If you read my book reviews you know this post is a departure. I review, for the most part, only books that I really liked. Today, however, I bring you the most disappointing books of 2020.
These book include a couple that were just plain awful, a couple that were okay, but had weird implausible events. And a couple that were good, but just didn’t live up to the hype (or my expectations).
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The ones I did not care for…
I rarely mention the books I thought were just plain awful, but these first two fall into that category (for me). You may like them!
The Wife Stalker by Live Constantin
In my book journal, I only wrote, “don’t buy any more from this author”. So, I had to do some digging to find out why I rated it low.
Piper, the main character, moves to a new town and opens a new-age rehab business and then meets Leo. Leo is married to Joanna and fairly quickly abandons her, but keeps the children.
Piper becomes a part of their lives.
Okay, Piper was immediately unlikable, and then Joanna finds clues in her background that make it possible that Piper is going to harm Leo or the kids. When one of the children begins to have weird stomachaches I suspected Piper was the cause of that. Also, Piper would read aloud to the kids and read entire chapter books repeatedly- like 3 times in a row. The book she keeps reading cannot be read that quickly. A picture book, yes. But not the book that is mentioned.
So, I already did not like this book and then the plot twists began and it was a wild ending. Which I also hated. I think some of today’s authors have decided that multiple weird plot twists are the way to go. It did not work in this book. I gave it 1 star.
Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins
This author is one I usually enjoy, hence my disappointment in this book. My book journal says, “totally implausible events”.
The backstory of all the characters made this book readable, but the three-year old that took over the book was horrid.
And completely unbelievable. Her language was too far advanced for that age, as was her behavior. Most alarming were the terrible things the child did to a cat. And since I own three cats I can tell you that none of her actions could happen.
Not only were the words of the child terrible- so were the conversations between the adults. Just, no. I also gave this one 1 star.
Two That Were a Little Better…
The next two were not as disappointing, but I still found too many things to dislike.
The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin
I will spare you the two words about this book that I wrote in my book journal. Suffice it to say that they were bad words.
So, this is the story of Cecily who is sitting in a bar trying to make a life decision about her current boyfriend. Grant sits down near her and they strike up a conversation. Cecily learns that he has a twin brother that has ALS. After their relationship begins to move forward Grant disappears on September 11th. Fearing the worst Cecily searches for any sign of him. She finds a poster and decides someone else must also be looking for him. She investigates.
Sounds good, right… well, then the twists and turns start and yuck. 2 stars
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
This is another author whose books I usually like- a lot! But…the last two have been disappointing.
Morgan has a daughter, Clara, with husband, Chris. They married as teenagers and now the daughter is a teenager. Mom and Clara have typical relations as moms and teenagers do. Chris is the arbitrator and brings peace to the family. Then he is killed tragically.
Unfortunately, he is killed along with Morgan’s sister. The accident brings to light a relationship Chris and the sister had. And, into the middle of this comes a teenage boyfriend for Clara and the book quickly becomes a teen romance. I found the behavior of the teenage boy to be atypical for his age.
And if that is not convoluted enough for you, here comes the boyfriend of the sister who is taking care of their baby. And, this turn of events brings in some more relationships that are just all too awful. I gave it 2 stars.
Moving on to the Better Books…
Mind you, when I say better I will still add that these were among my disappointing books of 2020.
A Good Neighborhood by T.A Fowler
An established older neighborhood is slowly being rebuilt by families that buy the older homes and remodel or tear them down and build larger, grandiose homes. Such is the family at the core of this book. The Whitman’s build a large fancy house and cause damage to the neighbor’s beloved tree. The neighbor is Valerie Alston-Holt who has a teenage mixed-race son. The Whitman’s also have a teenager- a daughter.
The two teens become friends and maybe more than friends. And then a crime against Juniper (the girl) happens and the book becomes a mess. There is a lawsuit over the tree and all the adults behaved abominably. There are many other layers to this book and parts that were good. But the ending was awful. Overall I gave it 3 stars.
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
One of my very favorite authors. But this book was disappointing.
The gist is this: Mallory lives on Nantucket and Jake visits on Labor Day one year. They have a fling and then he returns every year for the same holiday weekend. They do not communicate during the year in between summer visits.
This arrangement spans 28 summers. They both change in appearance, they have great jobs, and they have amazing connections- but only for Labor Day weekend. They do not keep in touch during the year. But….
Jake is married. And he stays married. His wife thinks he is meeting guy friends every year. They both lie and make sacrifices for this weekend.
In the meantime, Mallory has a fling with someone she has known for a long time and the son she raises is part of the story.
The central story, though is one of deceit and I just cannot say this book was amazingly wonderful – for that reason. The story was well written. I liked the way each chapter opened with a list of what was going on in the news of each of the 28 years. I loved Mallory and her brother, Cooper, but ….
Should you read this one? I give it 4 stars because it was a page-turner. Yes, try it. This author is wonderful and her descriptions of Nantucket always make me want to live there. You will have read a good book and you will have to decide if the premise of this story is one you like– or not.
Okay, book friends, there are my six books that disappointed me this year. It was an odd year of reading with many more romance/chick-lit books. Those books tend to be more soothing and, goodness, we all needed that this year!
Tomorrow I will reveal my TOP TEN Books of 2020! It’s a great variety and you will love them all- you might love some of the books on this post, too!
Just in case you are interested- have you tried the Book of the Month Club? It’s a monthly subscription fee for a book and you can choose extras. You can skip choosing a book if you don’t like the selections. The choices are current and there are sometimes advance copies. Click on my link if you are interested- Book of the Month Club
My rating system: 5 stars- perfection, the book was written well, held my attention, and I did not want it to end. 4 stars- the book was really good, but I had questions or concerns about parts of it. This might include the way it ended. 3 stars- the book was okay, but I just didn’t like it much. 2 stars- I skimmed most of it. 1 star- I could not finish it.