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expectations vs reality: books that disappointed me in 2018 (judgy week part five!)

I’m awful at not falling into the hype trap. I don’t read new releases right when they come out, but I’m very much influenced by reviews and overall hype in the blogging community. Which leads to me fantasizing a lot about certain books and then just… not liking them that much once I do read them.

As always, in 2018 I did read some books that maybe weren’t awful but did not live up to the hype. Today, I wanted to share this list with you, guys! Let me know if you felt the same way about these books.

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judgy week previous posts…
15 books that made my year ⭐️
beautiful covers I loved in 2018 🎨
the lows: 5 books I wish I had not read in 2018 📚
new favorite authors! ✍🏼

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Now, I want to start off by saying I didn’t hate these books. I was just expecting to like them a whole lot more than I actually did. Ultimately, I was influenced to read these books either because 1) I saw great reviews online; 2) a blogger I love particularly mentioned this book; or 3) I love the author’s other works, and so I thought I’d love this one as well.


Hyperbole and a halfHyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh · This is one of the most popular comic books on the book online community. It came out in 2013 and since then it got almost 150.000 ratings on Goodreads! It even won the Goodreads Choice Award in 2013! After reading so many positive reviews, I decided it was time for me to read it. A comic book about mental illness and adulting??? It sounded right up my alley.
Unfortunately, I ended up skimming most of the book. I was so bored by the illustrations and the writing itself. Everything felt like a deja vu of mental illness memoirs. It brought nothing new to the table, in my opinion.
Since there were some parts I liked, I ended up rating this book 3 stars (and wrote a small review). But still, I was disappointed and expecting more…

I was expecting… a brilliant comic that made me laugh out loud and feel like I relate.
I got… just a dull (but sometimes funny) memoir I felt like I had already read



SimonSimon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli · I didn’t hate this book at all. In fact, I went into it knowing I’d probably hate the writing (because I did not like Albertalli’s other books) but thinking I’d be head-over-heels over the story. Well… I liked the plot — just not loved it like most bloggers who have read it have.
Still, I’m pretty glad I read it when I did (you can read a small review here). Turns out I ended up loving the movie a lot more — and even my boyfriend liked it!

I was expecting… adorkable gay romance that made my heart flutter
I got… so many awkward characters and dialogues… and lots of cringe



We are okayWe Are Okay by Nina LaCour · I was so bored reading this novel, you have no idea. I even fell asleep a couple of times. I wanted to love it so damn much, since I’d heard so many great things about it — but I just couldn’t! The whole plot was boring and excruciating to me, and the characters weren’t good enough to make this book shine. I have never read a bad review for this book here on WordPress, so I’m pretty sure this was a fan favorite. But still… It did not click with me at all.

I was expecting… a touching book about loss and moving on (+ lesbian love!)
I got… a depressing tale (obviously) about loss that ended up not being captivating



Down and AcrossDown and Across by Arvin Ahmadi · Book bloggers loved this book, the book promises to be perfect for John Green readers, and the blurb sounds super cool. So why do I have so much resentment for this book? I really wanted to like it, especially because it has Persian representation, which is something I haven’t read much about. But the writing and especially the characters were not for me at all. I hated all the female characters and even ended up disliking our main guy.
I wrote a whole review over what I liked and what I disliked here on the blog. When I think I should maybe give it another shot and reread it, I always think of this review.

I was expecting… a funny story of a Persian kid as he figures himself out
I got… manic pixie girls and unbelievable scenarios one after the other



History is all you've left meHistory Is All You’ve Left Me by Adam Silvera · If there’s a contemporary author that I became very aware of this year, it has to be Adam Silvera. You can’t go around the book-blogging community and not read something about him. Since this is one of the books people seem to have liked to most by him, I decided to give it a shot. But, in the end, I just don’t think this book and I were right for each other.
I ended up giving this book 2 stars only, mostly because I really did not like the writing style, the characters, and the narrator’s voice was so dull. I’m still not giving up entirely on Adam Silvera, though. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope his other books are better.

I was expecting… a heartbreaking tale of lost love and grief
I got… characters and relationships I did not care for at all


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What books disappointed you this year, if any? Did you end up loving any of the books I mentioned?

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2 thoughts on “expectations vs reality: books that disappointed me in 2018 (judgy week part five!)

  1. I love how you framed this, as what you were expecting vs. what you got. And you explained so well why they weren’t what you hoped for, that can be so hard to do, I find! I just had a major disappointment reading an upcoming release I was really looking forward to so it helps to hear your thoughts on that kind of read as I try to work out why it disappointed me so much! Hope you have many fewer disappointing reads this coming year! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It can be hard to admit that maybe I was NOT the right reader for this book. At least I love telling myself it’s not MY problem, it’s just bad writing/editing… But I know that’s not true lol it’s just my inner need to not feel guilty — oops!

      Liked by 1 person

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