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Popular Books That Let Me Down

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

The wonderful Kath gave me the idea to write about books that I found disappointing and I loved the idea! I recommend checking out Kath's blog, The Last Reader if you haven't already

It's worth writing now, these are just my own thoughts and opinions on these books. Please don't get butt hurt if you find one of your favourites here; we all love different things. It's important to note that just because loads of people love a certain book, it doesn't mean your thoughts are invalid because you didn't get the same experience. We all love different books for different reasons!

Let's spill some book tea!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My sister is probably not going to speak to me for ages after seeing this because she adored this book! I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It was one of my favourite reads of 2021. Naturally, I didn't hesitate at all to read more of Reid's work.

This book was just not it. I did not care about any of the characters at all. I know that Reid is a very talented author but for some reason, I just didn't click with this book at all. It became a chore to read. Everything about this book from the plot to the characters was bland, dull and not remotely interesting. I was really gutted that I didn't like this one because I loved Reid's other book so much. I haven't read Malibu Rising yet purely because I am worried I'll either love it or hate it. For me, this book was just not worth the hype.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Much like with Taylor Jenkins Reid, there were so many books by Ishiguro that I adored. Klara and The Sun and Never Let Me Go are the first that spring to mind. When I found out that this book won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I purchased it straight away without even thinking twice.

The writing was absolutely beautiful. I was honestly just so bored throughout. I appreciate that I am in the minority when it comes to this book, I get why so many people probably love it. I just was not invested in the progress of the story at all. Once you lose interest in either the plot or the characters, it's kind of game over. I didn't DNF this book because since it was by one of my favourite writers, I was hoping it would all be worth it in the end. This book was just not the best fit for me.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

I was very hesitant to add this book because I know there will be people screaming down at the screen about how much they love this piece. I'm hoping that if I re-read this book, I'll have a better experience with it. I appreciate how clever and well-thought-out the story was - but it honestly just hurt my brain too much to enjoy. This probably sounds ridiculous but I was really struggling to stay engaged and hooked to the story because I was just too confused by everything going on. It felt like a lot going on all at once. I don't usually annotate fiction, but I had to for Piranesi to try to get some understanding.

I was probably just a bit too stupid to appreciate the art of this book. The reading experience was just not enjoyable. I am, however, open-minded to try reading this book again and see if I take away anything differently.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

I know Murakami is a genius and there have been other books he has written that I found very interesting, such as 1Q84. It wasn't so much the plot or the writing style that I didn't enjoy - Murakami's writing is just stunning. There were just so many characters in this book that annoyed the crap out of me! This sounds silly but it makes it really hard to enjoy and book when you genuinely can't stand reading a few pages because there's a certain character present.

It was probably deliberate on Murakami's part to provoke such a reaction for his readers, but for me, it just made it a lot harder to enjoy the story overall. I really want to read more of Murakami's work in the future so if you have any particular recommendations on what to read next, please let me know!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

To say I was bitterly disappointed with this one, would be an understatement! I thought The Secret History was incredible and I also thought The Little Friend was a great read. The first 1/3 of this book was super interesting. I was hooked, the writing style was my cup of tea, and I was excited to see how the story would develop.

However, once I got around 2/3 of the way through, the whole momentum of the book just withered away. It felt like a lot of effort to keep reading but I simply did not care about any of the characters anymore. The fact that this book started out so strongly and ended how it did is really disappointing. I think Tartt is a genius but The Goldfinch was certainly not one of my favourites.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

This book was probably one of the most disappointing of the last couple of years. Everyone from Bookstagram to BookTok kept talking about the beautiful story of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. The premise was very intriguing and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

The first few chapters were fine, but the more I read, the more I disliked the story as a whole. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, but so many parts of this book just didn't appeal to me at all. I think what was the most frustrating thing was that everyone I knew thought it was brilliant. This is the only book I've read by Schwab so I'm sure there will be other pieces of their work that I'll enjoy.

I want to stress again that these are my own honest opinions about these books. If you want to keep up to date with my current reads and reviews, you can check out my Instagram below:


I have my own little online bookshop which you can find below. As an affiliate, I do earn 10% commission but the money raised from this shop will be redirected to the Malala Fund

Happy Reading!

(All photographs are from my Instagram @readwithmims - new account is @jemima_reads)

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