Books that make you go “meh” 

Published 9:56 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Shelf Life 


I love to talk about books I enjoy, but I also like to discuss those I don’t! This past weekend, I caused quite a ruckus in some online book clubs by asking members what books they found overrated. Most were happy to answer but a few were offended by my question. Please don’t be! People have different tastes and will adore the books that you loathe and vice-versa. For example, I have seen a lot of hype about Where the Crawdads Sing but just as many people saying they were not fans of the book. I picked it up anyway, and it was my favorite read last month! So, below are some books that made me go “meh,” but don’t let that shy you away from picking them up. I’d love to hear your opinions! 

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara 

I’ve mentioned how excited I was to read this one in several past columns. I finally got around to it this year and was underwhelmed and confused. It centers on a mysterious and brutal serial killer from the ’70s and ’80s; however, it was not in chronological order and was so hard to follow. This may have been since it was pieced together by various editors as it was published two years after the author’s death. 


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 

I often cite this as my least favorite book of all time, which is unfortunate because the writing and setting were really beautiful. But it had the laziest ending that could not be forgiven. It was clearly just setting up for the sequel. 


Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 

Picoult is one of my favorite authors and this is the only one of her books that I haven’t enjoyed. She usually writes realistic fiction but this one had a supernatural twist which I was blindsided by and quite mad at! However, I did enjoy learning about elephants and the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. 


Becoming by Michelle Obama 

I was so looking forward to this one and listened to the first few chapters of the audiobook and was bored out of my mind… She reads it so slowly! I do have a print copy of the book on hold so I will give it another chance since I did not finish. I usually prefer print to audiobooks so hopefully it will capture my attention more at a quicker pace. 


Sadie by Courtney Summers 

Many named this as one of their favorite books of 2018 and it sounded right up my alley: “A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial–like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.” I enjoyed the podcast chapters but the chapters narrated by Sadie left me wanting more. 


Jen Pace Dickenson is the youth services librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call 828-894-8721.