Blogmas 2020 book review

Worse books of 2020

Welcome to day 20 of blogmas! Only 5 more days! As always the post from yesterday is linked at the bottom of the page and you can search Blogmas 2020 on my blog and you’ll get the whole list of posts. 

So today I’m doing a follow on from yesterday and talking about my 4 worse books of 2020. Truth is out of the 48 books I’ve read this year there weren’t many shockers so this was a lot harder.

The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

This isn’t just about this one book, it’s the whole series. I really disliked it and I know that’s a controversial thing to say but it’s true, I just found the whole series boring! I did reviews for all three of the books where you can get my full thoughts. The Northern Lights here, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass here. 

Some books improve with age–the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman’s heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra’s Oxford is not precisely like our own–nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal dæmon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied.

The Beach

by Alex Garland

So I’d had this book sitting around for a bit and I knew I wanted to read it but honestly it really wasn’t good. The first section wasn’t awful but it went really down hill especially as we got closer and closer to the end. I just think I was disappointed because I loved the movie so much yet the book let me down. Here’s the full review.

The Khao San Road, Bangkok – first stop on the backpacker trail. On Richard’s first night there a fellow traveller slits his wrists, leaving Richard a map to “the Beach”. The Beach is a legend among young travellers in Asia: white as sands circling a lagoon hidden from the sea, coral gardens and freshwater falls surrounded by jungle. In this earthly paradise, it is rumoured, a select community lives in blissful innocence. For Richard, haunted by the glamour of Vietnam war movies, a trek into unknown Thai territory is irresistible. He was looking for adventure. Now he’s found it.


by George Orwell

I wanted to love this book so bad but… no. The first half was good and I did really enjoy it but the second half really disappointed me. I like the idea of a dystopian future and I love an unhappy ending yet I wanted something more! Check out my full review here.

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101 . . .

The Spirit in the Crypt

by Alexander Lound

I hadn’t been sure if I wanted to add this one but I finally settled on yes. Lound had sent me this book to review and the truth was it had been a super hard read, he’s a first time writer so I’m happy to allow some room but this just wasn’t something I could get through. 

Ever wondered what it feels like to speak to the dead? When fifteen-year-old Jonny Roberts goes out with his friends on a summer night, he doesn’t expect to be forced to enter a crypt. To look at skeletons decaying in their graves. To hear the voice, screaming at him. Screaming into his mind. Commanding him to leave. For weeks afterwards, he is filled with dread, terror as to what the voice might have belonged to. A demon? A ghost? In his nightmares, skeletons strangle him. And when they clear, he has the mysterious nightmare of the girl from his school, making the long walk across the graveyard, and disappearing into the crypt. Never leaving before his waking. It’s when something awful happens to this girl that his fear turns to panic. Panic which will force him to unravel the mystery of the crypt, and in doing so, many mysteries about himself. Book one in the chilling Jonny Roberts series! Follow everyone’s favourite teen ghost-hunter in Lound’s heart-stopping stories!

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