My reading for 2016 started pretty well. I read six books that I really enjoyed, the last two of which were some of the best books I’ve ever read – but more on those in my favourites of 2016 list!
However, these were then immediately followed by a bunch of meh books. And every year, there’s sadly always going to be some books I read that I don’t enjoy or am let down by.
First up was a Kristan Higgins book called In Your Dreams, which is number four in the Blue Heron series. Unfortunately, I did something foolish and bought about four of the books in this series plus another of Higgins’ books on kindle when they were on sale before having even read one. After reading In Your Dreams, I very much regretted this. I bought them as these seemed nice and cosy and fun, plus they also have quite good ratings on GoodReads. However, there’s a fine line between being cosy, fun, and light and just a bit stupid and unbelievable.
1222 was quite disappointing for me as I’d really looked forward to reading this for quite some time. The premise was just so exciting and different: a closed off, Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, set in winter in Norway. Partially my own fault for not paying attention to this, but this is actually the eighth book in the series focusing on the main detective. A lot of crime book series’ though, when there are so many, you can just jump in anywhere, but I feel like I was definitely disadvantaged here. Overall, I didn’t particularly like the main character, and I found the whole story – crime, conclusion etc. – a bit average.
Faking It was a book I really just stumbled upon for sale on Kindle, and it seemed like a nice, light and fun. It also had quite good reviews. But, uh, this was pretty bad. Similar to In Your Dreams, it was just a bit silly and not as fun as expected. It was surprisingly pretentious and I just didn’t enjoy it. Side note with a minor spoiler: I then read what happens in the following books and am very glad I didn’t continue, because wow would I have been mad!
Wanderlost was ok. I wanted more, but it wasn’t the worst book by any means. The main thing that annoyed me was the main character’s lack of interest in her situation, and really the whole premise was a bit ridiculous. Which isn’t all bad – I’ve read plenty of books that have ridiculous plotlines and still had a fun time. It just has to be done well, and this was pretty average. It had the annoying American teen girl who wasn’t interested in anything outside of her hometown trope, which can really be insulting to everyone: American’s, teen girls, the Europeans whom she has no interest in, even though she is on a truly amazing European trip. I tend to stay away from YA books like that as they irritate me, but I gave this one a shot – because seriously, look at that cover?! Also, I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of this. Needless to say, it didn’t influence my thoughts on the book!
Rivers of London was such a strange, strange book! I had had this on my shelf for a really long time and was excited to finally get into it as A) it sounds awesome, and has a great, intriguing cover, and B) I had heard some rave reviews about it over the years. The main thing is, this book really suffered from being a debut book of sorts. This was the author’s first major novel, as he’s written a few Doctor Who books over the years, but this is really the first in a series that is his own creation. I felt that some parts were a bit long-winded, while others weren’t looked into enough. And there were some, shall we say, questionable racial things that are mentioned throughout the novel?! I actually read this at the same time as my partner, so we were able to have a good discussion about this afterwards, and we had similar feelings about everything, so that did help me feel that it wasn’t just me being finicky. overall, I’d probably give the second book in the series a go if I had time, and a copy of it, and was in the mood. But I wouldn’t be sad if I never got back to it.
A Study in Charlotte just really didn’t pique my interest. I read about half, but having just had so many average reads in a row, I really needed something to blow me away, and sadly, this didn’t. Maybe under other circumstances I would have enjoyed it more. But not this time!
Snowpiercer was definitely a strange one. The actual plot was really fun and exciting – I love post-Apocalyptic/dystopian books, and this had a really great premise. I also enjoy reading graphic novels, so it was a good combination. But really, I think this book suffered from being a translation from the original French novel, and also it was quite dated in it’s portrayal of women. The female characters were only there for sexual purposes, and yes, it’s meant to be set in a harsh future where it’s everyone for themselves, but this did take it to unnecessarily uncomfortable (and potentially triggering for some people) means. There were also many things that were not explained throughout the book that could once again be due to the translation, but overall, I just wasn’t too fussed with this. Very happy never continuing the series.
Code Name Verity was a confusing disappointment. I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy this was largely due to having listened to it on audiobook. I can’t really pinpoint why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would except for this, and the fact that it had been really talked up. I’ve seen this book appear a lot, from lists of the best YA books, to lists of best historical books, and lots and lots of reviews, everywhere. The historical accuracy in this was quite good, I enjoyed that quite a bit. The story jumps around quite a bit, and this is where having listened to the audiobook rather than reading a physical copy really didn’t help me enjoy this. However, I would be open to reading the second book in the series, so that’s something. I haven’t rushed out to get it, but if I ever find it easily/cheaply, then sure, I might give it a go.
As mentioned in my previous post, The Perfumer’s Secret was really bizarre. Unexpectedly comical and just all around a bit of a waste of my time. But oh well. It has a really nice cover at least?!
Next up, a much more positive post, on what I did enjoy reading in 2016!