DISCUSSION: 2017’s Most Disappointing Reads

December 28, 2017

It’s time for another end-of-year discussion post! (Are you guys getting tired of these yet? I hope not, because I’m sure not getting tired of writing them!)

I know that I personally, and many of my friends, love bookish rants – whether they’re on booktube, blogs, twitter, whatever. Unpopular opinions, rant reviews, unhaulings, the works – so, today, I decided I’d tell you guys my ten most disappointing reads of the year! (I was gonna aim for 17, since it’s 2017, but I didn’t really have 17 books that legitimately bummed me out badly enough to be worth ranting about.)

I was feeling particularly committed to this post, so these will be in order from the least disappointing to the MOST DISAPPOINTING!


10. All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
I know this one is controversial, and a lot of my friends adored it, but I felt like this book’s representation of mental illness was incredibly problematic, and on top of that, the writing was just very poor. I couldn’t bring myself to give any fucks at all about any of the characters, and I hated Violet’s attitude. She is such an incredibly unlikable love interest that I have no clue how I was ever intended to root for her.

9. All Rights Reserved – Gregory Scott Katsoulis
This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I was ecstatic when I received an ARC, but it was such a letdown! The MC’s refusal to speak seemed like a cool plot idea, but in execution, made for a very boring and slow narrative, as well as a lot of terrible decisions that just made me want to throw my kindle across the room.

8. Girl Out of Water – Laura Silverman
This author had gone through hell on Goodreads when a ton of anti-semitic people decided to “punish” her for being anti-Trump, so between what she had gone through, and the fact that I was told this book had a disabled black love interest, I was honestly fully prepared to love it. Instead, the MC was one of the literal worst characters I have ever read in my life, and I raged through most of the book (and all of my review).


7. The Undertaking of Lily Chen – Danica Novgorodoff
This graphic novel was so stunning, and so many people had raved about it to me, so I was fully convinced that it would be flawless. Instead, first of all, the cover is deceiving, and the art inside looks nothing like it; second, it is such a disgusting and terrible plot, with disgusting, terrible characters.

6. Haven – Mary Lindsey
I’ve been trying to get back into paranormal romance this year, and after the delight that was Black Bird of the Gallows (another PNR from EntangledTeen), I thought Haven would be amazing, too, but it was so incredibly misogynistic and gross that I DNFed it around the halfway mark.

5. The Waking Land – Callie Bates
Another ARC that I thought I would adore, but it had such a terribly rude and self-contradicting MC that I had a hard time finishing it. The plot for this one was great and the writing had so much potential that I would consider picking up another release by Callie Bates, but I would not continue this series.


4. One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
When I read this, literally every single person on my GR friends list who had reviewed this, had given it 4+ stars. I thought there was no way I would dislike it. Holy hell, was I wrong. This book is problematic from start to finish, plus the “mystery” is not only harmful, it was also painfully easy to guess.

3. Final Girls – Riley Sager
Much like #3, this was a thriller that I expected to adore because EVERYONE I knew was loving it! I was so bored, and couldn’t connect to the story at all. I hated all of the characters (yes, ALL of them) and wasn’t even remotely interested in what was happening until around the 80% mark, which is honestly waaaaay too late.

2. The Ravenous – Amy Lukavics
Another of my most anticipated of the year – I submitted several requests for this ARC, before finally caving and getting it from #booksfortrade. I hadn’t read a YA zombie book in a while, and the plot just sounded so fun, but unfortunately, I was bored and disappointed through about 95% of the book. The ending was great, but it was another case of too little, too late.

And finally, my #1 most disappointing read of 2017… *drumroll*


1. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert
Technically, this doesn’t come out until January 30th, but since I did read it in 2017, I decided to include it in the list. I had such incredibly high hopes for this book, but I was not only disappointed by it, I was also enraged and insulted. There’s honestly too much garbage for me to sort through it all in a paragraph, so I’ll just invite you to check out my review from last week if you’re interested in learning why this was my single most disappointing read of 2017!

Were you disappointed in any of the books on my list? What was your most disappointing read of 2017? Let me know in the comments below! <3


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  • Reply Caitstiel December 28, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I also didn’t really enjoy ‘All The Bright Places’ either, both the characters and the writing just didn’t do it for me.
    I have been planning to read ‘One of Us is Lying’ and most of the people on my Goodreads feed also have been rating it highly, so i’ll definitely check out your review to see why you didn’t like it!

  • Reply awbreereads December 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

    The only book on this book that I have read is One of Us is Lying, but I actually liked it. I mean there were issues but I still enjoyed it. I have wanted to read a lot ofthe books though

  • Reply Sionna (Books in Her Eyes) December 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

    The Waking Land was such a letdown for me as well! If I had the will to make my own more disappointing list it would definitely be on it!

  • Reply confessionsofayareader December 28, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I actually liked One of Us is Lying and Haven. Bummed that you didn’t. I’m still hoping to read The Waking Land (which I have), Final Girls, and The Hazel Wood (which I ordered). I hope I end up liking them more than you did. Sorry you read so many disappointing books this year.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      Hey, I’m glad you enjoyed them!! I feel like books are sooo subjective. No two people read the exact same book. <3 And thank you! I honestly read MOSTLY good and even amazing books in 2017, so I don't mind a few let-downs!

  • Reply anatomyofabookthief December 28, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I was also really disappointed by All The Bright Places, so much so that I didn’t even realise that Jennifer Niven had also written Holding Up the Universe which I really loved!

  • Reply RedRocketPanda December 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I was so gutted when I didn’t get approved for the Hazel Wood ARC on NetGalley but after seeing your rants about it I feel like I dodged a bit of a bullet there. One of my goals for next year is to not feel too much pressure to read the same books as everyone else, because they often turn out to never be as good as the hype!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      I definitely feel like you dodged a bullet! I love that goal, honestly, and might have to steal it! I feel like, as bloggers, we have even MORE pressure on us to read hyped books ASAP so we can get the reviews posted and all, but it doesn’t always pay off.

  • Reply The Reading Panda December 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    The Final Girls was my most disappointed book of the year! It was so awful and I also hated all of the characters so much.

  • Reply authortialee December 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I was planning on doing one of these lists tomorrow actually, but I can’t help but feel a little sad lol. Great list!

  • Reply alexcanread December 28, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    The Hazel Wood was so bad – I agree with being super disappointed. My other big disappointment is Andy Weir’s Artemis. Holy Hannah was it TERRIBLE. I’m still bitter over it “winning” the GR Choice “Awards” >:(

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Ugh, yikes. I’ve heard soooo many bad reviews for Artemis! I didn’t have any real interest in Andy Weir’s books to begin with, but after how much a lot of my trusted reviewer friends (like you!) hated it, it’s a major hard pass for me now.

  • Reply lattesnliterature December 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I really liked Final Girls, but my worst reads of the year were Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, After the Fall by Kate Hart, It Takes Two by The Property Brothers, Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Machado, and Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      I haven’t read most of the books you named, but I’m so sad to hear you disliked Her Body and Other Parties! That actually almost made my “best of” list. It just goes to show how differently people can view the same books, though! 🙂 Happy reading!

  • Reply Elise @ Roaming Reader December 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    *sigh* I feel like everyone has been dissapointed by The Hazel Wood… it really makes me worried to pick it up

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      I honestly don’t recommend it to ANYONE, point blank. I never say this about books, but I genuinely HATED that book. 🙁

  • Reply Kathy @ Books & Munches December 29, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Figured The Hazel Wood would be on here, haha. And it’s the top spot?! [or lowest; depending how you look at it.]
    I wanted to read Haven; it sounds good? And I like the cover? We’ll see! Plenty of books to read first..

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      I hope you like Haven more than I did, if you do pick it up! I honestly think Haven was probably a case of “it’s me, not you” more than anything, because I feel like that book *could* be great for the right reader. 😀

      • Reply Kathy @ Books & Munches January 16, 2018 at 1:53 am

        One day, maybe. When it gets a bit higher on my priority list of books to buy but right now I’m too focused on preordering books so I don’t have to worry about not getting them in time, haha. :’D

  • Reply Annemieke December 30, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I’ve seen a lot of people not taken by The Hazel Wood. Funnily enough it is actually getting translated to Dutch. I might pick it up from the library to give it a go.

  • Reply Mikaela @ The Well-Thumbed Reader January 1, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Ooh, yes, I was also roped into All Rights Reserved because of how amazing the plot sounded, so I was so disappointed when I read it, and I found myself so bored. And THEN it started becoming cliche, so I DNF-ed it. I also really wasn’t into One Of Us Is Lying either, even though I really wanted to love it. And the resolution just left me unsatisfied. >_< I've heard really meh things about The Hazel Wood lately, so now I don't know if I'll like it or not! I did love Final Girls, though; it was one of my favorite reads of the year! And I still need to read The Ravenous (hopefully in 2018)!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Oh my gosh, right?! It sounded sooo freaking unique and awesome, and then it was just such a let-down. I love that we agreed on so many, lol! I’m glad you enjoyed Final Girls! I think I just wasn’t the right reader for it. I hope you like The Ravenous, too!

  • Reply Sarah January 5, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I’m pretty sure your reviews of disappointing books has saved me from reading so many things I would have disliked in 2017, so thank you for that!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 15, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      Lmao, I love this comment and I love you, Sarah. <3 I'm happy to help! You've saved me from quite a few disappointing reads, too!

  • Reply 2017 Wrap-Up & Statistics – howling libraries January 6, 2018 at 11:04 am

    […] DISCUSSION: 2017’s Most Disappointing Reads […]

  • Reply Ilsen Leon July 15, 2018 at 9:31 am

    The only book I read from here was All the Bright Places which is my favorite but I understand that it has problematic aspects. It does draw a fine line. I have One of Us Is Lying and I’ve been meaning to get Girl Out of Water. Sucks that you really didn’t enjoy them.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 16, 2018 at 3:22 am

      Thanks, love, I hope that you enjoy both of those more than I did! <3 I'm a big believer that almost every book has its "audience"!

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