DAY 13: A Book That Disappointed You.

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Well this is a depressing topic if ever I saw one. Why did I pick this as one of my questions again? Oh right yeah, BECAUSE I IS BITTER Y’ALL. There are some books out there that have really disappointed me over the years…and I was all ready to love and covert them too! 😦 Therefore I thought this would be a good question to tackle, because maybe, just maybe, I can prevent you from suffering the same fate as me! That being said, just because I don’t like these books I am about to waffle on about, does not mean that you won’t like them because everyone’s tastes vary, (spot the disclaimer) but these are my own personal book disappointments.

Allow me to direct you to the WALL OF SHAME:

 The Amber SpyglassThe perks of being a wallflowerAbandon by Meg CabotQueen of the Slayer Across the Universe by Beth RevisRecklessThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeThe Hollow

Thanks for the Memories

Hmm, there seems to be an orange and purple theme going on here, maybe this just means I should stay away from books with orange or purple covers? That must be it, guys! I’ve cracked the secret to the universe! *Chuffed face.*

Why books why?!
You were all such bright sparks, full of positive proclamations and hope. You promised me adventures of daemons and spaceships, fairytales and underworlds, first loves and teenage growing pains, and instead you gave me…
Disappointment.

Since I’ve already reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Abandon by Meg Cabot, Across the Universe by Beth Revis and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde I will leave those books to the side.
Which leaves us with four remaining novels that I had big expectations about that let me down. Bookies, you have some explaining to do!

If I really went into detail about all the issues I had with these books I could be here a week, (you guys know how long my reviews can get) so instead I’m going to talk about the biggest issue I had with each. 🙂

The first book that popped into my head was The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman The Amber Spyglasswhich is the last book in the His Dark Materials trilogy and is a must for any fantasy fan. I absolutely loved this series, and still do even taking into consideration the last novel. The books follow an orphan named Lyra living in the grounds of Oxford Unversity. The world is ruled largely by religion and each person has their own animal (known as a Dæmon). Being a fantasy novel, Lyra soon gets wrapped up in some serious stuff and goes on a quest which spans the three books.
As I’ve said this is a fantastic series but the last novel suffered from a serious lack of editing in my opinion. The Amber Spyglass is longer than the other books and it didn’t need to be. My main recollection of it is some woman coming across a new species who had wheels instead of feet, or something bizarre like that. She spent what felt like half the book learning pondering and analysing them which quite frankly bored me to tears. It made reading the book a chore and I felt like giving up at so many points. I read this when I was a lot younger so that could have made it an even tougher read, but it is safe to say my expectations were mushed more than mashed potato.

The Hollow by Jessica Verday was an impulse buy. Amazon kept recommending it to me and I couldn’t get away from that classy grey cover (I fall for it every time). I also liked the idea that it was putting a twist on the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, most associated with Washington Irving’s short story. Unfortunately, it had one of the most vapid protagonists I have ever come across and I was bored from start to finish. Stranger still, the main character felt like a 70 year old stuck in a teen body!

Next we have Queen of the Slayers by Nancy Holder. Yes, that’s right folks, I read Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels! In fact, I have a whole mini bookshelf of them *geek status now complete*. I got particularly overexcited Queen of the Slayerabout this one because it was set around what happened after the series ended. As a distraught fan I was desperate for more and was searching for closure. This novel seemed like the perfect answer. Unfortunately, I hated it. I guess in my head I had all these idea of what I wanted to happen afterwards, but none of them emerged and I was furious. In fact, I feel like the author couldn’t have done a worse job. The writing was lackluster, character conversations lacked charm and the plot was all over the place. I guess this was the specific point I decided it can be best to leave something you love how it is, rather than adding to it for the fans sake as I mentioned on day 1 of this challenge, and it is that reason also why I will never read the Buffy comics.
Side Note: If you’re looking for good Buffy novels, try The Lost Slayer series by Christopher Golden, Halloween Rain or Blooded. 🙂

Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern…I’m honesty not sure how I ended up with this book. I didn’t buy it, so I guess someone gave it to me! I’d heard so much praise for her popular novel P.S. I Love You that I was expecting to enjoy this read about a woman who suffered from a miscarriage and since returning from the hospital appeared to have strange memories that weren’t her own. Instead I found it a painful slog. It wasn’t all bad, there were a few funny scenes and witty observations, but in the end I couldn’t get on with the writing style and I doubt I will be attempting any more of her books anytime soon.

Finally bringing up the rear we have Reckless by Cornelia Funke. I found this one day Recklesswhen browsing in my local library and recognised the author’s name from her popular Inkworld Trilogy. Its unusual cover caught my eye and the story sounded like a mix between The Chronicles of Narnia and an old fashioned fairytale. The book follows a boy named Jacob who finds a portal in his father’s study and soon becomes an expert at traversing though the word. But when his younger brother Will follows him one day and gets infected Will is transformed into a Goyl, a killing machine made of stone.
Sounds interesting right?
It started off well, I always love seeing how authors come up with their portals to other worlds, there are some great idea’s out there *Cough* His Dark Materials! *Cough* The Dream Merchant! *Cough*. Unfortunately the plot soon slowed down and became more about dithering and talking about things happen rather than them happening, the characters felt undeveloped and the biggest issue was the writing. It was so unfeeling and…bland. I wonder if a large part of this was because it was translated from German to English. It a shame because there were some great ideas in this book but they didn’t translate well in the novel!

Which books have disappointed you over the years? Did you enjoy any of the books that I didn’t? 🙂

What’s the 30 Day Book Challenge you ask? Click here and find out.

Image Sources:
Header banner: My own image, please do not reuse.
All book covers taken from Goodreads.

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41 thoughts on “DAY 13: A Book That Disappointed You.

  1. —-MOCKINGJAY SPOILERS—-

    Mockingjay. After the first two Hunger Games, you really don’t want to see the heroine miss everything by being knocked out until the end.

    Jaws. Great film; tedious, tedious book.

      • As much as I loved Mockingjay (Controversial view? LOL.) I was also incredibly angry that she got knocked out at the end!!! That was the one thing that I couldn’t take. GRR.

        I can imagine Jaws is a tedious book! So much of it is about the suspense which is really aided by the dramatic music. The novel wouldn’t have that advantage.

        Thanks for commenting guys! 🙂

  2. I’ve only read the first novel in His Dark Material series and just have not gotten around to reading the others. It’s sad that the third one didn’t live up to your expectations, I thank you for the warning though!

    • The second one is just as interesting as the first! It brings in another dimension to the story with a bundle of new ideas, definitely worth the wait. 🙂
      It is sad, especially when he is such a fantastic author, but then, I guess no one can be brilliant all the time. 😉

  3. OMG I saw a “Mockingjay” comment right at the top and had to – literally – shut my eyes and somehow scroll down the page to the comment posting! But all is well, I avoided it successfully!
    I almost laughed out loud because somehow, I love three of these books! You already know I love The Picture of Dorian Gray and I do love The Amber Spyglass but I will totally concede that that thing with the weird animals… sooo random and unnecessary! Let’s just stick to Will and Lyra’s story and any other *absolutely* necessary tangents, mmkay Phil? The other book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but to play on your team and put things in perspective, I did read the book when I was 17, so that could have had (and probably did have) a major influence on my opinion. I’ve never read any of the other books but, I gotta admit, not really in a rush to do so now … :/ I think I might have heard of The Hollow at one point… or maybe I’m confusing it with that movie starring Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys (why, oh why, Nick, do you keep haunting me for burning one measly Burger King figurine?)… There’s supposed to be some new show airing here in the States this fall called “Sleepy Hollow” and I have to admit I’m intrigued. I’ve always been a fan of Sleepy Hollow related stories because I absolutely love miserable, macabre settings since i am a miserable, macabre person 😛 I’m glad you filled me in on The Hollow book, though, because that just sounds like a total waste of time!
    Great post, Becky! 😀

    • HAHA! I’m glad your mission was successful, I saw a spoiler for the last book just after I had finished Catching Fire and was really upset because someone didn’t put a warning on their blog. I was just like RUINED, ALL RUINED, LOL. Luckily it was a relationship spoiler as opposed to a plot one. 🙂

      You see, that’s why I love this blogging so much because it’s interesting to see so many varying opinions! As I’ve said before I understand why people would love Dorian but I just couldn’t get on with him.
      It’s odd, because I remember The Amber Spyglass being such a BIG book when I was younger, but now looking at my shelf it’s almost average sized and small in comparison to some *cough* Dickens *cough* GoT. 😛 Hahaa exactly! I remember getting so frustrated because I wanted to know what happened. I do wonder if I reread it now though that it might not seem as bad, now I’m older I bet the pages would fly by quicker. 🙂
      A lot of people adore Perks but I couldn’t get on with it, I’m in the minority with that one! I was just like CHARLIE, SPEAK LIKE YOUR AGE ARRRRRG. And all the name dropping of bands and books as if it was supposed to be cool got on my nerves.

      You burnt a figurine??? Haaaaaa!

      I love the Sleepy Hollow legend so a TV series could be epic, I will have to watch out for that. 😀

      Thank you!

      • I must agree with everything you’ve said! Especially the Perks thing. I really did like it at the time but when I was 17 I didn’t even read or know about most of the books or bands he name drops, and as a seasoned reader that must be kind of annoying, like, “c’mon Chbosky… can’t you think of anything more original?!” AGHH I just remembered another book I read which is a lot like Perks. It’s called “Please Don’t Kill the Freshman” and it’s a memoir. I heard great things about it from this genius-indie-music-gorgeous-mysterious new boy who arrived at my high school *swoon* back in the day. I finally got around to reading it some time in college and I was like “… wtf?! This is a piece of crap!” but then I tried to place myself in the intended age range and realized it probably would have appealed to me if I were 16 or 17.
        And oh yes, I burnt a Nick Carter figurine from Burger King. It was almost ritualistic in nature and I kind of cringe at the memory. My friend and I were 12 and very devout NSYNC fans. Nick Carter and BSB threatened to knock NSYNC out of the top Total Request Live videos on MTV… well, we couldn’t have that… :/ lol and you’re welcome! 🙂

      • I’m still reeling at the irony in the fact that I said ‘speak like your age’ which was totally phrased so UNLIKE my age, LOL. Didn’t I outgrow using like in that context already?!?! 😛
        Haha it was a bit frustrating, Catcher and the Rye this, To Kill a Mockingbird that and he kept making all these comments about the books that were supposed to be insightful….and they just weren’t to me. But maybe I’m picky!
        Haha, funny name it does sound quite Perks-ish. Ohh well a mysterious boy suggesting a BOOK, how could you possibly refuse?! Shame it didn’t live up to it!

        No wayyyyyyy. That is just too funny, you may cringe at it looking back but just think of what an awesome anecdote it makes. 🙂 I had no idea there was a battle of the bands between the two, but then I’ve never been a big fan of boy bands (unless you count Busted, I used to LOVEE Busted!)

  4. I agree The Amber Spyglass was a disappoint for me too. I thought it was overloaded with too much detail, thoughts and theories, and not as much action! I haven’t read the series in ages though. I think it is high time for a re-read. I was also disappointed by Mockingjay as I thought Collins lost the strong structure of the previous books and I also couldn’t stand ‘the few years later’ pages at the end. They really weren’t needed.

    • That is how I remember feeling as well, it’s such a shame because the other two books were so fantastic. I just remember some scenes with not much happening felt like they went on forever!
      You know, I’ve read this series twice now (both times when I was quite a lot younger) yet I still forget so many of the details! I think it will be the same as Harry Potter for me, no matter how many times I read it over there are always going to be sections where I forget about an event or how a character gets from A to B and I love that. It means it feels fresh each time. 🙂
      Ahh, a popular choice!

    • Haha, no worries! I just remembered that one of my followers who comments often is currently reading the last book so I didn’t want her to see it, LOL. 🙂 So I thought I better put a warning on it.

    • I feel bad, I’m sorry! It wasn’t your fault XD I should do the right thing and insulate myself from reading any online material until I finish this book, but I’m stubborn. I’d like to share comments with you when I’m finished though! I will be posting a blog reviewing the trilogy this weekend 🙂

      • Haha no worries!

        I can’t wait to see what you have to say about the trilogy. I have a few of your posts backed up now I think because I had a reasonably busy week and now I’m behind on all comments and blog posts! I guess that’s one of the downsides to following several bloggers that are doing this challenge at once, it’s very hard to keep up, LOL. 😛

        I’m amazed you have time to write other posts in between, it takes me forever just to write the one each day. 😀

      • Gahhhhh I started writing a reply and it deleted itself – what thhhhheeee…
        Anyways, no worries, Becky! I’m beginning to wonder how I’m going to keep up myself… This is going to be an incredibly busy fall D: BUT I am determined to keep blogging because this is a bastion of happiness which preserves my sanity! We will survive… the Hunger Games… of life!

  5. Screw you guys!!! lol
    I loved The Amber Spyglass, the ending was one of the most moving moments for me. You unfeeling bastards.

    In all honestly, I do see everyone’s point, but I think he wanted to create tension by just creating a comfortable place. For our hero’s to rest, like the garden of Eden which that world represents. I felt if he rushed that section of the book, it would cheapen the whole ending. Thus not giving it that heart felt ending, which it was for me.

    • Hahaaa, ohh no! Sorry about that, you’re not completely on your own though Revolutionforbreakfast said she liked the book too. 🙂 Although I was disappointed with The Spyglass, I did love the ending. It was sad but somehow right at the same time and I felt like I needed more books in the series afterwards to wound my healing heart!

      You are probably right, in all honestly I don’t remember it well enough to comment on that aspect but as a younger kid at the time it quite likely went straight over my head. I would love to return to the book again one day and hopefully I would be pleasantly surprised.

      Thanks for giving me a viewpoint from a different point of view. 😀

  6. I agree with you about The Amber Spyglass, it’s ages since I read the trilogy but that thing with those animals (I think they rode on seedpods rather than having wheels but whatever) was just weird. I did quite like the very end though. as the person above me said, it was very moving and a fitting end.

    The Buffy books though – I haven’t read that particular one but I read some of the others (many moons ago) and I thought they were all awful! The writing is terribly flat and they were just boring. Except for Pretty Maids all In a Row which is a Spike and Dru book and wasn’t the novelisation of an episode both of which explain why it was good in my opinion 🙂

    • Ooooh yes seedpods! That sounds familiar so you must be right. Either way it was weeeirdddd as you’ve said. I liked the end from what I can remember, I found it really sad and moving is a great word, it was sure moving.

      Haha a lot of them are awful! Not all, most work for their designated purpose which is just to give the fans more of what they want. There were a few I really enjoyed though which were the ones I mentioned. My favourite was The Lost Slayer because it was set in an alternate dimension so they were killing characters off left right and centre, much more unpredictable, it was awesome! I always wanted to read the Pretty Maids one because I love Spike. Books set pre Buffy or in alternate universes etc were always much better because the author’s could actually do more with the character rather than being stuck to the story line. 🙂 Glad to hear it’s not just me that reads those Buffy novels. 😉

      • I think the problem with most of the Buffy books, at least the ones I read, is that they were the stories of specific episodes so like you say the authors were very limited in what they could write and it maybe felt 1-dimensional having already watched the episode. Some of the off-topic ones were pretty good though – there was a series called The Gatekeeper which I think were really good as well. And the one you mention sounds good as well. Keeping away from the stories we know is probably a good tactic.

        I haven’t read any for aaages but all this talk is making me want to watch it some more…..!

      • I’m pretty sure I’ve either read or own The Gatekeeper ones because the name sounds familiar! To be honest thinking back on them now a lot of them blend in together and I’m unsure which ones I have and haven’t read. :S

        Hehee I know what you mean, it’s tempting me! I know I still own a few that are unread, not many but they are there hiding somewhere. 🙂

  7. I did enjoy reading Perks, and I totally agree with my fellow commenters about Mockinjay- I did not like it at all! The ending was so vague and horrible! It was such a disappointment after the first two books, especially when the concept of the Hunger Games was so fascinating. There is so much that Suzanne Collins could do with it, yet she chose to end it the way she did. 😦

    • A lot of people do, don’t worry I’m in the minority with this one! 🙂
      I did feel the ending was a little rushed and again some of the things mentioned above were quite irritating. Having said that I still loved the book overall, amazingly. 😛
      I’m so sorry to hear you were disappointed, as you can tell from my post, I hate it when that happens. :/ I hope it didn’t ruin the series too much for you.

  8. I’m not sure which is more disappointing – books that are just bad, or books that could have been great with a little more attention…

    Joss Whedon did a series of comics known as Buffy – Season 8, through Dark Horse, I think.
    Forbidden Planet probably carries them

    • I think books that could have been great irritate me more actually. Of course as a reader it causes anger when there’s a book you don’t like period, but I think it’s easier to move on and label it as a mistake. If it has potential and lets you down then you get frustrated by all the amazing things it could have been and failed to do…

      Yepp, those are the comics I’m talking about, I refuse to read them because I’ve heard some rumours about a few things that happen and I don’t like the sound of any it at all! I’m happy to leave it with the end of the series, I’ve learnt my lesson. 🙂

  9. Ah, pity about Pullman. It’s a tragedy when an author messes up the last book in a great series…

    Being bit of a cynic, I always believe disappointment lies in high expectations. Although I find it humorously ironic how those Buffy books were a disappointment. Usually it’s the movie or TV show that butchers a perfectly good novel. Not the other way round! 😛

    • It was a shame indeed. :/ I think he still ended it on a good note, it was just dragged out far too long for my liking.

      I couldn’t agree more, books that are hyped up always become the biggest disappointments because you’re expecting so much and it’s hard to fulfill that.
      Hahaa, I guess it is kind of ironic! 🙂 I think most of the magic about Buffy is in Joss Whedon’s writing style and so the novel just pale in comparison. Ohh well.

  10. I found The Amber Spyglass went dramatically downhill compared to the first two books as well. It always disappoints me when a series gets worse as it goes along. I felt that the Hunger Games trilogy did the same thing.

    • I agree, it is always such a shame when the last book lets down a series, especially because it’s your last impression of it before moving onto something else, it means your left with a more negative feeling. :/

      I’m glad that I liked Mockingjay because I know a lot of people don’t! I can completely understand why though.

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  11. Finally someone who agrees about The Amber Spyglass! Although technically I should relish remaining in Philip Pulman’s world as long as possible it was WAY too long…a hefty finish to a wonderful trilogy.

    • Yay! You couldn’t have put it better, Pullman’s world is so vivid and magical that I didn’t want to leave it, but the last book was still a struggle. I don’t know why it went so wrong, maybe he got slightly overindulgent because the previous book were so successful? I don’t know. It was a real shame.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. 😀

  12. Only got like half way through The Amber Spyglass and got all excited over the Angels (I’m a sucker for Angels!) then lost my bookmark, not cool… but a book that reeeaally disappointed me was Samphire Song by Jill Hucklesby, having read If I Could Fly (which was totally awesome! If you ever read it, please, promise me you will read it until the end!) by her and then meeting her (She is awesome!) I was really looking foreword to reading it! Now I’m not really a horse person but it was Jill Hucklesby and I’ve read other horse books in the past, so I read it… no, just no! As much as I love her, just no! And I fought so hard to keep her in the Amazing Book Awards over If I Could Fly, its a great book but you have to read it to the end, or it will just move a little slow.

    • That’s so odd because the exact same thing happened to me with my first attempt to read The Amber Spyglass! My book fell out and I couldn’t find my place! I was quite young at the time so I gave up all together and then returned to it at a later date.
      I haven’t heard of either of those books, thank you for the recommendations/warnings! 🙂
      I used to read a lot of horse books when I was younger and I was going through that stage, but I don’t think I have read one since.

      Thank you for reading and commenting Rosie. 🙂

  13. whhatttt?? You didn’t like The Picture of Dorian Gray? Oscar Wilde?!?! Man, that’s heartbreaking!

    In saying that, I was disapointed by Wuthering Heights, I just couldn’t connect to any of the characters or get into the novel. Although I think I was 14 when I read it, so perhaps 90% of it just went straight over my head.

    • I know, I know, I was as surprised as you! I was all set up to love it, it’s the kind of book I would usually adore but I didn’t like it, at all and I was so disappointed. :/

      Agh, I loved Wuthering Heights! Isn’t it funny how people can have SUCH varied reading tastes! I read the book around 14/15 too and loved it but at the same time I can also see why people don’t like it. Either way people normally have strong opinions and I love when a book receives that kind of reaction. 🙂

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