Hello friends! As promised in my previous post (featuring the best of 2019 so far) I’m back today with the worst novels of the first half of 2019. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I love negative posts like this – ranting or simply sharing one’s disappointment can be so satisfying sometimes, especially if (1) you discover others who feel the same way, or (2) you have a great discussion with those who feel the exact opposite way.
We all love reading here, – probably? otherwise I’m surprised to see you here, but do stay, we might yet make you into a reader! *waves* – and I’m sure we all have our worst and best lists in our heads, if nowhere else. And yours and mine are probably wildly different, which is awesome, so remember – my negative opinion does not discredit your positive one, and vice versa. 💜
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to my list, shall we?
Friends, All the Wondering Light had so much potential! The first book of the series, Even the Darkest Stars has one of the whimsical worlds I’ve ever read about, and even though it did lack in some ways, I was still pretty pumped for its sequel. Guess I shouldn’t have been, because All the Wondering Light left me completely cold . Before reading it, I foolishly believed it would exceed the first novel, as the ending of book one left us at an exciting cliffhanger, and there was so much potential for book two. However, the characters, the plot, the romance and even the ending of the novel were all disappointing, and I’m still frustrated I wasted my time on this sequel.
I read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in 2018, and adored it from start to finish- so much so that I made literally everyone I could read it. After the massive amount of praise Daisy Jones and the Six was getting, I was 1000% ready to adore it, but alas, it really didn’t work for me. It felt so repetitive and boring, so I ended up skimming through quite a bit of it, and still, I don’t feel like I missed anything? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really-really happy y’all are loving it, but I just… I don’t understand the hype. I think the biggest problem for me was that I hated the characters – the only person I liked was Karen, and this definitely wasn’t her story, so she couldn’t save this for me, at all.
There are four books in the “most awaited” section of this post, all of which BROKE MY HEART by not being as good as I expected them to be, but it is by far The Wicked King that hurt me the most. 😭 I have so much love for The Cruel Prince, especially because of Jude, who’s an amazing protagonist, and who came to save The Wicked King as well – but even within her character there were so many inconsistencies. I sound like a detested this novel, which is not true! I did get a lot of enjoyment out of it, but I’m baffled by the hype surrounding it – I found the world building weak, the character and relationship development badly done, and I couldn’t help but feel like Holly Black uses terrible things for shock effect. I love the heck out of her novels, but the suicide scene in book 1 and the, I don’t know what to call it (?) sexual assault (a character is forced into making out with someone) is too much. You can explain away the first one as necessary for the plot, but the second? What was the purpose of that scene? The character was locked up, alone, without help – to be forced to make out with someone (or be killed) doesn’t truly add to the story – in my opinion, it was a perfect example of something horrific being used to shock the readers. The fact that some people created a ship/romanticized/sexualized it made me sick to my stomach. (If anyone wants to talk about the book hit me up! I’m genuinely curious how everyone else felt about this.)
I honestly don’t have much to say about The Disasters, besides the fact that this seems to be an “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of situation. There’s nothing wrong with this novel – in fact, it has a diverse cast and a plot people found exciting and fun, so don’t let me talk you out of reading it! In my case the problem was that I didn’t connect to the characters or the writing, and the plot itself couldn’t capture my attention, sadly. But lots of bloggers enjoyed this – if you like bubbly, entertaining YA I’d suggest you give The Disasters a try.
I added Starfish to my to-read list back before it was released, and I purchased it shortly after its release… yet, I haven’t gotten to it until Camillea @ Camillea Reads and I decided to buddy-read it last month. We were both pretty stoked for it, so I feel extremely bad for disliking this book. I can definitely see the good parts in it, but I had a lot of issues – most importantly with the love interest, who was too ignorant, in my opinion. Either way, you should check out Cait’s review for the social anxiety rep here, or CW’s review where she talks about the biracial and social anxiety rep here.
I went into the Shadow and Bone trilogy with incredibly low expectations – not only had I heard that it simply didn’t stand a chance compared to Six of Crows (which I adore), but I’d also been spoiled on many-many plot points. Even so, I came out of this reading experience incredibly dissatisfied. It’s like this – I could definitely see the potential in many cases, but nothing really lived up to its potential (y’all are going to get a post about my experience about the romance in particular). I wish I haven’t read this series, even if I’d have been confused by King of Scars in that case… which I still haven’t picked up, because (1) the trilogy has turned me off this world, and (2) I don’t particularly care for Nikolai? (Please don’t kill me!! But I don’t get the hype. *cries*)
Oh boy, I had high expectations for Butterface, which was supposed to be a cute and fun rom-com, but it ended up being incredibly disappointing, to say the least. The whole premise of the novel is that Gina is “ugly” which I was, I’ll say, excited for – most romance heroines tend to be STUNNING, strictly with capital letters, or, wait for it, STUNNING, but they don’t see themselves that way. (I’m really generalizing here, but you get my point.) But more than that, I was super-excited for the plot, which promised a sort of enemies to lovers situation – Gina’s brothers are connected to the mob, while the “hero” (and I use that term loosely) is a cop, so their relationship is forbidden-ish. What a great combo! Unfortunately, I was very put off by the fact that countless grown adults felt the need to make fun of Gina – I couldn’t count how many times she is called ugly behind her back, and it sucks that she also believes herself to be this peak undesirable person. And does the hero stand up for her? Nah, he’ll instead make her feel like something to use and throw away twice in the novel. How tf am I supposed to root for them as a couple?
Oh boy, I feel so darn bad for not enjoying Crimson and Bone when it was our very own Clare who recommended it to me, but I just found it so boring. The novel takes place in the mid-19th century, and follows Annie, a prostitute, who is rescued from the street by an artist, and becomes his muse. Knowing that the book would mix romance and mystery together, I was fairly excited going in, but sadly, Crimson and Bone didn’t hit the mark for me. The romance was barely there – so much so that I felt like I didn’t even know the love interest – and the mystery was unbelievably easy to solve. I doubt I’ll give Fiorato another chance. Sorry, Clare!
A historical YA about two characters, one an agent of the queen, the other one out to avenge her father who was murdered by the queen, sounded amazing. Enemies to lovers is 1000% my jam, and this sounded like a fantastic example of that. The fact that the two are playing in Shakespeare’s play was the cherry on top and, for what its worse, Shakespeare was a fun character in An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason. But alas, the protagonists, the plot and the romance – if it can be called that – all fell pretty flat. This was my first, and probably last Virginia Boecker novel.
I discovered horror author Jonathan Janz in 2018, and found the first novel I read by him, The Siren and the Spectre, incredible (I reviewed it here. Technically, I reviewed it on our old blog, as well, but I can’t be assed to find it, so this better be good enough!😂) After that success, I was excited for The Dark Game, and I couldn’t have been more pleased about scoring an ARC through Netgalley. I jumped into it as soon as I could, and long story short, I didn’t like it – it was boring, predictable and illogical, filled with plot holes and unanswered questions. I have a full review of it here, if you want to know more.
That was all for today, I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with me? Have any of your most awaited 2019 novels been a disappointment? Have any novels you read this year made you angry?