It’s time for the end of year posts! Since I’m hoping to read a few more books before the end of the month, but am hoping none of them fit this category, I decided to get the bad out of the way first and discuss my most disappointing reads of the year.
I actually haven’t read that many books I didn’t like this year. And not all of these books were bad (just a couple of them). Most of them just fell victim to the hype. Or I did. They just weren’t as great as I was hoping they would be. Which happens. Not everyone is going to like every book.
These are the books that disappointed me in 2018, in order of when I read them:
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. I was so excited for a diverse fantasy novel. Even though I’ve been generally staying away from young adult fantasy lately, I had high hopes for this one. Actually, they weren’t even that high, I was just curious. But, unfortunately, this just didn’t do it for me. I should have realized from the cover that this was going to be a bit too flowery and immature for my current reading tastes. It definitely reminded me why I don’t read a lot of young adult fantasy anymore.
The Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick. It says a lot about this book that I read it less than a year ago and remember absolutely nothing about it other than that I didn’t enjoy it.
The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani. This wasn’t a bad book at all. I actually liked it for the most part. But for a thriller that starts off with the ending, getting there was completely unsatisfying. The climax is explosive and heartbreaking, and none of the events of this book felt like they came close to explaining the why.
The Red Word by Sarah Henstra. I picked this up because I really enjoyed Henstra’s Mad Miss Mimic. But this book was a completely different animal. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for authors exploring different genres and styles – write whatever you want – but I just felt Henstra didn’t pull off contemporary as well as historical fiction. Which is a shame, because this book could have been really important.
Sociable by Rebecca Harrington. I really need to stop trying to read novels about people my age. I am always drawn in by the synopsis, but I just do not identify with these unrealistic twenty-somethings who live on the internet. Yes, I know I have a blog, but I am not one of those people who feels the need to post every single little thing for everyone I’ve ever met to see. It makes me anxious. And I probably should read books about it.
S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett. This one, I actually did not like at all. It is my only one-star book of the year. Curiosity got the best of me, and I wish it hadn’t. I hated the story and the characters. It was predictable and juvenile. Like a bad take on Gossip Girl.
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. This started off so good. I was intrigued from the first page. I thought the mystery was fascinating, and I was pretty invested in it. But the main character just made me so angry. If you’re going to have the main character be blind to so many things, don’t let the reader guess them. It’s really frustrating. And the main character just kept doing stupid things that ended up having terrible consequences. It definitely made the book less enjoyable for me.
Kismet by Luke Tredget. I should have known I wouldn’t like a book about millennials and online dating. This is another case of dumb characters ruining a book for me. The main character literally dumps her boyfriend because of a number on a dating algorithm. Because real connection doesn’t matter anymore. And I kind of hated it.
Red Rising: Sons of Aries by Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin, and Eli Powell. The Red Rising series is one of my favorites, and I was really looking forward to this graphic novel prequel. But I just didn’t love it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style – it was visually appealing, I just didn’t think it did much for this particular story – and the story itself didn’t draw me in that much.
That’s it for my disappointing books of the year! Only two or three of these were below three stars for me, so even though they were disappointing, they weren’t all bad. I think I’ve read some great books this year, and I’m kind of glad I got this out of the way so we can focus on the books I loved.
Did any books disappoint you this year?