Bookish Odds & Ends, Features, Wrap Ups & Hauls

Biggest Reading Disappointments of 2018

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At the year’s-end, everyone loves to give their favorite books of the year a shout out.  What is more fun about gushing about books we loved?  In case you missed it, I shared my 2018 reading wrap-up along with my favorite reads of the year here ⇒ 2018 Reading Wrap-Up + Favorite Books of 2018

What about those books that turned out to be disappointments?  The ones that we were super excited about reading, but came up short?

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I’d like to preface this with the reminder that everyone has different reading tastes.  I’d also like to mention that I do not think the books below are bad books by any means, but they just came up short for me.  In fact, I rated all of these books around 3 stars.  They were just so-so in my opinion.

My Biggest Reading Disappointments in 2018

» The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

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I was super excited to read this one when my book club selected it.  I was really anticipating a heartwarming read with some depth to it, but it didn’t really pan out that way.  I think the concept behind this book was amazing, but the execution of the story came up flat.  There was so much potential with this story & the magical realism elements.  Unfortunately the romance became central to the plotline which was super annoying.

» The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen

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Don’t get me wrong, this book had some great things going for it, but I just felt like it could have been so much more.  For me, this book was painfully slow… and I didn’t feel like much happened in the plot.  This book could have been a good 100 pages shorter. The plotline wasn’t bad by any means, but just felt like it was lacking that “spark.”  It did pick up in the second half, but it was a little too late for me.  I will say that I really appreciated the main character, Kelsea.  She is far from perfect, but she follows her heart.  She felt very down to earth & real.

» Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2) by Renée Ahdieh


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After reading Flame in the Mist last year, I definitely wanted to continue on with this duology.  Flame in the Mist wasn’t without it’s faults, but I was expecting the second book to only get better.  Unfortunately this didn’t happen.  This book felt incredibly rushed and underdeveloped.

» Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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I have no idea what went so wrong here.  I really enjoyed Caraval.  I think my biggest issue here was that this book didn’t feel like a sequel but more like a spin off.  Legendary was told from Tella’s POV, which I was excited to read, but there was not enough connections from the first book to satisfy me.  Also, how are we supposed to believe that Scarlett and Tella would die for each other when they don’t spend any time together in either book?  One of my biggest complaints about Caraval was that I felt Garber’s writing felt forced, which only got worse in the second book.

» A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray


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I was so sad I didn’t love this book because it has one of the best book covers EVER.  I really liked the concept behind this book: the idea that there are multiple parallel universes existing simultaneously & the ability to travel between them.  The romance was too central to the plotline.  For me, a YA sci-fi needs to be a sci-fi book first, with the romantic elements being secondary to the main plot.

» Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

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Everyone LOVES this book, but I just did not connect with it.  I did enjoy that this was a sci-fi Cinderella retelling, the fact that Cinder was a mechanic cyborg was badass.  HOWEVER I was not a fan of the fact that Cinder was very insecure & angsty throughout the entire book… I wanted to see some type of evolution in her character.  I’m sure this happens in later books, but it made it very hard for me to root for her in the first book.  The worldbuilding was also a tad weak for me.  There was a lot of missing pieces, making it feel like we are just thrown into this world.  Also, I wasn’t buying the romance.  At all.  It was very insta-lovish and I found Kai’s Character very pompous & annoying.

» Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted 0.5) by Gail Carson Levine

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Since Ella Enchanted was my favorite book as a kid, of course I was going to read the prequel.  Ogre Enchanted didn’t feel like a prequel per-se, but a book set in the same world as Ella Enchanted, with a few characters from Ella making an appearance.  The biggest issue I had with this book was the fact that Evie had to find someone to propose to her to lift a curse.  The majority of the book Evie is looking for anyone to fall in love with her… if you are not a fan of “insta-love,” this book might be a challenge for you.  Had Evie had to lift her curse a different way, this book would have been much better. I liked the message that Levine was trying to convey: that beauty is on the inside & not to judge a person on outward appearance, BUT I wish she hadn’t used the angle of “love” to try to express the message.  It is such a shame because I loved the main character, Evie.  I loved Evie’s resourcefulness, dedication, hard work, and kindness. I also enjoyed that she was a healer & took her job very seriously.  Overall this was a fun book, but unfortunately came up way short in comparison with Ella Enchanted.

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Which books were your biggest disappointments of 2018?

Have you read any of the books on my list?  If so, do you agree or disagree?

19 thoughts on “Biggest Reading Disappointments of 2018”

    1. Caraval was an enjoyable read. It was not perfect by any means, but I really enjoyed the concept. I was hoping that my issues with the first book would be resolved in the second, but unfortunately that didn’t pan out lol

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  1. I agree about Queen of Tearling missing a spark. I attempted to read it back in 2017 but lost interest a couple pages in.
    Aww man! I loved Cinder, but totally understand where you’re coming from on it. Frankly, if I wasn’t a huge fan of the Cinderella fairytale, I probably would have felt the same as you; but I’m a sucker for Cinderella retellings and stories inspired by it.

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  2. You have a few books on your list that I want to read, which is sad. I hope that I’ll enjoy those reads when I get to them. I’m saddest to see Legendary in this list, Caraval was great so it sucks to see that sequel is not up to par.

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  3. Great list! I did love Cinder myself, but I completely agree with A Thousand Pieces Of You, very underwhelming and too much romance. The first four titles are on my TBR, so I’m a bit worried now. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Queen of the tearling was one of my disappointing books a couple of years back- I also found it painfully slow and had no desire to continue with the series (which was a lucky thing cos I ended up hearing that it ended on a bad note) Great post!

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  5. This. Post. *clapping emojis forever*

    I don’t think people talk about their least favorite books enough in the book blogger world. I feel like it’s my mission to help people find incredible literature, but also avoid the awful books. Thank you for sharing!!

    I recall your opinions on these books throughout the last year; thank goodness for your weekly reviews! XD Will you be continuing any of these series books which have more books that follow? I’m mostly curious about Cinder. I’m sure people have told you the first book is the weakest of the quartet. But, you should only keep going if you are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I sometimes feel like I should be reading A Song of Ice and Fire or Throne of Glass because everyone loves them. But I read the first book in both series and I just couldn’t. It’s okay not to keep reading books.

        That said, Cress, the 3rd Lunar Chronicles book, is my favorite of the series. Cress is a beautiful character.

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