Top 5 Books That Didn’t Meet My Expectations

How many of you out there pick up a book expecting one thing, and then it turns out to be something else entirely? For me, this doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens enough. It happens either because I expected one thing after reading the synopsis or, for some stupid reason, I can’t stop making comparisons to something else i’ve read. Either way, here are 5 books that didn’t quite meet my expectations:

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme where I explore different topics. If you are interested in participating I would love to have you! Here is a list of my Upcoming topics in February – please remember to ping back a specific post of mine so I get a notification and I will add you to the participants list!

The ten thousand doors of january

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Let’s start off with a more recent read – one that I actually DNF’d just last week. I went into this one expecting doors, travels, and adventure. It ended up being something else entirely. And, honestly, I was bored! My decision to DNF was based mainly on the writing style not clicking with me. I also feel partly responsible in comparing what I was going into with this to something like Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire. Either way, it just didn’t work.

Gideon the ninth

Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Very similar to my reasons with the book above, this one was a struggle for the same reasons – writing style and comparison. From the way this book was explained in the synopsis, I went into it expecting dark magic and dark humour to be the main focus. In a way it was but not to the extent that I was hoping for I guess. When I put this one on the list I realized that I never even ended up writing a review for this book. All it would have said was “not what I expected”….


Finale by Stephanie Garber

This one I didn’t enjoy for different reasons that didn’t have much to do with me. This book felt so far removed from the first two books – and I know I’m not the only one that thought so! The first two books were based on a game. There was this suspension of reality that made you constantly second guess yourself and the book. I never knew what was real and what was a part of the game. The series conclusion left the game, magic, and mystery, and focused more on romance and relationships. It didn’t work for me at all.

Save the date

Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Even though this book makes the list I actually really enjoyed this one! Even still, it wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for though. I hoped that this would have more comedy and hijinks. The cover and synopsis lead me to believe that we were going to get a marriage story that was a series of unfortunate events. Things that went wrong and were so outlandish that they were hilarious. We did get that but not to the level I was hoping for. It ended up being a lot about family, relationships, grief, forgiveness, and moving on.

Wild beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore

This one makes the list due to hype more than anything. I went into this book with the highest of expectations. Everyone had been raving about how amazing her writing is and how impactful her stories are. It was ok, but still, not for me. I didn’t mesh with the writing style and I REALLY didn’t mesh with the magical realism – I rarely ever do. It’s just not my thing. It was an ok read and I can understand why her books are so beloved though!



The Pine-Scented Chronicles ——— Bella ——— Flora’s Musings
My Year Of Reading Dangerously ——— Birdie Bookworm ——— Realms Of My Mind
The Secret Library ——— The Punk Theory ——— Rae’s Reads And Reviews
Sophril Reads ——— Stephanie’s Book Reviews ——— Rather Be In The Library
Eat Travel Read ——— Comfort Reads ——— Kristin Kraves Books
A Fictional Bookworm ——— Kyera’s Library ——— Synopses By Sarge
Books Are 42 ——— Evelyn Reads ——— Coffee, Crumbs & Books
Sarãb-e-Sukhan ——— Bookwitch Reviews ——— Zezee With Books
Hanna Reads ——— CJR The Brit ——— Beware Of The Reader
Strange Storyteller ——— Clemi’s Bookish World ——— Meeghan Reads


And there we have it – 5 books that I bashed all because I expected something different lol. None of these were awful by any means, they just weren’t what I was hoping for. What books have you read that didn’t meet your expectations?

Until next time, happy reading!

33 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather says:

    I have absolutely had this happen to me. Sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise, and sometimes it isn’t. Heh. I feel like this just happened to me recently, and I’m trying to remember what book it was. Oh! It was THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. I thought it was a novel, and it totally isn’t. That one was a pleasant surprise, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of that one. I might have to look into it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Taylor says:

    I’m sorry these books weren’t what you expected. I hope you can read some better books this year. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen other people say the same thing about Finale, too. I liked it, but I also love that reading a book is this dynamic experience that’s a little different for everyone. 🙂 Sorry these didn’t resonate with you– that can be really frustrating. Hopefully it makes the books that resonate with you all that much more fun to read!


  4. evelynreads1 says:

    I totally feel you on The ten thousand doors and January and Gideon the ninth, I wasn’t a fan of either of them!
    My post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously I felt like it was just me!!! There was something about the writing style of both of those that just DIDN’T work – at all!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. evelynreads1 says:

        Hahah always good to find you’re not alone in not liking a popular book!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The busy shelf says:

    Wild Beauty’s cover is so beautiful though ❤ I usually like magical realism. What was it about the writing style that you didn't like?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That cover is one of my all time favourites actually! I can’t even put my finger on the writing style. I think it felt too “flowery” and forced to be something poetic…. but not really…. 😂 I’m just not a fan of magical realism in any way so that’s the vast majority of it


      1. The busy shelf says:

        Oh I see 🙂 Thank you! I think I may give it a try to see what it is about 😀 Although I have a problem with flowery language

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Honestly the flowery writing wasn’t all that prominent so you may still really enjoy it!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. You were not alone on Gideon, I was in a buddy read with three or four other people. The mood in the chat went from “Let’s do this!” to “….wait, what is this book?” Most of us came around by the end, but it was certainly a trip…….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gideon the Ninth was my first DNF of 2020 >.< I wasn't going to force it honestly.

    The Ten Thousand Doors of January was a pure cover buy?? But it sucks to hear it wasn't a good read 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still in shock I didn’t like Ten Thousand Doors. A girl who’s basically my twin for reading tastes put it on her top 10 last year!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Well Shanah that’s why I was hesitant to read The Ten Thousand Doors of January and Gideon! Here is my super late post (sorry but work is kicking my behind hard right now)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe sorry work is kicking your ass. Call in sick tomorrow lol

      Liked by 1 person

  9. shortgirl says:

    Morgan Matson’s books always pleasantly surprise me!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sad to hear about the Ten Thousand Doors of January, you were so excited for that one 😦 It’s always sad when books disappoint us, sometimes I feel personally betrayed XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂 yes!! Especially when it made a friends top 3 favourites of 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooo that’s a tough one

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I was back this week – sorry, I thought the link worked from my end but let me know if it didn’t work for you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This has been happening a lot lately. I’m sorry! No I didn’t get a notification from you – you’re not the only one this has happened to 😞 I’ll add you to the list shortly!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Shanah 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  12. *Flora* says:

    I haven’t read any of the books you’ve mentioned, Shanah, but I can relate to not enjoying a book I was expecting to love – Bitten by Kelly Armstrong springs to mind. 😉
    I hope that 2020 has more wonderful surprising reads than disappointing ones, for both of us! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve read Bitten! I remember loving certain parts of it but not as much as I hoped I would

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *Flora* says:

        It was our protagonist, I couldn’t stand her.😡 I was really disappointed that she didn’t grow up. I liked the other characters but there was also a lot of secrets being kept “for her own good” and I don’t like that trope either 😤 I have read a short story by Armstrong that I really loved about zombies but I’m reluctant to buy any thing else by her for now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh…. right. The “for her own good” trope. Agreed!! I hate that! Don’t keep people in the dark because you think you’re doing them a favour. I hate that!

          Liked by 1 person

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