Because I am salty and grumpy reader I needed to split my let downs into 2 parts, I jus had so many.
1. Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
DNF and 2 stars
It boggles my mind how a book that supposedly has everything I love in books ended up being the book that I didn't love.
Historical fiction? - check!
Beautiful cover? - check!
Magic woven into history? - check!
YA book that doesn't have any unnecessary and annoying sex scenes? - check!
The execution of all of those things together? - ehhh...
I honestly don't know what, or even how that happened? The premise seemed so promising. The cover obviously caught my cover-whore loving eye. But from the very first pages I was very uninterested, and to be honest, pretty bored.
2. The Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins
1 star and DNF at 71%
I could tell from the very first pages that I wasn't going to like this book, but I kept giving it chances - hoping with all my heart that something would change my mind - but alas, that didn't happen.
My main problem was that I couldn't see the point of this book - not at 20%, not at 51% and not at 71%. I just didn't know why I was reading it and what the book was trying to make me feel. Because I didn't feel anything. Nothing. And if the book doesn't make you feel then what is even the point?
The plot also didn't make much sense - a random guy encounter who offers to be her "hero" and they go on bunch of fake dates - that's just so unrealistic. Once again I'm sure the goal here was to come off as "sweet" and "different", but to me the whole thing was just weird.
3. The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken, Alice Menzies (Translator)
My reaction when I was finished with the book? "What in the world did I just read??"
My first problem with this book was that it made you feel left out - the waiter would ramble on about things, and places and names that I knew nothing about, or barely knew, and honestly a person who hasn't ever been to Europe probably wouldn't know either. It felt as if the book was written for a very small, specific audience, and at times it even felt as if the reader wasn't necessary at all.
I decided to read the whole thing because I wanted to see how it would play out. Now that I did, I wish I just abandoned it (I had to skim the last 30% - I was quite bored). The ending didn't wrap anything up, didn't close any loops or holes, and it did't explain anything at all. Which made the whole reading experience pointless to me.
4. One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan, Aniruddhan Vasudevan (Translation)
DNF at 51%
I feel like I am doing myself and this book a disservice by reading a much shortened, translated version of it. The original book is about 500 pages, and this version is 288.
I peaked at other reviews of this book on Goodreads, because the book got a lot of glowing 5 star reviews (and I just couldn't understand why). But now I know that the translation is the reason.
The original, Madhorubdagan, is poetic, lush and beautiful (according to the reviews). One Part Woman is dry, choppy and repetitive. Which saddens me to no end, because I don't speak the language the book was written in, so I guess I will never be able to experience the true beauty of it.
5. All the Good Parts by Loretta Nyhan
This book can be renamed All the Stupid Things Leona Did. It's been a while since I really disliked a women fiction book, but here we are. I had quite high hopes for this (for some reason). The premise sounded interesting and I am always in the market for a good book revolving around women and children.
For startes Leona is the stupidest main character, I'm sorry but she really is. I get it, there are people who don't know what they want to do with their lives (I mean, I don't!), people who don't finish things, people who hide from the world all the time - and I have a feeling that Leona was supposed to be a character that reader identifies with, but the whole execution was so poor, that all I could do was just roll my eyes at her constant stupidity.
The whole premise of the book, while at first sounding very endearing quickly turned out into something very wrong. The book takes methods that women who can't get pregnant would use in hopes to conceive a baby and turn it into a stupid game of Leona choosing her sperm donor. It was quite insulting actually. All the while she tumbles from one poor and unprofessional decision to another.
6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
( I have a lengthy review on this, so click the link to be taken to Goodreads to read it if you wish)
Enjoyed the diversity - hated pretty much everything else.
I'm going to tell myself that this is the last time I'm reading hyped book that everybody absolutely loved, but we all know it isn't true and I will never learn.
I bought the book because of the raving reviews and then it just kinda sat on my shelf for a couple of weeks, because I had an inkling that I wasn't going to like it. And look, I was correct. At least I know myself.
Main reason for me suspecting from the bat that I won't like this was the setting - I can't think of something I care less about than Hollywood (old Hollywood in this case). That's just not my thing. And while my opinion about the "stars" who would do anything (and I mean anything) just to get a little bit of spotlight was already very low, this book lowered it even more.
Writing - I enjoyed it - it went really well with the tone of the book, and did a great job at describing shocking parts about the "glamour of Hollywood" But, to me it held no emotion. People kept promising tears with this book and I didn't even tear up once. I'd call myself a cold hearted bitch, but I cry at videos of puppies eating carrots, so I know it isn't me this time. The way things were written gave away a lot of the things that were going to happen, so when the sad thing happened, I already knew it would and thus had no emotion to show for it any longer.
7. The Iron Flower(The Black Witch Chronicles #2) by Laurie Forest
DNF at 33 %
So not the rating I thought I was going to be giving this book, I was pretty sure that this would have been a 5 star, boy was I wrong. Gorgeous cover though, so that's something.
To start off, I'm not giving this 1 star, despite having dnf-d it, because I only save 1 stars for books I really did not like. And I just didn't care for Iron Flower, it's not a bad book, but it isn't a book for me, unfortunately. The Black Witch was though, so I honestly have no idea how the book went from that to this...
So, let me summarize this book for you:
"Oh Yvan! Oh Lucas! Oh Yvan! Let me make out with Lucas. But Yvan is so beautiful! But I can't have him. Oh Lucas! blah blah blerhhh!!"
In other words, ya fantasy is dead because ya romance has killed it.
8. I'll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller
I was quite excited about this one. Mainly because I'm a big Friends fan - when I say I watched the TV show 20 times, I really mean 20 times. At least. Although every time I re-watch it I find something else that's problematic which I haven't noticed the first time. Which is totally fine, because the times back then and right now were so, so different. I also felt like reading some non-fiction so this was perfect timing.
So why such low rating?
Because this book really didn't bring anything new to the table. Which is so, so disappointing. I wanted to find things that I've never heard of before, I wanted more insight on episodes, on actors themselves, maybe even some piece of juicy gossip. Instead, literally 80% of everything in this book can be found on Pinterest and Instagram 'fact' posts about Friends.
9. Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb
DNF at 41% and 1 star
So I was in the mood for something thrilling, suspenseful and fast paced. Obviously, from my low rating you can tell that I got none of those things from this book. That is unfortunate, because despite never reading anything by this author I was excited for this book. It's the cover probably (I am always a victim of pretty or intriguing covers).
The premise was interesting enough, but as I started reading, and reading and reading... I really couldn't tell what the point of this book was. There was little to no plot development and I got to 41 percent, so I feel like I gave this book all of the chances I could.
So I had quite a few blunders in 2018, book wise. I would really like to choose my books better next year. Thank you Santa.