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Disappointing Reads of 2021

Okay HELLO 😳 it has yet again been a full MONTH since my last post, and all I have to say for myself is that college is brutal. Final exams are next week, project deadlines are coming up, and to top it all off, I haven’t read anything since September.

I feel some serious reader’s/blogger’s guilt right now, and have truly missed being on here as much as I used to. Good news is: I have 5 weeks off for winter break, so once that kicks in, you can expect some more from me and I can *finally* get back to reading πŸŽ‰

This post is brought to you by my decision to procrastinate studying and random urge to write a blog post for the first time in a long while. As you can tell by the title, I’m going to be doing a recount of my most disappointing books of the year.

And just because I have to, a little disclaimer that these are all my ~opinions~ and if any of these are your absolute favorites, that’s honestly nothing personal! What works for me may not for you, and vice versa.


Okay this book had been receiving nothing but praise when I first heard about and decided to pick it up. It’s a historical fiction (love), centered around a competition (love), with hints of fantasy elements (also, love).

Well, turns out the characters were all 2-dimensional (hate), the plot had no depth or twists (hate), and ending was pretty lackluster (also, hate).

Wolf by Wolf was 300 pages of pure boredom, and I really just wanted it to be over the whole time.


A cute winter romance set in Alaska sounded like the perfect escapism read for me earlier this year. Well, actually, no.

The atmosphere and setting was actually really good and built in a way that made me want to go to Alaska, so I did appreciate the world-building in that aspect. However, the romance (which, you know, is the literal genre) was so cheesy to the point where I literally had to roll my eyes at times. Graham, the love interest, made me so mad because of how pretentious he could be. He also called her “gorgeous” in EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE to the point where I was sick of that word by the time I was done.


I have a review of this book posted here if you want some more details, but long story short, I felt no chemistry between the two main characters. Maybe I just expect too much out of my romances, but this one did not hit the mark in the way I thought it would πŸ˜”

It wasn’t horrible by any means, and I did still enjoy certain parts, but ultimately it just wasn’t what I had in mind and didn’t live up to expectations. This is also a new adult romance, but it read more like Young Adult to me in some ways, just based off how the characters acted.


When I tell you the premise of this book sounded very intense and like everything I was looking for. It’s a thriller about a group of eight people who think it is going to be any normal day, however, they actually end up in a deathly competition that can only result in one surviving. John Marrs is a really talented author whose books always capture my attention for their unique idea. I really enjoyed The One by him, and expected to feel a similar way about this one.

Unfortunately, The Passengers just didn’t deliver in the way it should have. I felt as if the stakes were so high, but the writing style didn’t demonstrate that same tension. Instead, it ended abruptly and suddenly.


Okay, this was probably more of a personal preference than any of the other books on this list simply because it had a couple tropes I really am not a fan of. Technically they aren’t listed in the synopsis so I won’t say them here because I guess it would be a spoiler? But yeah, I wish I had known before going into this what exactly the book covered, considering one specific trope is a very central theme of the story.

I will say, though, I appreciate the discussions in this book about being in a relationship with someone outside your culture and ethnicity. That was another central theme of this, and it was really well done and explained, in my opinion.


Listen, if there’s one book I was really fricking excited to read, it was Sky in the Deep. So when I tell you just *how* disappointing this one was, it’s hard to put into words.

This is basically how the story felt like to me: Character A did this. Then Character B did that. Then Character C said this. Like, it was literally just one action after another, and I don’t any other way to say it, but the writing felt very stiff and almost like reading a report or essay. There was no world-building, the characters just felt like any generic fantasy fictional character in the most stereotypical way possible. The romance literally made no sense and felt like it was just thrown in there because there were 2 characters who spent a lot of time together alone. I said it before, but once I finally get time over winter break, I might write a rant review for Sky in the Deep 🀧

And that’s a wrap! I only included 6 on this list, but there were a few more I considered. Also keep in mind these were just the most disappointing books, not the worst ones I read, although some may overlap.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and look forward to some more really fun End of the Year Posts (which are always my favorite to read as well 😊)!

What have been your disappointing reads of 2021? What books did you have higher expectations for?


Author: Aarushi @ aarushireads

Hi friends! My name is Aarushi (she/her) and welcome to my blog πŸ’– I’m a 19 year old reader and decided to start this so I’d have a place where I could write down all my bookish rambles and thoughts! In addition to reading, I love to write in my free time and am currently working on my YA Fantasy WIP. Found family, rivals to lovers, and a historical backdrop are just a few tropes I've added in. I love interacting with other readers and writers so be sure to leave your comments so we can chat! Thanks for being here <33 All my socials are aarushireads :) *profile pic created by prequel

19 thoughts on “Disappointing Reads of 2021”

  1. So glad to see you’re back!! I hope the rest of your semester goes well and you have a lovely break πŸ’› I totally understand where you’re coming from with all your reasons behind being disappointed, and I hope your year was filled with great reads also!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read any of these but I’ve always wanted to pick up wolf by wolf. I thought the premise was so interesting and I’ve been into historical fiction a lot recently . Sorry to hear that you didn’t like it though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yea the premise is definitely what drew me into it! i hope you enjoy it more than i did 🀍 also, if you’ve been into historical fiction, i would highly recommend Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman if you haven’t read it yet. one of my faves!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. your new theme looks so pretty ❀❀
    I haven’t read any of these, though I was really excited for wolf by wolf, but ahh, im so sorry to hear it ended up disappointing. and 2-dimensional characters?? No plot twists?? Haha, i probably will not be picking it up soon now.
    I love end of the year posts so much too, and reading this post was so much fun!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much, Anoushka! 🀍
      yeahhh wolf by wolf just felt like a very structured book with not a lot of depth so i wasn’t a huge fan :(( i know so many people do enjoy it though so i hope you’re one of them if you end up picking it up!
      i’m glad you enjoyed reading this post!! πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i havent read the others, but i dnf’ed emergency contact. i might read it again if i get the mood, but the writing style really didnt fit well with me. great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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