“If It Only Had A…” – Books With Something Missing

Hello all! I mentioned in my last post that Girl On A Train felt like it was missing something. Maybe it was the fact that the twists were a tad predictable, maybe it was because the characters weren’t great, but mostly I reckon it was cos the writing just fell a little flat. Half the time when I was reading it I just kept thinking “If it only had a soul…” And that got me thinking of other books that were missing something. So here is a Wizard-of-Oz-inspired list about books that could have done with a bit more oomph.

if it only had a brain

if it only had a brain books.png


Apocalypse is up there as one of the weirdest books I have ever read- it’s circular and strange and full of a gazillion plot holes-it really someone with a brain to iron all the weirdness out. The Testing series was also phenomenally dumb, thanks to a really stupid (supposedly brilliant) main character. Also, like many dystopias, there’s no real reason given for society being as it is, other than some vague *disaster*. Let’s face it Fifty Shades of Grey had to be on this list- any book that could have a phrase “my inner goddess was doing the samba” definitely has to go in the brain dead category. And while we’re on the subject of silly books, sparkly vampires are completely daft.

if it only had a heart

if it only had a heart books.png

I mentioned before that Paris Winter left me cold, cos I just felt like there should have been more of a heart to the story. Recently, when I read the Miniaturist I felt the exact same way- I mean there was some heart to this book- but it didn’t involve the main character- which was kind of irritating. And as for This Is Not A Love Story– the clue is in the title!

if it only had the nerve

if it only had the nerve books.png

Hard Times is probably my least favourite Dickens, cos it basically has a massive cop-out at the end. Dickens basically didn’t want to put his neck on the line and give some actual solutions for working class problems in 19th Century Britain- which is a shame, cos otherwise it would have been as stellar as his other work. I’ve also chosen Hit List for not having the courage to finish off the story with a bold ending. And let’s face it Alex Rider should have died in Scorpia– just sayin’.

Now I want to hear from you- which books do you feel had something missing? Let me know in the comments!

24 thoughts on ““If It Only Had A…” – Books With Something Missing

  1. I certainly agree on Fifty Shades. However, I admire the marketing technique that managed to make the authors millions for something so badly written. I haven’t read the others, although there’s a good chance I did read the Dickens. As an English Lit major at a Uni that didn’t believe in literature existing after 1900, I read far too much Dickens. I guess the others are to be missed? Loved this piece. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I know tight- it is crazy to me that it had such a huge amount of success, considering how bad it is!! haha snap about the english lit major- although I did do some courses on modernism- which took me up to the 1920s, I think. Yeah they’re not great :/ aww thanks very much- glad you liked it!


  2. Haha, your picks were so perfect (even your considered picks – totally agree about the sparkles!). I almost feel too intimidated to make suggestion! But… Because I love the idea of this post so much. Lacking in grammar (but I still LOVE it so much): Fallen Crest High. Lacking in soul: The Teleportation Accident.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That inner Goddess definitely needs a brain. No, wait. Anastacia needs a brain. No, wait, the author … hm :p

    That game is fun! Me want to play!

    If only it had… wit and fun! What Pretty Girls Are Made Of certainly needed more of those to be an okay story.
    If only it had… action! More recently (yesterday xD) I was telling myself the only thing missing in Lawyers Gone Bad to make it a good book was some f****** ACTION! I am really mad at it because it had so much legalese that it was great to read, but nothing happens. The plot gets resolved by secondary characters while the MC is just being bullied by the system. ARGH.
    If only it had … the badassery we were sold on the blurb: Throne of Glass!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha all of them need a brain!!!
      ooh I love your answers!! hahahaha ughh I hate books without action!! arghhh that sounds so frustrating!! hahaha fair dos- the first one really doesn’t have any of that! (*hides head in shame that I’m so easily wooed by a pretty face aka Dorian*)


  4. Oh my gosh, definitely Twilight!!! The first book was good, because she kept waffling, realizing that choosing to be with Edward was about the same as signing up to commit suicide and put her whole family in mortal danger. But *even after* the events of New Moon, when she decided to still be with Edward *regardless* of the fact he nearly got them both killed – AGAIN – wow, no, just can’t….

    Most recently, I tried “Some Kind of Happiness” by Claire Legrande, and for the love of humanity, what a horrible travesty of a tale that was! The characters were all SO unlikable, to the point of where I wanted to literally smack some of them in the face if they were real people. Sorry, folks, but I just have no tolerance for selfish, self-centered people ruining the lives of their family for no apparent reason. I felt SO bad for the narrator, because she was like, 12, with major depression, and her family was so stupidly self-focused on their individual non-issues that she basically had to become nearly suicidal before anyone stepped in… And then the character that gave her help was the MOST unlikely person to offer it…. You know, the moment that should’ve made the reader feel all teary and happy was like, WTH?!?! on steriods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha yeah that series got worse as it went on! (*gags at the paedophilia in breaking dawn*)
      oh wow I hate characters like that!!! arghh that sounds dreadful!! hahaha I’ve read books like that before- and I hate when things just make no sense and people do things that are dramatically out of character :/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That was such a clever idea for a list! I am sure there are tons of books that lack that certain something, but I am coming up blank right now (maybe I am the one who needs a brain hahaha). Still, a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like The Program by Suzanne Young was missing something. It’s a dystopia where teen suicide is an epidemic but she doesn’t build her world and focuses more on the character’s romance. So I am not sure if that would be missing brain, heart, or nerve.

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  7. I was wondering if the Miniaturist might be that kind of book, i.e. decent but missing some sort of spark. Someone recommended it to me and I liked the cover, but from what I read of the blurb and reviews it didn’t sound particularly thrilling or like my kind of book. Though maybe that’s just my genre prejudice coming through because it looks a bit like magical realism or literary fantasy and those aren’t my favourites.

    I find it really hard to rate books that are otherwise good but seem to be “missing something”. I guess it’s because they can be well written and have many things going for them and I might not be able to point out exact or gaping flaws, but on the whole they just fall flat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly it was. It wasn’t a bad book, but all the main storylines didn’t involve the main character directly, so it felt like looking in from the outside, which detached the reader from the action :/ It’s alright, but it’s not great. (And I’m saying that from the lens of historical fiction being the genre I like least, so I’m equally biased 😉 ) yeah definitely- it really depends on the book- if the end is lacking, but I otherwise enjoyed it I might just dock one or one and half stars, but if I never connect with that I probably won’t give it a high rating at all

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your rating system make sense to me – a bad ending isn’t fatal (I’ve read good books with bad endings), but never connecting with the characters and the story is. A book can have the most beautiful, well-crafted prose, but if I can’t connect with or care about the characters I won’t be rating it highly.

        Oh and historical fiction is also not one of my favourite genres so all in all this doesn’t sound like a book for me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely agree that The Miniaturist and Girl on the Train should be on this list. I felt so underwhelmed after finishing The Miniaturist, like I accidentally grabbed a book that was a first draft or something.

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