks she’s some kind of poet with her flowery writing, but it’s trite. So many em dashes. Everything is described in threes. The heroine is an idiot, the hero is an abusive asshole, and the secondary love interest is The Worst™ (torture! drugging the heroine! assholeish behaviour!).

    So hard to believe Maas started out by publishing her teenage Cinderella fanfiction on Fictionpress (I think) when she was sixteen and now she’s launched into problematic “mating” stories that are filled with poorly written erotica and disguised as Young Adult books. Dear god, why. (The fanfic was Throne of Glass, by the way. The published re-release as a novel years later still reads like she wrote it at sixteen, so I doubt it was ever edited.)

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Kate
      Kate

      Thank you for the context on Throne of Glass. My husband brought that home one day after a coworker was laughing at how terrible it was (dude had read the whole thing anyway – he is voracious for books). I didn’t make it a page before I said ‘reads like bad fanfic’ and gave it back. Clearly my fic-dar was working.

      I voted for Thorns and Roses to see what would happen.

      October 24, 2018
      |Reply
      • You’re welcome! Technically, she said she was inspired by the music playing during the scene where Cinderella lost her slipper, but you can tell in certain parts of Throne of Glass that it’s an obvious fanfic (because Maas doesn’t have an original thought in her head. Throne of Glass is a Cinderella “retelling” and Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast “retelling”). When Celaena goes to the ball, everyone has to stop and watch her descend the stairs because she’s just so (“Wow! Who’s that girl?”) beautiful and mysterious. Gag. I can’t take the book seriously because Celaena wants to be the best at everything and the centre of attention when she’s supposed to be a top notch assassin. You know, the people who don’t want to be in the spotlight.

        Here’s what she said, if you’re interested. It was posted on her blog in 2011:

        “QUEEN OF GLASS, as some of you might remember, was inspired by roughly 60 seconds of music from the score to Disney’s CINDERELLA. While listening to the track that plays while Cinderella flees the ball, I thought music was way too dark and intense to accompany the scene. The music fit much better when I imagined a thief—no, an assassin!—fleeing the palace. But who was she? Who had sent her to kill the prince? Who might the prince’s enemies be? A powerful, corrupt empire, perhaps? And thus Celaena Sardothien, the heroine of QUEEN OF GLASS, was born.”

        October 24, 2018
        |Reply
  42. Amy
    Amy

    I picked Beautiful Disaster. If only because Jamie McGuire reacted so badly to criticism about that other book. The space book. Apolonia. And that was so amazingly awful I feel like BD has potential to be equally entertaining in a jaw-dropping, my-god-why kind of way. Didn’t she inspire the name Jealous Haters Book Club?

    Loved A Court of Thorns and Roses. And the Throne of Glass series (except for the first book, Taryn is absolutely correct about the editing. Or lack thereof). However, there are plenty of things in them that are problematic. Stopped reading CC when I learned about her bad behavior and the plagiarism stuff. So needless to say I didn’t get very far into that series. :/

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  43. Chris
    Chris

    Oh FFS I competely forgot that Apolonia is from McGuire (until Amy pointed it out). I could hardly make it through the recaps because I couldn’t follow the plot, at all. I voted for Beautiful Disaster because the book and the author sound horrible, only to realize now that she’s already had her turn. I’ve learned enough from that book (via Jenny’s excellent writing tips) and I already know what I’m in for with Beautiful Disaster. I want to withdraw my vote! I want to withdraw my vote! Make mine the one from the Nice Guy instead! I know no one is listening but I’m shouting it anyway! PS I love how invested we all are in choosing the best worst piece of fiction to learn from.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • MK
      MK

      I didn’t realize that…I also could barely make it though the recaps! SO PAINFUL.

      I voted Ready Player One because I would love to take down the Nice GuyTM. My partner read it for his book club (a bunch of dudes) and he hated it but all the other guys liked it, no surprise.

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
    • Black Knight
      Black Knight

      I knew McGuire’s name seemed familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why until you mentioned she wrote Apollonia, which I read all of the JHBC recaps of.

      I vote AGAINST Beautiful Disaster, because if McGuire came up with an misogynistic insult even more vile than the one in Apollonia – I refuse to even type it, but anyone who’s read the book or Jenny’s recaps knows exactly what I’m referring to – I really don’t want to know.

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
  44. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    Modelland sounds insane. Almost so bad that’s it good?

    The last three books give me FSoG flashbacks with their rapeyness (+ fanfiction) and I’m not ready to get mad all over again.

    So, I voted Ready Player One! Read it and was not impressed at all. I’m super curious to see what you’ll have to say about the shittiness of the writing and the writer.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  45. Small jar of fireflies
    Small jar of fireflies

    I voted modelland because it seems least rapey, and thus, most fun to read someone trying to get through.

    These are my standards in 2018.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  46. MK
    MK

    “a floating fight ring” sounds like some kind of pool noodle cage match situation.

    This was a hard choice, but as someone who doesn’t read YA or that much romance, really, I thought it was already already common knowledge that BD and Mortal Instruments were both trash. Whatever you pick, I’ll be here for your take! 🙂

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      “a floating fight ring” sounds like some kind of pool noodle cage match situation.

      And that would be more awesome than it probably is. XD

      October 25, 2018
      |Reply
  47. I’d vote for City of Bones, but for the full context of just how badly this is basically FSoG in that Clare/Claire rewrote her HP fanfiction with new names, you’d have to read her Draco series as well. And that series is roughly 900,000 words long. Ain’t no one got time for that. I realize you didn’t do that with Master of the Universe, but Master of the Universe was barely AU. This one is a full-on divergence of HP books 5/6/7 before they were released.

    Voting for Beautiful Disaster, because seeing it ripped apart will be the most satisfying.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  48. I voted according to a process of elimination – not Modelland, because I don’t have a copy of it. Not Beautiful Disaster because I read it and gave my copy away and McGuire’s had her turn.

    So that leaves ACoTaR as the cool kids call it, RPO and City of Bones. Who was it who described RPO as incel fanfic? That’s both a genius genre label and…*shudder*

    In the end I went for City of Bones because I own it in paperback so can read along with Jen, and Clare blocked me on Twitter, my previous account at least, for mentioning the word “plagiarism”. At least, I assume that’s what it was. She’s the type of person who deserves to get ripped. I’ve read worse books, but she’s a thoroughly awful person.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Tez Miller
      Tez Miller

      Clare hasn’t blocked me, but McGuire has.

      Show of hands, if any of the nominated works’ authors have blocked you, Trout Nation!

      October 23, 2018
      |Reply
  49. Kieran
    Kieran

    Ahh! You used (I believe) my recommendation for A Court of Thorns and Roses! I’ve been reading a lot of criticism of the author lately and while I didn’t exactly hate the books, they’re definitely not what they’re hyped to be. Doubly so for the Throne of Glass series.

    These are all great choices, though: I have nostalgia for the Mortal Instruments series despite their flaws because they were one of the first published books I found when I was young that had gay characters, but Ready Player One is completely revolting and deserves a thorough beat down. I think?? I tried?? Reading Modelland once, but I just couldn’t do it.

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  50. Jean
    Jean

    Alright, I need some advice on which to choose. I know Jenny has said that book sales have been down a couple months ago and I also know I found her through her 50SoG recaps, which then led to me purchasing the majority of her book collection and recommending it to others.

    I think Jenny should do the book that will garner the most new hits and thus the most financial success. I am GUESSING that would be RPO, but I’d love to hear other opinions!

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Chris
      Chris

      Yeah, you’re probably right. RPO sounds like a very good “how not to”.

      October 24, 2018
      |Reply
  51. Ric
    Ric

    I vote for ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J.Mass

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  52. Black Knight
    Black Knight

    Modelland would ordinarily be my pick, as a longtime ANTM watcher, but I believe the book is 600 pages and that seems way too much to put Jenny through. HfM took a year to recap and isn’t that like a third of the length of Modelland?

    October 23, 2018
    |Reply
  53. This was a really difficult decision!

    For me it came down to a choice between Modelland and Beautiful Disaster. From the Apolonia recaps we know that McGuire will be a fruitful source of material, but it feels mean to put Jenny through more of that particular brand of awfulness. Tyra’s book sounds dreadful, but it’s an unknown quantity. Will it be too wacky and poorly written to properly dissect?

    In the end I flipped a coin, but I’m keeping my vote secret because this is still America, dammit.

    October 24, 2018
    |Reply
  54. Paheli
    Paheli

    Oh sweet Cthulhu, do not read Beautiful Disaster! I remember reading your 50 Shades recaps and thinking how angry and miserable you sounded having to slog through the festering filth that was the Eel’s abomination. It will be the same thing all over again and possibly worse.

    I picked up one of the Beautiful Disaster books at a store back in the day, because a librarian friend of mine was disgusted by it. I read a section that went along the lines of, “She’s wearing a short skirt. She’s totally asking for it.” My blood pressure skyrocketed and I threw that thing down cursing loudly and wishing it could go into a trash can.

    So I would recommend that you not read it. Do a more light-hearted book? If you are going to do that book, maybe wait for the new Animal Crossing game to come out so you have something sweet and pure to cleanse your spirit with. Just trying to save you pain.

    October 24, 2018
    |Reply
  55. TheMeanReader
    TheMeanReader

    Oh God, Shitty of Boners.
    You would hate it.

    October 24, 2018
    |Reply
  56. Bunny
    Bunny

    Tookie de la Creme? *gags* Okay, Modelland it is. I’m sold.

    You might as well just give in. How’s Mac Aroon for a name? Terra Misu? Dela Catessen? Tookie’s dad could be Pop Tart. His sister could be Cross Aunt.

    I mean, honestly, half of these names sound twice as good as “Tookie de la Creme”. Ugh.

    October 24, 2018
    |Reply
    • Skemono
      Skemono

      There’s an anime/manga/light novel series where one of the main characters is named Tira Misu. Her sister is Chocolate Misu, and the rest of the five-man band are Gateau Mocha and brothers Carrot & Marron Glacé.

      October 25, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        The Yaki sisters in “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” are named Suki and Teri.

        October 27, 2018
        |Reply
  57. elvenbookworm
    elvenbookworm

    The description of Model and intrigued me so much, I checked out a digital copy from the local library on the spot.
    I finished reading it in under 24 hours. It’s compellingly, hysterically bad. I read the prologue out loud to my husband, who lay stunned for a full minute before saying, “There’s so much to unpack here.”
    It has my vote because I can promise you that it’ll be truly fun to pick apart. Unlike certain recent guidebooks for humans, cough cough.

    October 25, 2018
    |Reply
  58. Lieju
    Lieju

    HMMM a hard choice. I read ready player one and mostly thought it was… eh. The thing about it that most annoyed me is the amount of wasted potential but I feel like the worst parts of it is being boring and idk if ‘here’s a list of things again’ makes for a good sporking material…

    I am most curious about the modelland personally. it sounds like it could be genuinely funny? idk how seriously it takes itself?

    hmmm choices

    October 25, 2018
    |Reply
  59. Kat
    Kat

    I voted for the Maas book. The Worst Bestsellers has done an episode on it, as well as eps on Modelland and RPO. I’ve read City of Bones, and remember the cluster of not cool around Clare’s fanfic/fandom times. I’ve also read Modelland, and found it compelling, but confusing. I was engrossed while I was reading, but then I’d finish a chapter and put it down, and wonder what it was that I’d just read. And then the next day, I’d feel compelled to pick it back up and read more. But there is A LOT to unpack in that novel, and it is very long. We’ve done a Jamie McGuire book already, so I decided to go with the book I’ve seen several of my students reading in the last couple of years. I think it could be a fun read-along and skewering, and it might go in directions the last few JHBC offerings haven’t.

    October 25, 2018
    |Reply
    • Miimers
      Miimers

      Ooo, how did I not know about this podcast?! Thank you!

      October 31, 2018
      |Reply
    • Chris
      Chris

      OMG Neither did I. Thank you!

      October 31, 2018
      |Reply
  60. Ross Gibson
    Ross Gibson

    I had to go with ready player one. I really really do not like Ernest cline, and I feel like male nerdery need it pulled apart.

    I some of these are covered on bad books good times, just incase.

    October 25, 2018
    |Reply
  61. Liz
    Liz

    I kinda feel like there needs to be an option of “It doesn’t matter! Any of the will be awesome!’

    October 26, 2018
    |Reply
  62. After much thought and time (which would have been far better spent getting on with my long to-do list, but, well, that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun) I voted for Ready Player One… BUT with the caveat that I did see Smacy’s comment about the fans being particularly appalling, and I don’t want to feel Jenny is pushed into putting herself through that, so, Jenny, if you change your mind about that one I understand completely and would be happy to withdraw my vote.

    Anyway, my reasons for picking that one, for what they’re worth, were:

    1. The book actually looks interesting, from the sample I read on Amazon.
    2. It’s really different from the other stuff that’s been done here.
    3. My local library has a copy, so no dilemmas about whether or not to buy it.
    4. I’ve found existing sporks of ACOTA and COB (on the ‘Reading With A Vengeance’ blog) and Modelland (spork actually published as a cheap Kindle book) so it’ll be nice to see something different sporked.

    But whichever one we get is going to be awesome to read. Looking forward to it!

    October 26, 2018
    |Reply
  63. Liza
    Liza

    Originally I voted for Modelland based on the comments people made during the nomination period. But just now I read a excerpt and it made my brain matter hurt.
    It’s impossible to follow and the names are beyond. I can’t fathom how one would ever begin to dissect it. But the writing doesn’t seem half bad when compared to HfM – at least each standalone sentence seems to have been edited, so that’s something. And Tyra must have had a blast writing it because even though I was super confused, I kind of had fun reading. I can only imagine how amazing the recaps would be.

    October 26, 2018
    |Reply
  64. I’m voting Modelland, it sounds really bad, but at least hilariously bad. The name of the protagonist alone, lol!
    I never knew much about the controversy around Clare and I’ve read quite a few of her books, and liked them mostly. Admittedly City of Bones is not good, but I liked later books and her other prequel series and mainly because of some lovely side characters.
    The Maas book, I read her other series and while there was a lot of bad, I again liked it because of some really interesting side characters. I’ve read this one and effing hated it. It was boring and infuriating.
    The McGuire book is a nope for me because Jenny’s done one of hers already and it was horrible and incredibly boring.
    Ready Player One also sounds boring.

    October 27, 2018
    |Reply
  65. Nomnivor
    Nomnivor

    I don’t know! I kinda wanna read you take on ACOtAR because it was so bad i couldn’t make it to the end and stopped at the rape party.

    But i also wanna read you ripping apart City of Bones because it. Is. So. Bad. Seriously. It’s so bad that it is funny. The world building is non-existent.

    Ugh. I need to sleep on that.

    October 27, 2018
    |Reply
  66. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    It’s like bring a kid in a candy store and you can only afford to buy one thing….

    Tyra might be fun. ANTM was always surreal, because it’s nothing like that. I did temp jobs at Conference Nast, and the stylists tell you what to wear and someone does your makeup. For lower-budget things like commercial print or catalog, they’re more interested in specific physical characteristics, like nice ankles and feet that fit sample sizes for a shoe model.

    Cline might be fun. He’s trying so hard to sound woke, but even with Famous Author status, he sounds like he’d have trouble finding company even at a conference or at traditional Nerd Mating Grounds like Pennsic. As the saying goes, “if you can’t get laid at Pennsic, you can’t get laid anywhere.”

    Maas: crappy revisionist Grimm. Teresa Medeiros is one of very few authors who can pull this off without irritating me.

    McGuire: crappy revisionist EL James doing crappy revisionist Meyer doing crappy revisionist Buffy and “Dark Shadows” (Vampires-in-LURVE), with a school setting that is less realistic than Buffy (which at least nailed the ruthlessness) but possibly more realistic than James, who didn’t have a clue.

    Clare: crappy revisionist Potter and Buffy, but tempting because I want to see if she’ll screw up NY the way the Eel screwed up the Pacific Northwest. Apparently, she’s lived in NYC, but she could still screw it up.

    Oh dear, oh dear: SUCH an embarrassment of riches!

    October 27, 2018
    |Reply
  67. Milly Tudor
    Milly Tudor

    They all sound terrible, and I’d be happy to read you rip apart any of them. Ready Player One was very tempting, but I cannot in good conscience go past a book written by the writer who gave birth to the Draco in Leather Pants trope.

    October 28, 2018
    |Reply
  68. Hill
    Hill

    Fuck, I can’t decide. The only onr I wouldn’t vote for is Modelland, just because it seems like low-hanging fruit.

    October 28, 2018
    |Reply
  69. Tracy
    Tracy

    I vote for the Maas book, A Court of Thorns and Roses. I hate that kind of wispy faeree YA fantasy. Ready Player One’s been sporked before, and I am pretty sure Modelland was indeed ghostwritten by a mid-level YA author — I came across that tidbit a few months ago, but unfortunately I can’t find that article again — Marisa Marr or Melissa de la Cruz, or a name that sounded like it. I remember thinking whoever that unknown author was, they must have had a blast pulling out all the stops and making it sound like Tyra’s voice on the show.

    October 29, 2018
    |Reply
  70. isidra
    isidra

    I’m casting my vote for City of Bones. It’s just dreadful but has the novelty of being adapted into a surprisingly watchable television show that deconstructs a lot of the fantasy racism and problematic elements, and gives a lot more development and screentime to nonwhite and queer characters. The main m/m relationship goes from being barely an afterthought in the books, to having as much focus as the central m/f relationship. You get the sense that the showrunners were people who read the book and went “you know, I feel like I could do this better and then did.

    The show starts off kind of mediocre, but improves as it goes, and it might be a good built in palate cleanser for an awful book.

    October 30, 2018
    |Reply
    • Elyssa
      Elyssa

      It’s on Freeform, isn’t it? I do like what they’re doing with that channel – they’re trying to make shows with more diversity in both race and sexuality. I don’t think they always succeed, but I’m glad they’re trying harder than most other channels.

      October 31, 2018
      |Reply
  71. Miimers
    Miimers

    I would’ve voted for RPO, because it reads like all the band history chapters in American Psycho condensed into a book without the actual plot chapters. Like, The Ultimate Showdown is a fun video to watch, but would you really want to watch 6 hours of that and nothing but that on a loop?
    BUT, had to go with Beautiful Disaster after reading GR reviews where people gave it a high rating because “the male protagonist is not THAT bad” and “he didn’t even hit her so how is he being abusive” and “he’s an Alpha Male!” and that about sums up absolutely everything I needed to know.

    October 30, 2018
    |Reply
  72. Mary
    Mary

    I unironically enjoyed Modelland. It IS a trip, very surreal, like reading someone else’s dream, but I thought it hung together and its heart was in the right place.

    October 30, 2018
    |Reply
  73. Abby
    Abby

    I totally get why you aren’t doing Tiger’s Curse, but I am still jonesing for a good read-along of that book! There was another read-along of Tigers Curse that I was following years ago that I really loved. That blogger did a long of research into some of the mythology and cultural touchstones that the book shit on, and I really enjoyed those research fueled tirades.

    If you ever hear of someone doing a read-along of Tiger’s Curse, please mention it in one of your posts!!!

    November 1, 2018
    |Reply
  74. liminal fruitbat
    liminal fruitbat

    I voted for A Court of Thorns and Roses for the simple reason that I’ve not come across any sporkings/takedowns of it or the Jamie McGuire one, and Apollonia was horrifically painful even in sporking format. But I’d love it if Modelland ends up winning, because oh my god it is weird.

    November 1, 2018
    |Reply
  75. =8)-DX
    =8)-DX

    I voted for C(A)URT TH(OF)RNS R(AND)SES, because first of all, that cover is the worst thing I’ve seen in a long time, some graphic designer had the clever idea of fitting the indefinite and definite articles and the preposition into the Os, which works graphically due to the various word lengths, but makes the very title unreadable.

    Secondly on reading the blurb for Modelland I thought it was about seven magic girls becoming fairy witches, and only realised it was about models being superpretty or dying (of unprettiness), so I’m going with my instincts on an actual fantasy fae/fairy novel.

    Either way it should be a blast and I completely understand why you excluded the three novels at the start. Good luck!

    November 1, 2018
    |Reply
  76. Sara
    Sara

    FYI I know one blog that’s already done RPO: https://readygamerone.tumblr.com though that’s not to say that you can’t do it just as well with your own spin!

    November 2, 2018
    |Reply
  77. Sara
    Sara

    FYI I know one blog that’s already done RPO: https://readygamerone.tumblr.com though that’s not to say you couldn’t do it just as good (or better!) with your own spin on it

    November 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • Sara
      Sara

      Oops, thought that hadn’t posted the first time

      November 2, 2018
      |Reply
  78. Savannah
    Savannah

    I voted for City of Bones because I feel very strongly that while fanfic is wonderful and important, it’s not right for a fanfic author to profit off of the works of another. But personally, I’ll be very happy with any of the books on the list!

    November 3, 2018
    |Reply
  79. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    I ended up voting for City of Bones, but it hurt.

    So many hideous literary mutations, and all of them vying for my love….

    November 6, 2018
    |Reply
  80. Corbeau
    Corbeau

    I am torn between City of Bones (because ripping off popular franchises is bad, m’kay) and Beautiful Disaster (because it sounds like the type of shit that’s full of infuriating stereotypes about how you should be innocent and naive to a fault and love an asshole).

    November 8, 2018
    |Reply

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