2018 has been an amazing reading year! I have become a lot better at choosing books that I love, and I think that is largely because of blogging. That said, there were a few books that I had high hopes for and they left me feeling disappointment. Some of these I really did not enjoy, and some I thought were okay but not as amazing as I was hoping for!
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
I have only read one other book by Victoria Schwab and I enjoyed it! I was excited when I saw she wrote a middle grade novel that involved ghosts. I was looking for fun and light reads for Halloween and this one seemed perfect. I was sadly disappointed! I found it rather boring and felt no connection to the characters; however, I will try the second book in the series when it comes out because I felt this one was setting up for something better!
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
The Dinner List had so much potential! I loved the premise, but the story kind of dragged! I found myself skimming the chapters that took place in the past because I was not invested in the relationship. I wish that the book focused more on the father-daughter relationship. I think I was most disappointed by this one because I absolutely loved the idea but it just did not work for me. Having Audrey Hepburn as a character was a delight though!
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I do not know what it is but Gillian Flynn’s book just do not work for me! I normally enjoy books that are dark, but I think her novels are dark in a way that doesn’t I do not click with. I can’t put my finger on it! I really wanted to love this one because everyone was talking about it when the TV series came out, but nope! I also thought it was a little bit predictable!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I think Celeste Ng is an incredible writer, but I just do not enjoy her characters. I have come to the realization that I have to feel a connection to characters in some shape or form in order to fall in love with a book! I found myself not understanding the characters in Little Fires Everywhere or their motivations. If the story was more about Mia and less about the teenagers I think I would have really loved it! She was a character who I found compelling, while the others felt flat!
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favourite novels of all time, so I was excited to read some of her other books! I had heard good things about One Trues Loves, but it was not my favourite. It was an interesting idea but I thought the conflict was solved way too quickly and neatly, and I hate when there is a love triangle and one love interest is made out to be horrible and the other is made out to be perfect- it feels cheap!
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
For a book that is over 700 pages, I read this fairly quickly! It is a book that is hard to put down, but as time goes on the more I realize how much I really did not enjoy it. I felt it was way too long! I also found it to be unrealistic and I have heard others describe it as “misery porn” which I completely agree with. So many horrible things happen to one character that I almost became numb to it. The book is also pitched as a story about four friends, but two of them are barely in the book. The writing was beautiful and I absolutely adored Willem, but I just had too many issues with this book that I can not look passed!
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Belles is another book that I thought had so much potential that is just didn’t reach. The magic is interesting but not well explained, and I wish there was more world-building. I also found myself getting annoyed by the main character! It was not horrible but any means, but it was not as good as I was hoping.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
I would describe How to Stop Time as average! There are so many time travel novels out there that it is difficult to be original. I felt that there was nothing special about this one. I really enjoyed the chapters about the main character’s past but the chapters set in the present dragged for me! I will say that I also read The Humans by Matt Haig this year and thought it was wonderful!
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A Wrinkle in Time is one of those books I wish I had read when I was younger! I think some of the magic was lost on me, and it ended up taking me forever to read this very short book! I do hope to watch the movie at some point; I am sure that it is wonderful!
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
The Light We Lost is the one book I read this year that I can confidently say that I hated. I have so many issues with it that I do not even know where to begin! I do not think I have ever read a book that was so emotionally manipulative. The two main characters are so completely selfish and I was actively rooting against them, which I do not think the author was going for! I love you Reese Witherspoon but what were you thinking choosing this for your book club! That said, a lot of people loved it!
I would love to know your thoughts on any of these books! Also, what was the book that disappointed you most in 2018?
44 thoughts on “Disappointing Books 2018”
I wasn’t crazy about Sharp Objects when I read it (I think back around the time it came out.) I hated the ending. I liked the miniseries, I didn’t love it but it was entertaining enough. I try not to dwell on the negative but I love your idea of explaining why some reads disappointed you, that can be so helpful for other people to figure out if it’ll bother them too. Great idea for a post!
That is good to know about the miniseries. I will have to give it a chance!
I like to know why someone dislikes a book because it may even be a reason why I would love it!
I DNF How to Stop Time – I somehow could not get into it and it just wasn’t meant to be.
I quite enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere but do get where you are coming from – it is hard to connect to characters in this book for sure. 😊
I don’t blame you! It was quite boring!
I know I am in the minority for Little Fires Everywhere. I think I was just looking for something different!
I felt the same way about A Wrinkle in Time. I probably would have loved it as a kid, but it just felt a bit lacking for me reading it as an adult. I do still need to watch the movie, but thankfully it is on Netflix, so perhaps I can get around to that soon.
Ohhh I didn’t know it was on Netflix! Thanks!
Wow, I’m so surprised about your list. I listened to positive things for most of them – except for Sharp Objects -, so it is refreshing to see the opposite side.
A Little Life has always been a book that I thought I would enjoy, but have been too intimidated by it because of its size. However, after reading your opinion, I’m really re-thinking this. Even if it may be a beautifully written novel, to have it be described as ‘misery porn’ is not exactly what I’d want to read. I have read books in the past where the author got way too carried away in making the character’s life absolutely miserable, and at some point, you can’t even feel sorry for him anymore, because it just becomes unrealistic. If A Little Life is anything like this, I’m sure I won’t enjoy it either.
I saw a lot of people who were disappointed by Sharp Objects as well, but most of them enjoyed the show over the book.
I think the most disappointing read of the year for me was My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I tend to love contemporaries and I really was in the mood for a cliche romance, but this one was incredibly bland. It was definitely not what I expected.
I am definitely in the minority for A Little Life but it was just too much! It felt heavy-handed. It doesn’t sound like something that you would enjoy!
My Life Next Door has been on my tbr for years!! I think it is about time to remove it. Thanks!
I couldn’t stand The Light We Lost, either! Terrible characters. One True Loves was not my favorite TJR book, but her others are incredible!
Thank you! Such a bad book!
That is good to know. I will have to try another TJR book. Any suggestions?
Alright , I’m striking the city of ghosts and sharp things off my TBR . I trust your views and I don’t think I’ll magically end up liking them 😧😧
Haha it makes me happy you trust me! A lot of people enjoy them but I think there are better books out there for you to spend your time on!
True . And there are so any beauties coming out in 2019 😍
I actually enjoyed the city of ghosts! I thought it was cute, but I don’t often read MG so I didn’t really have any expectations… I felt pretty much the same about the belles though. I was hoping for more with it, but I think maybe in book two..?
It was cute. I just wanted more. I think there’s potential for the sequel to be great though!
I think for The Belles I am going to wait to send reviews of the second book and then decided whether to give it a chance. I do love the idea behind the world!
Haha 😀 Funnily enough, Little Fires is among my favourites, because of the characters.
I read Sharp Objects a few years ago and i really enjoyed that as well. Have you seen the TV series? Or gave up on it completely?
Haha I love how two people could read the same book and have completely different feelings about it. It’s one of my favourites things about them!
I do want to watch the TV show. I have heard some people enjoyed it more than The book!
The book that disappointed me the most was Haunting of Hill House. Since everyone is raging about the series, but I do believe the book is totally different and it’s not that scary… 🙁
You have a long list with books that disappointed you.. I do hope that list will be shorter in 2019, haha!! The risk of being a bookblogger, right? 🙂
I read They Lived in a Castle this year and enjoyed it but I have heard mixed things about The Haunting Of Hill House!
I think it’s okay to read a disappointing books once in awhile. Helps me really discover what I like! There were way more books that I enjoyed so that’s a good thing!
I agree with you, I also found out this year that I have to like/care about the characters to enjoy a book. I am glad I am not the only person who is that way!
Exactly! Give me great characters and a plot over boring characters and a great plot any day!
Little Fires Everywhere has been on my TBR forever. Sorry it was a disappointment :/
I think it is just a me thing! A lot of people love it!
How To Stop Time is on my 2019 TBR! Hope I will enjoy it more than you did. Like you, I loved The Humans!
I hope you like it! I think you’ll definitely enjoy the sections set in the past. I was just confused with some of his choices. The Humans was fantastic though!
Yeah I was disappointed with city of ghosts too- I hoped it was going to be better than it was (though it wasn’t terrible) hehe I hear you about wrinkle in time (though I fell somewhere in the middle for that book too) Shame about little fires everywhere though and a little life- I’m curious about them! Great list!
I didn’t think City of Ghosts or Wrinkle in Time were terrible! They were just not nearly as good as I had hoped!
I still think Little Fires and A Little Life are worth reading because I’m in the minority on those two!
Nice short list for a year of robust reading. Thanks for taking the time to outline your issues.
Thanks! I am pretty pleased that these were the only ones that left me feeling disappointed. Not too bad at all!
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight has got to be my biggest disappointment of 2018, it was just one big drag and I couldn’t stand the main character
That is too bad! I have had that one on my TBR for ages but realistically I will never get to it! I have heard mixed things!
I honestly feel the same way about a wrinkle in time! If I read it in elementary school I think I would’ve really enjoyed it! I unfortunately found it really monotonous when I read it in middle school. Lovely post! 😊
A lot of us seem to feel that way! I am glad I’m not the only one. Monotonous is the perfect word for describe how I felt about it!
Hey, Kristin. You are nominated for My Christmas Tag. Here is the post. https://mytwirlingpages.wordpress.com/2018/12/24/christmas-tag-2018/
That’s awesome! Thanks!
ohhh boy The Light We Lost. that book transcends the word disappointing for me. & i lovelove Sharp Objects but i also read it before all the hype etc. — i think if i’d read it for the first time around when the show came out i wouldn’t have liked it as much!! hoping absolutely no books disappoint you in 2019 :p
So glad you felt the same about The Light We Lost!
I hope the same for you!
Agree about the Matt Haig books. Though I enjoyed How to Stop Time I adored the Humans and would definitely recommend that one! Sharp Objects- I think I may have liked the adaptation a bit more than the book. And I think I had such high expectations for Little Fires it was hard to live up to them! Happy Holidays 🙂
Ah The Humans is just so good! I don’t think he will be able to top it!
Little Fires is definitely very hyped! It is impossible not to go in to it with high expectations!
Same on “City of Ghosts.” I have the arc months before the release but I couldn’t finish it somehow. 🙈
I don’t blame you! Was rather boring!
Great post! A shame City Of Ghosts didn’t work for you… I do get your point with Little Fires Everywhere though; I had similar feelings about that one. Lack of connection to characters makes it a lot harder to be blown away by a story. Sharp Objects wasn’t a favorite of mine either, but then again none of her books managed to wow me completely.
I am glad we had similar opinions about those two novels. They are both books I completely understand why other people love them but just didn’t work for me!