Although this year has not been the best for everyone, I think the books I have read this year have been rather good but like everything you get some disappointments. I know there have been discussions around disappointing books and I know it has been a crappy year, but a lot of these are books I received for review, and I wanted to be as honest as I can. Reviews are for readers and not for authors, and they should be honest so people can know if these books are for them. I have also tried to find some positives in everything I read, and I hope my comments reflect this. I have also read so much this year, 222 books and only 5 books are on this list, so make sure what you will. I think I only have about 5 that was "disappointing" to be on this list so let's get started...
1. The Island by M. A. Bennett
So I have been a massive fan of M. A. Bennett's STAG series, so I was quite excited to read this book. Despite negative reviews, I was still going in with an open mind, but I just didn't gel with this one as you can see. The premise was great, the idea of teenagers going to an island and fending for themselves and is quite popular in YA but I just don't think that this was well done. The whole idea of having the main protagonist is to have someone the reader can route for, but throughout the book, I just don't think there was any reason why I as a reader should route for Link. He made some terrible choices, especially when they were on the island, which made him even worse than M. A. Bennett had set him up to be. His character was meant to be worse than the others who bullied him, but this does flip when they are on the island which could be some commentary on what power does to people, but I just didn't buy it. I also had some major problems with the ending, and I just didn't like how it happened. I am also watching The Wilds on Amazon right now, and I hope it has a better ending than this book because I can see it going in the same direction. If it does, then I will be quite disappointed. I also know this is an earlier book and from reading FOXES as well this year, I know that M. A. Bennett has improved as a writer, so I will continue to read her books. This just was not the one.
2. Cleo by Lucy Coats
I requested Cleo a really long time ago on Netgalley, and it had some really harsh reviews at the time of publication which I knew going in. I have seen the reviews get better over time, so I was going in with an open mind, but I was still disappointed. I have to say that my Netgalley copy was quite confusing as some of the text was missing. This obviously affected my reading experience, but I still did not like the overall story even with this. I could not connect with Cleo as a character, and I agree with other reviewers that the story does read more modern than I think it should. I would say for a younger YA audience, this was a choice to make readers feel more relatable for readers, but this dampened my own experience with reading Cleo. I also did find Cleo quite annoying as a character, and this did affect my reading experience. As you say, seeing connecting to a character is really big for me, and if I can't connect, I will give up on it. Again, I also found the plot quite confusing, this was probably due to the text being partly messed up, but again it did affect my reading experience. I think that everything combined made me just not enjoyed as a whole, and I was quite disappointed by it.
3. The Light that Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew
I have spoken about this one as well too, and I also received it simultaneously as Cleo. Although a lot of these books, I kind of thought it might not be my thing, I actually liked The Light that Gets Lost at the beginning of my reading experience. I really liked the setting and the characters initially as the book was quite quiet and I love a quiet book. I don't know how to describe it, just think of a book that doesn't have that much happen, but it is all about the journey. However, this kind of does just go off the rails, and the book goes in a completely different direction that I just could not get on board with. It went from a book that I was moderately interested in, to something that I could not get on board with. I was just disappointed as a result, and that is why it made a list.
4. Again Again by E. Lockhart
Even though E. Lockhart has written some of my favourite books, I could not get on board with this one. This one probably hurt the most on the list because I had such high expectations and thought that this would make my favourite books of the year list, but instead, we are here. I really liked it initially, but I knew that something was not clicking as a whole. I love the type of books that deal with time and changes, but I did not click with it at all. I think I was partly confused with what parts of the story were changing, which obviously had a major impact. I also read a lot this year, and even though the story was different from so many books that I read this year, it was just some memorable. Many of them were, but this wasn't, and it makes me so sad to write this.
5. Invisible Kingdom Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson
Again I think a lot of the reason this was a disappointment for me was that I have enjoyed some of G. Willow Wilson's work before especially the Ms Marvel series so when I saw she has a new series I was really excited. Although this was a disappointment, it was really pretty to look at,, so my issue was not with the art style and the colours because as you can see by the cover, it was stunning inside. I just didn't like the plot. I thought it was quite confusing and did not understand the story's plot at all. It is hard for a comic book to convey a new world, so setting up an imaginary world is challenging,, but I did need to know some of what was going on,, but I just didn't. It is a shame because I would have loved a new series to continue with,, but I will not continue with this one.
Do you have any disappointing reads for 2020? Let me know in the comments below.
See you soon,