Most Disappointing & “Meh” Books of 2016


I’m definitely going to be doing a list of the best books of 2016 as well but since I’m still trying to finish as many 2016 releases as possible so I’m going to put it off until the end of next week!

These are all 2016 releases! Not just books I’ve read this year!

This list is compiled of books I have reviewed and have yet to review if there are reviews I will include links to them, so click on the titles to go to their reviews. I also am including books I loathed as well as books that I kind of enjoyed but also had a lot of issues with, so anything between a 1 and 3 star rating.

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“Fate of Flames” by Sarah Raughley 3/5 Stars

I loved the concept and the cover but overall it wasn’t executed that well and the main character was absolutely horrible. Still had a few redeeming qualities though but definitely a “meh” book of 2016.

“Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco 3/5 Stars

A much anticipated book (also with a fantastic cover) that was overall a disappointment for me, it was just really slow and not enough suspense or action for me.

“The Merciless II” by Danielle Vega     3/5 Stars

Not as good as the first book but still interesting enough to finish. I felt like it wasn’t as gory or scary as the previous book and that was kind of a big let down for me.

“Red Queen” by Christina Henry 3.5/5 Stars

I’m actually thinking this deserves a solid 3 stars and not 3.5 because it was so much LESS than the first book “Alice”. It wasn’t as interesting or horrific or dark and the characters didn’t feel the same. I gave the first book a full blown 5 stars because it is literally perfection so to go from that to this mediocre sequel was very disappointing.


“Truthwitch” by Susan Dennard 3/5 Stars

This is the definition of a “meh” book for me, it had good but also a lot of bad and definitely not worth the hype in my opinion. The world-building was pretty messy and the characters and story were just “meh”.

“Wink Poppy Midnight” by April Genevieve Tucholke 3/5 Stars

Pretty cover, pretty writing, what the hell is going on with the story? This is one of the most confusing books I’ve read and not in a good way, I still can’t really tell you what it’s about. Why did I rate this 3 stars? I should probably lower it to 2…..

“The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye 2/5 Stars

One of my most anticipated books of 2016 and one of the biggest let downs, I was expecting fantastic magic and a battle to the death. What I got was insta-love, more insta-love, and some very complicated love triangles.

“The Graces” by Laure Eve 2/5 Stars

Slow, boring, and confusing. I expecting something more exciting with witches and all I got was a very dull reading experience.


“The Outliers” by Kimberly McCreight  2/5 Stars (Rating May Change)

I haven’t reviewed this yet but it started out pretty strong with the mystery and suspense but dwindled down from there to the point where it just got really weird and confusing. What the heck did I read?

“Unhooked” by Lisa Maxwell 2/5 Stars

I love Peter Pan and dark retellings but this was just a mess. There was a mish-mash of different elements that left me more and more confused as I read. All in all the only thing that even remotely made this feel like a Peter Pan telling were the uses of the names Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Neverland. That’s it. I was extremely disappointed with this.

“A Fierce and Subtle Poison” by Samantha Mabry 2/5 Stars

Slow, boring, and the ending was just odd although I did really like the setting of Puerto Rico and the writing.

“The Mystery of Hollow Places” by Rebecca Podos 2/5 Stars

The mystery in the end was really unsatisfying and boring, I felt like I read the book for nothing. I did like the writing style and would check out Podos’s future books though.


“One Was Lost” by Natalie D. Richards 1/5 Stars

Judging this book by it’s premise and cover I thought it would be more of a horror book or at least have some suspense. What I got instead was a book about a bunch of whiny, annoying teenagers blundering through the woods. No.

“Beware That Girl” by Teresa Toten  1/5 Stars

This is marketed for fans of “The Girl on the Train” and “Gone Girl” and that is the funniest joke I have ever heard. There is nothing original about this book, the characters are so bland and stereotypical, and the plot twists are utterly predictable.

“Blackhearts” by Nicole Castroman 1/5 Stars

I’m sorry but to me this book is a complete joke. An origin story for Blackbeard? Yeah, right. There is no piracy to speak of in this book just a period romance. WHERE WERE MY PIRATES?!

“Once Upon A Dream” by Liz Braswell 1/5 Stars

I should have known better than to try this book after the first book in the Twisted Tales series received very negative reviews. It’s flat, boring, and the writing is awful and I DNF’d the crap out of it.

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What were your most disappointing books of 2016?

Did you like or dislike any of the books on this list?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

38 thoughts on “Most Disappointing & “Meh” Books of 2016

  1. Jacquie (Rattle the Stars) December 19, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I was tremendously disappointed by The Graces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 11:52 am

      Glad it wasn’t just me! I thought it would be a bit faster paced and more…witchy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacquie (Rattle the Stars) December 20, 2016 / 12:39 pm

        Exactly! More obvious magic and with a less stalker-like lead character.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 12:40 pm

        I was left wondering if the Graces were witches at all, I mean it was all just weird and confusing at the end. And YES the main character was definitely a stalker it was painful to read through sometimes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jacquie (Rattle the Stars) December 20, 2016 / 12:45 pm

        Yeah I’m not completely sure if they were or if they were just a really strange manipulative family. I don’t plan on reading the sequel so I guess I’ll never know?

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 1:13 pm

        Yeah I agree, I had to force the first one so I think I’ll read a spoiler review for the sequel when it comes out or something because I want to know but don’t want to waste time reading the book.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. cornreviewsbooks December 19, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    I actually haven’t read any of the books on this list and a lot of them look really good especially The Crowns Game. Hopefully I’ll like it better then you did but now I know to go into it with low expectations. My biggest disappointment this year was A Daughter of Smoke and Bone it wasn’t exactly bad but I didn’t love it like I was expecting too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 11:54 am

      I hope you do enjoy “The Crown’s Game” more than I did, I find that lowering expectations with any book helps the reading experience a lot. That way if you dislike it you aren’t too disappointed and if you love it it’s a pleasant surprise!
      So sad to hear you didn’t enjoy “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”, I really loved that one but I can definitely see how some people wouldn’t love it, no book is perfect after all! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • cornreviewsbooks December 20, 2016 / 12:30 pm

        I’m still going to continue the series and lower my expectations. I really need to start lowering my expectations I always get my hopes to high.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 2:35 pm

        A problem I have as well! I find my reading experience to be better if I don’t get TOO excited. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ashley December 19, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    Illuminae was the most disappointing book for me this year. Another book that I read that was disappointing for me was The Magicians.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 11:56 am

      Sorry to heard you didn’t enjoy Illuminae while I did love it I also had a few issues with it as well so I can definitely understand you. Also sad to hear The Magicians wasn’t that great too, I read a lot of mixed reviews on that one. Lots of people say it’s like an adult Harry Potter and others say it’s kind of boring, I’m still kind of interested in reading it to see where I stand on it. 🙂


      • ashley December 20, 2016 / 12:37 pm

        I did get bored with the Magicians, and I didn’t see how it was like an adult Harry Potter.

        Liked by 2 people

      • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 12:39 pm

        I think people making comparisons to Harry Potter is unfair sometimes because nothing is ever really going to live up to those expectations. I suppose I will have to read the Magicians myself and see although I already have a feeling I will get bored with it as well.


      • ashley December 20, 2016 / 1:42 pm

        Exactly. I’ve read a few series that I can say are right up there with Harry Potter for me, one of them being The Chronicles of Narnia.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek December 20, 2016 / 1:53 pm

        Of course! The Chronicles of Narnia are classics although I’ve only read the first book. It has the same quality as Harry Potter, that magical feeling and definitely up there with HP.


      • ashley December 20, 2016 / 1:55 pm

        There’s something cozy about it too!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads December 19, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    I 100% agree with you about Truthwitch. I think I ended up giving it 2.5 stars because there were things that I liked, but at the same time the magic made no sense to me (because sometimes the girl who was a truthwitch, I forget her name, said that she knew with 100% certainty if someone was lying but other times talked about how her magic couldn’t always be trusted) and I just felt like the author couldn’t decide what she actually wanted to do with the book. It was definitely a very disappointing read for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cccampaign7 December 19, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    I’m with you on “Wink, Poppy, Midnight”. At first, you think you understand the story but as it continues it becomes this strange creature you have no idea what it might do. And I could not STAND Midnight. He was a obsessed with his half brother and tried to be like him. I assumed his mom and brother were dead and became a figment of his imagination until he visited them in the end. It could have been much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      Exactly! It starts out well enough but by the end I was thinking “what the heck just happened?”. I didn’t really like any of the characters and you’re right about Midnight! I thought he was just pretty spineless in general as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cccampaign7 December 29, 2016 / 1:37 pm

        I wrote my own post about three book. At one time, I thought Midnight had a personality disorder due to his slight obsession of acting like his half brother. He always wore a “mask” much like everyone else in the book.


  6. Becca December 19, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    I tried Truthwitch earlier this year and kept getting confused with the magical terms. I liked some of the worldbuilding, but I just couldn’t get past not understanding how the magic all worked! I haven’t read most of the others on this list, but for me, the worst read was The Magicians… such a letdown!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 1:30 pm

      Yes I definitely understand you on that! I really liked some of the world building in Truthwitch but ultimately I needed more information because a lot of things just weren’t ever really explained.
      Sorry to hear The Magicians was disappointing for you! That’s a book I’m really up in the air with since it seems people either love it or hate it, I think I may try it just to see but may end up DNFing it :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becca January 1, 2017 / 7:39 pm

        I DNF’ed The Magicians after half the book as I really disliked how the main character was going…. but I’d be curious to hear what you think of it!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. afterbutterflyrain December 20, 2016 / 4:32 am

    I’m sad you didn’t enjoy the Graces. I recently got it from the library so I’m planning to read it soon. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy it

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 1:33 pm

      I hope you have better luck with it than I did! It was just a little too slow for me and kind of confusing but I can’t wait to see what you think so we can compare! There’s definitely some parts in there I’d like to hear some one else’s thoughts on! 🙂


  8. amortalreader1 December 20, 2016 / 5:49 am

    Great Post, Stalking Jack The Ripper is one I have been looking at for the last few weeks, I don’t know if I will like it though. I love the cover though.
    For me a disappointing read was The Raven Boys, I had heard so many amazing things but I just couldn’t get into it. It was more like a 3 star read for me, I was lost half the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 2:15 pm

      Thanks Hannah! I loved the premise and cover for Stalking Jack The Ripper as well but it was just so slow for me and I felt like the premise was really misleading. I’m actually thinking about dropping the rating from a 3 to a 2 because it was a forgettable book for me :/
      If you decide to give it a shot I hope you have better luck with it than I did!
      So sorry to hear you were disappointed with The Raven Boys! That’s definitely a really hyped series. I enjoyed it myself but you’re right about the confusion because I spent some time lost reading myself! Everything isn’t answered at the end of it either so I’m assuming if you read the whole series everything comes full circle but I have yet to finish so noooo idea, haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. wordsandotherbeasts December 20, 2016 / 11:21 am

    It’s a shame a lot of these disappointed you because I want to try a few of them haha! It’s definitely given me food for thought though, like whether I should wait for the cheaper paperback to be released.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 2:21 pm

      Trust me I’m upset I was disappointed with these but it happens! Glad this post kind of helped you out, I know I love reading both positive and negative reviews to see if a book is truly worth the purchase. And you’re right, waiting for the paperback is sometimes the best route to take! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. DaniellaWrites December 20, 2016 / 11:29 am

    So sad to hear about Merciless 2 – the first is one of my favourite horror movies. At least you’ve prepared me for the mediocrity.

    One of my worst books of 2016 was A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith. Just not enough use of the interesting things introduced in the story, and unfortunately slow pacing.

    Another disappointment was Children of Icarus, by Caighlan Smith. Really cool concept, but again with the slow pacing – this time with really irritating secondary characters thrown in. Plus an ending that pretty much forces you to wait for the sequel, which I am not a fan of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • DaniellaWrites December 20, 2016 / 11:30 am

      I meant horror books – sorry, I’m currently living with food poisoning, my thinking is not as clear as it could be.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 2:33 pm

      The first Merciless book was far better but I’m hoping the third book will be something similar!
      I was curious about A Darkly Beating Heart but hearing you say that maybe not so much. I can’t stand slow pacing! I also don’t like when there are interesting concepts in a story and then they’re never explored, as you said happens here. Such a bummer!
      We seem to have similar bookish pet peeves! I don’t like under developed secondary characters either, I want them to actually contribute to the story and have a personality so usually when a book does this I rate it higher. And no one likes cliffhangers, haha! 🙂


  11. TeacherofYA December 28, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I’ve heard negative things about all these books…I almost bought The Graces yesterday bc it was on sale, but something stopped me. And I am glad I didn’t. I liked the cover of Blackhearts but how can THiS particular pirate have a LOVE STORY? Too weird a concept for me.
    I won Truthwitch in a Twitter contest and just received a signed copy along with a book by the giveaway Runner, so I haven’t read it yet. I bought The Crown’s game on sale for $1.99 so no loss there if it sucks. (This is kinda why I like buying books on sale…if they suck, no big loss).
    Great list of books to stay away from!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      Gosh don’t even get me going on Blackhearts, haha! Such a disappointing book (even with the gorgeous cover). I didn’t think it was going to be an all romance type of book I figured maybe a little bit but then more action and pirates and that didn’t happen at all! Zero pirate action and all historical fiction romance! Ugh. Definitely agree with you that a Blackbeard romance novel is just unappealing.
      Truthwitch wasn’t so bad but I had problems with its lack of information and hopefully the sequel will solve those.
      I love getting books on sale for that reason as well or borrowing from the library too!
      Thank you! 🙂


  12. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews December 28, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    Definitely understand what you mean about The Merciless 2. I did enjoy it and it did help me out of a slump, but it definitely wasn’t on the same level as the first book. The first half was so slow and it didn’t really pick up until the last 1/3 of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek December 29, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      It wasn’t awful but just kind of meh and like you said definitely not even close to the first book. I feel like the first one had a lot more action to it. I agree though that I didn’t get really into it until the end which was pretty good. Hopefully the next book will stay a little truer to the style of the first one! 🙂


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