Most Disappointing Books of 2022

Let’s chat about the 8 most disappointing books I read in 2022. Firstly I’m glad there were only 8 books in this list and not more but I was more conscience of the books I was picking up in 2022 and trying to only read ones I thought I would truly enjoy Also I am more willing to DNF now if I’m not enjoying a book which generally leads to less books for my Most Disappointing & Worst Books of the year lists.

Also don’t get me wrong, half of these books I did enjoy but just somehow let me down from my expectations. So, let’s jump in!

Starting off with God Storm which is one of the ones I didn’t necessarily dislike. I gave it 3 stars which isn’t bad in my rating system. God Storm is the sequel to Shadow Frost which I loved! Which is exactly why this one disappointed me. I really enjoyed Shadow Frost. I found it action packed & intriguing. The Characters were enjoyable and the world & magic system was vivid and interesting. In God Storm though there wasn’t really anything that stood out. The world was fine, the characters were fine, the plot was fine. So in comparison to Shadow Frost, this one was a bit disappointing.

Another one that I rated 3 stars was Vicious. Again not a bad book. I enjoyed the world and the characters. The plot was intriguing enough & the magic system was interesting. However in comparison to the other books I’ve read by Victoria Schwab & the expectations I had for this one I was left disappointed. On StoryGraph Vicious even has a high average rating compared to A Darker Shade of Magic. In my opinion though the Shades of Magic trilogy is far more gripping than Vicious. Maybe it was that I listened to it on audiobook. Maybe my expectations were too high. I don’t know but I was left wanting more from this one.

May as well stick with the theme of 3 star ratings. Next is Jade Fire Gold. I honestly didn’t know this book existed until I received it in a subscription box. This isn’t one I had high expectations for and was let down or that other books by the author were really good so this one let me down. No, this one was a case of the synopsis was very intriguing and sounded like it was going to be amazing but ended up leaving me wanting more. As I’ve said multiple times already. It wasn’t bad but it just didn’t hit the nail on the head.

We are going to throw a spanner in the works here and talk about a 2.5 star book now. Hunted was another one where another book by the author had me believing I was going to love this but it didn’t hit the mark. I didn’t really enjoy this one. I found the characters annoying, the writing was bland and I’m really not into how they handled the Stockholm Syndrome situation. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a huge fan of it in Beauty & the Beast either which is what inspired this book. Though from the description I expected less of the stockholm syndrome and more a fight for survival. Seen as it was based off Beauty & the Beast we already know the ‘beast’ is just a cursed man but even if I didn’t know that going in I think it still would have been obvious from a mile away. None of the reveals were shocking. The fight scenes left me wanting more. So much more could have been done with this story.

Rules for Vanishing is one of those books that I thought I was going to love, I ended up enjoying it enough to give it a 3 and then I forgot every detail about it as soon as I closed the book. Literally do not remember a thing. So I ended up rating it a fairly average rating after expecting it to be right up my alley. But what was more disappointing was that it was just completely unmemorable…

Now this book is its own worst enemy. Rock Paper Killers was marketed as ‘the perfect page-turning, chilling thriller as seen on TikTok!’ or ‘A twisty, page-turning thriller from a major new voice in YA.’ That is literally in the title of the book on Scribd/Amazon & the second quote is from StoryGraph. Like I’m not kidding…

So after reading that I had a certain expectations. Right? We all would reading that. This however was the most boring thriller I’ve ever read. I honestly only finished this because I was thinking to myself surely there has got to be some big twist and it will suddenly be a new fave. That didn’t happen. This book has literally got a 2.42 average rating on Goodreads & a 2.34 average rating on StoryGraph. I think that is the lowest I’ve seen on both platforms! I usually don’t tell people not to read a book but this one, just don’t bother. This is the only 1 star I gave this year so you best believe you will be seeing it again in my Worst Books of 2022 list…

The last two are by the same author, Stay Gold & Act Cool. These ones are mostly on this list as I’m not only disappointed by the book as a whole but also just by the authors choices for some of these characters. Firstly, I read Stay Gold first and this one I rated 3.5 stars because majority of the book was good. It was just the authors choices for a certain character that was never resolved or addressed is what makes me disappointed. Now this may get borderline spoilery so be warned. The thing that pissed me off in this one is that the MCs best friend continually tries to force the MC to come out as trans at his new school. The MC is not ready to come out which is clear but this best friend consistently tries to push him to come out. Especially when the coming out would really only benefit the best friends needs at the time and not the bloke actually coming out. Yes there are shitty people like this and that should be in books but it needs to be addressed as well. We should be calling out people doing shitty things. But no, they continue on as if nothing is an issue.

Then for Act Cool it just got worse. I originally rated this a 2.5 stars but after stewing on it for a couple months I’ve put it down to a 1.5 stars. In this one firstly the MC is obnoxious at best. The way he goes through crushes on women is just annoying. Literally anything with a vagina he is interested in. The girl he had a crush on would leave the room and another girl would walk in and next second the first girl is forgotten and we have a new crush. No. Stop that. Then there is the fact that he led someone on and didn’t really bat an eye lid about it. He asked this girl to go to a dance which she assumed it was a date. Easy mistake, fine. He realises that she believes its a date and instead of correcting her he lets her believe it & then goes and makes out with someone else and gets caught by said girl… Like dude. Not cool. And of course, again we have someone trying to force people to come out before they are ready. There is a weird love triangle thing going on with a pansexual character who is openly dating this chick but secretly dating this bloke. Which already is not cool and just leans into that sterotype that bi/pan/pol/omni people will cheat because they are attracted to more than one gender. Yeah, that’s not how that works and we don’t need to be promoting that! Anyways! The bloke he is secretly dating thinks it’s a fabulous idea to kiss the bloke in public and in front of the chick he is also dating and force him to choose between him or her. This bloke isn’t openly pansexual, so this is yet another character trying to force people to come out. This crisis was averted by another character but it was never discussed and at no point did this bloke feel bad or apologies for what he was trying to do. I swear this whole book was just drama for the sake of drama.

I’ve heard from others that the trans rep in these two is good and I love that there is LGBT+ rep in these books but I can’t help wondering if some of the representation is promoting harmful stereotypes & toxic behaviour. Can we normalise calling people out for being crappy in real life and books please?!

Well that is it for my Most Disappointing books of 2022! Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts on any of these books or what your biggest disappointments were.

Thanks for reading! Eliza

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