I’m sure we’ve all experienced it.
We pick up a book. We’re excited to read said book, whether it’s a stand-alone, a first in a series, the sequel to a series you fell in love with while reading the first book, or the finale to one of your favorite series. You read it. You keep reading it. And then you realize mid-way through, or maybe near the end of the book, that you absolutely hate it.
(Or strongly dislike it.)
And, of course you feel betrayed. You feel lied to. But everyone told you how good the book was? But the first book was just so good…how could the series come to this? But isn’t the sequel supposed to be even better than the first book? But the concept sounded so good once I added it to my TBR on Goodreads; what happened between now and then? BUT THAT BOOK WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME; HOLY CRAP?
So, I thought it’d be fun to talk about those books; those books that make you excited, or make you really downtrodden because you could have been so much better! Let’s get started!
Second Book Slump
Do you ever have those moments where you’re fresh off the reading the first book of a series? The first book was either a really great start to the series, and you need to start the sequel, like, now, or the first book was just meh to you, and the only reason you’re continuing on is because your friends are insisting the series gets better; THEY SWEAR. So you decide to read the sequel, and it starts out okay (like most bad books do).
And then you realize, right in the middle of reading it, “Why am I still reading this? I’m bored out of my mind.”
Independent Study, Rebel Springs, and The Winner’s Crime are all culprits of this. For the first two novels, I enjoyed the first books in the series – The Testing and Falling Kingdoms, respectively – but while reading was really let down. For Independent Study, it was too much of a copycat of The Testing for me to enjoy it; for Rebel Spring, the book was SO BORING (though Gathering Darkness totally made up for it).
For The Winner’s Crime, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, and went into the second book for another chance because everyone said it was SO GOOD. I didn’t like it the first time, and the second time around, I DNF-ed it. So, that was disappointing.
“I’ve been waiting for this book for so damn long! I can’t wait to read it!” you say as soon as you purchase the finale to one of your favorite series and curl up in your reading space to get ready to read it.
“What the actual hell did I just read?” you say once you close the book and realize how disappointed you are.
For me, those three books were The Last Star, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and Ignite Me. Out of all three of these, The Last Star was probably my biggest disappointment. I loved The 5th Wave, and though The Infinite Sea wasn’t perfect, I still enjoyed it. But I remember being so upset after finishing The Last Star because so many things were left open, the romance was terrible, and it was just a completely unsatisfying ending.
For The Retribution of Mara Dyer and Ignite Me, I didn’t like the first couple books in the series too much, but I was actually good at binging series at that time, and I also wasn’t a huge DNF-er, so I went ahead and finished the series, because why not? Unfortunately, the finales just ended up finalizing that I hated both series, mainly because they were so disorganized and boring and just didn’t line up with the rest of the series in terms of plot and resolution.
The Hype Machine
Ah, yes, the dreaded book hype. You read all the reviews praising the book on Goodreads, you see all these five stars, you see the book on everyone’s favorite list, the books have such a huge fandom, so you think, “Obviously, I’m going to enjoy this one as well!
There are so many books with lots of hype that everyone loved except me, but I decided to just lessen it to four books: The Darkest Minds, The Winner’s Curse, The Wrath and the Dawn, and Under the Never Sky. Pretty much all of these books sold me with their interesting premises, gorgeous book covers, and all the amazing reviews.
And I didn’t like any of these books. I hated most of them in fact. Oops. Either too slow, just didn’t click with me, I didn’t like some of the characters, the world-building was awful, or I thought that the actual story didn’t reach the full premise it could have. The hype machine can do incredible things, but sometimes, it just completely misses the mark for me.
Knocked My Socks Off
These are the books I didn’t think would surprise me or I thought would just be my ordinary reading experience, but totally and completely took my surprise in the best possible way. Whether with an awesome plot twist or fantastic character development or gorgeous writing – all paired with a stunning cover to boot – it just makes for an unforgettable reading experience that you wish you could have all over again.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Golden Son, and Crown of Midnight were definitely these types of reads for me. The first time I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I didn’t enjoy it too much, but the second time around, I fell in love with the prose. Golden Son and Crown of Midnight were sequels that were the exact opposite of second book slump and enhanced the series for me and launched it to my “Favorites” list.
And those are some of the books that outright lied to me.
(Hopefully, I can avoid these types of books in the future, except the last category. Those can stay.)
What are some books that you felt like lied to you? Have you experienced any of these categories? Do we share any of the same opinions?