So, I’ve posted quite a few posts recently, reviewing books that I’ve read and I noticed they all had 4 or 5 star ratings. If I’m honest, I’ve been loving just about every book I’ve read this year. I’ve had quite a lucky streak when it comes to reading – not that I’m complaining!
However, there have been a few flops too, some I didn’t even waste energy writing reviews for on Goodreads.
Therefore, I thought it would be nice to do a little round up of books I haven’t enjoyed as much. I am a big advocate of reading reviews before books and, if I was being completely honest, they’re usually the deciding factor when I can’t pick which book to buy.
All the books I’ve read this year have had good reviews, it’s just a shame I haven’t got on with all of them. Sadly, that’s the way of life, eh! So, hopefully the words below are helpful to at least one person – or helps someone to realise they’re not alone in thinking a recent, big hit realise was a bit of a flop!
INTO THE WATER | Paula Hawkins
After reading The Girl on the Train and loving it, I was super excited to read this. I always knew it wasn’t going to be as good as The Girl on the Train but I never expected to dislike it as much as I did.
Into The Water follows the story of the ‘drowning pool’ – a pool where women keep turing up dead and no way to explain how they ended up there. Each chapter tells the story from a different characters perspective and follows the story to figure out why a lonely fifteen-year-old girl’s mother ended up dead there.
While reading Into The Water I often found myself very confused. I don’t know if it was because I was reading this book while teaching, but no matter what I did, I found myself in a state of complete confusion and struggled to keep up with who was telling the story. Sadly, the writing wasn’t fast paced and intriguing enough for me to be hooked as, sadly, I didn’t even get to the end of it!
A CITY OF BONES | Cassandra Clare
“…to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”
City of Bones follows the story of Clary. A girl who, one evening while at a club with her bestie, realises she can see things others can’t – that she has ‘the sight’. Everything she was ever told by her Mom, that magical creatures don’t exist, turns out to be a lie. In fact, it turns out that her Mom has a pretty big secret of her own….
Before Clary even realises what happens, her mother disappears, her father figure disowns her and she’s in a world she never even dreamt could exist. A world full of Shadow Hunters that turn out to be closer to home than she first realised…
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I expected to – especially as it has nearly 4.5 stars on Goodreads and over a million reviews. Clare’s descriptive writing meant I often felt that I could reach out and touch the settling or characters, almost as if I was there with them. Jace was my favourite character, mainly because I am cranky, sarcastic being like he (and the likeness to people I know in my life!) and I really felt for him at certain parts of the book. However, I am still raging at the ‘twist’ towards the end and his relationship with Clary – even if I knew it was going to happen…
I’ll give the next book a go in a few months, but it better be good to keep me going for the whole 6 book series!
THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED | Becky Albertalli
I had such I hopes for this one. Book bloggers had been raving about it for a while and, after reading a lot of the reviews, I thought I’d be really into it.
The story follows Molly, a teenager who has never even had a kiss, let alone a first love. But, when her twin sister, Cassie falls in love with her perfect girl, things take a sudden change for Molly and she finds that maybe finding her first boyfriend might be easier than she first thought – plus, she’ll be able to get her relationship back on track with Cass.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Becky’s writing and it was a very easy read but, sadly, most of the time I didn’t feel hooked to the story. It was cute and very predictable and, although this doesn’t often bother me, I constantly felt like something was missing.
I’m gutted not to have been swept away by this one and, to be honest, I’m probably going to give her next novel a miss for now!
CARAVAL | Stephanie Garber
Ok, so I was stupidly excited to read this book. I don’t know why… I don’t know what caught my attention or made me think I had to read it right here, right now, but I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
Caraval is a story line I’ve never tried before. Apart from reading Ink Heart as a kid, and some books at school that involved magic, fantasy type fiction has never really been my thing for some reason. However, I really enjoyed it.
It follows the story of two sisters; two sisters who share a bond I didn’t even know could exist, and their journey to be part of the Caraval game. However, when they get to the island, one of the sister’s goes missing and it’s the others job to solve the mystery, resulting in her sister being found and her winning the game. However, it turns out it isn’t much of a game after all…
The bottom line is, I devoured this book. It’s unlike me to find the time to read every day, but I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and see truths become reality – I even considered cancelling very important plans so I could sit wrapped up, engrossed in a fantasy world, ahem! Honestly? I’m not sure there was anything about the book I didn’t like, apart from the ending page of the Epilogue (like, is there going to be another book?!). BUT, on reflection, I feel like there was just something missing when it comes to rating this book high. I’ve got no idea what it is, why I’m not raving over it and giving it 5 stars – I just can’t put my finger on it.
Overall, an easy read, full of imagination and a good old soppy romance for good measure.
Just remember – it’s only a game.
What books have you read recently that have been a flop?