Disclaimer: These are a few books that I refuse to read for personal preference and ethical reasons. No one will ever persuade me to read these. Just because I refuse to read these books doesn’t mean these books are bad. This is just my personal opinion.
“Anna and the French Kiss” and “Lola and the Boy Next Door” by Stephanie Perkins
Isla and the Happily Ever After was the only book in this companion series that I picked up. It’s the only one that appealed to me, having the more realistic premise of making a relationship last. I read this book over the summer, and I had problems with the execution of the romance, but that’s based off personal preference. My reasons for refusing to read these books come from a general moral standard that most people would agree with no matter what their religion is and the abiding laws of the United States.
I would have been fine with reading Anna and the French Kiss if it wasn’t for one thing: she and Étienne practically cheat with one another! He has a girlfriend, and yet he’s spending all this time with another girl!
“I cheated on her every day. In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn’t have, again and again. She was nothing compared to you. I’ve never felt this way about anybody before.” – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I view cheating to be an inexcusable and pointless act. If you don’t want to be with your significant other anymore, BREAK UP WITH THEM! LilyCReads has a review for Anna and the French Kiss that gives me even more reasons to avoid this book (SPOILER WARNING and she swears a lot in the video).
As for Lola and the Boy Next Door my sole objection stems from these facts: Lola’s boyfriend, Max, is twenty-two years-old; she is seventeen; she’s had sex with Max. That’s statutory rape! Even though it’s consensual, she is under the age of eighteen, therefore, he can be arrested for that.
Any Kody Keplinger book (specifically “The DUFF” and “Shut Out”)
The sexual elements in these books are too much. The DUFF has several descriptive scenes of promiscuity among teenagers who are not in committed relationships. Shut Out is based on the Greek drama, Lysistrata, where women deny their husbands sex to stop a war between Sparta and Athens. I understand that the author is trying to be “realistic”, but this is just inappropriate. I made a list of personal standards about sex in YA, that mainly apply to the two, main love interest that I have to follow throughout the course of the story:
- It can only be done between two people in a monogamous relationship who have established a healthy and trusting relationship, and are both, at least, in the upper high school age range (seventeen to eighteen), being within at the most a two-year age difference.
- The encounters can’t be graphic, preferably described in an emotion-driven and responsible way if described at all.
- The sex cannot be a major plot point in the book unless it is a part of a social commentary (example: the effects of rape in Some Boys by Patty Blount and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson)
This is just the standard that I refer to when choosing a book. It is based on what is a realistic portrayal of today’s society and what I’m comfortable reading about.
“The Lucky One” and “The Best of Me” by Nicholas Sparks
He may be one of my favorite authors, but after I read The Wedding, I’ll be done reading Nicholas Sparks books. I tried to read both of these books, so I’m not sure if these technically count, but I only got through one chapter of The Best of Me and one and a half pages of The Lucky One.
In the first chapter of The Best of Me, it is obvious that Amanda and Dawson’s relationship is doomed. In their brief back story, you see the two torn apart by social and parental influences, and when they reunite years later, Amanda is married. It is a loveless marriage, but anything romantic she does with Dawson is still adultery. This situation can’t go anywhere but downhill, and I stumbled upon a spoiler that confirmed that. After reading Dear John, I can’t go through another hopeless romance.
I’ve seen the movie version of The Lucky One, and I love it. When I saw a copy of the book at the thrift store, I sat down and began reading the first chapter. I know I’m not supposed to like Keith in the beginning, but in the first paragraph he went from just another jerk antagonist to a perverted creep. I felt violated by reading his inner thoughts.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I grew up during the era of Disney Chanel when movies and shows about witches were prominent: such as Halloween Town, Twitches, and Wizards of Waverly Place. The adult figures in my life always said these shows made light of the darkness of witchcraft and the occult and that I should stay away from them. I watched Twitches and a few episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place anyway because I loved the Mowry sisters and Selena Gomez, but I never became obsessed. I think very little of witchcraft in media. It doesn’t appeal to me, which is why I won’t be reading Harry Potter. Plus, the books get too thick for my liking.
The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
(WARNING: rant ahead.)
I watched the first movie adaptation of the series once. The best part of that movie was the end credits when “Decode” by Paramore played.
I hate love triangles. They’re pointless, especially when you know who the main character is going to end up with. I don’t understand Bella’s attraction towards Edward. He’s practically a stalker. When someone says, “I like to watch you sleep”, that’s a sign that you need to call the police or file a restraining order. Jacob just follows her around like a lost puppy. Why do so many guys like her anyway? She’s incompetent, annoying, and has no personality or life outside of being in “love” with Edward. He and Jacob could kill her if they want to! Dull characters, no real plot, and degradation of every good and scary thing about vampires: if all this is true about the books as it is in the movie – which it looks like it is – I’m not reading it.