I like lists, even when they are negative.
I was debating whether or not I should do a post on my most disappointing reads of 2018 just because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spread the negativity. But since this was a really sucky reading year and since I like negative reviews, I thought I’d do it. And honestly, I love reading these kinds of posts so hopefully some of you do too. Also, sidenote: disappointing doesn’t always mean bad – it just means it wasn’t as good as I wanted and expected it to be.
I put these in order – from least disappointing to most disappointing, so let’s get into it!
10. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
My Rating: 3.5 stars
This is one I would totally still recommend – it was just not as good as I expected. I loved Leah as a character and I really loved her and Abby together, but ultimately, this book had a very weird pacing. I never was fully engaged when reading it and I could not quite pinpoint how it tied into the previous book. It felt like it was written in a rush, so the storytelling wasn’t as tight as I wanted it to be. So I liked it, but did not love it, which makes me sad. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on it, I have a review up HERE.
9. Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
My Rating: 3 stars
This book is by no means bad. It’s exquisitely written and has such compelling characters. However, I thought I would fall head over heels for it and I never did. I think it was a mix of bad pacing and things not tying as neatly into each other as I wanted them to. I was just left feeling really unsatisfied with the way this book ended and just of it as a whole. If you want to know more of my thoughts, they can be found HERE . Also, this is one of those books that I’d still recommend to people, even though it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.
8. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
My Rating: 3 stars
Similar to Strange Grace, I just wanted more from this book. It was cute, but also super awkward at times. On top of that, I think it had a real issue with pacing and could have easily been a 100 pages shorter and still, nothing would have changed. Moreover, I wanted this to give me that warm, fuzzy feeling that I got with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I never did. If you want to know more of my thoughts, my review can be found HERE.
7. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
My Rating: 3 stars
You know when you love a cover of a book and its idea and premise so much, you figure there’s no way you couldn’t enjoy the book? That’s what happened to me with this one. I had such high expectations and ideas of how good this would be, that the actual book really let me down. It’s a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid, but in my opinion, it just scratches the surface on feminist topics and never takes risks and goes any deeper than surface level. I might not be the target audience for this, but it was fairly simplistic and used the story to drive home the message, so that made the actual story far less compelling. So yeah, one of the bigger letdowns of the year. If you want more in-depth thoughts, they can be found HERE.
6. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
My Rating: I HAVE NO IDEA.
My reading experience with this one was the weirdest I had in a long time. I had to really push myself to pick this up and the first three hundred pages where absolute torture for me. However, I did get really invested and read the rest of the book in one or two sittings, so I have no idea what to feel. I do know that this book definitely did not live up to my expectations. I wanted to love it so much, but it never got there for me. If you want to know exactly how I felt about it, you can find my review HERE.
5. Furyborn by Claire Legrand
My Rating: DNF
This is one of the saddest things for me, given that I love the cover and the premise of this novel so much. However, I found it to be so confusing and lacking in any sort of sense. There was nothing in this story to make me want to keep reading it and I dnf-ed it at around the 100-page mark. I really rarely dnf books, and the fact that there was nothing in this book after a hundred pages to make me keep reading was quite disappointing.
4. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
My Rating: 2.5 stars
I honestly cannot begin to describe how disappointed I was after I finished this one. I wanted to like it desperately and all my friends did, but I couldn’t. I found it to be a really painfully generic and formulaic YA Fantasy, with annoying and flat characters and an even more annoying and flat world building. This is one of those where it wasn’t even about my expectations being too high – I just thought the book wasn’t great. Which makes me sad, but it is what it is. If you want to hear more of my in-depth thoughts, they can be found HERE.
3. Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
My Rating: 2 stars
One of the biggest disappointments of the year definitely. I wanted to love this so badly, but the book simply did not cut it. There were a ton of issues I had with it. From the really vapid and superficial romantic storylines to the fact that the characters were so underdeveloped and two-dimensional (and by two-dimensional I really feel like they had only two prominent characteristics), I just couldn’t latch on to anything in this novel to like. Even though I desperately wanted to. I will say that this book does deal with some really important stuff (islamophobia) and does it in a really terrific way, so there’s that. If you want to know everything I thought about this book, you can do so HERE.
2. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
My rating: 2.5 stars
I put so much hope into this book. It had all the Six of Crows vibes I wanted in a novel. And yet it never really matched up to my expectations of it. I really did not care for the characters at all, because I found them to be inconsistent at best and super annoying at first. On top of that, their dynamic never really worked for me. I also thing the plot and the pacing of the book were really messy. To top it all off, I disliked the world building a lot. I hate worlds that feel confined to their current setting. If a book is set in a single city, I need to still feel like there’s a world outside of said city. That never happened in this book. Ultimately, I was really disappointed in this one and it’s one of my most frustrating reads of the year, for sure. More detailed thoughts are available HERE.
1. Pride by Ibi Zoboi
My rating: 2 stars
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and no one is more sad about that rating than me. When I heard that there was a diverse retelling of Pride and Prejudice, I squealed in joy. Literally. But this book never held up to that initial joy. While I think that the retelling part of the novel was done really well, with really interesting twists to the original text, everything else was really annoying. The main issue for me was the writing style, which relies heavily on exposure, and I really dislike that. On top of that, the characters were flat and their relationship developed too fast to make actual sense. If you would like to read more of what exactly went wrong for me and this book, you can do so HERE.
And those are my most disappointing reads of the year! I would love to hear from you – are any of these your disappointing reads? Or are they some of your faves (that’d be cool)? And what are your most disappointing reads of the year? Sound off in the comments and let me know!
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