While I love talking about things I love, I also sometimes like to complain about the things I disliked. I read some pretty disappointing books this year. I won’t be ranking these books (except for my absolute least favourite of the year because that wasn’t even close) because the reasons why I disliked the books vary so much. I am also only including books I managed to finish on this list; mostly because I am still mad at myself for doing so.
The Relive Box and other stories – T. C. Boyle
Uff, I disliked this immensely. The whole experience just did not work for me. Plus, this is a review that apparently makes people angry. And don’t you just love the people who tell you how you read a book wrong? As if reading wasn’t hugely subjective?
My review is here.
Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan
This was hands down my biggest disappointment of the year. I adored her “Visit From the Goon Squad” and as such was so pleased to receive an ARC, but I struggle from around 30% onwards. This book was nothing like I hoped and so different from my expectations that I was very glad to be done with it in the end.
My review can be found here.
See What I have Done – Sarah Schmidt
This is a close second for most disappointing read. I was looking forward to this for months – but uff, was I ever the wrong reader for this. The endless descriptions of people eating pears in the most disgusting way possible drove me nuts – and yes, this is my main takeaway from this book. My review is a bit more elaborate.
Slow Boat – Hideo Furukawa
This just went over my head. I don’t have more to say really. (Of course I do.)
Meet me in the In-Between – Bella Pollen
I love memoirs. I really do. But spending time in Bella Pollen’s head proved to be a bit too much for me. She seems so self-involved that she cannot see the world around her. I hated how she made the experiences of people trying to reach the US from Mexico about herself most of all, but I also disliked her quirkiness that seems put on. My review can be found here.
And the winner is:
Crown of Ice (The Mirror of Immortality) – Vicki L. Weavil
I do not really have the words to express how awful I thought this was. While the books above are mostly well-written but just not for me, this I was genuinely baffled by. A modern re-telling of Snow Queen, with maths instead of magic (and written by someone who decidedly does not know how to write about maths), with characters that felt like puppets. By far my least favourite of the bunch. My (kinda mean) review is here.
… I made a very sobering discovery here: all the books on my least favourite list were ARCs. Either I really need to be more selective about which books I request, or maybe I just don’t feel obligated finishing books I bought myself. I will have to think about this.