Biggest Disappointments of 2016

No one likes to be disappointed by a book but it unfortunately happens from time to time as a reader.  Often times that disappointment might be swept under the rug as many book reviewers don’t like to be negative about a book that the author has put a lot of effort into writing.  However, I think talking about our disappointments has merit.  For example, it tells other readers what your tastes are like so they know if you are book-compatible and whether they should keep an eye on your blog for more recommendations or recommend you some good books.  When certain themes are brought up about the same book by several reviewers it helps point potential problematic issues with the book and send a warning to publishers and authors to shape up.  It allows people to know you can think critically about books and not just love every single one that you read.  That you can love and critic books. 

And honesty, I think most of us are fascinated with knowing what other people don’t like. I know I am.  I also don’t mine actually telling people my biggest book disappointments and why I thought they were disappointing.  Here they are for 2016 (in no real order):

The Magicians by Lev Grossman.  I couldn’t stand whiny Holden Caulfield Quintin Coldwater and the flatness of the characters.  The plot was interesting and I liked the world building but the characters dragged this book down.  Plus every raves at how this is a ‘must read for adults’ leading me to have big hopes that were not fulfilled.

Spy Glass by Maria V Snyder.  I wrote and entire blog post about why I didn’t like this book.  It stems from glorifying and perpetuating abuse.

Year Zero by Rob Reid.  This book promised a lot in the prologue, but it let me down with hit-or-miss humour that when bad, was really, really bad.  Also, again, the characters where not done well while the plot and worldbuilding were interesting enough.

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer.  I loved all that I have read by Colfer in the past, but this one was so flat and boring in comparison.   Props for the Native American lead character but this books just didn’t work for me at all.  Could be that I have grown out of his writing.

And finally, I book that I did love but not as much as I thought I would: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.  I feel bad even considering this book for this list, but I can’t hide that I expected to be blown away by this book but I wasn’t.  I still loved it, but there were some things I didn’t connect with.

I ranked more then 4 books at 2 or fewer stars this year, but most of the others I knew going in that I was not likely to overly enjoy them, so they weren’t disappointing.  Low expectations and all that.


14 thoughts on “Biggest Disappointments of 2016

  1. I have very low expectations so I avoid most disappointments, lol. I HATE being let down by a book!
    I should make a list too before the year is out! What a great idea. I have some that I think I should share.
    I’ll be staying away from those you listed. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agreed, honesty is important in reviewing. Even if an author works hard, a book may not measure up to another book whose author worked just as hard- or harder! Or maybe it’s a difference in tastes. There are so many reasons. Hence, reviews! 😀 Most recently, I’ve been disappointed with the Dresden Files….They’re funny, but the character-development is minimal. Thankfully, I’ve had a great stretch of books, lately, other than those!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! It’s why when I reviewed the book I didn’t love last night I say as much, that it was my taste and my life that got in the way of my enjoyment, not the actual book. Reviewers need to be able to review books without being attacked (by the author or the fans) but on the flip side of that, we need to be able to review the good as well as the bad and only the book, not the author!

      Disappointing books are part of reading, so I don’t get mad at them (mostly) but I always hope they don’t put me in a book slump afterwards!

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a great point, about reviewing the book, not the author! So true. Attacking the author personally is just…stupid and pointless. But reviewing their body of work, even if negatively, has a very important point!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will not read books by authors I don’t like personally, but I would attack an author in a review. That is a professional line that no one should cross.

        Also, English classes spent so much time on teaching people to read and think critically, it’s time to actually put those skills (that I’m really re-learning since I apparently wasn’t ready for them at that time) to good use!

        Liked by 1 person

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