Happy Hump Day!
Today’s topic is most disappointing books of last year. I was originally going to post this shortly after the new year, but when I saw it was to be a t5w topic, I decided to wait. My kingdom for consistent posting material, yeesh. I also chose six, not five. Pbtbt. They’re in no particular order.
If you’d like to participate in Top 5 Wednesday, you can do so here!
The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan
This book had such a neat sounding premise. This book was also my one and only DNF of 2018. I didn’t rate it, because I didn’t get far enough into it that I thought a rating to be fair. I think… I think I got maybe 150 pages into it. I had picked this book up as part of r/Fantasy’s book of the month for October, and I don’t know what it was about it, but I really didn’t get into it at all. I couldn’t tell if it was because I was reading it as an ebook or whether it was the meandering plot. I tend to dislike meandering plots – I want to feel that there’s a point to what I’m reading. Though, occasionally, one will surprise me, which is why I decided to give this book a chance. I even tried out the audiobook for a bit when I felt myself getting bored. And that was really it. This book bored me, and considering it was over 700 pages, I decided to cop out early and save myself the mental drain. Maybe someday I’ll retry this one. Maybe. A physical copy of it might help, who knows.
Mushishi volume 2 by Yuki Urushibara
I think my problem with this one was that I wasn’t in the right mindset. I picked it up, hoping to get through it so I could hit my TBR goal for the year, so it was one of the last reads of 2018. But, Mushishi isn’t really a series you can ‘just get through’. It’s one of those thinkers, and it was not what my brain wanted, apparently. I found myself skimming a lot of the time and honestly I couldn’t tell you a single thing that happened in it. This one, I will give another try, when I feel like I’m in the mood for it. I liked volume one well enough, so I feel like I could like this as well if I gave it a proper chance.
Just Around the Corner by Touko Kawai
Spoilers for this manga ahead
Looking back at my rating, I should have rated this book a one star. Why I gave it two is beyond me. It is what it is though. This book made me uncomfortable. It follows a romance between two men, which is well and dandy. But then the one turns up to school the next day to find out that the guy he’s been seeing is his teacher. Ok, teacher/student tropes can be done ok sometimes.
But the plot twist, guys. The plot twist was just. Ugh.
The plot twist was, guy one as lying about his age. Teacher thought he was dating (and sleeping with) a 19 year old. Was he? No. Guy one, turns out he was 17. Age of consent laws vary throughout the world, but I live in the US, so my mindset is very much a harsh ‘HE’S NOT EIGHTEEN RUN AWAY’. So like, that plot twist dropped and I nearly dropped the book. I felt so gray. I picked it back up in hopes that Teacher freaks the eff out and drops guy one like a stone. And he does. So I kept reading, happy that the damned teacher has some sense. But the rest of the book follows guys one as he’s pining over this teacher and how cruel Teacher was for dumping him and how it wasn’t fair and ugh. Mind you, Teacher is totally in the right for going ‘WTF’ and staying away from this kid.
But alas, guess who gets back together by the end of the book. It gave me the creeps. It was slimy. Yuck. I don’t recommend this.
2/5 stars (but should be 1)
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
My complaints about this one match up to basically everyone else’s. It felt like a money-grab. The whole book was about shopping and could have been condensed into a chapter or two. The only relevant part plot-wise happened in three sentences. Yawn.
I believe it was on my anticipated books list last year too, which is why it was such a big let down for me.
Gravitation by Maki Murakami
I read this series back in high school (and yes, the whole series is on this list), and I remembered really liking it. This goes to show you that tastes change, and some things just don’t age well at all. The romance in this, while a gay romance, was like.. homophobic. I was reading a yaoi with homophobia in it. My gosh. Jokes that would have been ‘funny’ 13 years ago in this series really don’t stand the test of time, and that’s unfortunate. I should have just let this series lie, and kept it as a fond memory of my teenage years. But I had to go and stick my foot in it and rack up all these grimy memories to go along with it. Sigh.
Overall 2.25/5 stars
Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley
This is my one and only one star book of the year! Technically it was a 1.5, because I was able to finish it. I only give 1 stars to books that I DNF out of hate (not out of boredom like above). This book wins the ‘most unhealthy relationship dynamic’ award, beating out the one in Gravitation by a long, long long shot.
At this point, I’ve repressed most of this book in my memory, except that the main character says ‘holy moly’ way too effing much and that the love interest is the most punchable character I’ve ever come across.
It’s such a shame though. I picked this up hoping to love it. I wanted to love it. I kept trying to defend it against myself as I read, but eventually it got to the point where I just couldn’t. It was… disappointing.
And that’s it! Did you read any of the above? Did you like them? Tell me what about them that you liked that I totally missed. Happy reading!