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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Most Disappointing Books of 2023



I often find that a book that is disappointing is worse than you just straight-up dislike. There's something about being really excited to read a book only for it to not be as good as you were expecting it to be. In the age of social media and hype, this is sadly pretty common.


Like my previous list, this is going to be a short one. Small blessings I would say but, again, I didn't read as much as I hoped to this year.


Let's get into it.



 


 

KATEKYO HITMAN REBORN! BY AKIRA AMANO

 


I don't know how this even managed to disappoint me but it did. I knew that the beginning of this series was going to be a slog, because I remember watching the anime and it took all the way until the Varia arc (82 chapters deep) to get interesting. 82 chapters might not seem like a lot but boy is it when everything before it is boring as all hell. I was still hoping it wouldn't be THAT boring though.



 

HIDDEN PICTURES BY JASON REKULAK

 


This is what I am talking about when things get hyped up too much and all you are left with is disappointment. The people of TikTok were raving about this book and...I didn't like it. The plot was boring, the main character was unreliable but not in a well-written way, and the twists were a bit of a mess. Not worth the hype at all.



 

OUR WIVES UNDER THE SEA BY JULIA ARMFIELD

 


I don't pick up fiction/contemporary books often, but this book was speaking to me. It had me with queer romance and deep sea trauma, and even though I had never heard of it before despite being a very well-loved book in 2022, I wanted to read it. Now, this wasn't bad, but it didn't quite hit the spot for me. While I don't generally like reading books about trauma, I thought it was going to be okay, but the rehabilitation process ended up putting me out of it because of the way it was handled. I don't mean by the author I mean by the characters here.



 

THE ADVENTURES OF AMINA AL-SIRAFI

 


I see a book about pirates and I read it and hope for the best. This, despite not being bad per se, was a huge swing and a miss for me. I was expecting greatness from this but instead, I was kind of just bored. I should have expected it because I couldn't get into The City of Brass either, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway.


 

MYSTERIES OF THORN MANOR BY MARGARET ROGERSON

 


I was over the moon when I saw that a sequel to Sorcery of Thorns came out. I was then quickly not as excited once I finished it because...this wasn't very good. This novella was completely pointless and added absolutely nothing to the story to my complete disappointment.


 

THE 7 1/2 DEATHS OF EVELYN HARDCASTLE

 


I read The Devil and the Dark Water and rather liked it, and thought it was time to pick up the book that put Stuart Turton on the map for me. I thought that this was going to be even better until I read it and was rather disappointed by what I read. I didn't find the mystery interesting or satisfying at all.

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