I’m not someone who gives 1 and 2 stars a lot, so that’s why I don’t usually make a “worst books of the year” list. Instead, I like to make a list talking about the 3-star books that were meh and disappointed me. All of the books on this list are 3-star reads except for the last book which is my worst book of the year and it got 2 stars.
Here I talk about the reasons why these books disappointed me, but since they are all 3 stars, there are things that I enjoyed about them that I don’t mention here, so I left links to my Goodreads reviews of all of these books in case you want to know what I liked about them.
Without further ado, here are the books:
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey: I had high expectations and really enjoyed the first half, but unfortunately, I had so many issues with the second half. The hero decides that he wants the heroine forever after less than 3 weeks of knowing her and he becomes pushy and annoying, and the book becomes so cheesy that it was almost unbearable at times. (review)
Honey Girl by Morgan Roger: I had heard great things about this, but sadly the writing wasn’t for me, the author was trying SO HARD to be profound and poetic and it felt forced and sappy. Also, I didn’t feel the connection between the main couple, and their relationship felt a bit forced and awkward at times. (review)
A Sweet Mess by Jayce Lee: the dialogue was cringy and stilted at times, and the depth of the main characters’ feelings didn’t match the amount of time or experiences they shared. Also, in the end, a trope was used in a way that didn’t work, there was so much miscommunication and the protagonists acted so out of character, so it was a very frustrating ending. (review)
Something Wilder by Christina Lauren: This book relies way too much on the main character’s connection from their short time together 10 years ago. Beyond the physical attraction, there didn’t seem to be much to their relationship in the present or past timeline. Since I didn’t care about the romance, I wasn’t invested in the plot either and I kept noticing how unrealistic and convenient everything was. (review)
The Spinster and The Rake by Eva Devon: This sounded like something I would love and I have heard nothing but good things, so I went in with high expectations. But this ended up being just ok for me, I didn’t feel invested in the romance, and since not a lot happened plot-wise, I was a bit bored while reading it. (review)
Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux: After reading and loving Happening I was looking forward to picking up another book by Ernaux. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything particularly unique or special about this, and after finishing, I was left feeling like the whole thing had been a bit pointless. (review)
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher: This book feels at points formulaic and repetitive. Honestly, the plots of the books in this series are starting to feel very similar to me. Also, I know these books have a lot of sexism and hypersexualization of female characters, but this book took it to another level that made me really uncomfortable because it happened with a 17-year-old. (review)
The Tower of the Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski: I found this book boring and meandering. I feel like Gerald and Ciri’s storylines are almost pointless in the macro storyline of the series and Gerald gets forgotten in the last part of the book. The plot has advanced really slowly in the last few books, so I’m nervous that the final book is going to be rushed and it’s not going to give the series a satisfying ending. (review)
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: This dragged at certain points and it felt pretentious at times because the name-dropping was relentless, I don’t think there was one page where she didn’t name someone she knew that was famous or well-known (I didn’t know most of these people, but I guess other people do). (review)
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: I had high expectations because I really loved 2 of Lawson’s more recent books. But I found parts of this boring, the fact that every story revolved around animals (dead or alive) was something that I didn’t love, and I had issues with some of her jokes (about sexual assault, eating disorders, race) which crossed lines. (review)
Vulnerable AF by Tarriona Ball: besides a couple of standout poems, the rest were just fine. I actually ended up enjoying the short prose pieces much more than the poetry, but none of it was anything special.
Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace: This was the worst book I read in 2022. Amanda Lovelace’s books have always been very hit-or-miss for me, but the last few have all been misses so I think it’s time I stop reading them. This book didn’t evoke any sort of emotion out of me and it didn’t leave a lasting impression either. This collection felt repetitive and unsubstantial.