Maddie Gudenkauf
Maddie Gudenkauf: Writer & YouTuber
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Thoughts of Maddness

Thoughts of Maddness

Maddie Gudenkauf's Official Blog

The 6 Worst Love Stories I’ve Ever Read

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Hello. It’s Valentine’s Day. I was going to make a “Top 5 Books I Can’t Stop Gushing About” list, but at the moment it would only be Claudia Gray novels since I’ve been binging her books for the past two weeks followed by Yes, Please by Amy Poehler because I can never shut up about the book no matter what time of year it is. So then I was going to make a “Top 5 Love Stories” list, but as I was researching for this blog post (staring at my bookcase), I realize I’ve read way more bad love stories than good ones.

So here are some of the worst love stories I’ve ever read. Also, some minor spoilers for stuff.

Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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KATNISS SHOULD’VE JUST REMAINED SINGLE. There. I said it. Peeta and Gale were both trash and didn’t deserve Katniss. Oh? They supported her and did everything in their power to keep her alive? Well then, she should’ve fallen in love with Haymitch, Effie Trinket, and every other character in the freaking trilogy. There were very few people on the not-Capital side that didn’t want Katniss alive. Plus it sort of makes me uneasy with the fact that both Peeta and Gale sort of forced Katniss to fall in love with them. Peeta did it for obvious reasons (it was a pretty big plot point if you missed it) and Gale did it because he couldn’t handle the friendzone and told her to choose between loving him or not having him as a friend at all. So. That’s real neat-o and not toxic at all.

Paper Towns by John Green

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There was absolutely NO reason why Margo should’ve kissed Q at the end. She had no attachment to him and even admitted she had no attraction to him. Heck, she even directly tells him he should’ve never have shown up in her life again. Granted the whole thing can be seen as a criticism of dudes who obsess over manic pixie dream girls and ruin their own lives because of the obsession, but that whole perspective is immediately diminished as soon as she kisses him. What?! Just because Q had this massive crush and obsession with her that lasted a decade and an insane two-day road trip, he deserves a kiss?! Hell nope. That sounds like a personal problem to me.  

Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

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Yes I am aware that I "stan" for Claudia Gray’s work, as the kids say, and this would absolutely be a book I would not stop gushing about if I ever did make that list, but the love story in it is awful. It kind of feels just shoehorned in there and the ending of this subpar plotline is just as abrupt as the development of it. The male romantic interest is bland and I feel nothing for him throughout the entire course of the novel. I can’t blame Claudia Gray though. She had to come up with a male love interest for Princess Leia that could reasonably proceed Han Solo and that’s a hard task. She also had to reasonably get rid of him before we met Han Solo and that was just as difficult. But if you want to read a good love story by Claudia Gray, the Spellcaster trilogy is heart-wrenching and gorgeous and the only auto-love story I’ll probably ever accept because it’s that good. Mateo and Nadia are DREAMY together.  

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

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This book is highly problematic, but the most problematic issue would be the relationship our young, college-aged protagonist holds with the much older middle-aged professor who is probably an author self-insert. So. That’s neat-o and not at all problematic in the slightest. I wouldn’t even call it a love story except for the repeated notion that if the middle-aged professor didn’t die, she would still totally bang him. This is brought up at the most random moments of the book, like when she’s falling in love with her boyfriend who is actually her age. How random!

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

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Just as with Leia, Princess of Alderaan, this is still a very good book overall. It’s the ending where the author rushed in a scandalous affair/love story in 10k words or less. This forced love story addition was so bad, it severely diminished a lot of people’s otherwise five star reviews for it on Goodreads and with good reason. The book worked well without the love story. It was about the plague, which is decidedly non-romantic, and had enough plague-related drama to satisfy a solid read without forcing in a romantic plot last minute. But the romantic plot was forced in anyways and look what you did, Geraldine. You ruined a perfectly good plague book, that’s what you did.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyers

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C’mon. I had to include it. The only other worse option would be Fifty Shades except 1. I haven't been able to get through that trash yet so it technically can't make my list and 2. It's also technically Twilight fanfiction anyways. So. That's real neat-o. 

And that’s it for now! I’m sure I’ll remember some books I missed or read new terrible love stories in the future, but in the meantime you can hit me up on Twitter to yell at me about my terrible taste in love stories or share your own bad love story experiences. I also have a YouTube channel. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!    

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