“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
― Charles Dickens,
Hello, Friends,😊 It’s that time of the year where everyone and their dog will be posting about the most impactful books of 2017. I always look forward to this time of year, it brings together book lovers, shouting out loud their favourite books and speak passionately about them. Before we get to that positive note let’s discuss some books that were in a sense a disappointment… These are books that when I picked them up I was sure they would end up on my “favourite list” but alas the fell flat on their faces. They were okay but they didn’t blow me away…
(All book reviews will be linked)
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller
The book follows an investigative journalist who for years has obsessively tried to uncover the life of the world-renowned film director Stanlis Cordova(fictional character) and his first investigation into the director’s mysterious dark world wasn’t as successful, it almost ended his career. He’s soon pulled back into the dark world as Cordova’s Daughter commits suicide. We follow him as he slowly tries to uncover the truth behind the apparent “suicide” & the horrors that lie with the Cordova Dynasty.
This was a case of poor execution, the whole creepy atmosphere was spot on and the added Noir feel to the story was detailed but the ending felt dragged and took me out of the story and for such a massive page count the pay off left a bad taste in my mouth.
Desperation by Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Fantasy
The plot revolves around this isolated town called Desperation which is located in Nevada, it seems deserted and the only inhabitant is the sheriff who patrols Highway 50 where a bunch of outsiders will, unfortunately, cross paths with the devil himself. Somehow, they get pulled over for some sort of technicality with the law and are brought to Desperation and all hell breaks loose.
As most of you know I am a Stephen King addict he is my most read author and some of his books are on my all-time favourite list but I hit a bump with this particular book. I adored Under The Dome with all its flaws but with this big book I felt bogged down by the constant religious themes that basically drove the narrative. Too preachy for my taste.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Speculative fiction, Fantasy-ish
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can – will she?
When I first heard of this book, I was dead sure this will be a favourite. Not only was I already in love with Atkinson‘s writing from her crime series but the concept of reincarnation just sounded amazing but my expectations were too high and this went in a totally different direction. It was more of a family saga from the perspective of the reincarnated main character and multiple versions of her lives as opposed which to some degree I enjoyed but not as much as I would have liked.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Genre: Classic, Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal
Jonathan Harker is travelling to Castle Dracula to see the Transylvanian noble, Count Dracula. He is begged by locals not to go there, because on the eve of St George’s Day, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will come full sway. But business must be done, so Jonathan makes his way to the Castle – and then his nightmare begins. His beloved wife Mina and other lost souls have fallen under the Count’s horrifying spell. Dracula must be destroyed . . .
One of the strongest beginning of a book, it led me to believe that I would adore it, everyone else loved this and kept recommending it to me but the writing style felt outdated and the story slowed painfully down after the first half. I am still looking forward to reading more classics, this one just didn’t do it for me.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
The story is narrated by Richard and the first line of the book you discover that he and his fellow students have killed one of their own (Bunny) and he jumps back in time to sort of explaining the events that took place. We follow him as he attends this prestigious college in New England, as he becomes obsessed with this elite group of five Greek scholars (Henry, Bunny, Francis, Charles & Camilla) and how his life is altered once he joins the group. We witness through his eyes how complex and disturbing the human psyche can be as this terrible incident shapes & tears them apart.
Don’t let the Review fool you this was my most anticipated read of 2017 and having read The Goldfinch (my favourite book btw) I knew without a single doubt I will love this but the characters were insufferable. I didn’t connect to any of them the only saving grace was the writing style and months after reading this I feel really disconnected from the characters and I know the whole world loves this book but the characters let me down. Regardless I still believe Tartt is a talented writer.
I will be posting more positive post featuring books that surprised me and my favourites to cleanse the palette (watch out for that)
What are some of the disappointing books you read in 2017 that didn’t turn out to 5star reads?