Most Disappointing Reads of 2020

Let me begin by saying that 2020 as a year was, as we all know, miserable. I’ve not spoken to a single person who has said, “Yeah, 2020 was great! I accomplished so much and was happy!” That is just not a thing people say. However, reading wise, I had a very productive year finishing my most books ever in a year at 64. There were many books on that list that I loved, and you can see my favorite books of the year here, but along with that were a few duds. These are my more disappointing reads of 2020.

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller – This book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. I loved Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King duology and this book sounded fantastic. I was looking forward to a hard, determined, cunning woman taking the throne at any cost with style and panache. Instead what I got was a wishy washy woman who didn’t seem to actually know what she wanted with less sense than could fill a thimble and a king with all the personality of a spoon. This book was a massive let down. 2.5/5

There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Pool – There Will Come a Darkness was another book I was highly anticipating reading in 2020. It will also be the only book on this list that is marked with a DNF. Rarely have I been as bored reading as I was while reading this book. The characters were flat, the plot was moving so slowly it was being passed by slugs, and the setting lacked description to the point that I couldn’t picture it at all. I stopped reading this half way through but I was so let down that I felt it merited a place on this list. DNF

The Betrothed (The Betrothed #1) by Kiera Cass – What an epic trash fire this book was. I had read Cass’s The Selection series and actually enjoyed the simple, overly dramatic, ridiculous early 2010s YA fantasy it was so I expected something with a similar vibe with The Betrothed. What I got was just…bad. It is so bad. The characters are absurd in the extreme, there is no a single character worth liking, the plot was scattered and pointless, and the choices the characters made just lacked all sense. This was an absolutely terrible read. 1/5

Wilder Girls by Rory Power – I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. Some people loved it, some people hated it, but overall the premise sounded good so I gave it a shot. I discovered that this book is not for me. SPOILERS – The vague, open ended ending, or lack thereof, in this book was a poor choice. The story had no conclusion or resolution and as it is not part of a series you are left with an empty feeling. The supposed LGBTQIA+ romance in this was also little more than a marketing ploy. Complete disappointment. 2/5

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco – I will preface this by saying that I read an ARC of this book, not the finished copy. That being said, it was…pretty much what I excepted. I did not enjoy Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series even though it had such huge potential. I wanted to love Kingdom of the Wicked because the idea behind it is JUST SO GOOD. Maniscalco has such great ideas but her execution just falls flat for me. The story was dry, the characters were dry, the setting was dry, and if I had to suffer through one more description of food I may have very well ripped my hair out. 2.5/5

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1) by Jasmine Guillory – While I read mostly fantasy I do enjoy other genres which is why I picked up The Wedding Date. I was in the mood for what was billed as a sweet, funny, quirky romance. It was none of those things. Both of the romantic leads lacked a backbone which made them thoroughly unlikeable, their romance seemed absolutely ridiculous, and this book really seemed more like an excuse for the author to write a bunch of vanilla sex scenes and talk about junk food and alcoholism more than anything else. Very lackluster. 2/5

While 2020 overall was a good reading year, these duds were certainly low points book-wise. But, if there weren’t books we didn’t like we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones quite as much.

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