Let's Talk: Books That Have Let Us Down

Friday, July 12, 2013




Let's Talk is a weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
What are some of the books that you have been very excited to read, but then let you down?


I think it's the nature of book blogging to have books that don't work for us. You can go ahead and tell me that all books are great until you're blue in the face, but I will kindly have to disagree with you on that. I don't think it makes it any easier to write a bad review, and it certainly doesn't take the sting away when you read a book you were so excited to try but it doesn't live up...but it does happen. It's the nature of the beast in blogging, I've found. I think, however, that the top three books that disappointed me are as follows.

If you managed to read Tris & Izzie and it worked for you, I bow down to your reviewing prowess. Yes, I realize that's snarky of me, but guys, I struggled to even finish this book. With a cover like that that is simply to die for, you'd better believe I was equally excited to see just how well the content measured up. Well, needless to say, it really didn't. 

I felt that the characterization was disjointed, the plot was haphazard, and the paranormal element was merely hinted at, rather than fleshed out. Honestly, I felt kind of cheated by this book. Give an author a cover like that and book with packaging that's sure to capture you, and we expect perfection. Instead, I personally feel we got far less than that. 

Guys, before I tell you why I was let down by New Girl, please understand that I haven't actually read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and as this is a modern re-telling of sorts, I probably should have. For all intents and purposes, I've been told that this is a pretty decent modern version, though Becca's character differs greatly from that of Rebecca.

I think that the author is a good writer, but my main issue lies within the fact that the characters felt so dang weak. I like a strong character to offset the other's subtlety, but I really felt nothing. Furthermore, at times the book really moved and was overly dramatic, but then it fell completely flat for several chapters, leaving me with the desire to skim my way through.

Ackkk...I have such a hard time putting This World We Live In on this list, but I kind of really have to. I absolutely loved the first book, and I really love the author's writing style, so as the series continued, despite the fact that the second book wasn't my favourite, I was stoked for the third. Unfortunately, this book was completely and utterly devoid of hope. I kid you not. It's a mess of sheer depression - but not in the way that makes you root for the characters.

I had to watch as the qualities that made me love the characters such as Miranda and Alex in the first two installments were slowly whittled away until they became these sad, antagonistic shells of what they were before, and adding insta-love was the kiss of death. Plus, stating that they were going to live on "family, love and lies" was kind of the final nail in the coffin for me. 

None of these books are bad, per se. They just let me down. The beauty of book blogging is that everyone has their own opinion, so if I'm missing something on these books, please let me know! I also have to mention that I wanted to put up Witch & Wizard by James Patterson for this list, but I decided it doesn't deserve anymore face time on this blog. Bam. 

What about you? What books have you been super excited for and bummed about after reading?


22 comments:

  1. DANCE OF SHADOWS. I didn't have the highest expectations, but I so wanted to like it. To me it was just a mess; so was my review for it. Luckily the titles that I get REALLY excited for have almost never let me down. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything. Hm. WAIT! I was really excited for both SHATTER ME and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER. Both let me down big time. I know I'm in the minority with both of them... Also, HARBINGER. I really wanted to read it when I first heard of it, but after all the bad reviews I ended up not picking it up at all. But in a way it let me down. :/

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    1. I really loved MARA, but SHATTER ME let me down, too. Such a pretty cover for such a so-so book, you know? Huh...that's always the worst for me!

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  2. I completely agree about This World We Live In, I loved the first and second books but the third was so blahhhh, for lack of a better term :D I haven't heard of the other two but maybe that is a good thing xD My biggest letdown was for sure The 5th Wave. Ah, I have an *extreme* dislike for that book. Fun post!

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    1. I haven't read THE 5th WAVE, but I've heard that people either love it or hate it...I'm worried I'll fall in the latter part of that! I just read the next installment for THE LAST SURVIVORS series, and I have to say it let me down, too...blergh.

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  3. Oh, the cover for Tris & Izzy is indeed very pretty, too bad that the book wasn't worth it. Usually sequels turns out to be a bummer for me (Unravel Me, Asunder, Golden Lily and I can go on!). This month, I was so excited to read Insurgent, it was like my top tbr of the month and I'm reading it right now and it's so painful to continue. That's why I should never be excited to read anything, I'm just setting myself up for disappointment (Well, most of the time)

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    1. I try to avoid hype, too, Aman. I think it's almost the kiss of death for me because it will never meet my expectations!

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  4. I managed to get through 50 pages of Tris and Izzie. That was only because - after about 10 pages I was curious to see just how bad it really could be. Then after 50 pages I couldn't even tolerate laughing at it anymore.

    Let's see...I also gave up on 50 Shades. Not that I was expecting much, but I read about 2/3 and couldn't take anymore. More the bad writing than the sex.

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    1. Yeah, Tris & Izzie was just...bad. I hate saying such things about books, but I really, really struggled to finish that one!

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  5. Ink by Amanda Sun, definitely. It's not a bad book... it's just not as good as I expected it to be. I waited for it's release for A WHOLE YEAR and I got a three-star book in return. You can only imagine how bummed I was :(

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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    1. I can definitely imagine. I think I wasn't let down by that one because I hadn't heard too much about it. Hype tends to be a killer for me.

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  6. I remember in 2011 almost every review I read for Tris & Izzie were 1 star or 2 star reviews! I personally didn't find the cover attractive so I never felt compelled to read it & I'm so glad I decided that! The Collector and Between the Lives were incredibly disappointing for me....I read so many early 4 or 5 star reviews who said the two were probably the best 2013 reads but I was so disappointed in both of them :(

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  7. Septemeber girls was a book that I didn't even finish ...and I heard about the tris and izzie too. I wanted to read it but after the reviews came in, I was glad I ended up passing.

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  8. For me, I'm always most disappointed by sequels or conclusions. I've fallen in love with the characters and have such high expectations and they're rarely ever met. Most recently that was Clockwork Princess, which made me so upset since I loved the other two books in the trilogy. Anyway, great post, Melissa!

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  9. For me it has to be Shatter me. I remember that I couldn't wait to get this book in my hands. I was literally counting the days until its release. And then it came and BAM. I read the book but considered giving it up at least a dozen times but i just had to power through to see for myself what had gotten everybody so dang excited about...in the end the book earned the top spot on my 'most disappointed book of the year' shelf on Goodreads. The writing, so praised by everyone else, grated on my nerves and to me Juliette was even worse than Bella Swan as the most useless characters ever written.

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  10. I love to see different opinions. It's sometimes funny to see that one blogger gives a rating of 5x and another blogger DNF the book. We can't love the same books and sometimes a book just doesn't work for you.

    Disappointing books for me: recently Rise by Anna Carey, don't get me started.. Barbara Kyle - Blood between queens and Nancy Holder - The rose bride, these all got 1/1.5 flowers.

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  11. Oh yes, Tris and Izzie!!! I was so so SO excited for that book because the cover is stunning and I love the Tristan and Isolde story, but it got pretty much universally panned so I didn't even bother reading it. Fail. I was super disappointed in New Girl as well, just not the book for me. One not on your list for me was Throne of Glass. I think I was the only person who didn't care for that book and I was obsessed with it before it released. *sobs* Maybe Crown of Midnight will win me over:)

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  12. I think my most recent literary disappointment would have to be Melissa Walker's Unbreak My Heart. I've already discussed it in great detail on my own blog, but so much was made of this novel's depth and emotion and all it managed to inspire in me was frustration and later, apathy. I found the protagonist insufferable and was unable to sympathize with her at all, and the magnitude to which her 'problem' was exaggerated seemed patently absurd. I know this is a favourite amongst many bloggers and I had such high hopes before reading it, but it was a crushing disappointment when I finally completed it.

    P.S. I just have to mention how much I adore your blog and its layout :) It's so cute and colorful and it just makes me want to read it for hours. Lovely work!

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  13. Oh no...I was contemplating starting that Pfeffer series...might not want to invest now....

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  14. Uhg. Tris and Izzie was just...bad. And I agree with Jenny -- Throne of Glass was a huge disappointment for me, too. I seriously hate when that happens! And Twilight (the series) was such a disappointment (ducks as angry mob forms). I just couldn't get into it!

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  15. Hi I'm following thru from Parajunkie's follow friday.
    Following you on Bloglovin & Twitter!

    You can follow me back at "Literary Quill Promotions"

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  16. I finished Tris and Izzie but it was a struggle-I did not much like that book! I've had a lot of sequels that let me down too although 2013 has been a good year overall for second books for me (I'm thinking of Scarlet, Prodigy, and Everbound in particular).

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  17. It's funny how you feel about The World We Live In because your description of no hope, etc. is how I felt at the end of Mockingjay, but not in the Moon trilogy (or series? since there's a fourth?). I read it so quickly though, that I'm not entirely sure I remember it all that well. I should reread before I get my hands on Shade of the Moon though.

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