So I do a lot of top 5’s for favorite books, so I thought I’d do something a little different. This will definitely border on “unpopular opinion” territory as I know some of the books on this list have a fervent fan following. The books on this list are ones that I went into with some pretty high expectations, whether due to reviews or because the synopsis just sounded so amazing, and came out feeling really underwhelmed or disappointed.
Beasts Made of Night
Author: Tochi Onyebuchi
Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy
My Rating: 1★
I was honestly so excited when I was granted an early review copy of this novel. A Nigerian fantasy novel about tattoos and sin eating!? Sign me the fuck up! I loved the concept for this novel, and still stand by my original review that I feel that this novel would have been better as a graphic novel. The world is colorful, the action sequences are amazing, but the plot and dialogue are paper thin and there is almost no character or story development. The book dragged and it was honestly painful forcing myself to finish the novel for the sake of saying I gave it a fair shot and to provide an honest review to the publisher.
Author: Neil Hilborn
Themes: Poetry, Mental Illness
My Rating: 2★
Those that have been following my poetry related posts will probably know that Neil Hilborn is one of my favorite poets. He approaches mental illness and depression with delicacy and genuine understanding. His work has touched my heart and has made me cry by how close to home it has hit for me. The thing is, his poetry can border on stream of consciousness at times which can make his work difficult to follow. I loved his first poetry collection, Our Numbered Days and was eagerly anticipating The Future, leaping at the chance to pick up a review copy from the publisher. While the titular poem, which was the same one that got me into this poet, was amazing, almost everything in the rest of the collection was just kind of ‘meh’ to me. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was genuinely sad that I didn’t like this book more.
The Salt Line
Author: Holly Goddard Jones
My Rating: 1★
Goodness this book was one of the few that made it to my DNF shelf for a whole year, and it was one that I had an ARC copy of so it was extra hard for me to put down. I honestly almost didn’t pick this book back up after I had decided to DNF it, but I kept seeing it at the library after it was released, and since I had stopped at the 2/3 mark I figured I should finish the thing to see if it would redeem itself. The beginning was great, the world is really interesting, it was everything my dystopia loving heart wanted in a novel. Then it began to drag with far too many narrators and side plots that had nothing to do with the main story, it all became fluff and suddenly it wasn’t even about the deadly ticks advertised in the synopsis. The story does pick up at the very end and had a conclusion that I found satisfying, so I had bumped my rating up a half star but it was a novel that was entirely too long with too much unnecessary detail, I just didn’t enjoy it.
The Silence of Ghosts
Author: Jonathan Aycliffe
Themes: Gothic, Historical, Horror
My Rating: 2★
You know, this book was a random pick up at the library. I’ve always been a sucker for gothic books since my teen years and the synopsis caught my attention, and the first part of this novel was genuinely scary to me. The haunting in this novel deeply unnerved me and is still one of the creepiest that I’ve encountered in a horror story. As the plot developed though, it started to become kind of bland, and there is not much of a resolution even though the history of the haunting gets explained. This book made me realize that perhaps gothic novels maybe aren’t for me, as I’m starting to see some recurring tropes that I don’t like all that much.
When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 2★
I wanted so much to love this book and for the first half of the book I did! This was one of the most hyped books last summer, it seemed like EVERYONE was reading it. I was all about it, the main characters, the code girl main character, the Asian American representation, and goodness THAT COVER!!!! I’m not surprised that this book was so popular and I think I would have loved this book more when I was a teenager perhaps. It felt like a book that was much longer than it needed to be, and the second half of the book went so wildly off the rails with the setting that I actually got tired of reading it, which honestly shocked me considering how enthralled I was with the romance in the beginning. This book ended up only being “meh” to me once it was all said and done and I kind of wished that the romance could have developed better and for the dance competition to be left out entirely.
What books did you find were let downs?
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