Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Year In Disappointments

This month is, in general, going to be a celebration of my favourites, and I'm really excited to be doing it, but I need to get this off my chest first. This post is going to be the books that just totally let me down this year (there had to be a few...). And some musings on why.

Mortal Danger

I was really not impressed with this book. I think the main reason was that I walked away going "But? That is not how mental illness works?" And I couldn't get past it... it might seem like a little thing, but, at the same time, it wasn't. Because suicide is a serious thing. Like, dead serious. And recovery from something like that is a process, not just something you switch off. Being suicidal is not just a plot point, it's a symptom of serious mental health concerns.

Part of it might have been that I didn't totally know what I was signing up for when I started this one. I didn't realise that our main character was going to be suicidal at the beginning. In general, I tend not to read books that have suicide as an element, just as a matter of personal preference. So this was part "I didn't know we were talking about suicide" and part "but if we were going to go there, this isn't how to do it."

The Sin Eater's Daughter

The good parts of this book began and ended with the cover. Seriously. The cover's beautiful, the title is amazing, and then everything just kind of flops.

I did review this one, but it mostly makes this list because I was so hoping I would like it, and I really didn't. It turned out to be contrived, flat, and the relationships actually kind of disgusted me in how the main character was treated. While I often find love triangles kind of annoying, this one was toxic. The main character's feelings are consistently ignored by both boys, they manipulate her, and generally treat her pretty terribly, and yet I was supposed to find it romantic?


Again, I did review this. My lack of being impressed was, like with The Sin Eater's Daughter, at least in part due to fact that I found all of the romance to be deeply, deeply creepy. Like, weird and abusive and controlling kind of creepy. Maybe I missed something, but I just didn't find any of how either of the romantic interests treated Clara to be romantic. The story was all over the place, and the writing just didn't work for me. The colour scheme of the cover is quite lovely, but the book didn't live up to it for me.


A. K. A. How did this book survive the editorial process in the form I read it in? This was another one where I was confused by the lack of attention to how medicine actually works. You are not on your feet within hours after a heart transplant, much less an experimental procedure involving a completely artificial organ. If you want me to buy something like that, you have to give me some sort of reasoning. This book completely lacked reason. Her elevated heart rate somehow made her able to fly because hummingbirds also have rapid heart rates? That makes absolutely no sense. The rest of the story was just lackluster and poor storytelling. Love the cover, though.


My review for this one is reasonably recent. I was just incredibly unimpressed by this novel. It promised a vivid portrayal of a fascinating and complex culture, and it utterly failed to deliver. The romance was best described as bland, and the story itself lacked flow.

It felt like the idea for a novel, all sketched out before the author did any research on what she was writing about. The characters were one dimensional, the setting and culture were simplified to the point where they approached non-existence, and the message of the story overall didn't work for me. I had a hard time getting through this one, and I really doubt I'll be reading the sequel.

So that was my year in books that just didn't work for me. Really, given the number of books that I've read this year, it isn't a bad turnaround. Obviously, if would be fantastic if we all loved every book we read, but there are always going to be ones that just don't work for every reader.

Onward to 2016!


  1. I've only read The Sin-Eater's Daughter from this list (and I'm glad that's the only one I've read). I didn't mind it too much because I read it quite soon after getting back into reading, but having now read so many wonderful fantasy and dystopian series, I can see that it's not the most original... I also had a bit of a problem with the romance and love triangle. I mean, Lief was so pushy!! I'm glad that she decided to just go solo at the end of the book.
    Jenna @ Happy Indulgence

    1. I think a part of it was that I'd read, in the month leading up to reading The Sin Eater's Daughter, I read a lot of controlling relationships being portrayed as romantic, and it was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I didn't really enjoy the rest of the novel, so I ended up dominantly taking away the "messed up pushy relationship" aspect.