I’m getting terrible at this blogging thing but my reason is that I had a migraine for a week and I just about managed to do my regular work, let alone any blogging or writing for myself. Luckily it finally came to an end and I am ready to start doing my 2018 round-up blog posts!
I thought I’d start off with the hardest one for me to write, which is the books that disappointed me in 2018. It’s hard because I don’t want to dislike a book. I always pick one up in the hopes that I fall in love with the characters and the world, but these ones missed the mark for me. However, just because I didn’t like them, doesn’t mean that you didn’t.
If I’ve learnt anything this year it’s that everyone has an opinion, whether it’s good or bad, and we have to accept it. You’ll never see me tagging an author in a bad review on social because that’s just mean and I wouldn’t want someone to do that to me.
So, with that in mind, these are the books that I didn’t enjoy reading as much as I would have liked…
1. Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
I’m going to start by saying that I like these two authors as people and I often watch Sasha’s YouTube channel. When I heard about their book I was hesitant because I don’t really read sci-fi books. I thought it didn’t like them (which isn’t true because I loved Scythe and Thunderhead) but I did not enjoy Zenith.
I gave it a good go by reading half of it, but I found it boring. I didn’t get why people were raving about it, especially the characters. They were supposed to be these badass girls who killed with no mercy and stole from others, but they couldn’t have been further from it. They were literally telling one another not to swear…but they have no problem attacking people? It didn’t make sense and the world building wasn’t good in my opinion.
It felt like things were just chucked into the story to make it seem like they have this fully developed world, but in reality, it was just confusing when it wasn’t explained and some of it just wasn’t needed. My other issue was to do with how the book read and I think this is because it was written by two authors. It just felt like the flow wasn’t there and you could tell when certain sections were written by one and some by the other, but that’s just how I felt.
I kept this on my ‘reading’ section on Goodreads for months, thinking that I would end up reading it again, but it’s a no from me. Of course, other people love this book. These are just my views, but it’s definitely made me not want to read their books in the future.
2. Furyborn by Claire Legrand
This physically hurts me to add this book to this list because I wanted to love it so much! There was so much hype and I think that was part of the problem. My expectations were so high that once I’d read the first half, my heart sank. I read 250 pages before I realised I wasn’t enjoying it, which should have been evident in that it was taking me weeks to read.
The simple fact is that I just didn’t care. The characters were supposed to be these badass women and they didn’t really come across that way. I couldn’t connect to them, which was my main issue and I think that is because of their personalities. They just seemed bratty in a way. The second was that the two main characters whose POVs the story is told from were so similar that it was hard to differentiate between them. Then there was the fact that the constant switching between POV was so jarring I kept getting pulled from the story.
When it comes to worldbuilding, there were certain aspects I liked and then there were others that I disliked. The magic system was cool, but the history of the world was so confusing that I still don’t know what was going on. I wanted to love this so bad (and it had a gorgeous cover) but it didn’t do it for me and I don’t think I’ll be giving it another go in the future.
3. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
I actually liked Sea Witch, but my issue was that I was expecting more. The problem I had was that I felt the pacing was slow, which made it seem like I was taking forever to read it and I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
The last quarter of the book was incredible, but it took too long to get to a point where I was invested, especially in the characters. I did read this as an ARC so I’m not sure if anything changed much with the formatting, but I just felt it read awkwardly at times. That is the main reason why this book is on my list, but I did give it 3 stars overall, which you can read about here in my review.
4. The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
I was actually given this book to read as an ARC because I thought the premise sounded so unique and I’d never really read a book before that was based on Jewish Mythology. I started off enjoying the book and the direction it was heading in, but I got lost along the way.
I’m pretty sure it was to do with the format of the chapters. One of the siblings was written normally and the other was written in the style of a poem and it kept throwing me. This was also when I was going through a rough reading slump, which could have affected the way I read this book. I did DNF it, but I might come back to it one day as I would like to know how it ends. I just think I have to be in the right mindset for it.
5. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
The Hazel Wood is my final pick to go on this list and the reason for that is I expected something different than what I got. I thought the majority of this story would be about dark fairytales and creepy forests, but almost half of it was spent in the city and travelling on the road. I wanted more of the fantasy elements, but instead, it felt very contemporary for the first half.
I liked the book and ended up giving it 3 stars in the end, but it wasn’t what I expected. My other issue was the main character, Alice, who I just couldn’t connect with because she was a bit rude and unlikable at times. Overall, it was a good book and if you want to know more, you can read my thoughts in my review here.
I’m really glad that this list isn’t any longer than it is and that three of them were books that I DNF. Like I mentioned in my earlier blog post, ‘Why I’m No Longer Afraid to DNF A Book‘ I don’t see a problem with not finishing a book you aren’t enjoying. After all, there are so many books being released all the time, I’d rather spend my time reading those instead.
Are there any books that disappointed you this year? Let me know in the comments below!