My last post was the best books of 2020, so it is only fitting that I make a post talking about…well, my least favorite books of the year. I really don’t like talking negatively about any book, especially because a book that I didn’t like could be the same book that got another person into reading. However, I still wanted to highlight some books I had higher hopes for this year with the disclaimer that what didn’t work for me could end up being a favorite of yours!
THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo
my rating: 3/5 stars
The Poet X is a book I’ve heard soooo many good things about. It seemed like everyone and their mother had read and loved it, so of course I had to see what all the hype was about. Unfortunately, I was just not a fan. Now, to be fair, three stars is not a bad rating. In fact, it actually means I liked the book! But, I did have a lot higher expectations, and after also reading Clap When You Land this year, I just don’t think Acevedo’s writing style is for me. The book is written in verse, which is fine, I don’t love reading books in verse, but if the story and writing are good, they can become some of my favorite books. Unfortunately, when I read this, the writing style didn’t read like prose to me. It just read like a regular novel except the writing was broken into different parts on the page. I don’t know. I just did not mesh with the prose or writing. That being said, I did like the story, and listening to the book via audio did make the experience a little more enjoyable!
SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik
my rating: 2/5 stars
*sigh* I really wish I would’ve loved this book. Why did I pick it up, you may be wondering? The plot. Spinning Silver is said to read like a fairy-tale and is a retelling of the classic story of Rumpelstiltskin. There are three different story paths we follow, with the main one being Miryem. Her father is supposed to be a moneylender in their town, however his inability to collect cash from the people who owe him money leads him and his family to live in poverty. Miryem decides to take matters into her own hands, and rumors soon start to spread that she can make gold out of silver. We follow two other storylines as well, one of the girls being the daughter of a peasant, and the other girl being the daughter of a lord. To be honest, this plot sounded so intriguing and atmospheric. I had such high expectations going in, but unfortunately, this book was not what I thought it would be. I found it to be really slow, especially in the middle, and is very plot driven. In fact, I felt Novik spent so much time trying to build an intricate plot that she forgot about the characters. They all felt so flat and had almost no depth to them. The plot itself was so drawn out that I eventually started losing interest. I am very much in the minority with my opinion on this book, but it sadly made this list :((
A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray
my rating: dnf
I can’t really give a proper rating to A Great and Terrible Beauty, because, truth be told, I couldn’t even finish it. First of all, I just want to say this is not a dig on Libba Bray, the author. I have read a few of this author’s other works and did enjoy them! This book is described as being a gothic novel, and it’s historical fiction, so I thought ‘perfect! Two of my favorite things to read.’ This takes place in 1895 and follows main character, Gemma Doyle, as she attends a boarding school in England following the death of her mother. However, this school is not what it seems, and mysterious encounters cause Gemma to wonder what is really going on. Right off the bat, within the first twenty pages, there were several racist remarks said by Gemma. I understand that this book is a product of its time and is historical fiction, however, the author could have chosen to simply not include them and it wouldn’t have changed the story in any way. The comments by Gemma were really unnecessary and I just don’t think I could have continued reading about a main character who said such things. I didn’t give this a rating, though I was tempted to, because I didn’t even get to the halfway mark. All I’ll say is I think I really would have enjoyed this is if it weren’t for some blatantly discriminatory comments made.
Aaaand, that’s it! Luckily, this was not too shabby a year for me in terms of my enjoyment of the books I did read. Let me know what some of your disappointments of the year were. Until next time <33