The lovely Val @ The Innocent Smiley did this post the other day, after “borrowing” from Ely @ Tea and Titles. So when I whined to asked Val what the heck I should post on my poor, neglected blog, she told me I should do this! Because let’s face it, we have all had some disappointing books this year, right? It’s 2017, and the only thing this year is good at is disappointment, so it works.

And yes, I am fully aware that there are six or so weeks left of the year, and I may read some real shitstorms between now and then. But look, there is enough room in my life to highlight any and all disappointing books. Maybe I am jinxing myself for the next six weeks to be filled with the worst books I have ever read but… that just leads to amusing reviews, right? It’s a win either way.

 I’m going to list these in chronological order of when I read them. Links are there. And click “my thoughts” if you want to read my reviews! (Some of them are kind of amusing tbh.)

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

Read: January 10


This book was one I was quite looking forward to. The author’s first book had been a huge win for me, and I was excited to see what this one would bring. Unfortunately, it brought mostly stabbiness. I didn’t like the way mental health was portrayed, and I also absolutely did not give any fucks about the characters because I hated them. A lot.

Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan

Read: January 16



I was looking forward to this sequel, after being pleasantly surprised by Reign of Shadows. I mean, I guess it goes without saying, because why would I read a sequel if I didn’t like its predecessor? Anyway. It didn’t even feel like the same series, this whole book was just cringey dialogue about how much they enjoyed the “taste” of each other, and I just vomited in my mouth thinking about it. And then the ending was a whole clusterfuck of its own and just…. so much nope.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Read: March 7


After being a huge fan of 99 Days, I was excited for more contemporary fun- especially some set in the late 90s! Only that isn’t exactly how things worked out. See, there was contemporary. Not so much of the fun or the 90s though. The references to the 90s were limited, and I was so annoyed with all the characters that I didn’t even care who the next damn Britney Spears would end up being. Unless we were fast forwarding to head-shaved-with-a-bat Britney. Then I’m down. Luckily, my next Katie Cotugno book, Top Ten, was back to being awesome.

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

Read: April 9


Oh look, it’s the worst book I have read this year! It wins an award of some kind that no book ever wants. I’ll be honest, I probably should have DNFed, but I kept hoping that it would get better? And it didn’t bore me as much as it pissed me off? And also confused me? Oh and it was pretty racially insensitive too, to make matters even worse. We shall henceforth dub that “Trifecta of Crap”, yes? Great.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Read: June 4


How can a book about Lizzie Borden bore me senseless? No, really, how? It’s literally about a chick who may or may not have carved up her damn parents. And add to it, she’s totally off-kilter and terrifies kids and puppies and shit. So why was I begging it to be over? And then wildly unsatisfied when it was? This had a ton of potential, so while it wasn’t the worst book or anything, it was pretty damn sad.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Read: June 22


For a long time, I thought that I was clearly missing something in We Were Liars. Everyone else looooved the damn thing, and I was over here like… “meh”. So when I got a copy of this at ALAMW, I was so excited, because the premise sounded even better to me than WWL. But then…. nope. This one was somehow worse for me. While WWL was predictable to me, this one was flat out boring. And since it was told in reverse, it kind of took a lot of the suspense away. So I think maybe the author and I are not meant to be? Ah, who am I kidding, we all know I’ll give her another go.

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Read: July 16


This definitely wasn’t a bad book or anything. It’s probably one of the best on this list. But damn, I was excited for it. And it ended up just being mediocre at best. The premise was incredible, the atmosphere was amazing, but it was draggy, overly descriptive, predictable, and also, included bird people. Bird people is basically an automatic inclusion on this list, because why with the bird people? No one likes them! (Fine, it’s probably just me, but let’s pretend for this post that I am “everyone”, ‘kay?)

The Equals by Daniel Sweren-Becker

Read: July 17


Honestly, in hindsight I wonder if perhaps I was too generous with this rating. Alas. It was just really, really predictable, and instead of focusing on some of the more unique characters, it ditched them for the most boring characters in the history of characters. Honestly I spent most of it rolling my eyes. But the good news was, it was really short?

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Read: August 19


Okay, this was just generic. There’s no other way to say it. The idea sounds cool, right? Well it is… if you’d never read a fantasy before, you’d probably be super enthralled with this one. But having read a book before, I felt so bored. And then there were some awesome characters… who we parted ways with a quarter of the way through the book. So I was left with the bland ones. And the bland plot that I’d read before. So yeah, not a win. Which is sad. A lot of people did seem to like it though, so who knows, maybe I now have impossible standards? 🤔

Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

Read: October 13


Ouch, this one hurts the most, friends. While it’s definitely the best one of the bunch (by far, really), it is also the one that let me down the hardest. It wasn’t a bad book. The characters were awesome. It just felt wholly unnecessary to the series. It didn’t have the high stakes of book one, or even book two. And after the adventures of the wild west and the trail, I was pretty bummed to be playing politics in San Francisco at the end. I haven’t had the best luck with series finales this year, and I suppose I should have known that the one I was most excited for would be the hardest to handle being disappointed by. The only good thing is, it did at least stay true to its characters, so there’s some positives. Still, I wasn’t the happiest of campers. I don’t even want to read another sequel in 2017. Because it is scary.


So, how about you all? Which book(s) have really bummed you guys out this year? 

Posted November 10, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 51 Comments

51 responses to “Bookish Bummers of 2017

  1. Eeek I’m still looking forward to Into The Bright Unknown but SAD it was a letdown for you! And this is me saying that while not having read the 2nd book yet. Why. I have no idea. I seem to read 200+ books a year and accomplish nothing. ONE OF MY TALENTS. Also I’ve read The Traitor’s Kiss was just a hot mess.😂

    I absolutely died reading Blood Rose Rebellion…I’ve never been so bored in my entire life haha.

    • Ugh, right? It was hands down my most anticipated 2017 book, but since 2017 is actual garbage fire, I should have known I guess. HA seriously, I think it doesn’t matter HOW many books we read, it will seemingly never be “enough”. The Traitor’s Kiss is straight up one of the worst books I have read (clearly, since I almost never give the old one star hah). OH Blood Rose Rebellion was one I was SO excited for, but then they made the cover white instead of blue, and I won’t lie, that took away a lot of the fun. Still sad that it was a mess though!

  2. I think the worst bookish disappointment comes from an author who’s work you have loved previously. I have avoided Genuine Fraud, because I don’t want to taint my love for Lockhart. I am doing the same with Cashore’s new book. Maybe John Green’s (still on the fence about that one). Right now, I am struggling a little with Jennifer E Smith’s Windfall. I love, love, LOVE JES, but this one, so far, is missing that charm that is usually present in all her books.

    • YES! That is kind of how I felt with Lauren Oliver and Replica. I didn’t hate it or anything but I also didn’t love it, and she’s a fave of mine. Same with Cat Winters and Yesternight- that killed me! John Green’s new one was good! I didn’t love it as much as TFIOS, but it was really enjoyable! I REALLY hope Windfall picks up for you- it’s so sad when this happens!

  3. Tbh 2017 has been my worst reading year ever. Quantity wise it’s not, quality wise it is. Like 70% of the book I read were meh I don’t even know where to start if I have to make a list xD

  4. I really hated RoseBlood. It was just so over-the-top silly. I was also really underwhelmed by The Fate of the Tearling, which was a real shame since I loved the first two books in the Tearling series and was really looking forward to seeing how it ended.

    • OH! I DNFed RoseBlood, so I feel you! But I think it might have technically been in 2016 for me- but yep, it was just… I couldn’t. And I almost never DNF! I am so sorry about The Fate of the Tearling- it is the absolute worst when it’s a series finale you’ve been waiting for.

  5. Oh no! I have a few of these on my TBR so hoping they are not to bad for me – although its a bit of a stretch since I am in a reading slump which doesn’t seem to be lifting. I am almost too scared to read at all. I love the cover of See What I Have Done. Mine has a half pear on it which sounds weird but is also pretty. Holding thumbs the next 6 weeks bring great stories.

    • Oh NO, I am so sorry about your slump. I am in one too, have been since like, March- so nothing I read after that can be fully trusted, tbh 😉 I have been scared too, so I get it. I have seen the cover of See What I Have Done with the pear, too! I don’t quite “get” the covers, but I like them, different for a murder-mystery book cover, which I approve of! I hope your slump ends soon!

  6. I have had disappoints this year and have had a lot of books I have put off because so many others have found them disappointments. Fireworks is one of them. I will still get to it but I stayed away after reviews. Sorry these were all duds for you 🙁

  7. Great post, Shannon! I might have to *ahem* borrow this idea myself…

    2017 hasn’t been the best reading year for me, either, and I was hoping it would be better after 2016 also being pretty rubbish. I wouldn’t say I’ve read lots of bad or disappointing books, but I’m starting to question my own ratings; I’ve given 4 star ratings to books I did really enjoy when I read them, but looking back now I can’t remember them much. That’s, ironically, what’s stuck with me most this year: I’m not reading many memorable, instant favourites and it makes me sad. Then the more I don’t read the more I feel bad for not reading and it turns into a vicious circle. I’m going to take the pressure off myself in 2018 and read what I can when I can, because reading isn’t supposed to be a chore and I desperately miss getting sucked into a story and falling in love with characters.

    I still need to read See What I Have Done and some Rae Carson – I really should try and get to them both soon!

    • DOOOO it, borrow away, it’s fun! Plus, snarking always makes for a good post hah. And YES, same about 2017 and 2016. What is happening here!? I am having that exact same problem. Lots of books that were… fine. Good, even. Just not mind blowing. It IS sad.

      I hope you enjoy them! I think some people really loved the end of Rae’s series, I just missed the Oregon Trail hah. And VERY curious if you do read See What I Have Done! I haven’t looked to see what others thought of it- when I first reviewed it, very few others had, so my opinion was kind of on its own!

  8. I haven’t had many disappointments because I’m getting much better at DNFing. If I’m starting to get irritated, it’s game over for the book. My most recent disappointment is a novel called Perfect Little World. It’s about a commune and science experiments on humans, so I expected it to be awesome, but . . . nope. Boring.

    • Good for you!! I need you to teach me your ways! I only DNFed… one book this year I think? That’s pretty typical of me, sadly. WHOA. Actually, I DNFed TWO, so that’s quite a feat for me! WOOO. WAIT. How exactly is commune and human lab tests boring? Like HOW does someone mess THAT premise up so badly? I am sad for them, and I am sad for YOU.

      Also, you won one of the Shattering Stigmas prizes. I am going to email or DM you or something, but not til Friday when I get paid 😉 Just a heads up, and a congrats hahah!

  9. Wow, so many beautiful covers and yet so much disappointment 🙁 But…you are right about that, 2017 is pretty much the Year if Disappointments, so I should hardly be surprised. I HAVE read a couple good things about The Glass Spare so I’ll probably still pick it up, but I admit my hopes aren’t high. Most of what I’ve tried to read this year (which isn’t much) has been pretty blah. Guess we can just try and look forward to 2018 🙂

    • Right!? It physically hurts sometimes hahah. Seriously why is this year so BAD, and can it please just end? Ugh. I have also read some good reviews of The Glass Spare, so I really hope you have better luck with it! Fingers crossed for us both in 2018 😀

  10. Nooooo not Genuine Fraud! Ha ha I wanted that to be good but… have seen mixed reviews for sure. so not surprised I guess. I may just wait on that one, We Were Liars was just okay. And that’s mainly why I was interested anyway. Sorry too that Firerworks was disappointing, I’m in the middle of Top Ten now and liking it! I’ve been in the middle of it for over a week though lol- not because it isn’t good, I just took a few days off reading.

    Bummer about The Equals too. Interesting cover.

    • I am sorrrry. I mean, I won’t lie to you, or sugar coat it: I hated that shit. It was a short, skinny little book, and it somehow took me a week to read less than 250 pages. That is bad. I had actually read it with the hopes of liking it more than We Were Liars but NOPE. We Were Liars was kind of more.. entertaining, at least?

      Damn, you really have been reading Top Ten for awhile haha. The good thing is though, you can with that, since the stories are basically self-contained. Did you read Fireworks? The Equals WAS unfortunate. These books were all pretty rude, I suppose.

      • I haven’t read Fireworks, is that Katie Cotugno as well? Given that I’m liking Top Ten, I may read more of her stuff, but we’ll see how Ten ends up. Speaking of, I started reading Ten again today- yay for me! I need to finish the damn thing lol.

        We Were Liars WAS kinda entertaining with all the rich people bullshit 🙂

        • YEP, Fireworks is by Katie too. Only… I hated it? A lot. Have you read any of her other books? I really liked 99 Days. I am glad you restarted Top Ten, mostly because I want to know what you think of it 😀

          OH the rich bullshit people were the only reason I gave We Were Liars the 3 stars that I did 😂

  11. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, hoping that these last two months of the year won’t bring you too many bad reads 😉
    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy The Glass Spare so much – that book sounded quite interesting, and I think I’m still curious to read it. I read fantasy, but…maybe not as much as you, so with a little bit of chance, it won’t seem too generic for me? Let’s hope, haha 🙂
    I loved We Were Liars, but heard mixed reviews about Genuine Fraud so far. I’m curious about the reverse chronological way this story is told, though…even if it does seem like it takes out a whole lot of the suspense, which kind of sucks :/
    Lovely post! xx

    • Aw thanks! Mine are crossed too haha. I HAVE seen a lot of good reviews for The Glass Spare, so maybe it will work for you! I am hoping it does, because I felt bad hating on it! There isn’t anything substantially wrong with it, so it really might work.

      YES that was a big part of the problem with GF, the suspense was gone! I think if you loved We Were Liars you might have better luck with GF than I did, so that’s a plus 😀

  12. I haven’t read any of these or the series some are attached to. I’m kind of interested in some of them like The Glass Spare, but I see so many mixed reviews for the author’s books in general that I haven’t given them a shot yet.

    • It is so hard, especially with series, because you get hesitant to start them! I;ve also heard mixed things about the author’s books for The Glass Spare. The writing wasn’t bad or anything, it was just that it didn’t feel fresh, I guess? It definitely might work for you, it wasn’t glaringly bad or anything!

  13. Kel

    I don’t think anything has majorly bummed me out…but I’ve been pretty picky with what I read this year (and/or picked up stuff for which I super low expectations, so no bumming can result). I definitely know the feeling though. It’s why I’ve gotten a lot pickier about what eARCs I request and stopped a lot of series after book 1.

    • I am impressed! NO huge disappointments? You might be the sole winner of 2017 hahah. I think the low expectation thing is starting to be me- maybe it can work in my favor! I have been super picky about requesting ARCs too, for the same reason. And SAME with series! I used to force myself to finish, but now NOPE. Too many books, too little time!

  14. shooting

    I can never think of which books I hated – which I guess is a good thing. I’m sure I could search Goodreads and find them though. LOL I’ve only read Genuine Fraud on here and I DID like it. I can see how it was a bit more boring than We Were Liars, and those are two books that are usually hit or miss for people.


    • Dude, that IS good! I feel like I remember the bad more than the good sometimes, which is unfortunate. I am so glad that you liked Genuine Fraud though! I think the author in general might be hit or miss, which is fine, because there are many others out there 😀

  15. Fireworks and Genuine Fraud would both make my list of biggest disappointments of this year, too. Fireworks was especially disappointing, because the premise sounded so fun and I really wanted to love it… but, alas. And it seems like I have heard nothing but poor reviews for See What I Have Done!

  16. When it comes to DNFs 2017 has been an absolute record for me. In March I had already abandoned more books than in 2016 in the entire year. I’ve read plenty of great books as well, but sometimes I feel like books are being published too quickly and are being released while they still need work. That makes me extra disappointed as a lot of the books I didn’t finish could have been great with more time and care.

    • Wowww that is a lot of DNFing! But good for you, honestly. I wish I was better at it. I agree about the books being released and needing work, actually! I read a finished copy the other day with some GLARING errors, and I was like… really? And yes, I think that with a few edits some of these (not all, but a few!) could have been much better!

  17. Hahahah I love this post Shannon! Obviously because I told you to do it. But anyways, I don’t even know WHY you bothered reading Rise of Fire (or really many of these books haah) because I thought Reign of Shadows was fairly boring? What did you even see in it? I’m so glad that I have read none of these, I REALLY DIDN’T MISS OUT HA

    • Because I LIKED Reign of Shadows, silly! I don’t know why I did. Maybe my tastes are changing. Evolving. You know, it’s funny, because I think we help each other dodge some of these- like I know ones you were “meh” about, I skipped ::cough:: Renegades ::cough:: and probably you did too, look at us being amazing.

  18. I’m bummed to hear that about Genuine Fraud! I’ve had my eye on it for a while and am on my library’s waitlist for it (I fall into the camp of people that enjoyed WWL) but I haven’t been able to convince myself to by it yet…with good reason, it seems!

  19. Ugh, I hate when books you’ve been looking forward to ending up disappointing you. It’s just plain old heartbreaking, you know? It sucks that there have been so many bookish bummers for you this year, 2017 hasn’t always been brilliant. I know a couple of folks who were excited about Bright Unknown so I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. I think the only book I can think of I was disappointed by was Labyrinth Lost, just the MC grated.

  20. Oh, this is a very good thing to post 🙂 I’ve heard about Genuine Fraud falling flat! Although I think the opinions are divided about this one.
    Can’t commend about the rest, but I think I should look at which ones fell flat for me, maybe 🙂

  21. This post is way fun. I mean, NOT that you read some bummers, but a. I love the title and b. I’m glad to know I should perhaps steer clear of some of these. 😉

    I do own the first book in Sophie’s series, so I’ll probably give book one a chance, but one book I have been trying to decide on (whether or not to read) is “Genuine Fraud.” I now feel it might not be a “me” book – despite all that popularity! Katie’s contemporaries are among my someday-TBR books, but as of yet, I haven’t picked one up.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Shannon!

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