I guess the good part about having read less in 2019 is that I also didn’t read as many things that I didn’t like – these lists turned out quite short this time around! As in previous years, I’ll be starting out with the books I didn’t like at all, and then continue with my most disappointing ones, i.e. the ones that, although I may have still enjoyed them, didn’t live up to my expectations. Like I did with my favorites of the year, I’ll try to keep this brief, so I’ll link my monthly wrap-ups for those of you who want to see more of my thoughts on them 😉 But, with out further ado, let’s get into it!
Part One: Least Favorite Books of 2019
#1 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
(read in October)
This is not only my least favorite book of the year, but also one of my most despised books ever. I hated reading this – it was boring and convoluted, and the racist plot didn’t exactly elevate my appreciation for it. I feel so sorry for those of you who ever had to read this for school!
#2 The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
(read in November)
This book bored me to tears. Maybe that’s what I should have expected from reading a religious allegory written by a devout Puritan, but still. Surely it could have been a little more interesting! I am still at a loss to understand how it came to be such a bestseller in its day…
#3 Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
(read in March)
In contrast to Heart of Darkness and The Pilgrim’s Progress, I didn’t read this book as exam preparation, so I guess it’s my own fault for sticking with this series for so long. I knew I didn’t like the direction it was taking, but somehow, I still kept hoping it might get better, and after all the time I’d invested, I wanted to see how it ended. So I guess it at least did that much right… Other than that, though, I thought this was a huge waste of trees. The book dragged on and on like nobody’s business, and a ton of it could have been cut. We get the standard male-smileyness and weird sex scenes. Characters who are basically interchangeable. A horribly perfect ending. This is one series I’m not sorry to have reached the end of.
Part Two: Most Disappointing Books of 2019
#1 Vengeful (Vicious #2) by V.E. Schwab
(read in December)
I loved Vicious, so I was even more brutally disappointed when the sequel ended up boring me so much that I kept counting how many pages I had left to read. And I don’t know why! Stuff does happen in this book, and it’s not badly written at all. Somehow, it just didn’t manage to make me care about any of the characters, even the ones I had loved (and still love) in the first book. I just felt completely indifferent about everything that was going on…
#2 Circe by Madeline Miller
(read in December)
I had only heard good things about this, and when I started reading, the writing immediately sucked me in. However, then I kept waiting for something to happen, for this book to add on to the Ancient Greek myths I was already familiar with. And it never did. So unfortunately, I ultimately have to say that I thought this was pretty boring. People who don’t already know the original myths might find it more interesting, though.
#3 A Torch Against the Night and A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #2 and #3) by Sabaa Tahir
(read in September)
These weren’t bad by any means – in fact, I actually enjoyed them. The problem was just that I had loved An Ember in the Ashes, and these books didn’t live up to it. Instead, they read like pretty standard YA fantasy; I felt like I had seen similar tropes many times before. So, inspite of liking them, I was quite disappointed.
#4 The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
(read in March)
My biggest frustration with this book is that I don’t know why I didn’t love it. It had everything I wanted – a fun and diverse group of friends on a heist, magic, intrigue. Yet I never found myself truly connecting to this book. Something kept me from being sucked into the story, I often found myself putting it down, and I was just never that invested. I can’t tell you why. This just didn’t really click with me.