T5W: most disappointing books of 2016 (28 December)

Top Five Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Thoughts on Tomes ! Visit the Goodreads group if you’re interested in joining! This week’s topic is:

December 28th – Characters You’d Invite to Your New Year’s Eve Party
Pretty self explanatory. Who would you want to your NYE bash and why?

However, I am going to deviate from the original topic once again. I’d only end up talking about my three favourite series anyway. Instead, I want to discuss some disappointing books I read in 2016. You can have a look at all the books I read this year here.

I won’t take my rating into account much. Honestly, I’d change almost all the ratings if I could. I don’t want to start doing that, because I’d be a never ending job. Instead, this is more based on feeling. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these books were bad, but that I perhaps expected more. So to be clear: I’m not talking about the worst books of 2016, but the ones that were disappointing! Furthermore, I will only talk about books I finished, not DNFs (except for Gemina).

As usual, these are in no particular order:

December_most disappointing books_x.png

1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (review)

rating: ★☆☆☆☆

I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland last week and I still have no idea what I read. I picked it up a few times as a child, but never finished it. I never saw the original adaptation by Disney, only the one released in 2010. Everything I thought I knew about Alice in Wonderland before I read this, wasn’t even that important (such as the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat). I was so confused, I even checked whether I was actually reading the right book!


2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (review)

rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Thankfully, I read some spoilers beforehand and was prepared that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wasn’t going to live up to the original series. Still, it was even worse than I could’ve imagined. It was filled with plot-holes, characters behaving out-of-character… Clearly, I didn’t like it at all. It was actually the first time I rated a book so poorly.

Honestly, this could’ve been good (in an alternate universe, written by different people), if they’d focussed more on life at Hogwarts, instead of trying to re-live the events of the original series. 

That’s what I didn’t love about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: the entire movie is basically about Newt’s two days in New York City. I prefer a more in-depth storyline. Still, Fantastic Beasts was much, much better than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I never want to touch that script again. I bet it’s much better when watching the play, but that’s no excuse for publishing such a poorly done script.


3. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (review)

rating: ★★★★☆

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed The Raven King much more than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. After all, it’s part of my favourite series. Still, I was very disappointed after finishing it. Even though I got what I wanted, I didn’t like the conclusion to the quest. Nor was I satisfied with the epilogue. Don’t even get me started on remembered. Remembered, my ass!

Perhaps my expectations were too high. Still, there was so much foreshadowing in the previous books, The Raven King didn’t live up to it. Too many new antagonists were introduced and Henry Cheng should’ve become more prominent earlier on.

However, my opinion might change once I re-read it. When I re-read the other books, I loved them even more than the first time. So, there’s hope. 


4. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (review)

rating: ★★★★☆

I felt the same way about Crooked Kingdom: I expected more. By no means is it a bad second and final instalment. But it’s been months since I’ve finished it and I haven’t thought about it once. And that’s not a good sign. I was very attached to the characters after reading Six of Crows and that is sadly no longer the case after reading the finale.

Having said that, if Bardugo decides to add books to the universe, I’ll definitely read them. Furthermore, I also plan on giving the Grisha trilogy another chance.


5. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

status: ‘currently reading’ shelf

I’m still reading Gemina, but haven’t picked it up in over a month. I am still hesitating whether or not I should continue it. I loved Illuminae, but I have no clue what’s going on in Gemina and didn’t connect to the new protagonists. Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes, my favourite Booktuber, felt the same way about it, but still ended up giving it four stars (as she mentioned in her review). So, because of that, I might give it another chance, even though I’m disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it from the very beginning.

I also learnt that Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is racist (you can read more about that here), which doesn’t make me excited to read any more of his books either.


(not-so-)honourable mentions: Sadly, I also didn’t enjoy the Falling Kingdoms series, You by Caroline Kepnes, All the Feels by Danika Stone, Vicious by V.E. Schwab


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2 thoughts on “T5W: most disappointing books of 2016 (28 December)

  1. Bookish Joy says:

    I must say that I also wasn’t the biggest fan of Alice in Wonderland. I did enjoy it, however I found it rather confusing, like a big mess of randomness. And it doesn’t work very well for me when a book lacks meaning or a message.

    Liked by 1 person

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