Most Disappointing Books of 2021

Once I’d reviewed my year of reading and discovered the books that most surprised me in 2021, I knew I had to talk about the books that most disappointed me next. With the marketing hype machines that are publishing houses and authors’ Twitter accounts, you never can tell which books will become soured by disappointment upon finally experiencing them, no matter how excited or hopeful you were for them.

It wasn’t that these books merely fell short of the mark; they were depressingly bad in ways that made me feel like the hype I had for them was silly and wasteful. Many of these books also debuted in 2021, and that in and of itself is a depressing thought. Are books getting worse? Or are my expectations as a reader becoming unwieldy and unrealistic? In an era where stories are becoming bigger and bigger franchises with over-the-top visuals, rehashed plots, and plot-disarming twists, can we be surprised by anything anymore? Have we seen it all?

I don’t think so. While an original story can be groundbreaking, any story that is well-told will travel farther regardless if we have seen its like before or not.

How, then, did the following books fail to live up to my expectations? Time to find out.

Most Disappointing Books of 2021

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

Look at that cover! Isn’t it cool? Well, that’s all the cool factor you get with Persephone Station. I was promised a high-stakes adventure and space opera in the vein of The Mandalorian and Cowboy Bebop with an all-queer cast. What I got instead was an incredibly dull 500-page slog with equally dull characters. Each character had a profession and sexuality assigned to them, and that was the extent of who they were. In addition, everyone’s relationships had already been formed before the novel, and nobody had friction with anybody. There was Some Evil Corporation the group had to overcome, but I never once was encouraged to care about it. I started off my 2021 with this book, so you can imagine how unenthused I was after the fact; that’s where Unsounded came in to save my life.

I mean, gosh, when are people going to learn? Never compare yourself to Cowboy Bebop; you’ll never be Cowboy Bebop.

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Most Anticipated Book Releases: September 2018

September is upon us, and with it comes a host of new book releases! There are so many books I’m looking forward to this month. I thought about trimming the list back, but I decided not to because all of these deserve a place to shine and be acknowledged. (After all, who knows when I’ll be able to read and review them?)

The top spot for this month goes to…

vengeful

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab is the highly yearned for sequel to Villains, which was both a concept that paid tribute to superheroes and villains while also flipping the genre on its head. I’m in love with Victor, who has the ability to cause or deaden pain, and Eli can go jump off a bridge. Who’s the hero and who’s the villain? Well. I’m super excited for the additional cast members as well, both old and new. Congrats to Schwab for having my most highly anticipated book for the second month in a row! I can’t help it. That’s just how much I love her and look forward to her writing. Release date: September 25

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