Most Disappointing Reads of 2021

With the “best of” list also comes the “most disappointing” list – I read a handful of books in 2021 that I was really looking forward to, they were really hyped up, and I was ultimately let down by them.

I DNF-ed at least 10 books this year. I felt like it was more but its hard to keep track when I remove the date so they can go on my DNF shelf. One of my goals for 2022 is continuing to DNF books that aren’t working for me or I feel they’re heading for a 1 or 2 star rating. I need less of those in my life. Without further ado, some books that disappointed me this year.

Empire of the Vampire – Probably the most hyped up sci-fi vampire book of 2021 and the most disappointing for me. I read it. I read it ALL. All 700+ pages and almost 27 hours of audio. Maybe adult sci-fi books just aren’t for me and I should stick to YA.

I pushed through to the very last page hoping it would get better, but it did not. It wasn’t awful, but I could have stopped at any time and been ok with my decision. I don’t know why I though this would be anything like a satisfactory ending when I know this is going to be a trilogy – so that was bad on me.

This book has a 4.46 rating on Goodreads at the time of writing this review, so clearly I’m in the minority, but this book did nothing for me.

Realm Breaker – Another one I was really looking forward to. I LOVED the Red Queen series – all of it. I loved the world Victoria build in Red Queen and Realm Breaker just dragged on. This is like Fellowship of the Ring where they journey across lands for the ENTIRE BOOK and then it ends. And nothing happens.

Victoria Aveyard’s writing is stunning, no doubt about it, but this does not feel like a young adult book with how heavy it is with world building and how many characters we get introduced to. This would be amazing to watch as a tv show, I can visualize everything so clearly….and yet, I don’t want to read about it. You can easily see how she studied screen writing when you read her works. I won’t be continuing this series.

A History of What Comes Next – I loved Sylvain Neuvel’s Themis Files/Sleeping Giants trilogy so much. I was intrigued by this premise and while I still gave this 3 stars, I didn’t fall in love with it like I did the Sleeping Giants series, and for that I am sad.

If you’re a history buff, I think you’ll love this and find it very fascinating as most of this is based on real life events and people – with some fictional ones added in, but still based on factual women who lived during this time. I’m giving it 3 stars on Goodreads – a solid “I enjoyed it but I won’t be screaming about it from the rooftops” book for me. I do look forward to reading more of Sylvain Neuvel’s books in the future, as he has a great writing style that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Ace of Spades – Another super hyped up dark academia book that ultimately let me down. For a thriller, never once was I “on the edge of my seat” so to speak. I was never really invested in this plot line or these characters – they felt one dimensional and continued to make stupid decisions, say later how they made a poor decision, and make the same stupid decision the next time. Rinse and repeat.  I wish I DNF-ed this earlier on. I thought it would get better, so I kept going, but I was left disappointed with an unsatisfying conclusion.

The Wolf and the Woodsman – I DNF-ed this one at 77% – a reminder its never too late to DNF a book you aren’t enjoying! …and boy am I not enjoying this one. I gave it a chance. Its not a bad book, its just not for me. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be for me going in, but I decided to join the Illlumicrate readalong and….yeah, this isn’t for me. I can’t waste anymore time on it.

The Project – I loved Sadie SOOOOO much, I had high expectations for Courtney Summers next book and sadly, this one let me down. Honestly? I was bored. Cults can be fascinating if told correctly but this story wasn’t presented as such to me. The plot was predictable. The cult aspect was predictable. The ending….well there wasn’t even a twist, I saw the ending coming from a mile away. Nothing about this felt like a thriller. I was never on the edge of my seat.

Lost in the Never Woods – Sadly, this book fell very flat for me. It felt like a plateau. I was waiting and waiting and WAITING for things to happen but nothing. ever. did. In the beginning a little happened, and the end things happened very quickly but this book was a plateau. It’s very mundane. I considering DNF-ing it more than once. It dragged on for far too long with far too little actually happening.

It Happened One Summer – Using Schitt’s Creek as an inspiration was a genius marketing tactic, but besides Piper being a “rich” and “spoiled” girl like Alexis in the beginning of Schitts Creek, that where the similarities end.  This book overall felt rushed and like I didn’t truly get to know the characters. I did like Piper a lot by the end, she did grow and learn but where as in Schitts Creek with Alexis it was gradual, this was too quick to feel natural.

Small Favors – I’ve heard nothing but good things about Erin A. Craig so I was excited to finally read something by her! I feel like I picked up the wrong book first. While this started off promising, the plot was just too slow for my tastes. It felt like the story dragged on without anything actually progressing or happening until almost 75% into the book. I wish the pacing was better as the middle completely drags.

The Chosen and the Beautiful – Suddenly I remembered I really didn’t like The Great Gatsby all that much… I DNF-ed this at 50%.

I had hoped this would bring something new to the table, with an Asian & LGBTQ protagonist, but I’m bored out of my mind. Nothing is happening. And Jordan isn’t all that interesting of a character… yawn. The writing is nice, but its also kinda…bland, just like The Great Gatsby. I can see a lot of people enjoying this one, its just not doing it for me and I’m ready to move on.

What books let you down in 2021?
Link your post below and I’ll check it out!


8 thoughts on “Most Disappointing Reads of 2021

    1. I had such high hopes for Lost in the Never Woods bc I loved Cemetery Boys, but sadly it was a miss. Still looking forward to what Aiden Thomas writes next!

      And yeah, you made the right choice in avoiding it! I’m so glad I didn’t end up buying a copy of it now lol!


    1. I hope Realm Breaker works for you too! It wasn’t a bad story at all, I’m just not the right audience/reader for it. That’s whats so fascinating about books, books I disliked I’ve seen on other peoples favorites of the year! Different books out there for everyone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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