Hello fellow bookworms ⚡️ It’s that time of the year to reflect on the books that I sadly didn’t end up liking and spilling a bit of tea 🍵 It’s the case that you cannot like all the books you read and this year there were a few books that ended up disappointing me or rubbing me the wrong way. Like the last years, I’m including 1 and 2 star-rated books, as anything above that means that I genuinely enjoyed reading the book. I’ve provided a quick explanation for each book and you can also click the cover to get to my full review in case you want to read more about my thoughts about these books. Finishing off with my obligatory disclaimer, that all these are my personal opinions about the books listed below and that this doesn’t mean that you cannot like the books!
- Check out the year before’s books ⚡ Least Favorite Books of 2017
- Check out the year before’s books ⚡ Least Favorite Books of 2018
- Check out last year’s books ⚡ Least Favorite Books of 20189
⚡️ Sadly didn’t manage to pull off its themes ⚡️
“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through your fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”
➽ I didn’t expect that much from Before I Fall as it’s a book I probably would have liked better back when it was released, but I also didn’t think it would be this bad. The book didn’t work for me at all and I personally didn’t see how it’s supposed to be a story of growth. The main character didn’t truly learn and grow in my opinion. I thought that her changing her actions wasn’t because she saw the hurt she had caused her classmates, but because she wanted the cycle of living the same day to be over. I was a bit sad that we never saw Sam go all the way and acknowledge how her actions made other people feel and how she was also joining in with the vicious bullying that her friends did. There was also much hate and a lot of unchallenged ableism, fatphobia, and derogatory remarks 😥 The narrative has Sam mention some things she begins to find uncomfortable, but a lot of harmful comments are never called out. There is a lot of casual fatphobia with derogatory descriptions of teachers and fellow classmates.
⚡️ Biggest Disappointment ⚡️
“But then, liars do make the best magicians, and he happened to be exceptional.”
➽ I had high hopes for this book because there are time travel and an interesting magic system, but the longer I read the more I hated this book. The pacing was SO slow and made the story drag. This book is 500 pages long and that was 500 too much. I wasn’t invested in any of the characters so the slow pace of the story made things feel like they dragged even more. The plot also wasn’t the strongest and a lot of scenes felt repetitive. The romance and love interest were so uncomfortable for me to read about. Right from the beginning, Harte proves that he wouldn’t be a character I liked when he forcefully kisses the main character. I know the story tried to frame it that he did things just to protect Esta, but that doesn’t excuse bad behavior for me. Even after that, there were multiple instances where Harte doesn’t respect Esta’s boundaries and it really rubbed me the wrong way. So in the end, I ended up being really disappointed by this book! 💔
⚡️ Used the wrong tone for such a serious nonfiction book ⚡️
“The colours of the universe are there because of the existence of womankind.”
➽ I loved the concept of showcasing forgotten women who had contributed something great, as it’s a good way to get introduced to historical women you don’t learn about in school or elsewhere, not unless you looked for them. However, the modern slang made this so cringe-worthy at times 😅 I get that the author was trying to portray these women in a more laid-back way but in my opinion, it didn’t fit in with the topic at all and was jarring. For me, it felt very forced, and I didn’t vibe with the writing style at all. It also wasn’t really appropriate for the topic and it felt like the author was trying to appear cool and know how teenagers talk. Some sentences gave me a bit of second-hand embarrassment, I mean no one says ‘Yas kween’ in real life, And weaving in this slang with sentences of the women’s accomplishment felt inorganic and a bit demeaning given the book’s content.
⚡️ A lot of potential but sadly a lot of things bothered me ⚡️
“But that doesn’t mean that you still can’t be a good person, right? Just because you did something wrong doesn’t mean that’s who you are.”
➽ I was feeling majorly conflicted about The Extraordinaries. I really wanted to like it, as it has queer superheroes, great disability, and grief representation as well as a focus on friendship and family (definitely check out Cait’s Review who really liked it). However, the more I read, the less I found myself enjoying the book as irritating things started to pile up. I really hope that other readers might enjoy this book a lot more than I did though, as there was plenty of potential and can appeal to a lot of readers looking for a diverse superhero story! My main problems with this book were just the predictable plot and naive protagonist which hindered my enjoyment of the book. Some plotlines didn’t feel well-thought-out like the main character trying to become a superhero, but – as is evident with the lack of worldbuilding – he has no idea how to achieve it. His attempts felt cartoonish and though there were funny scenes as well, sometimes the book felt like it didn’t take itself very seriously. So all in all this sadly wasn’t for me 😥
⚡️ Mental Health representation but also a lot of stressful conflicts ⚡️
“”You all right?”
“Is anyone all right, really?””
➽ So, this was a tough book for me to rate because initially, I liked where the story was going but then things got a bit too much for me, and I also found myself bothered by some things that were going on. Some of it is personal as reading the book did stress me out a lot (which is why I didn’t end up giving it 3 stars), so I think you might still end up liking it if you’re looking for a YA contemporary romance with OCD representation. That’s why I recommend checking out the lovely Marie’s review who ended up really liking All Our Broken Pieces much more than me! The mental health aspect was really great and I enjoyed reading about it, but especially the end had a lot of fighting which quickly became repetitive. I also felt like the characters started acting a bit out of character and began taking huge risks for the romance and it bothered me a bit how intense the romantic relationship got. So sadly, the last 30% really dragged down my enjoyment of the book 😭
⚡️ Lots of book love but the plot was so slow & this should have been a Duology ⚡️
“Life’s short, but it’s the longest thing you’ll ever do, so give more than you take and be kind.”
➽ This is really sad, but The Sound of Stars really didn’t live up to my expectations. I was genuinely excited as this new release sounded so promising, however, the farther I got into the book, the less I actually liked it. My rating dipped to 2-stars, especially because the ending had me question why I spend so much time reading the book. I’d still recommend this book if you’re looking for a book on alien invasion, survival, and what art means for us, but I just didn’t personally enjoy it (check out CW’s review as she really liked it). But for me, the pace was so incredibly slow. This also contributed to me feeling increasingly frustrated with the book because it felt like the story was constantly stuck with not much happening that interested me. Furthermore, the ending was so vague and frustrating. The end feels more fitting for a series, yet this is a standalone and makes me wonder if the author planned to continue the story. It’s simply frustrating and not satisfying for me personally 😥
⚡️ A good beginning but then things went wrong for me ⚡️
“ I bite the inside of my cheek, letting my doubts curl up next to my hope. One gives me the strength to keep pushing, and the other reminds me never give up.”
➽ This was a hard book to rate and review because I liked the West-African inspired Mythology so much and the dark, forbidden magic Arc for the main character was super intriguing to me. However, after the first 30% the book a) went in a direction I personally didn’t like, and b) had some scenes that made me uncomfortable. The new plotline that we follow has two of my least favorite fantasy tropes that dominate the rest of the book. The more I read, the less appealing the plot was for me especially as the main character wasn’t as active as before and the pace was so incredibly slow, that I was getting mostly bored. I was debating on what to rate this, but in the end, this was such an upsetting reading experience for me personally, so I settled on the lowest rating. In general, I want to highlight that this is a dark fantasy book that was much darker than I expected so be prepared for that going into Kingdom of Souls.
Have you read any books on my list? What is your least favorite book of the year? ⚡️