My Most Disappointing Books of 2018

my most disappointing 2018.png

Thanks in a large part to blogging I pick up fewer books on a whim. That means a lot of what I read tends to be vetted and I’ve been choosing a lot of better books this year. Even so, a number of stinkers have slipped through the net- and that’s what this post is about! Of course, as the title suggests, these are mostly just books that let me down in some way. As always, if you click on the book covers you can click on the book covers and see my less-than-glowing reviews- however you’ll also see I haven’t completely slated all of these. Evidently, *fumbling to insert quick disclaimer*, I’m not saying these are the *worst* books on the planet- a lot of them merely didn’t live up to what I hoped they would be- starting with…

number 10bone queen

The Bone Queen– I actually gave this one a middling rating- see I told you they weren’t all terrible! Still, this made the list because I thought it would be *so much more*. I loved the Pellinor series when I was younger, so when this prequel rolled around I was PSYCHED. Sadly, this didn’t end up building on my pre-existing love. Instead, I got a book that was stuffed to the brim with infodumps and all the dramatic moments being told not shown.

number 9

lonely hearts hotel

Lonely Hearts Hotel– this one might be the most controversial one on the list, because a lot of people love it. And I get why. It’s a really well written book- but boy this was not my cup of tea. Honestly, the biggest flaw with this book is that it’s totally miss-marketed. Described as “the next Night Circus”, I was expecting delicious magical realism; what I got was a heavy dose of stomach-churning historical fiction on topics that were too much for me.  That’s not to say it’s bad- it just wish I’d had some inkling of the actual material going in. If you’re into gritty (bordering on gross) topics, then go for it; otherwise maybe give it a miss.

number 8

ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– it pains me a little to put this on here, because I really enjoyed the rest of the series. Ultimately though, this was a great example of a series fizzling out. There was a lot of potential here- yet I didn’t feel like the ending lived up to it. It felt rushed, unsatisfying and underdeveloped. *Sigh*- and it could have been so good!

number 7

forest of hands...

Forest of Hands and Teeth– years ago I saw this title and swooned- it’s a thing of perilous beauty. Unfortunately, the charm ends there. There’s nothing remotely thrilling about this all-too-generic read. It’s so meh that I wouldn’t have bothered putting it on this list if not for the fact the title got my hopes up. Unless you’re a massive fan of love triangles and the regular host of YA tropes, I’d give this one a miss.

number 6

life's golden ticket

Life’s Golden Ticket– I kind of feel duty bound to put this on the list based on the simple fact that it wasn’t well written. And while I can handle a little cheese, this one stunk to high heaven. Turns out allegorical, glorified self-help books are not for me.

number 5

ransom my heart

Ransom My Heart– I’m disappointed in myself for reading this one when I had reason to suspect it was gonna be bad! I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with the author to be fair- so I should have known not to give this one a chance. But it sounded different and I liked the idea of it being one of her character’s novels and *excuses excuses*- I read the damn thing and now I have to live with myself. As historical fiction, this isn’t remotely believable- unless you count the misuse of archaic words. Since this is supposed to be Princess Mia’s (from Princess Diaries) book, it could be a comment on how celebrities sometimes manage to get their crap books published just cos they’re celebs… somehow I doubt it though. It seems more likely that this is simply a crap book.

number 4

truth or dare

Truth or Dare– I think I’ve wiped most of the memory of this book from my mind. All I can remember from it was that it was aggravating and nuts. There’s lots of virtue signalling and infodumping and even an instruction at the front of the book to go read other, better books. Seriously. Even this author thinks you should choose something else. So go do that- cos I ended up wondering why I didn’t take that advice.

number 3

falling fast

Falling Fast– there were very few things this year worthy of having a banana peel slung at them- and this was one of them. Everything about this sucked. Worst of all though, it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be. There was mature content written in such a childish way that I couldn’t pin it down. Not to mention that the characters were horrible and the romance was awful.

number 2

mysteries of udolpho

Mysteries of Udolpho– oh man, this pushed me into a realllly long slump. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t even finish it cos it was BORING AF. I was hoping for thrills and I got overindulgent descriptions of the landscape. I got *zero* pleasure out of this when I all I was looking for was a good bit of escapism. The only horrifying thing about this was that it was horrifyingly dull. Pick this up at your peril I guess.

number 1

foxhole court

Foxhole Court– I can’t believe I read this. There seems to be a chain of foolish readers who pick this up out of morbid curiosity (I read it cos I saw Angelica’s negative review, Lucinda then went on and read it, and who knows read it after that!). We’re all completely daft obviously– because this book is on big, steaming hot pile of NOPE. Want to read a book about a bunch of rapey weirdos obsessed with a made up sport that makes no sense? No? Well, I suppose you could read this book anyway, cos that’s what I did. And I don’t suppose this disappointed me by living up to its reputation-though it would have been nice if it wasn’t quite this awful- but I had to put it on the list cos it’s definitely, objectively the worst, most bizarre-in-a-bad-way thing I’ve read in a long while. The only explanation I can give for its existence is to give me the opportunity to exclaim “why god why?” at random intervals. And what makes me even more bemused is that this is massively popular in some groups- well I guess I’m (happily) not down with the tumblr kids, cos I don’t get why this is a thing.

So- dare I ask- what do you think of these? Have you read any of them? And what were your worst books of 2018? Let me know in the comments!

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99 thoughts on “My Most Disappointing Books of 2018

  1. @k_lpoetry says:

    I remember reading the whole Falling Fast series as a teenager and the first book was so bad I just kept reading the books to see how bad it could get. (Plus I was bored and the local library had nothing better!) The Chalkman and Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine were probably the two that disappointed me this year, although I might enjoy the latter more if I read it a second time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      haha well I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought this book was bad! hahaha I totally understand- I picked it up cos I was bored and browsing overdrive 😉 Ah that’s a real pity, but fair enough! I get why Eleanor Oliphant might be hit or miss and I’ve heard mixed things about the chalk man. Hope you like eleanor more on a reread!

      Like

  2. Vera says:

    I haven’t read any of these. 😊

    Some books are just one big NOPE. For me, that was Wintersong early this year. I still have to shiver whenever I think of it (and for the record, not in a good way! 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Veronica says:

    I had to laugh when I saw The Mysteries of Udolpho on here. I had to read that for a Gothic fiction class and my thought was, “Why would anyone pick that up for fun???” I feel like that book was intended to be dull!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. meltotheany says:

    I love this list so much! BUT SEEING THE FOXHOLE COURT! Lmaoooooo! I already put this on my “must read of 2019” so now I’m going in extra aware (and scared) from this, because I trust your opinion so damn much! Hahaha! But I love this post and I hope you are having an amazing end of the year, sweetheart! Happy reading! 💖xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    Haven’t read any of these on your loser list. My biggest disappointments are the books that are self published. Not that they’re such terrible stories but some are so poorly edited. Awful spelling and grammar, pronoun switches, wandering plot lines, characters whose personalities change without cause, significant conflicts unresolved. There’s a reason for paid editors, and those who self-pub should use their services. I write this with compassion as I hope one day to be published, and though am trying to get into the traditional ranks, I’m more likely to become a selfie. In that spirit, I want to promote (purchase and read) books by other selfies. But, please, writers – fix your books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Well that’s not a bad thing 😉 Ah I can understand that! I don’t read that many self-published books, but I can definitely say poor editing would make me stop reading. All of those would be very frustrating! Ah yes I do understand that as well- but what I have read of self pub books are just as well edited as traditionally published books- so I definitely don’t think it has to be that way! Totally agree with you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Briana | Pages Unbound says:

    The only one I’ve read is The Mysteries of Udolpho. Yeah…it’s kind of boring. But I did enjoy reading it just for the “first Gothic novel” historical perspective, and I think Radcliffe is kind of funny with all the melodrama. (Probably not what she was going for….)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Matthew Wright says:

    I haven’t read any of these. My TBR pile keeps growing… there are things I have to spend time reading because of the non-fiction I write, and time to read for relaxation seems ever-shrinking. Sigh. I am hoping 2019 will give me more time, but somehow suspect it won’t…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachael Corbin says:

    I remember reading “A Forest of Hands and Teeth” for a YA class I took in college and HATING it. The blurb promised a compelling story with intrigue and mystery and failed on every conceivable front. I couldn’t stand the main character and the whole thing felt pointless.

    As for “Ransom My Heart”, Meg Cabot is usually pretty hit or miss for me. Sometimes she can be cheesy in an endearing way but sometimes she’s just cheesy period. I started this book a few years ago, but I didn’t finish and I can’t for the life of me remember anything about it.

    I haven’t heard of the other books on this list, but I’ll be sure to avoid them should I come across them in the future. Thanks for the list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah I’m glad I’m not the only one! I totally agree with you there!!

      Yeah I completely understand- I love some of her cheesy books- but sometimes they’re really not for me. This one though was… yeesh, not good.

      Fair enough! hehe good call! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. nsfordwriter says:

    Mysteries of Udolpho is a tough read – it’s so long and overly descriptive. Back in the day, there wasn’t much else to do for people of leisure, so this would be like an epic film to them. Also no one travelled much and they might have enjoyed reading the descriptions of landscapes they’d never see! But yes, it’s hard to understand why anyone could read it for fun now 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Vicky says:

    I’ve not read any of these, but I’m not surprised by Mysteries of Udolpho! Classics are so often hit or miss for me, and I can imagine that the overly-Gothicky Gothic might have been a bit much 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Zezee says:

    Oh man. That sucks that the Lonely Hearts Hotel wasn’t good to you. I recall it said that it’s like the Night Circus too, but I was drawn to it because I read the first couple sentences and wanted to keep reading. I plan to check it out soon-ish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah it was a shame- but I can see why people might like it and don’t want to put people off. It just really wasn’t my thing and unfortunately I remember it for all the wrong reasons :/ Hope you like it (much) more than I did!

      Like

  12. lucindablogs says:

    What is it about The Foxhole Court that makes people think it can’t be that bad…I can confirm that it absolutely is! Honestly, why did we read it? I don’t even know anyone that’s DNF’d it – definitely a sense of morbid curiosity. Never again will I mistrust your judgement!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jia Xuan says:

    What I glean from all your previous posts as well as this one is that Ashes to Ashes is really disappointing! One of the books which had greatly disappointed me this year is Unfiltered by Lily Collins. It’s such a shame since I’ve seen Lily Collins in a few movies and she is a down-to-earth and nice person. The problem was that I found Unfiltered rather dull!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

    I was curious about The Forest of Hands and Teeth, mostly because of the title, but I really don’t like love triangles so I’ll definitely be giving that a miss.

    The only book on this list that I’ve read is The Mysteries of Udolpho (partly because I was doing a reading challenge and partly because Austen satirised it). I actually quite enjoyed that one, but I had to adapt myself to the extremely long sentences to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah well I hope you get more out of them than I did! Lonely Hearts Hotel is actually well written, so if you’re not bothered by the subject matter, you might like it. But Foxhole court… yeah I’ve nothing good to say about that lol- sorry! 😉 I guess I couldn’t stop reading out of morbid curiosity, so that’s something, right? 😉 hehe thanks you too!

      Like

  15. Norrie says:

    Oh, i haven’t read any of them.
    Forest of Hands and Teeth – well that title sounds pretty intriguing! 😀

    I got a copy of Foxhole thingie because it was free and i saw some raving reviews about it. Haven’t seen the negative ones, so i’m going to explore now 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. MichaelK says:

    I haven’t read any of these (fortunately it would seem) but I know the feeling. I have grown very selective over the years (yes, being a bookstagrammer and booktuber has certainly helped me too) but a couple of disappointments will happen each year. The books that disappointed me in 2018 were in greek only so no point going over them. Also the much hyped (due to TV) Annihilation was a bit of a let down as to how it ended.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Marie says:

    I was so sad and disappointed by the end of the Burn for Burn series. It was such a promising series and I really loved the start of it all, but that endin, so disappointing 😦
    I hope the next year will bring less disappointments! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Phantom Paper says:

    Thank God I only read one out of all these you’ve listed! Life’s Golden Ticket was pretty cheesy and, while it didn’t achieve the effect it’s supposed to and I came across it when this type of book was the trend, it wasn’t that bad. My sister enjoyed it much more than I did(she likes Carnival-themed stuff).

    Thanks for the list cuz now I know what to avoid if I ever come across them 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Nicole says:

    I haven’t read any of these, and thankfully don’t plan to. My biggest losers for 2018 were Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (which I wanted to like but DNF’d due to a combination of not believing the characters nor liking the audiobook narrator) and Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera (which I had such high hopes for and then couldn’t bring myself to care about).

    Thanks for the fun review of bad books, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. buriedalivebybooks says:

    Agree completely with The Forest of Hands of Teeth – my reaction both before and after reading matches yours. I also read The Mysteries of Udolpho this year – did you notice the magical dog? I’d love to see this rewritten though, the concept could do with a courageous protagonist.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. LizScanlon says:

    I mean, I don’t know what it is with these disappointing reads and this weird curiosity but i feel like I want to experience some of that 😀 haha, I had a great laugh at your unfortunate experiences here but not out of spite, simply because you express your disappointment so well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lashaan Balasingam @ Bookidote says:

    How you got tempted into the trap that is Foxhole Court is hilarious. I’ve never heard of it, but it’s funny what curiosity can do to some. 😛 The only book that was on and off my radar is Lonely Hearts Hotel and I’m still not sure if it’s worth giving a try or not anymore hahah

    Liked by 1 person

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