A Year of Reading in Review: Most Disappointing Books

A Year of Reading in Review:


+ Best Books

+ Worst Books

+ Graphic Novel Sound Off

+ Non-Fiction Highlights

+ Yearly Goals - Did I make them?

+ Most Disappointing Books

+ New Favorite Author(s)

+ Promising New Debut Author

+ Disappointing Author - authors whose future books I won't be checking out

+ Hidden Gems - books I didn't think I'd like but did

+ Not All That Glitters Is Gold - Books I thought I'd love but didn't

+ Books I Wanted to Read But Didn't


Some books aren't good or bad, just disappointing.  Maybe you were expecting one thing and you got a completely different story/genre/whatever.  That doesn't mean what you read was BAD, just that you specifically were disappointed.

NOTE: Due to the nature of the beast, there is a bit of overlap between the Worst of and the Most Disappointing lists.  Sorry guys :/


So, without further ado:



Top 6 Most Disappoint Books of 2013:


+ Antigoddess by Kendare Blake - "Anna Dressed in Blood" was a legitimately creepy, scary Halloween read.  Kendare Blake is an awesome woman; she seems to be one of the few authors in Young Adult actually willing to make something creative.  Hell, even this book radiates with her creative energy: the story ISN'T about a romance between a male and a female character, there are multiple female characters, the slut-shaming is at a minimum (and seems to be mostly a joke - yeah, still not cool, but at least the main female character isn't slut-shaming her "best friend"), and it deals with the f-ing Greek gods and goddesses.  By all accounts, I should love it.  Instead, it spent 3+ months on my nightstand, not being read because it was so slow and dry and BORING.  And NOTHING happens.  Questions aren't answered, we end the story as clueless as we started.  Sure, there were some good action scenes, but when I start a series, I want to have at least SOME answers by the end of the first book!


+ Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - Everyone and her mother said this was a great book, a detailed account of Thomas Cromwell of the Anne Boleyn/Henry VIII era.  I'm no fan of the Tudor era, but I am a fan of well done historicals, so I campaigned for this to be our Book Club read.  WORST DECISION EVER.  This book was so boring and convoluted, I couldn't keep up.  I constantly got lost in all the  Thomas's and Henry's and Mary's and Jane's.  I struggled with the third person present POV.  I had no clue what was going on 90% of the time and when I did, I got a headache from straining to keep up with the narrator.  Maybe this would have been better as a paperback read, but I won't be finding out.  I'm OFF this bus.


+ Boundless by Cynthia Hand - I went into "Unearthly" with a good heaping amount of skepticism and ended up pleasantly surprised.  Even "Hallowed" wasn't bad.  But "Boundless" was an utter disappointment.  It spent hundreds of pages in the mundane college activities and Love Triangle Drama (UGH!) until suddenly CLIMAX DENOUEMENT CONCLUSION THE END!  A great disappointment to a series I actually enjoyed, I've considered selling back the last two books.  Oh, and Hand isn't on my list of Authors to Watch anymore :/


+ Batwoman vol 2: To Drown the World - Another repeat offender, this book confused the hell out of me.  Someone decided throwing in 6 points of view, all in different timelines would be a cool idea.  It's not.  It's also ridiculous to read a POV of Kate and then of Batwoman.  In fact, several of the POV's were repetitious (Batwoman, Maggie, Kate, and Chase) or lent nothing to the storyline (Kate's Dad, Maro).  Oh, and how about ending on a cliffhanger and not even touching the storyline you started out with?  All this added together makes me want to drop the series.


+ The Lying Season by Karina Halle - This book...this series has been a guilty pleasure of sorts.  Not necessarily the best out there, but hugely entertaining with some cool spooks and great characters.  But this book.  I got SO MAD at Perry for how she treats another human being.  Slut-shaming.  Being arrogant and conceited and selfish and mean-spirited.  All because she wants a man.  (This could have been good IF I got the impression that Perry was being a jack@$$, but EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER agrees with her about Jennifer and supports Perry's shitty behavior to Dex's girlfriend.  EVEN DEX!)  I find that sort of behavior disgusting.  This is a terrible enough world as it is, but to have women claw each other's eyes out over a MAN?  To look down on another person because she wears name brand clothes, is thin, and likes pop music?  REALLY?  Can we get more petty please?  This one book ruined my opinion of Perry (and Dex, who strings along a girlfriend he obviously doesn't give two sh!ts about AND treats Perry like crap).  Which is why I haven't broken down to buy the rest of the series.



Notable Mentions:


The Beauty Myth by Naomi Woolf - I've already talked about this in my Non-Fiction Sound Off, so I'll be brief.  What was so disappointing was how everyone quotes from this book, but the book seems based on wild conspiracy theories (Men are subjugated all women to adhere to these impossible beauty standards!), massive generalizations (see previous example), and just plain confusing writing.  Not what I expected from one of the classic feminist works.


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - This book has made quite a splash in the feminist pond, so to speak for a lot of reasons.  Some people love how Sandberg is standing up for female workers.  Some people criticize her for her privilege (not everyone has such a supportive husband or an income to support childcare) or her lack of insight into women of color.  But that wasn't what disappointed me; what disappointed me was how BORING it got about halfway through, as it meandered around talking about family and kids and such.  There were a lot of good points, but spending $25 for about 200 pages is a bit excessive, even if that money will go to a Lean In foundation to support women in business.


Arclight by Josin L McQuein - Another repeat, so I'll try to be brief.  Again, what was disappointing was how mediocre and status quo this was.  This had an interesting concept and could have gone in some truly clever ways - unfortunately, the author resorted to standard Young Adult dystopia tropes (Romantic Triangle, confusing worldbuilding, Plot Twists you could see a mile away, Villainous Women).  It represents all that I dislike about Young Adult as a genre and really made me want to give up reading any Young Adult books.