Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Top 5 Disappointing Books of 2017

Photo by Luke Palmer on Unsplash
We're closing in on the end of the year, and this has been, overall, a really good reading year for me. I'll get to the best books I read in 2017 soon enough, but first... the duds. The ones that let me down. That dashed my raised expectations. These are the top 5 disappointing books of 2017.

A couple notes before I start. First, these are books I read in 2017 -- not necessarily ones that came out in 2017. Second, in order to make the list, the book needs to have actually, well, disappointed me. For instance, as much as I loathed The Cabin, I didn't go in expecting it to be "good" in the first place, so it didn't disappoint me. Ergo, it doesn't make the cut. Third, I'm ranking this best-to-worst. (Well, for a small measure of "best.")

5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


Everyone has those couple of books that everyone and their mother has hyped up, but when you actually got around to reading them, you couldn't help but think, "...That's it?" The Raven Boys was one of those for me. I'm glad so many people enjoy this book and its sequels, but for me, it was mostly a dull reading experience. As I mentioned in my review, I think part of it may be that Stiefvater's writing style is just not my cup of tea. It's not the worst book, or even a bad book, but I won't be continuing with the series anytime soon .

4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik


Another book that was seriously hyped up by the bookish community. However, when I read it, I honestly didn't see what the big deal was. I didn't enjoy it much at all, and I found the plot to be slow and tedious, not to mention insanely confusing. I also hated the love interest, but that's a rant I covered in my review. If you liked it, I'm glad, but for me? Nah.

3. The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega


This one made the list mainly because I absolutely adored its predecessor, so a merely "meh" followup was a serious letdown. On its own, The Merciless II is a decent enough horror story, but when comparing it to the first book, it just can't measure up. Luckily, the third installment in the series picked up the slack. Here's hoping The Merciless IV can keep up!

2. Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl


The problem with satire is that it is very, very easy to fuck up. Going too over the top, or not over the top enough, can make the whole thing seem lame and forced, or just totally fall flat. This book was meant to satirize reality TV and the whole Kardashian "thing," but it just didn't work. The characters lacked depth and were impossible to care about, and it felt like the author didn't really commit. When you're providing social commentary on something as ridiculous as reality TV stars, you have to go big or go home. Adding in the fact that the book just wasn't very funny, and you've got a real dud.

1. RoseBlood by A.G. Howard


UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.

I'm sure most of you know by now that I'm a huge Phantom of the Opera nerd. So when I heard this was a modern redux of the classic story, I snatched it right up. I was expecting a fun, dark, exciting story, maybe with some romance mixed in. What I got instead was a half-baked, kind of racist mess that clearly lacked understanding of what makes Phantom work. I gave up less than halfway through. Look, there's no Phantom of the Opera that's objectively great art, but even most of the shitty ones have something to enjoy. But not this book. I can withstand a lot of crap for Phantom, but not this much.

It's not as bad as the 1998 movie, though.

Nothing will ever be as bad as the 1998 movie.

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What books were you disappointed by in 2017? Let me know down in the comments!


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