2020 in Books: The Five Most Disappointing Reads of the Year

It's been a year that most of us would like to forget. That's why I compiled a list of disappointing reads - it's not been a year for highlights. Read on if you want to know which books I didn't like!

It’s been a year like nobody has ever seen before, we all know that. The world’s changed; we’ve been cooped up inside all year, we’ve been bored, we’ve been frustrated, we haven’t seen our friends and family as often as we’d like, we’ve eaten more than we should haven, we’ve read less than we could have… I could go on. It’s a year most of us would like to forget. And that’s why, completely in line with the overall feeling of the year, I have compiled a list of my five most disappointing reads of the year*. Want to find out which ones they are? Read on!

5. The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale

Oh, this could have been such a good one: set in the First World War, a family is selling toys each winter to keep people hopeful. It’s magical, it’s well written, it’s touching – but something is missing. Somehow I couldn’t really identify myself with any of the main characters, and I think that’s a very important part of why I love reading so much. I might give it another go next year, but for now I can’t help but put this book on number five of the list. Read about it here!

4. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

I loved Interview With The Vampire: it was clever, and it showed us a completely different side of the vampires we thought we all knew. This book, a prequel to the first novel, was supposed to be a Complete History of Vampire. It should have, but it felt like Anne Rice got lost in all the details, and therefore it was more of a Complete Mess With Some Stories about Vampires. I had really hoped it would be so much better – and that’s why it landed the number four spot in my most-disappointing reads. Sorry, Ms Rice! Read my post about this book here!

3. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich

Actually, I quite liked this one. It’s about a detective trying to solve a murder which was apparently committed by a dead person… Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It was! But this book shows why detective novels are so hard to write: every little thing, each small detail simply has to make sense – and while reading this book, I felt like the author made some shortcuts here and there. Like the other books, I simply wanted this one to be a bit more, a bit better. A post about this book is coming soon!

2. Vox by Christina Dalcher

Oh, now, we’ve entered the top two. Things are getting good (or really bad, actually) here. It’s about a future America in which women are not allowed to speak more than one hundred words a day. This is one of the books that could have been amazing, excellent, epic – but it wasn’t. It wasn’t well written, it wasn’t engaging, the main character was quite lifeless, and when I put the book down, it felt like some of my brain cells had died instead of being enlighted. Read my post about Vox here!

1. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I was looking forward to this one so badly. I was enthralled by Morgenstern’s debut novel The Night Circus, and I knew this one would be even better; it was about everything I love: books, stories, mysteries, histories, nerds, and cocktails. But when I started reading, I became more disappointed with each word I read. It was about everything I had hoped, but then again, it also really wasn’t. This is a book that, inexplicably, bafflingly, is about nothing at all. I couldn’t give you a summary if I tried. Just read my full post about it here, and forget I ever mentioned this absolute turd of a novel.

What do you think? Do you agree with this countdown, or have I completely misunderstood these books? What are your most disappointing reads of the year? Let me know in the comments! Also don’t forget to follow me for more book musings!

Happy 2021 – Let’s hope it’ll be an unforgettable one!

*Another reason why I decided not to do a Best Books countdown is the fact that all the books I do love are currently not available for a photoshoot. They’re being read by my friends, because I’m forcing my favourites on them. I’ll force them on you later.

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