Studious Saturday: disappointing books and managing high expectations

studious saturdays

Hello and happy Saturday! I am travelling a lot this weekend and have lots of reading planned (at this stage I think I might be more excited about the reading than the travel!). I have recently had incredibly good luck with picking excellent books several times in a row. This has made me think of several books where I had high expectations but was ultimately disappointed for several varying reasons. I won’t be writing full reviews about these books but I wanted to briefly comment on and explain my thoughts on these, along with how I manage my high expectations now.

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The Four Streets Trilogy was a brilliant series and I found Nadine Dorries’ storytelling engaging and compelling. I was surprised and disappointed to find out that Run to Him doesn’t have the same flow and I could not connect with the characters either. Perhaps if it was developed as a full novel rather than a short story the plot could have developed in a different way more suitable to the writer’s style.

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Stieg Larsson is perhaps one of the best storytellers in the crime fiction genre and I was excited to learn that there would be another book in the Millenium series. It is evident from the start that Lagercrantz’s writing lacks the same complexity and variety as Larsson’s so this book was mediocre at best when compared to its predecessors.

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I realise that I am one of the few to dislike this book but unfortunatey it just didn’t meet my high expectatations. Prior to reading it I had heard a lot of excellent comments about its unique nature and was expecting it to shine in the dystopian fiction genre. Many others love it but I could not handle the slang and was driven away by the violence.

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I had read very postive reviews on some of David Nicholls’ other books but decided to start with this one. I felt that the whole story was a continuous game of tag with both characters chasing each other with no progression. Neither of the characters were particularly likeable which also resulted in what felt like a very slow paced plot.

The most disappointing book I have read this year (and possibly ever), Go Set a Watchman failed in all aspects including pace, character progression and plot. It was weak and poorly executed when bearing in mind that one of the most renowned classics, To Kill a Mockingbird, was written by the same author.

Upon reflection, I realise that I am perhaps too critical which stems from my admiration for certain authors and my high expectation to deliver a book just as good, if not better, than the previous one.

So how do I manage my high expectations now? I try to put aside thoughts concerning the author or other readers’ views and focus simply on the novel in front of me. It’s  often challenging, especially with new books written by one of my favourite authors, but I find that I approach these books with a fresh perspective and enjoy the journey more.


Which books did you find disappointing and why?

12 thoughts on “Studious Saturday: disappointing books and managing high expectations

  1. I have read One Day, I quite liked it as a story but I agree with you about the pacing. One of the books that disappointed me was The Casual Vacancy – it is well written but I didn’t like the characters or the plot.
    Have a great weekend of reading and travelling!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One book I’ll always remember that disappointed me is Zodiac by Romina Russell; it’s YA sci-fi and has the most wonderful set up and world-building that I’ve ever come across, but the characters and plot are DREADFUL… love the post!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Darina. I try to do as you said and focus solely on the book in my hands and keep my expectations lower so I’ll be surprised. I’ve been disappointed with the author Wally Lamb. His later books have not lived up at all to the first two.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear you didn’t like some of these books! I have to admit, I personally prefer Go Set a Watchman over To Kill a Mockingbird. I think TKaM was and is a revolutionary book, but I do feel also that GSaW is a great discussion book because of the big questions it poses: what do you if the person you looked up to is not who you really think they were? How do you deal with a parent who is racist? Do you stay or do you go? Those are interesting and relevant questions for today, for me, personally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are all excellent questions and you are very right that GSAW handles them with much more eloquence and precision than TKAM. I think the former is definitely more of a discussion book but it was just lucking the punch that TKAM had, for me personally. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Studious Saturday: Mystery Blogger Award – Facing the Story

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