Five Books I Was Disappointed by in 2017

5 Books I Was Disappointed by in 2017

Last year, I did a full round-up post of 2016 in review, where I had a small section of “dishonorable mentions for books and movies Krysta and I did not quite enjoy.  This year, I’m breaking things up and devoting a full post to some of the books that, sadly, did not quite live up to my expectations.

Hild by Nicola Griffith


I had been looking forward to reading this book for a long, long time.  It’s about St. Hilda of Whitby and is set during the Anglo-Saxon period in Britain, a time period not frequently featured in fiction. (The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro is the only other example that comes to find.)  However, the incredibly slow pacing of the novel made reading this feel a bit like torture, even when things finally started to get a bit interesting. Add flat-ish characters and a characterization of Hild herself that was less than impressive, and this book was just a bit of a snooze for me.  And I seriously like the Anglo-Saxon period.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper

This book had a lot of hype, but I found the solution to the central plot mystery to be too obvious to be really entertaining.  I also thought protagonist Audrey holds bizarrely modern views for her time period, and she has an annoying habit of expounding them at every turn. The romance didn’t woo me either, which meant there wasn’t much left for me to love about the book.

Rules for Thieves by Alexandra Ott

Rules for Thieves

I was excited to read a middle grade novel about a spunky young girl who joins the Thieves’ Guild; however, I realized quickly that nothing that happens in the book makes any sense.  The famed Thieves’ Guild isn’t even that good, and apparently can’t steal enough money (or kidnap enough chefs) to even stock their cafeteria with edible food.  I was not impressed with their talents, their cunning, or the book as whole.

Vassa in the night by Sarah Porter

Vassa in the Night

Even granting that this book is magical realism and that means I should probably expect some things never to be explained, I found this book bizarre and confusing.  Mostly, however, I thought it lacked sound character motivation; people would make big, dangerous, life-altering decisions at the drop of a hat, with apparently no thought behind it.  The story is original, but pretty unsatisfying.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

I was expecting Gothic mystery and a steamy romance from this novel.  What I got was unconvincing instalove and a plot that made absolutely no sense.   It wasn’t romantic or haunting or even very interesting.  There’s a sequel, but suffice to say, I have no plans to read it.

What were some of your disappointing reads this year?



20 thoughts on “Five Books I Was Disappointed by in 2017

  1. Rose @ Page Revel says:

    Sorry you didn’t love Stalking Jack the Ripper.I read it and I liked it though I do agree that the plot mystery felt weak and I already guessed who the ripper was.Vassa in the Night is on my TBR because I heard many good things about it.


  2. saraletourneau says:

    I actually don’t remember my most disappointing reads… which is a good thing, I guess? *lol* Makes me glad I keep statistics of what I read on Excel! XD

    Anyways, after checking those stats, I’d say my most disappointing reads of 2017 were:

    – Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill: Very run-of-the-mill YA fantasy that lacked originality.
    – Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch: Another YA fantasy, and I’m not sure I get why this series is popular, because the worldbuilding made absolutely no sense to me.
    – The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas: YA fantasy-romance, also lacking originality.
    – The Magicians by Lev Grossman: I wanted to love this book so badly!! But the characters irritated me so much that I just couldn’t.


    • Briana says:

      I also didn’t like Snow Like Ashes. Honestly, it kind of reminded me of something I would have wanted to write when I was in high school…which isn’t necessarily a good thing. And I was interested in Ever the Hunted, but people in general seemed “meh” about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily @ theBookishLounge says:

    I’ve been super pumped to read Stalking Jack the Ripper because it sounds so intriguing, but I’ve heard generally mixed/disappointing feedback. I read a couple of disappoint books this year since I tried to tackle some of the popular YA series, like The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.


    • Krysta says:

      I didn’t like Miss Peregrine’s and thought I was the only one! I was expecting something creepy and original, but it was a standard fantasy in the end.


  4. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    That’s a shame about Hild cos there’s not much set in that time period like you said. And shame about Stalking Jack the Ripper cos it’s super popular (I don’t think I have much of a desire to read it though 😉 )


  5. Jonathan Scott Griffin says:

    Some of my disappointed reads. *Ducks and gets behind shelter for the coming onslaught over an unpopular opinion* As much as I hate to say it, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruin Zafon was a disappointment to me. The first half of the novel was brilliant. The second half just was absurd to me. I hate to say it. Everyone praises it. I was just expecting so much more, and the plot twist the book did give was more silly than profound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      I’ve started The Shadow of the Wind three times and never managed to finish it. I’ve also read two other books by Zafon and didn’t like them. I am clearly missing something here!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    While I actually loved Vassa, it was certainly bizarre. I read the originak fairy tale first and then fell in love with it. I have to agree that pacing and flat characters are huge barriers between myself and books. Sometimes the pacing alone can completely spoil a story for me. Great post!


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