Most Disappointing Books of 2019

Monday 23 December 2019

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a gifted mechanic who lives in New Beijing. She is also a cyborg. She lives with her evil stepmother and when her sister suddenly falls ill, she is blamed. Things get slightly better, but not easier, when the handsome and very single Prince Kai finds her and takes a liking to her. Can she save her step sister and can a cyborg ever hope to find love?

The answer? I don't care. Look, I didn't expect to read a great book when I picked this up, but I did expect a mediocre one. This is a perfect beginners novel for kids. It's fairly innocent and doesn't have much questionable content, if any. But for anyone above the age of 12 I think you should pass on this. It's a poorly written story that's so linear, a one way road has more surprises. This was predictable and uninspired. Not worth anyone's time.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? by Lee Israel

This is a memoir by Lee Israel about her short lived life as a forger of signed letters by old authors and Hollywood elite. Israel is a struggling biography writer and discovers that there's good money to be made in the world of written correspondence from long dead authors an actors. So she goes about stealing and forging letters.

I really don't know what I was expecting with this book. I knew the story thanks to the movie starring Melissa McCarthy. I never watched the movie, but the trailer tells you the whole story. I expected an interesting memoir of a literary forger and what I read was a mildly interesting short memoir that read more like pretentious old school "literature." Instead of just telling her story, Lee Israel tried to flower it up with purple prose and it all just came across poorly.

Shallow Graves by Patrick Logan

Robert's life has taken a bad turn.First he gets laid off, then his wife is having an affair with his former boss. And that's not even his entire day. So when things are looking bleakest, Robert gets a letter from an Aunt he never knew he had offering her entire estate to him if he cares for her in her final days. He takes his daughter and heads to the house to help, but the house holds more than just a harmless old lady.

I wanted to like this. I was looking for a book that reminded me of a Conjuringverse movie. But what I got was a book with a very slow build in the first half, and then a second half that moves faster than a greased up road runner. We spend a good porting of the book building up the story with a couple creepy things happening then it all just ends. A new character shows up who literally just used Google to figure out the answer to all the questions and then boom, the book's over. It could have been so good.

Are You Listening? By Tillie Walden

Bea is on the run when she runs into Lou. Together the two set off on a journey through West Texas and strange things seem to happen wherever they go. Along they way they meet a mysterious cat and it affects their trip in unpredictable ways.

I wanted to love this. I wanted to love it so bad. I wanted this to be the new graphic novel I discovered and introduce to my group of friends. A graphic novel written by a woman with two female main characters and a cat? That sounds great! But instead it was a boring mess with a convoluted story that dabbled in magical realism but never quite made sense. It could have been good but it was all lost. The characters were bland, the story was weird, and nothing could save this good idea turned bad.

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

If you want the premise for this, then just check out my blog about the worst books of 2019. Why did this make it on both lists? Because I was so disappointed. I wanted so badly to love this series, but instead I hated it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Seanan McGuire is a talentless hack who wrote an awful story that shouldn't be read by anyone.

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