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Underwhelming Reads of 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Since it is the end of the year, it is time for me to reflect on everything I’ve read, the good and the not so good. Each year I post an underwhelming reads post, where I talk about books that I wanted to like but that just fell short in some way. Now, these aren’t necessarily bad books. I think I gave most of them a 3 or 3.5 star rating. I just wanted more from them. If I have a review up for the book then I will include a link back to that post as well.

Okay, let’s just jump into it.

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace (3.5 stars)

I read The Princess Saves Herself in This One in summer 2017 and for the most part I enjoyed it, giving it a 4 star rating, but this one just didn’t cut it for me. I just don’t connect with her style of poetry. They resonate with a lot of readers, but not with me, and that’s okay, but I can’t see myself picking up any more by her in the future.

Ship It by Britta Lundin (3.5 stars)

This was a decent contemporary, and I can definitely say that I love the design of the naked hardcover in this one. And I do tend to enjoy fandom centered books. What can I say, I’m a fan girl. But I didn’t really like main character Claire all that much, and it affected my enjoyment of the story.

The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara (3.5 stars)

Based on the concept of this book, I wanted to love it. I expected this awesome and powerful book with a couple of lady pirates and a captivating romance. What I got was characters that fell pretty flat and a story that overall was disappointing and didn’t live up to its potential.

Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt (3.5 stars)

This book could have been a DNF from me around the 30% mark, but I pushed through a bit longer because it was a NetGalley read as well. Thankfully the characters matured a bit, but that still didn’t help it recover quickly. I wanted a story with a book lover I could relate to and a cute romance. What I got was a whole lot of immaturity and stupid drama.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (3.5 stars)

I wanted to like this one so much. All of the people who still rave about how great this series is, even years later, made me think that perhaps I should be sad that I missed it back in the dystopian days. But it just felt like another dystopian novel in a long line of dystopian novels to me. I did like Liam, Chubbs, and Zu (especially Zu), so I may try the rest of the series, but probably not any time soon.

The Crimes of Grindewald by J.K. Rowling (3.5 stars)

In the couple hours right after finishing this one, I had it listed as a 5 star read. But in that time I also went and saw the movie, and I processed everything I had read and seen over and over. And I realized that the continuity issues just really bothered me. And some of the details just don’t quite make sense (but maybe that’s because of characters deceiving each other). So perhaps in time this rating may go up a little in context of the whole series being released, but for now, it just didn’t live up to the potential I’ve come to expect from J.K. Rowling.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (3.5 stars)

This is one of my most recent reads, picked up as part of the Short-a-Thon, and it has an interesting premise, and some of the elements intrigued me. There is enough going on in this one, especially in the second half, where I can see myself picking up the sequel. But overall, I didn’t really connect with either of the main characters, and I felt like the story could have been a bit more in depth and expansive. I just wanted more from it.

All right, well that is all from me for today. Considering that I’ve finished 143 books so far this year, I’d say only having 7 underwhelming reads isn’t all that bad. I still have a few more books I’d like to finish in the next couple of days, so we’ll see if I can hit 150 books for the year or not. (The answer would be a resounding yes if I planned to just binge read several manga, but I’m a bit focused on novels at the moment). Anyway, I hope you all are having a wonderful end of the year, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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