Most Disappointing Books of 2016

While I read some amazing books this past year (as seen by my favorites post), I also read some disappointing ones. All of the books I mention below weren’t necessarily awful, but for one reason or another, I was disappointed by them. It could be that the hype ruined it for me, or that I liked it less than the author’s previous books, or I just wasn’t a fan. Some of these books aren’t necessarily bad, just that I was disappointed and either wanted or expected more.
They are in no order except the order I read them in, January-December. If you click on the image of the book cover, it will take you to its Goodreads page, and if I wrote a review, the link is the title of the book.

23677316Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Rating: 1/5 stars

This was one of the first ARCs that I ever received, and I hated it. I legitimately despised this book, and I can’t think of a single thing I enjoyed. It was a boring fantasy with irritating characters, a dragging plot, and unlikeable writing. I was so not a fan.


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Rating: 3/5 stars

Alexandra’s The Darkest Minds trilogy is one of my favorites ever. Passenger, the first novel in her other duology (?) is…not. While it wasn’t absolutely terrible, I was bored and uninterested in the story, and simply was disappointed it did not live up to my high expectations.


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Rating: 3/5 stars

Wait, wait! I can hear your cries of outrage: Didn’t everyone love this book? Well, I am one of the few that didn’t. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely didn’t love it. I found it to be slow and boring, but I loved the Indian influence.


And I Darken by Kiersten White

Rating: DNF

I DNFed this book within the first hundred pages. I was so excited for it- it’s a gender-bent Vlad the Impaler retelling!- but I wasn’t interested in the story at all, and nothing was happening, so I decided that it wasn’t for me.


Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Rating: 2/5 stars

I think this is a book that either is for you or isn’t, and sadly, it wasn’t for me. I was so, so excited for it to release (queer princesses falling in love in a fantasy book!) but I found the book itself to be a let down. It’s an important book, but one I just didn’t fall in love with.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Rating: 1/5 stars

I didn’t enjoy this book at all. When I found out about the problematic aspects of it (discussed quickly in this review), I was even more disappointed and upset. While some of the books on this list I would still recommend to specific readers, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 3/5 stars

I adored Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles series. Heartless? Not so much. It wasn’t a book I hated, but definitely not one I enjoyed. I was disappointed because I had been expecting so much more.


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Rating: DNF

This was my first Kendare Blake book, and I was not a fan. I DNFed it in the first hundred or so pages, because nothing was happening and I just didn’t care. I wanted to love it, as the synopsis made it sound incredible- but I didn’t.


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: DNF

I had been reading (or trying to read) this book for over a year when I finally decided to officially DNF it. I was only halfway done. It’s a large book, but it should’ve taken me way less time to finish. I was bored and I didn’t even want to find out what happened, so I put it down, and won’t be picking it back up.


Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: Still not sure

Ugh, this book and this series. I used to love it, but now I recognize that it’s incredibly problematic, but I still find them entertaining- so I read the fifth book this year and had so, so many issues with it. This series truly used to be my favorite ever, and now this book is on my most disappointing books of 2016 list. Wow.

I don’t know what I want to rate it, which is why my rating is ‘still not sure’. I was entertained when I read it, but now looking back on it, even besides the problematic things I am upset about, I had problems with the book. No matter the rating, I was disappointed in this book, so it definitely deserves its place on here.

So yes, these were my most disappointing reads of 2016! Honestly, I struggled to find disappointing books, which is good: It means I had a pretty great reading year. There were some major disappointments, though, as well as problematic books that I am so done with.

If you love a book on this list, please, please don’t try and tell me I’m wrong. It’s okay to have differing opinions! I respect that you enjoyed it, so respect that I didn’t/was disappointed by it.

What were your most disappointing books of 2016? Why? Are any of ours the same? Tell me I’m not alone! If you did love a book on this list, feel free to say that- but like I said above, don’t try to sway my opinion.

Thanks for reading!


18 thoughts on “Most Disappointing Books of 2016

  1. I did enjoy Me Before You and Empire of Storms, but I do agree that they were both a bit of a let-down. I think Me Before You could have been so much better (and it was over-hyped…), and I definitely struggled with the Throne of Glass series. I had moments I really enjoyed them, and other times I wanted to throw them across the room and hoped they might land in the fireplace. I’ve reviewed the main books of the Throne of Glass series on my blog if you want to check them out, and I compared Me Before You the novel with the book. I haven’t read any of the other ones on your list, but I was considering reading some Kendare Blake at one point…might need to review my TBR 😉


  2. Sorry about Burning Glass! And I get what you feel about Outlander, I felt frustrated and wanted to dnf several times while reading it, it’s just very slow and detailed (describing grass and shapes of stones???) but i pushed through and ended up really enjoying it! with that said, it’s a pretty tiring read for me that i don’t know whether i’ll ever read the second book or no😜


  3. Unfortunately the only one I can relate to on this list is Outlander (I haven’t read the other ones yet), like yourself, I’ve really been struggling with this book, I find it really boring and there’s just no plot to speak of, which is a problem for me as a plot-orientated reader, I need to know the writer is eventually heading towards some kind of goal and with Outlander, there just isn’t a goal, Claire is just fluffing about, and it so frustrating. Sorry for ranting, but everyone I know just seems to love this book series and I just can’t figure it out.


    1. Have you tried watching the television series at all? I find for some books if I can watch the adaptation to realize that there is actually a point to slogging through bits of it, that it can be a lot easier. I am on the fourth book in the series and having an impossible time with it though, so I completely understand if you can’t get into it regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t tried the TV series and I’m kind of at the the point of “DNF”-ing the book (and the series as a whole), it’s not just the slow plot I struggle with, there’s some other problematic elements as well. Thanks for the tip though.


  4. I actually haven’t read any of the books on this list except for And I Darken….which I also DNF’d. IT WAS SO BORING. I made it further than you, about halfway, but still..nothing happened. So you didn’t miss out much hahah

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook


  5. LOL Oh man, most of these books you posted about, are books I loved! (Except And I Darken!) I haven’t read Heartless yet but yours in the first I’ve seen with a mediocre review. Passenger was a little slow to me, as was Three Dark Crowns, but the ending really made up for it.

    I haven’t read Of Fire and Stars but I’ve seen mixed reviews about. Won’t know until I read it myself!


  6. I can relate to this so much! 2015 was the year of all the favourite for me, but 2016 held a lot of disappointments!
    I LOVED the Darkest Minds series but Passenger really wasn’t for me either….
    The Star-touched Queen was a DNF 😦 And I didn’t even bother to try Me Before You.
    I’m still hoping to try on Of Fire And Stars, but I’m keeping my hopes very low!
    I hope 2017 will have fewer disappointments!


  7. The only one I’ve read on this list so far is The Star Touched Queen. I enjoyed it, but I definitely thought it was a bit overhyped. And while it was cool that it was not based on the usual European fairy tales and mythology, I still thought it was pretty reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast at parts, which is definitely a story structure I like but have read many times.

    I have Heartless on my shelf, but I’ve been putting it off because 1) Wonderland isn’t my favorite thing and 2) People seem to think it’s kind of sad/depressing, which is not what I want to read right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ivory and Bone was probably my most disappointed read, although disappointment is probably an understatement it was incredibly misogynistic and I was angry and offended. I spent money on a hardcover; I’m really conservative with my bookshelf. Only books I think are important/exceptional have a place in my personal library, so I just felt a little betrayed because I had seen positive reviews about it.


  9. Agh I’m with you on so many of these! I was really devastated I didn’t love The Star Touched Queen (everyone else seemed to?!?) but the instalove was a bit frustrating (I mean, I know it got explained in the end, but it still seemed a bit cheating for the relationship development🙈🙊) but at least the culture was SO BEAUTIFUL. It nearly makes up for how confused I got.😂 And same with Heartless (Cath was so spineless?!?) and Passenger and Of Fire And Stars. That was like nearly the most heartbreaking because f/f romance in epic fantasy is SO NEEDED but the plot just didn’t keep me interested at all! Hopefully more like it will come though!!
    I feel better about not loving some of these books now though since I know I’m not alone.😜


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