It’s the Final (2019) Countdown: Top 10 Disliked/Disappointed Books

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Yay, it’s time for me to rant! Well, sort of. For the most part, if I find I don’t like a book, I’m not shy about DNF’ing which is why the amount of books I disliked/hated was so low so I decided to combine them with my most disappointing reads.

Some of these books I haven’t gotten around to writing my full review on so I won’t elaborate too much on them so I have something to write about later.

These are, again, in no particular order.

1. Mirage by Somaiya Daud

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Goodreads LinkMini Review

Starting off with a disappointing read. I didn’t dislike Mirage but I was expecting a different story to the one that I found between the pages. It was so dull, the characters were terrible or uninteresting and my focus often drifted. I couldn’t even write a full review for it.

2. Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

[This Savage Song]: Goodreads LinkFull Review

[Our Dark Duet]: Goodreads LinkFull Review

More disappointing reads, yay! I was anticipating getting into Schwab because she has so many books out and they often appear on people’s favourites lists. I may not have started with the right duology, unfortunately. I found the characters to be bland and while the story and the lore around the monsters was interesting, I fould it to be under-utilized, especially in the second book, and there were too many holes in the story for me to ignore. I also tried to read A Darker Shade of Magic, and ended up DNF’ing it so….that doesn’t bode well. I will still try City of Ghosts and Vicious but I’m less excited now.

3. Legend by Marie Lu

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Goodreads Link

Oh man, am I ever late to the game on this series. I maybe would have really enjoyed this book had a read it back in 2011 but in 2019, this was just a little ridiculous. I couldn’t believe what the teenagers in this book were able to do, and the romance was so lackluster and distracting. I felt invested in the characters for the most part but that fell away pretty quickly. I won’t write a full review because, honestly, I took so few notes and can’t be bothered to flip through the pages to get names and scenes correct.

4. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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Goodreads Link – Review to come.

This book held so much promise, so it really pissed me off how much the quality of the story just dropped closer to the end. The characters were unlikeable in a bad way and even the F/F romance couldn’t save this book for me.

5. The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

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Goodreads Link – Review to come.

This book was such a solid 4/5 for the first third. Then the big Character Change(TM) happened and it was all downhill from there. Granted, this ended up still being an average read for me, but it had so much potential to blow me away. I loved how much the story was rooted in Middle Eastern and Islamic traditions, so the character direction that Azad chose for the main character was aggravating.

6. The Girls by Emma Cline

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Goodreads LinkFull Review

This was another average read but what made me end up disliking it rather than being disappointed in it is the static main character. The story switches between the past and present, but regardless of where we are, Evie comes across as an easily manipulated, walking doormat who is not interested in engaging in her own life. The writing was great and the atmosphere was next-level but as someone who invests a lot in characters, reading this book tended to put me in a bad mood.

7. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

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Goodreads Link – Full Review

This was probably my most anticipated read of 2019, so since it didn’t live up to my expectations, it has become my most disappointing. Which sucks. A lot. Honestly, what made me angry was how much I wanted this to be my new favourite YA fantasy, rooted in the Middle Eastern culture, with a niqab-wearing author…and it completely fell flat in every way possible. I go into more depth in my review but overall, the characters cringed me out, the world wasn’t so fleshed out, and I was often confused by the magic system.

8. Above the Ether: A Novel by Eric Barnes

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Goodreads LinkFull Review

I picked up this book from NetGalley ’cause the premise sounded interesting although I tend not to read anthology books where the stories are connected. I wasn’t hit as strongly with how disappointing this book was because I went in with lowered expectations anyways but I did feel peeved that, on principle, I made myself read the whole thing to properly give a review on NetGalley.

9. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

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Goodreads Link

This book took me literally months to read and I was so pissed by the end that I didn’t bother to write a full review. I didn’t want to waste my time like that. Glory is so stuck up and judgmental, and the rest of the characters are just as bad. I hope the rest of King’s books are better ’cause the pseudo-feminism in this book made me cringe so badly.

10. Blackbird, Vol. 1 by Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel (Artist), Triona Farrell 

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Goodreads Link

This is the only graphic novel on this list not because I loved every other graphic novel I read but because I had such high hopes for this one. The art is so beautiful and the magic is so interesting, but the protagonist was whiny and obnoxious, the family dynamics were lousy and the romance was just so boring. Oh well.

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