When you read a lot of books in a year, there will always be some that just weren’t that good or didn’t work out for any number of subjective reasons.
While these aren’t necessarily the worst books I have ever read, they are certainly books that just gave me a meh feeling. Sometimes it was the content of the book itself, other times, it was more a sense of having just simply wasted my time.
This is by no means a trashing of these books and their authors. A couple of these books are even repeat authors for me and I will continue to read their previous titles and future releases. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t work out for me, but that’s the great thing about reading: We all have different tastes and what I didn’t care for may actually be the right book for you!
Here are my most disappointing books of 2020!
Not sure why I’m so surprised about this one, considering I have read two previous books by this author and didn’t care for either of them, so…why did I think this one would be any different? These books are very much like Lifetime movies. Terrible people, terrible situations, terrible decision-making, terrible climax, terrible resolution. So why do you keep reading them you may ask? Entertainment. It’s the junk food of books. Once you open it up, it’s hard to stop turning the pages. I keep thinking things are going to get better for all the right reasons, but it. never. does.
For Claire Daniels, life is good. She has everything she’s ever wanted – a career she loves, friends she can rely on and a husband who dotes on her. All she needs is to start a family of her own and things will be even better than good. They’ll be perfect.
For Alfie, it couldn’t be more different. His life with Claire is built on a lie. A lot of lies. And she can never find out.
Because Alfie has plans for her. Plans which must never come to light. But lies have a way of taking on a life of their own, and when his do, the consequences threaten to destroy everything.
For him and Claire.
Every time I heard about this book all anyone would ever say is that it was like This is Us. I guess I can see where they are coming from with that comparison; however, in my opinion, it does neither the book nor the show justice. I’m a huge fan of the show, having only almost finished season one; but I know I’m not quite a fan of this book. Way too much was going on in the story, and following it from three different perspectives, often created a sense of redundancy. I often felt that I was reading the same thing over and over again, and in fact, one particular incident is literally copied and pasted again in the middle with very little added content to make the repeat beneficial. Overall, I was just sad at the end. When you learn what’s really going on between all these women, it’s just a lot of wasted time for the characters, and in effect, so much wasted time for me.
Audrey’s dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now, as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met.
If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, and yet, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing this family once and for all.
Once the truth is revealed, will it be enough to put her family back together again or break them apart forever?
I’ve read a lot of disturbing stuff in my life, and in fact, the majority of it was true accounts on the brutality that humans unleashed against each other. But nothing can quite prepare you for what waits within these pages. When I read the synopsis of this dystopian book in the midst of our very own worldwide pandemic, well, of course, I was intrigued. But that’s what sells this book…the shock value. It’s also way too short to make anything about this story anything other than ridiculous. The abject horror of this new form of factory farming is brutal, yet readers unfortunately become desensitized to it very quickly because there is so much to take in that no one could ever be ready for let alone want to process. Ultimately, all the violence becomes incredibly gratuitous because readers are never given a clear understanding about this new world to make sense out of any of it.
As Roger Ebert once wrote after reviewing The Human Centipede: “The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don’t shine.”
That’s exactly how I feel about this book.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.
Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.
As a huge fan of Bird Box and the Netflix adaptation, this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Unfortunately, it was incredibly underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good story, but you won’t be missing anything if you decided never to pick it up.
Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. One glimpse of the creatures that stalk the world will drive a person to unspeakable violence.
There remains no explanation. No solution.
But then comes what feels like impossible news. And with it, the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope.
Malorie has a harrowing choice to make: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for hope once more.
This is supposed to be a relevant and timely read, but it comes across as so pretentious and filled with so much flowery prose that I began to fill that I was reading literary fiction rather than what had been billed as a suspenseful thriller. Alternating perspectives take readers into the mindsets of Sophie, James, and Kate, and through some of the flashbacks, we’re also introduced to Holly. She doesn’t really make sense in the beginning, but as the story comes full circle, so too does Holly’s story. Her story adds to the mounting tension and suspicion, yet it’s still boring. Hopefully, the show will bring that because there was a lot to work with here, but the execution was quite lacking.
Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.
Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes. Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience?
The synopsis for this one created an intriguing read that interested me as a way to peek into a polygamist arrangement; however, I was quickly disappointed. It’s hard to really talk about this one because you want to go into it with as little information as possible, but honestly, whatever you think is going to happen is probably WAY better than anything that actually happened. There were so many opportunities for the author to explore the expectations and roles men and women place on themselves and each other, or even just a conversation about how women pit themselves against each other to gain the favor of a man that as a character was never developed enough to understand why he was so coveted. But perhaps my biggest grievance with the story was that this genre prides itself on taking readers down some twisty turns, but if you’re led in one direction, and the author reveals that it didn’t actually happen that way, so here’s another twisty turn that continues to make it hard to know what’s real and what isn’t, you’re not getting a unreliable narrator – you’re getting an UNRELIABLE WRITER! Maybe you want that, but it was way too melodramatic for the payoff. I have one other book by this author, so I’ll try again, but if it isn’t already obvious, I’m quite skeptical.
Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.
But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.
What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.
So those were my MOST DISAPPOINTING books of 2020!
What were some of your most disappointing books? Let me know in the comments!