Biggest Disappointments of 2013

First, a clarification: The Biggest Disappointment doesn’t precisely equal The Worst. Some of these weren’t bad at all, I just hoped for or expected more from them. I’ve linked to posts where I’ve previously written about the books (if I did – some of them I completely ignored on the blog over the last year), or to Amazon if I’ve never shared any thoughts about the book before.

A Waste of a Good Premise

Biggest Disappointments of 2013: Six YearsSix Years
I’ve liked other books by Coben, but this one combined enormous plot holes with cliches and an easy-to-predict-yet-completely-implausible outcome. That’s not a winner.

French Twist: An American Mom’s Experiment in Parisian ParentingFrench Twist: An American Mom's Experiment in Parisian Parenting
Just read Bringing up Bebe and/or French Kids Eat Everything instead.

Waiting at Joe’s
This could have been such a fascinating book, and instead it was so repetitive and shallow.

At least they’re off my TBR shelf and out of my house.

Biggest Disappointments of 2013: The Hills Is LonelyThe Hills Is Lonely
I’d saved this one to read, expecting to love it as I thought my mom had. Read it and thought it was dated and dull, and only then asked my mom about it. Turns out my grandmother loved it, not my mom. That makes a lot more sense.

The Code of Love
Another one where I thought my mom had really liked it, so I kept pushing through even when I wasn’t enjoying it. Only to find out after finishing it that she hadn’t really liked it either.

Winter of Entrapment
Slogged my way through this plodding tale that sucked all the life out of the story of the Donner Party. Cannot believe I didn’t give up on it after the first few chapters.

The Crimson Oak
It had been on my shelf for years, and then I discover it was so boring. Why on earth did I wait so long to try it (I’ve moved it at least three times), and why didn’t I give up on it without finishing it?

When I should know better than to even try:

Biggest Disappointments of 2013: With Every BreathWith Every BreathWith Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
I was so tempted by the time travel aspect and Scottish setting that I ignored the warning signs. The time travel was the only redeeming feature of the book, and wasn’t enough to make up for the other drawbacks.

Captive of SinCaptive of Sin by Anna Campbell
I know, I shouldn’t have even tried it with that title. I found it on some list that made me hope it was better than the title and cover would indicate. It wasn’t, instead it was worse.

In Bed with a HighlanderIn Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
I remember nothing about it, other than that even while reading it I was wondering why on earth I was bothering. Found it on a list of books for people who don’t like romance but do like historical fiction. That list was not to be trusted.

I’m probably not being fair here:

Biggest Disappointments of 2013: Liar & SpyLiar & Spy
Only problem with this one was reading it after When You Reach Me. Suddenly a good book feels very “meh” when the previous one by the author was one of my favorites for the year.

Stepping Heavenward
I know so many people who adore this book, and it was such a let down for me. I think it’s a must-read-before-you’re-an-adult book or something.

The Bone Garden: A NovelThe Bone Garden: A Novel by Tess Gerritsen
Wasn’t a bad book, I just went into it expecting it to be fabulous. And it wasn’t for me. If my expectations had been set at a more reasonable level, I probably would have enjoyed it just fine.

Curious for more? I shared my biggest disappointment from 2012 here.

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  1. I’m kind of sad to see Stepping Heavenward and The Bone Garden on the list! Wish they had lived up to your expectations!

    • My expectations were just too high for both of them. Although with Stepping Heavenward I don’t think I’d have ever loved it, I think The Bone Garden wouldn’t have been a disappointment at all if I hadn’t gone into it thinking I was going to LOVE IT.

  2. Have you tried the Outlander series? It is *the* time travel, historical fiction romance.

    • I’ve read the first three (?) in the series, but haven’t bothered finishing the series. Too much of the romance aspect – as much as I loved Jamie and Claire as characters, I did not want all the details provided. But, I do tend to not like romance books in general, and especially romance books on the steamy side, so it’s not a surprise that that aspect of the Outlander books wasn’t something I appreciated.

      Based on the opinions of several of my friends and relatives however, I believe I’m in the minority with that point of view. 🙂

      • It doesn’t surprise me that the romance part wouldn’t be your cup of tea in Outlander, but it does have the history and time travel, so I had to mention it. 🙂 I have only read the first book. I have heard people complain that the later books are a bit more detailed oriented, so they may be more history focused over romance, but that is just a guess.

        • I thought the later ones were getting more explicit, with less of the history that I wanted. That’s the main reason I stopped reading them. Disclaimer is that I ended up reading them out of order, and that really messed up the narrative, and took away a lot of the enjoyment. Perhaps the romance aspects wouldn’t have bugged me so much if I hadn’t gotten the history part and overall character stories jumbled.

          • I am glad to know that it got more explicit. A pet peeve of mine is when things like violence or sex scenes dramatically increase over the course of a book. I guess I am a fuddy duddy, but I like the range of situations to remain fairly constant across a series. I want to know what I am expecting when I reach for the next book in a series. I guess I read too many Babysitters’ Club and Nancy Drew books as a kid.

          • YES. This is a big thing for me – keep the content level about the same. Nevada Barr’s series is really bad about that – it’s gotten much more graphic as the series has continued, and it’s a big reason why I am not sure I want to read the latest one.

  3. Hmmm, seems like the key here is too make sure your mom actually did like the book first 😉 great idea for a list, loved it

    • Yes, I’m really aggravated at myself for not clarifying that with her. Would have saved me some reading time. 🙂

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