My Most Disappointing Reads of 2019

most disappointing 2019

As you may well see in my next few posts, I have had an *amazing* reading year. Thanks to blogging (and possibly growing up 😉) I’m getting better at picking reads I’ll actually enjoy. That said, there are always a handful of stinkers… though that’s not what this list is about (for the most part 😉). I’d say about half of these aren’t bad books by any stretch of the imagination. Most of these aren’t even the worst books I read this year- cos a couple of those I’ve forgotten by now- these are, as the title suggests, the ones I was most disappointed by. And the biggest change this year is that I only have 9 books for the list– I just didn’t see the reason to squeeze extra books on that didn’t deserve a spot (that’s right, I’m not just being a negative Nancy for the sake of it! 😉 ). These books could’ve been great, yet all ended up as misses for me… and that’s enough of the preamble- let’s just get into it!

number 9

behind her eyes

Behind Her Eyes– this started out so well… and then nosedived in the last few chapters. Here’s the thing, it’s really not fun to read a psychological thriller that flips the switch at the last second and becomes a paranormal thriller. I’ve read a few other genre-bending books this year- and they all worked because there was proper set up for the payoff! It all felt like it was done to say “betcha didn’t see that coming!”- and no, obviously I didn’t see that coming, cos I’m not a psychic.

number 8

gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue- this may well be the most unpopular choice for the list- but here’s the thing, this is a list of books I was disappointed by and I was enormously disappointed by this book. I had really high expectations going in because it was so hyped and it’s the kind of thing I really love- but it just fell so flat for me. The main issues for me were that I didn’t fall for the characters and wasn’t convinced with the supposed “18th century” setting. So, not for me, though I do feel there’s enough potential in the idea that I could enjoy the upcoming adaptation.

number 7

immortal reign

Immortal Reign– again, this was by no means the worst book I read this year- BUT I’ve been reading this series a long time and I just wasn’t satisfied with how it turned out. Part of this could be that I fell out of love with it a couple of books back, yet to be honest, not enough was done with the story to elevate that ending. Everything was resolved a little too easily and the emotional payoffs just didn’t land.

number 6

queen of air and darkness book

Queen of Air and Darkness– the more I think about this, the more disappointed with it I am. While I liked parts of it when I was reading, it’s the kind of book I like less and less over time. I think as I wrote the review I realised quite how dissatisfied I was with it (hence the disjunct between my rating and my thoughts). I had an existing fondness for the series… but I feel like all that was thrown away here. As cool as some of the concepts were, a lot of it was recycled from other series and the rest was just set up for another. I can’t get behind a book of this length that merely exists to sell another book. So yeah, I was disappointed with this, to say the least.

number 5

wonder woman

Wonder Woman– I pretty much summed it up in my review: this is a cashgrab. I don’t recommend this for anyone- whether you’re a fan of superheroes or not. It’s not worth your time and not worthy of the author’s talent. Highly recommend you read anything else by Bardugo instead!

number 4

bridget jones's diary

Bridget Jones– this isn’t something I was anticipating or had high hopes for in any way, so I’m breaking my own rules putting this on here, but I just hated the writing style so much that it earned its spot here 😉 It’s full of fragmentation. All the time. Every. Single. Sentence. Ugh.

number 3

conversations with friend

Conversation with Friends– ah one of those massively acclaimed books… that I didn’t get at all. I should’ve guessed from the shite title it’d be wanky and a waste of time- cos that’s exactly what it was. It was so boring that I’m already bored talking about it again… so I won’t bore the rest of you and I’ll move on!

number 2

an inspector calls

Inspector Calls– ooh this came so close to winning the top spot- because there are a lot of reasons Priestley’s pretentious garbage deserves it! It’s badly written, filled with crap characters and moralising to boot! Don’t expect deep philosophy from this though- you’ll get more depth out of a toddler’s toys.

number 1

atlas shrugged

Atlas Shrugged– it’s kind of fitting that out of my two worst reads this year, one is left wing and the other right. This one edged out Priestley’s preachy play by a whisker. The reason this “won” top spot was twofold: 1) from what I’d heard of it (only that it was a seminal work of American literature) I had higher hopes for this and 2) it made me suffer longer. Boy did I make a huge mistake (a-1168-page long mistake) reading this! I guess now it’s time to shrug it off and move on!

So- dare I ask- what do you think of these? Have you read any of them? And what were your worst books of 2019? Let me know in the comments!

78 thoughts on “My Most Disappointing Reads of 2019

  1. I’m sorry these were disappointing. I actually loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and just read the novella and enjoyed it as well. I’m sorry it fell flat for you. Hope you have an amazing 2020! 😊

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  2. Yep, I’m with you on Queen of Air and Darkness. What made me salty about it was the prospect of a “Shadowhunter Circle 2.0” (or whatever Valentine’s group was in touch Mortal Instruments) and I honestly thought we were past all that. I had to DNF it in the end because it was nothing like I expected it to be.

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    1. Yeah I think that one fell victim to the hype for me- if it hadn’t been so hyped, it wouldn’t have ended up on this list. I don’t think it’s a bad book, by any stretch of the imagination, but it just wasn’t as good as promised (imo).

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  3. I was never a fan of the ya superhero origin stories. It never felt necessary to me. The hype for Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virture is exactly the reason I havent read it yet. It’s way overhyped and my expectations are high.

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    1. Yeah, they didn’t sound too interesting to me- I just love Bardugo, so ended up reading it because of that (not worth it). I totally get what you mean- I had high hopes of it living up to the hype… but in the end it was just not possible for it to live up to that level of hype!

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  4. I actually enjoyed Atlas Shrugged (some what) but it was enough for me so I never tried anything else by her. My brother read the Fountainhead as well and he warned me away 😀 I’ve learned to listen to his suggestions…

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  5. I read Bridget Jones’ Diary long enough ago that I don’t remember what I thought of it. I do know that I won’t be re-reading it so that I can remember.

    And I was disappointed by the very first Cassandra Clare book I read (not this one, but I forget which book that actually was), and I haven’t ever gone back.

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  6. I am so glad that someone else was disappointed with Queen of Air and Darkness! I kept getting frustrated with it. I’m not reading 912 pages about Shadowhunters for the romance and the will they or wont they, when you know that they’re going too anyway. IF I wanted that, I would read a mills and boons! I was reading it for the magic and the creatures! They barely mention the big huge baddie in it.

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  7. I haven’t read any of these but I do want read that Cassandra Clare’s book. I read Mortal instruments and clockwork chronicles so would like to continue with this series as well.
    My worst of the year was The Secret of His Turquoise eyes. – I don’t know why I even agreed to read it. Midnight on Mars was disappointment. Another was Space between time- It was not bad but just disappointing. There were few more that didn’t turn out as good as I expected.

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    1. Ah I get that- I couldn’t stop reading that series- it’s so addictive (it’s the best thing about it)
      Oh I hadn’t heard of it- don’t think I’ll be looking out for it now, except to avoid it 😉 Yeah I had a fair number of those too!

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  8. Fragmentation. So. Annoying. 😊

    The only one I’ve read is Atlas shrugged and from a similar sense of obligation. Im glad I read it,if only for the insights it holds, to help explain the phenomenon of extreme-right capitalist conservativism’s ascendency in the US over the past 30 years.

    It is more of a philosophical treatise than a novel, and held my attention mainly because I was going to law school at the time, and the alternative reading was worse!

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    1. hahaha it really is!

      Yeah I kind of just wanted to understand why it was so revered- but it didn’t teach me a whole lot of anything (her view is pretty narrow, even among what I know of conservative philosophy).

      I couldn’t agree more! It just read like (bad) propaganda. haha!

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  9. I would have been disappointed if Atlas Shrugged wasn’t the top spot. That review is still one of my favorite things I read this year in 2019.

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  10. i definitely felt the same way with queen of air and darkness! i feel fond of the series because it’s so nostalgic but it wasn’t as good as prior books. i can definitely agree that i saw a lot of piggybacking and reused ideas from previous books too!

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  11. I think Sally Rooney is one of those writers that massively divides people. I read Normal People (which I love) after hearing my classmates and tutors differing opinions on it. Some loved it, others HATED the book. I might give Conversations with Friends a read and see how it compares…

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    1. Yeah I definitely get that impression (and I’ve been mulling over a lot why that is) I think on reflection there are good aspects to the book- largely in that the characters are fully realised- but for me I couldn’t stand reading about them… so even that wasn’t a draw for me. I’m curious about normal people… but I think I was too put off by conversations with friends to give it a try tbh 😉

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  12. I was in the minority in my friend’s gang ( still am) for not loving atlas shrugged but I didn’t see the point in it!! After watching a few interviews of the author I’m glad I didn’t like her work 😅😂

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  13. I haven’t read any of these except an inspector calls which i’m studying at the moment and it’s amusing how much my teacher tries to link the story to social issues and the era and morality!

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  14. These are instructive. Authors, take note! 😀

    I don’t know whether it was Atlas Shrugged (is that the one that stars Howard Roark?), but I’ve read two books by Ayn Rand. One was for a scholarship which I didn’t get because I couldn’t bring myself to praise it. I like some of what she has to say about art and design … but I hate the brutal, let-the-weakest-die ethic.

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    1. hehe!

      I think that was the other one (I haven’t read it, I just looked it up 😉 ) Ah I can completely understand that! I absolutely did not like her philosophy either- maybe I’m too soft-hearted, but it felt selfish and, like you said, brutal. I feel like such an ideological response to the ideology of communism isn’t that logical either.

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      1. I remember now. The one I read, starring Howard Roark, was called The Fountainhead.

        The other one I read, I can’t remember the title but it was this godlike young man who grows up in a super repressive, collectivist society and when he finally breaks free and has his epiphany, he realizes that instead of submitting to the group all the time, he should be worshiping … himself. 😀

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  15. Ooo see, I really liked Wonder Woman. It didn’t quite live up the hype but I liked it enough to remember most of the plot over a year later. Agree with you so much about Gentleman’s Guide, though I was more disappointed by the plot than the characters.

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  16. Oh no, I’m sorry to see that Wonderwoman Warbringer was such a disappointment!! I only read Batman: Nightwalker from that series, and though it was riddled with cliches, I mostly enjoyed it! It’s a bummer to see that WW: Warbringer couldn’t live up to any expectations and felt more like a cash grab than anything else. Thanks for sharing! ❤

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