Bookish Item| 2021 Most Disappointing Reads

The past week we’ve been talking about the books we read in 2021. Thankfully we both read a lot of books and if you want to see what books we loved you can look back at the lists of our favorite graphic novels/manga, romances, backlist books and 2021 releases. Today we want to talk about our most disappointing reads of 2021. No, this isn’t a post to just say how bad books are. We just want to talk about the books we thought would be 5 stars and just didn’t turn out to be that way. Keep on reading to find out more!


In 2021 I read over 200 books, so I have to say I was pretty lucky about how many books I ended up really loving. Out of the 209 books I read there were only 14 books I rated 2 or 2,5 stars. It does help that I know what I love these days, but even then it doesn’t always work. Out of the 14 books I didn’t really love there were 6 I was expecting I would love more than I did. Let’s talk about those!

Bad Habits – Flynn Meaney

My short review really says it all: Bad Habits is definitely funny, bold and surprising, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I enjoyed the fact the main character fought for things like sex to be talked about at the Catholic boarding school she was at. The only problem is that I just didn’t connect with the main character at all and even though there were important messages and discussions I didn’t feel that much really happened. I have to say I did appreciate the growth and development at the end.

Things to Do Before the End of the World – Emily Barr

The first line of the synopsis says that Things to Do Before the End of the World is a coming-of-age thriller. After reading this book I can safely say it’s not a thriller. Certain things in this book seemed a bit too convenient and there was a character that played a big part in the story that I couldn’t stand. I did appreciate how the main character grew during this story. Libby becomes more confident and I think she really deserved to believe in herself a bit more.

Mirrorland – Carole Johnstone

The synopsis of Mirrorland really had me intrigued and I was so excited to read this one. At first I had a really hard time getting pulled in. I kept going, because I loved the darker setting. It just went a bit slow. Then things got intense and just when I thought I knew what was going on and that we were at the end I still had 20% to go. If the book had stopped there it would’ve definitely been at least a 4 star read. But the story continued and became just a bit too unrealistic to me. It just felt like it didn’t fit.

The Dark of You – S.M. Shade

S.M. Shade normally writes books that have me laughing out loud, but took a different direction with The Dark of You. Reading the synopsis I was really intrigued. Honestly I almost decided to leave this book as a DNF. A stalker romance wasn’t something I was really looking for. The only thing that kept me reading were the parts about the main character’s past. I know some people really enjoy the darker sides of romance and I’m sure this is a great book for them.

Scared Little Rabbits – A.V. Geiger

This author’s Follow Me Back duology was so good and that made me so excited for Scared Little Rabbits. When I read a synopsis I was expecting a thriller that would keep me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t that. The whole mystery/thriller element doesn’t even start until really close to the end of the book. I kept reading, because I was hoping for something to happen. The author’s writing kept me reading, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

All I Want for Christmas is the Girl Next Door – Chelsea Bobulski

Okay, so I’m all for best friend’s to lovers romances. And I had high hopes for this one after I accidentally read the second book in this series first. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet up to my expectations. Things change in this world where he’s not just the girl’s best friend, but also her boyfriend. Except then we get some weird love triangle and that’s something I do not care for at all. Also, it just didn’t feel right at times with the way he treated his supposed best friend. Just not for me.



I only read books I rated 3 stars or higher this year and I’m so happy about that. While I didn’t read as many books as I would like, I did read mostly books I enjoyed. But while a 3 star rating is not bad by any means, sometimes it can be very disappointing. Especially when you expected a book to be a 5 star read. There are 4 books I really thought it was going to love, so those are my focus today.

Across the Green Grass Fields – Seanan McGuire

I adore the Wayward Children series and since this is about an equine world you can bet I was putting my money on this being a 5 star read. Unfortunately it wasn’t… It’s hard to pinpoint why this didn’t work because I did like the characters, I enjoy the world and the message. But it just didn’t really work for me unfortunately. Luckily I already read an eARC of the sequel and loved that one a lot.

The Project – Courtney Summers

I really liked Sadie so of course I was excited for The Project. The fact that this had to do with a cult sounded very exciting to me but unfortunately this story fell really flat for me. I might pick up another Courtney Summers book but I will read the reviews first haha.

They Wish They Were Us – Jessica Goodman

I love YA mystery thrillers and I was really looking forward to this one. It has a bit of a secret society at an exclusief prep school and those are some of my favorite backdrops for murder mysteries. However, there was not that much focus on the mystery and I think the story fell a bit flat. I will give Jessica Goodman another chance as she had an interesting sounding 2o21 release, so hopefully I will actually love that one!

You’ll Be the Death of Me – Karen McManus

I started to realise most of Karen McManus’ books follow the same recipe. And while that looked like a recipe for succes, I didn’t enjoy this latest book as much as her previous books. It was pretty predictable in a lot of regards. I still have The Cousins on my TBR and hope that one is a bit more surprising.

So these are the books that didn’t turn out to be 5 stars like we expected. Thankfully other people have loved the books we didn’t. That’s the great thing about reading. Not every book works for you, but will be someone else’s favorite. Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.

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