I feel like the the above is the understatement of the year. When the pandemic started, along with a lot of you my brain could not concentrate on anything let alone reading. I quickly fell off my reading goal of 50, then 40, then 30 books of the year. (I finished at 25) My anxiety of course was also at an all time high this year which meant reading my most loved genre, fantasy, was not possible. The last thing I wanted to read was about impending wars or scary villains. I needed a true escape…..
Which leads me to….romance. Not just any romance though, horribly written romance, and it’s all thanks to TikTok. Like every person in the world who needed an escape, I downloaded TikTok in May and somehow found myself on BookTok. Which led me to The Royal series by Erin Watt.
These books weren’t baaaaad, but they were not great. I ended up reading only the first two before I called it quits.
The next books I read were influenced by a drunken viewing of the movie After one night on Netflix. I made the connection that the movie was based on the books and decided, what the hell, it’s a pandemic and I can’t focus on anything else. Let’s give it a whirl…
Well. I…uh…yeah. There is no way this series of books had an editor. It seemed it was literally pulled straight from Wattpad and published. Wow. The first one wasn’t so bad, and the some of the second one was okay. But man, the third….nope. I ended up DNFing the third at about 70% and never made it to the last book.
I spent the year reading almost every day, however finishing a book was my #1 issue. Which led me to DNFing quite a few books. I’m including the books that I know I won’t revisit once I can focus on reading again.
These books just didn’t work for me for whatever reason. Bad Blood was great, but I made the mistake of listening to the podcast The Dropout before I read this book. Both mediums cover the same material so I didn’t feel like I was learning anything new reading Bad Blood. The Gilded Wolves breaks my heart to DNF, but I tried so hard to love this book. I tried the psychical, ebook, and even audiobook. Nothing worked. One to Watch was simply a book not for me, and The Shadows Between Us felt really rushed. I would have enjoyed it more I think if it was a duology and not a standalone.
Some books I read were just meh for me. Okay, quite a few were just meh this year. Here’s what was meh. (how many times will I say meh)
I had such high expectations for the Cruel Prince series, and while there were moments that were amazing (um, book two ending?!), overall it was just a bit flat for me. I wanted to know more about Cardan and his abilities, more about Jude, more about the court politics. Just more really.
The Hand on the Wall….what a disappointment. Ugh. It hurts me to say that. I loved the first two books of this series SO much, but that ending….was not it. I am going to continue going to with the series because I do love Stevie as a main character. I just hope the series can redeem itself.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was entertaining, but it felt like a ripoff of the Serial podcast? I am going to read the sequel, but I don’t have high hopes for it. Days of Blood & Starlight…this one was slooooooow. So slow that it took me way over a month to read it because I kept putting it down. I ended up skimming the last 25% and decided to not finish the series.
Things in Jars wasn’t bad, just not what I was expecting. I went in thinking it was going to be a mystery sprinkled with magical realism, and while it is magical realism the mystery was not so present. You find out in the first couple of chapters who the “culprits” are and instead it’s more about a family and their secrets. Again, not bad, just not what I had expected. I do recommend the audiobook, it’s great!
I did read a couple of new favorites, but I’ll save that for my next post. 🙂