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

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I’ve Read So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

I have to tell you guys that I freaked out a little bit when I saw this week’s theme: Favorite 2016 Releases So Far. I thought to myself “I don’t think I’ve even read that many this year!” Turns out I have but they weren’t all great so I tweaked my theme here a little bit so instead of my favorite 2016 releases this will just be 2016 releases I’ve read this year period.

I’ll also link my reviews for these books if I have them up!

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

3/5 Stars: Indifferent

I didn’t really get the hype with this book and while it was interesting I thought there wasn’t enough world building and it left me with too many questions at the end.

Full Review

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen, #1)

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

4.5/5 Stars: Loved It

This one’s a very underrated and under appreciated book if you ask me, it’s everything I love in a YA fantasy and it’s executed perfectly. The magic system is fascinating and the world building is great, not to mention our main character really gets put to the test.

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Wink Poppy Midnight

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

3/5 Stars: Indifferent

Not exactly the great mystery I was expecting but I really do love Tucholke’s writing style, it’s just so gorgeous. I wanted the characters to be a little more deceptive then they ended up being and mostly I was just confused a lot, I still don’t think I know what went down.

Full Review

A Fierce & Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

2/5 Stars: Meh

I like that this had a diverse setting and some diverse characters but overall the plot was really messy and a bit confusing at times while the pacing was all over the place.

Full Review

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

The Darkest Corners

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

4/5 Stars: Loved It

This is a dark, dark YA mystery thriller, this might be as dark as you can get while still being a YA book and not an adult book. I loved the twists and the turns and the suspense, really I just loved everything about it.

Full Review

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

The Forbidden Wish

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

5/5 Stars: Perfection

Such an amazing Aladdin retelling, complete with an ACTUAL heart-warming romance and beautiful, descriptive writing. Absolute perfection.

Full Review

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell


For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

2/5 Stars: Meh

I love Peter Pan and that’s no secret so of course I want to get my hands on every retelling. Unfortunately this one SOUNDS amazing but the execution is poorly done and I didn’t like the way the characters developed. Think a love triangle between a roguish, young Hook and a brave, handsome Pan is a great idea? Not in this book.

Full Review

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)

I won’t include the description here for this one since it is a sequel and I don’t want to spoil anyone who has yet to read the first book!

4/5 Stars: Loved It

This was a pretty great ending to this duology but I really don’t think it was as great as the first one, I thought the beginning was a bit too slow but other than that it’s the world and characters I love!

With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

3.5/4 Stars: Really Enjoyed It

This is one fun, fast paced thriller and it’s great at keeping you guessing. Not anything really new but it’s definitely an enjoyable read!

Full Review

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

A Drop of Night

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

3.5/5 Stars: Really Enjoyed It

This book is YA horror and it does get a bit weird but overall it’s fun, interesting, and you never know what will happen next. In this case weird is good.

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Have you read any of the books listed here?

Did you enjoy them or dislike them?

What 2016 releases have you read so far this year?

Which ones did you like or dislike the most?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link your Top Ten Tuesday posts as well!

The Sassy