4 disappointing books // cue the sad face emoji

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hello again, friends!

So. Whether we like it or not, there will always be books that disappoint us. And it always makes me so sad when I read a book that I end up disliking. 

About 90% of the time, the books I am disappointed in have a really cool/unique concept involved, and usually, the cool concept is (for me, usually) the book's downfall. It just falls flat on its face. sad face. Here are 4 books that I really wanted to be amazing, but they just weren't. :(
These will probably be like mini reviews with a brief explanation of what I did not like about the book/what I was disappointed in. That is not to say that someday I won't do a full review on any of these!

by Renee Adhieh

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Ahh, my girl, Shahrzad whose name I cannot spell (check out that post here). I have mixed emotions about The Wrath and the Dawn. I read this book the past summer and expected it to be amazing. I heard so many reviews absolutely raving about this book. After reading it, I really just didn't get it.

Actually, now that I think about it, my disappointment in this novel probably stems from my general aversion to fantasy novels. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good sappy romance now and then, but I was expecting more of the revenge aspect from this book and a little less falling in love. 
The reason I picked this book up was the fact that it was a retelling of The Arabian Nights. I was hoping that many of the stories she told would be mixed in, and the book would be an amazing mesh of stories and Shazi and the Caliph falling in love. Instead, the whole book can be summed up like this:

Shazi: I must get revenge for my friend.
Shazi: But I also love the Caliph for no good reason.
Shazi: But first revenge.
Shazi: No. Love first.


It was just back and forth. and back and forth. I really didn't understand why exactly she needed revenge, and I didn't feel anything for her friend, Shiva. Maybe if I had been shown Shiva and Shazi's friendship, I would have cared about her revenge more, but that obviously didn't happen. What else annoyed me: my girl Shahrzad just talked about revenge and never actually did anything.
I mean, this book is alright. BUT one thing that majorly stands out to me: When I love a book, I want to keep reading. I almost has to force myself to finish this one. Overall, that's why I was disappointed in this book.* I probably won't be reading the sequel.
I would give this book a 2.5 star rating.

*sorry. this "mini review" ended up being like four years long. I just had a lot of thoughts on this book.

by Sara Raasch

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians' only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter's magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter's defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter's future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter's magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

I'm sorry to say that I never finished this book. Maybe I'll try it again some day and love it, but for now, I'm disappointed. Yep, one of my only DNFs.

First of all, the concept of the world in this book was really interesting to me. A kingdom divided into 8 kingdoms: 4 Season Kingdoms (Winter, Summer, Autumn, and Spring) and 4 Rhythm Kingdoms (Cordell, Yakim, Ventralli, and Paisly). The concept itself was the only part I enjoyed. Now, the plot and the characters? Ehhh.

I didn't feel any connection to the characters. They were fairly well developed, but I just couldn't bear to care about them. They all seemed distant and cold. AND THE NAMES. All of the names just annoyed me, for some reason. It's not that they were hard to pronounce, it's just that they sounded weird. Angra? Mather? The names didn't click for me.

I did like the fact that Meira fought with a chakram, instead of, say, a bow and arrow like every recent YA character ever. That was a plus. And the fact that she actually fought, instead of sitting around and whining. Now, she did have her whiny moments, but at least she wasn't sitting around the whole time.

Again, I just didn't feel the spark with the book that makes me want to read it. I got bored a lot with this book, and the characters just weren't my favorite. Meh. Didn't love it.
I'm giving this book a 2.5 star rating too although I did not finish it.

by Kendare Blake

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose...it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. 
The last queen standing gets the crown.

I have already talked about this book several times on my blog (check out the full book review here). This book wasn't bad. In fact, it was very interesting at times. BUT, it certainly wasn't great. It disappointed me because it wasn't what I was expecting. 

What I expected: Action and magical queens trying to kill each other.

What I didn't expect: Politics. Two "defective" queens. A love triangle*.

It was probably the fact that I was expecting something else that ruined this book for me. Which isn't exactly a good thing. The back cover blurb led me to believe this book would be something else that Three Dark Crowns most definitely was not. Umm. Katharine isn't even a true poisoner. The idea was definitely better than the actual execution of the story.

As in Snow Like Ashes, I did not feel any attachment to the characters. The three queens were not very well developed in my opinion, and well-developed characters are what make favorite books my favorites. Obviously, this book is no where near my favorite.
This one just wasn't for me.
In my full review, I gave this one three stars.

*ughh. love triangles. no thank you.

by Sabaa Tahir

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. 
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. 
Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape...and kill them both.

The key word here is "so far."

I haven't finished this one quite yet, but I will soon. I only have about 100 pages left.
And I can already feel that this sequel will definitely not be as good as An Ember in the Ashes. I'll accomplish a real feat here and give you a summary without spoilers of what has happened so far in the first 300 pages.

    • running away.
    • escaping and running.
    • OH LOOK. more running*.
    • (and Helene's inner struggle. lots of inner struggle.)
So that's essentially what has happened in a nutshell. BUT PEOPLE. In the first 300 pages. I have been expecting a fast paced plot for five months, and this has just not lived up to my expectations. I do like the fact that we get Helene's POV, but SO MUCH inner struggle. Maybe too much?

It's been OK, but it would take a miracle to make this book totally amazeballs. I'll give you an update and a full review a couple of weeks from now. 'Kay?
My rating (so far) would be 3 stars. It's pretty meh.

*you can just feel the sarcasm and annoyance seeping out of me.

So, that's it! I've heard plenty of reviews raving about all of these books, but I just don't understand the hype.

What books have disappointed you? Do you dislike/love any of the books I talked about above? Let me know in the comments!
Hope you enjoyed this post!

xoxo, madeline


  1. I didn't get the hype for Ember in the Ashes AT ALL so I didn't even bother with the sequel. Eeep. I mean, it was a great premise, but it just totally didn't do anything for me. *sad face* ☹️☹️ And I liked Snow Like Ashes but the sequel? HAHAHA #NOPE. It was so bad I nearly ended up laughing because I was so angry. I KNOW IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE BUT THAT WAS THE BOOK.😂

    1. I actually ended up enjoying An Ember in the Ashes, but the sequel just hasn't done it for me! It makes me so sad when sequels don't live up to the original!

      I don't think i'll ever pick up the sequel to Snow Like Ashes, as I didn't even enjoy the first one!

  2. Oh gosh, Three Dark Crowns sounds perfect for me (minus the love triangle of course). Politics is my jam! Hopefully I'll be able to get this sometime soon, so that I can compare experiences. I've adored all books by Kendare Blake so far though!

    1. sounds like you would enjoy it!! I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had gone into reading it with a different mindset. It actually was a pretty good book, just not what I was expecting!

      thanks for commenting!

  3. Aw, it sucks that you didn't enjoy The Wrath and the Dawn, it's one my favorites! But I totally see where you're coming from. I agree that Shazi did a lot more talking about revenge than actually doing it. And the way she fell for Khalid was kind of like, really girl?! he literally murdered your so called best friend haha. But I'm a sucker for romances and this book did that for me.

    Kathlyn | Kathlyn's Korner


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