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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Most Disappointing Books of 2021

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

In the next entry of my end of year review posts, I am going to be taking about books that promised something good, but let me down in the end. Otherwise known as the top books that disappointed me this year. To be honest, the vast majority of the books on this list could make my list of my most disliked books, but they were on here because I had high hopes for them, and was let down.

Without further ado, here are all the books that were, to channel Coach Finstock from Teen Wolf, profoundly disappointing.


The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

I consider this movie to be a absolute classic, so I was intrigued to what the book was like in relation to it. Needless to say, since this showed up on this list, the movie was 100% better than the book. I thought that the changes the movie made in terms of the characters were for the better as I found most of the characters to be rather unlikable. Mia was a bit of a brat, Queen Clarice was made out to be a kind of bad grandmother, and the addition of Mia's father didn't really add much.

Sufficed to say, I should have just stuck with the movie instead.

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

I was super stocked to read this because I thought 'a graphic novel about gods, sign me up'. The first two volumes of the series kept the hype up, and then it dropped like nothing had before. I have never been so quickly let down before, because the plot got real bad real quick. What made it interesting for me was one character, so when they proceeded to immediately die, so did my interest as all I was left with was a chaotic plot and an unlikable main character.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Here we have our second entry where I should have just left the book alone as the movie by itself was a masterpiece. I should have known that I probably wouldn't enjoy this because I found his other novel, The Andromeda Strain, to be incredibly dry. And dry this was, but with the addition of extremely annoying children and a grown man who threw temper tantrums. The only thing good about this book was that I kept thinking about the movie in the back of the mind so really...there wasn't anything really good about the book.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I had seen this book floating around last year, so I thought I would pick it up to see whether or not I would end up enjoying it as reviewers seemed to either like or hate it. I, unfortunately, ended up on the later side, as this just didn't do it for me. While I will give it to the author that they did go in a direction I wasn't expecting, it wasn't a direction I particularly liked. Combined with a lack of interesting characters, this simply did nothing for me.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

This is an incredibly popular graphic novel series, popular enough that readers that don't read a lot of graphic content even pick it up. While I didn't hate this, I don't think this was just something for me which was disappointing. I want to give it a second shot and push past the first volume, but I don't think I will enjoy myself.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Coming highly recommended by booktuber Emily Fox and having an eye-catching opening line, I was excited to see if this small novella packed a bunch. This novella honestly just bored me, which is why I just gave it a three stars. Not bad, but just not interesting. I think Becky Chambers and me are just not meant to be, as I found her new book A Psalm for the Wild-Built to be boring as well. I will still still give her Wayfarers series a go though, as maybe a longer book will do me better.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

The final book on this list, I was highly anticipating reading this after loving The House in the Cerulean Sea. I set the bar way too high though as, while this was an okay book, it didn't make me feel the way the other book did. It had an interesting premise, but the story didn't suck me in, and I was left wanting more when it came to the character relationships. I think I just set myself up for failure because I was expecting too much and kept comparing it how I felt reading The House in the Cerulean Sea.

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