Let it never be said we only spread joy. After all, there's no sense of accomplishment in saving Christmas unless the Grinch jeopardizes it first. In-between all the happy-go-lucky end-of-the-year features we've been posting as we recap our reading year and pave the way for the next one, eventually the time comes for our least and worst and the most disappointing.

We won't lie - these are among the easiest books to pick. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a blogger in possession of a large 'Read' pile must be in want of a rant.

Consider this the end-of-the-year recap of our most prominent rants. And please don't stone us.

1. The Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Picked by: both!

Fun fact: there are more problems with The Cursed Child than there are pages of the actual screenplay. Ultimately, the biggest one seems to be that Harry Potter is not quite Harry Potter without J.K. Rowling. And also: Harry Potter is not quite Harry Potter without... Harry Potter? This is not good writing, friends. Not even for the fanfiction that it is. The HP series has seen better fanfiction. And HP has definitely seen better writing. Forget consistency. Forget characterization. Forget complexity. This is a semblance of a plot stemming from the series' worst plot hole which takes place at a time and in a place we've already experienced - except this time with no rhyme or reason. Also featuring: a really bizarre trolley witch.

2. Vain by Fisher Amelie

Picked by: Natalie

And the award for one of the most disgusting and awful protagonists in 2016 goes to this one. I just... I hated all the characters so much, especially her. I couldn't care less about what happened to any of them and I lost interest so fast. It's a real shame, though, as I've been eager to read this book and series for so long, considering it's been on my kindle for months, and months. The time came, and it didn't last long. I'd heard mixed things about this, but I thought it sounded like a good story especially the Seven Deadly Sins idea. Such a shame it flopped for me. There's being vain and then there's being a huge douche.

3. The Air Awakens series by Elise Kova

Picked by: Lexie

It should not be the case that a book set around a library that's essentially a retelling of The Last Airbender should be so very, very... cliched? And yet here we are. While by no means the worst offender of the year for me, Air Awakens is one with the highest potential which fell short of it the most spectacularly. Even deeming this a bona fide 'fantasy series' is giving it more credit than it deserves. Essentially, Air Awakens is a compilation of every YA trope that ever troped, bound together between two covers. Said covers, meanwhile, depict a Caucasian blonde despite the protagonist being a dark-skinned, dark-haired, 'Eastern' eyed (#dontevengetmestarted) girl? Not to be outdone by all the problems of the plot, I guess, the  (otherwise immensely talented) cover artist followed suit.

4. Tides by Betsy Cornwell

Picked by: Natalie

Little fun fact - this was my first DNF of 2016.
It's also the first mermaid book I've read and I hope it's not my last. I don't want this one to leave a bad taste in my mouth because this was just... dull. Really boring. I found myself just skimming the pages, waiting for something to happen but sadly nothing did. Honestly, looking back, I  don't even remember any of the characters' names or the concrete events that hardly even happened.  I don't want this to taint my idea of mermaid stories, I just haven't found a good one yet. If anyone has any recommendations, do tell! Not much to say because I don't remember anything.

5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Picked by: Lexie

I napped. Oh, the travesty. I napped through the time travel, I napped through the pirates, I napped through the instalove, I napped through the semblance of a plot. I napped through whole sections of unnecessary overdescription and clumsy exposition. I napped even when the book attempted to beat me over the head with its glaringly obvious themes. It could have attempted to garrote me, and I'd have napped. So Passenger was good for my health - but bad for my reading tastes. Any one of its features could have made it thrilling, given more dynamic writing, but alas. I napped.

6. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Picked by: Natalie

I knew I wasn't going to LOVE this book, but I thought I'd at least enjoy it. Not even that. This was the first book I read by Ms. Hoover in a while and after Ugly Love (which was just okay, but I enjoyed it), I felt it was turning into those silly, predictable New Adult books. Harsh? Maybe,  but it's true. It was just drama and characters who make stupid decisions. The premise of the whole story was just ridiculous to me, as well. I didn't like any of its elements, especially the love interest, and I found it was all just unrealistic and too influenced by these other popular NA authors. I found myself thinking 'this is like any other NA book ever', just recycled. I still do like her writing style, but apart from that, it was just a mess. I'm sorry, Colleen. 

7. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Picked by: Lexie

This one is on me. I asked for it. I poked a belligerent sleeping dragon with a stick and it... kinda yawned at me? Because booooooring. But eventually it got around to actually breathe the fire of frustration and burn me to a crisp, and that was worse. After having disliked Red Queen, I had no business even being around this sequel. But there I was, poking the slumbering sequel. And in the end I couldn't decide if it was worse when it was boring, or if it was worse when it was frustrating. Those, ultimately, were the only two emotions it inspired.

8. Candide, or Optimism by Voltaire

Picked by: Natalie

Isn't this the most random book ever for this list? Why, yes. Yes it is. I had to read this for university, and honestly, I was quite looking forward to getting into this. My tutor was telling us about it in a general sense, saying it's basically a fairy-tale where things went wrong, but the protagonist tries to stay positive. It had a lot of humour in it and I thought this was going to be a funny read where Voltaire just satirizes everything.
Well, it was not good for me. I hate this kind of writing style and it doesn't help when you have to write essays about it, takes the fun out of it. If you don't mind reading classics, you might like this, but ugh. I hate dit. The idea of the story is good but nope. Let me down.  There was me thinking I'd enjoy a set book for university... psh.

9. Zenith by Lindsay Cummings & Sasha Alsberg

Picked by: Lexie

How to get on a reader's bad side: a two-pronged path.
Path 1: be derivative and an amalgamation of other popular books in the genre.
Path 2: be boring and unintentionally insult a reader's intelligence at every turn.
Bonus part 3: somehow be both?
Zenith chose #3. Me = not amused.

10. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Picked by: Natalie

Disclaimer: I DID NOT HATE THIS BOOK. I still enjoyed reading it, and I will continue to enjoy Sarah's books because she is queen. I was a tad disappointed and I'll explain why. Hear me out!
Just wanted to say that before you started throwing things at me. *peeps head up from behind the sofa* okay, let me explain myself. First off, I was suuuuper excited to read this, and I had many issues with ordering it because Amazon were knobs, but I finally had it in my hands, and I was overjoyed to be delving into this world again. Mid-book, I was actually a little bored. I don't know if this is a popular opinion or an unpopular one, but I found it was quite repetitive. Fight scene, fight scene, fight scene, fight scene, super-long chat, fight scene. Le sigh.  I know there is bound to be lots in this but I just felt there were so many, and they were also quite similar.
I also find these books can be confusing at times, but I kind of forgot who a lot of people were, like side characters, minor characters, and where everyone was from. The world Sarah has created is very complex and at times, quite confusing, so I was like 'wait, who was that again?' and because I haven't read Assassins Blade yet, I might not have been aware of a few others. I don't know, it's a very long book and I just found it dragged a bit. I just want the finale now, and I wanted it all tied together. I am, however, super excited to see the ending and where they'll all be in the end. BRING ON THE YEAR OF THE MAAS.

For commiserations and constructive debate, please leave a comment below. For stonings and death threats, please take a ticket from the non-existent booth that totally exists, or get a fast pass at the imaginary totally real fast pass booth to your right.

What were your least favorite books of the year, pumpkins? The ones which you hoped would result in a rabid reading frenzy and severe bookish hangover and instead sort of ended with a yawn (or a growl of frustration)?