You knew this was coming, right? There had to be a break from all the gushing over amazing books I read in 2018, didn’t there? Well, the answer is…yes. Yes, I must rant about my most disappointing reads of 2018.
Here they are, in all their glory:
I had such high, HIGH hopes for TWINKLE, probably more so than any other on this list. I LOVED Sandhya Menon’s first romcom, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, and was absolutely dying to read her next book. Unfortunately, this book not only fell flat, but I downright hated some aspects of it. My main quip is that Twinkle herself is just a terrible character. I thought she was so immature and annoying, and I didn’t believe her passion for film. This book definitely favored the romance over characterization. I wish more time had been spent adding more believable details to Twinkle’s interest in film and her as a person.
I was expecting a lot from this book because of the queer and mental health rep aspects. According to my review, I did like the mental health and eating disorder rep, but as for the queer stuff, it ultimately disappointed me. I just wanted more out of the romance, and wish there wasn’t a thing with someone else on the side that didn’t need to be there and didn’t seem to go anywhere. The thing that really killed it for me was the tragic twist in the middle. It struck me as very trite.
Everything about this book was a bust. It really read more like Simon fanfic than an actual story with a character with a well-developed personality, which Leah did not have. Leah went around being mean to and hurting people with no real consequences, and there were so many loose ends when the story was over that felt wrong to me. The most upsetting thing was a hurtful bi comment that Leah makes to her so-called crush, where she says there’s no such thing as being “low-key bi” which I really felt on a personal level because I guess I could describe myself as low-key bi. I also honestly didn’t ship the romance and thought it was awkward and forced and there just for the sake of making Leah queer.
Can I include books I DNF’ed?? Yes? Okay. I actually gave my copy of this book to someone via #bookishwish because I disliked it so much and wanted it out of my life. I was super disappointed to learn that this was only going to be a novella, as I hate novellas and find them kind of pointless. The first half of the book proved my point, as nothing interesting happened and it had no plot to speak of.
This was a poetry collection I was psyched for because it was body positive and queer (I think??) overall, these poems just didn’t resonate with me and I felt like I had read all of them before. There didn’t seem to be any sort of organization so I struggled finding my place in a coherent narrative like most poetry books I’ve read seem to have. I found myself reading it but not really absorbing any of the words. There was too much poetry about clouds and stardust that read as a bit cliche to me. I was just not impressed by this collection at all.
This is another poetry collection, this time by Cyrus Parker, who is the partner of Amanda Lovelace, a poet who is actually good (unless she’s writing about Cyrus, in which case, gag). I am 99% certain the only reason this collection was published was his connection to Amanda, because these poems are GARBAGE. They are honestly so, so bad I don’t even know where to begin. They have no heart or soul, and I didn’t know until I read this that poetry could also tell and not show.