Surprising and Disappointing Reads of 2020

Happy Blogmas Day 9!

No matter how hard I try, I always start a book with expectations and it is through these expectations that I either end up falling utterly in love, being pleasantly surprised, or disappointed with my reading experience. It is from these expectations and bookish hype that has enabled my to create this list and it’s not guaranteed that all my 2020 disappointing reads will be low ratings and vice versa, it’s purely down to whether it reached or surpassed my predicted ratings. I’ve tried my best to pick books that actually unintentionally surprised me rather than some staple favourites, I’ll leave those books for my 2020 favourites/wrap up post!


The Song of Achillies by Madeline Miller – Don’t get me started on my thoughts about this book, I ADORE IT! I’m still trying to fully comprehend my thoughts and I don’t think I’ve experience a book-hangover like this since I read The Final Empire two years ago! This book just left me in awe and I just want to re-read it again and again. I knew the story. I knew what was going to happen. But the enchanting quality in Millers prose lures us into the comfort of caring for these characters. The emotions shared between Achillies and Patroclus are profoundly physical, and those last five chapters tore the heart from my chest, leaving me empty and alone.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – I read a bit of Wilde whilst studying at Univeristy and there’s always that worry when reading ‘a classic’ that I might not ‘get it’ or enjoy it as much as others, but this one surprised me greatly! I found it super easy to read and I certainly wasn’t expecting the intrusively personal thoughts it left me with. This is a true masterpiece that was the perfect read during Halloween and is filled with beautiful quotes that will stay with you long after finishing!

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning – If your new to this blog then you probably don’t know about my obsession with trashy highlander romance novels, they’re so bad that they’re good! You may be think Amy, why on earth is this book on your surprise list? Well, its because I truly love this book! I’m just as surprised as you are, everything was great from the plot to the characters (it was an enemies to loves relationship and we all know I’m a sucker for one of those). So if you’re ever struggling to find something to read then I highly recommend anything that has a shirtless man in a kilt on the cover!

The Witchling’s Girl by Helena Coggan – Another complete surprise! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review but I got so much more. Like I’ve mentioned before I’m usually a read driven by plot rather than character but this book completely subverted that. Coggan’s beautifully evocative prose and world building surrounds a battling story of love and death that will break readers hearts. The characterisation and development is what makes this book truly stunning, Haley’s succession to becoming the Witchling is one heck of a journey that I’m thankful to have experienced.

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – There’s that stigma behind YouTubers writing books, and although I fully trust Hazel and her ability to create beautiful and meaningful prose as seen through her Time of the Month series and short film Happy, there was always that element of doubt. This was on my list of most anticipated reads for 2020, so I had all my fingers crossed that it would live up to my expectations, and thankfully it did!


The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao – This is probably one of my biggest disappointments of 2020 and it breaks my heart to admit that because I was hooked by this book’s synopsis but sadly this is one of those rare cases of a great premise but not so great execution. Nevertheless it was still a fun and easy read filled with a unique world that I’d love to learn more about.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer – Please don’t hate me! It’s not that I don’t enjoy this series but I don’t think that this book lives up to the hype. It’s a solid Beauty and the Beast adaptation with a intricate storyline and good characters but I swear if I read another Beauty and the Beast adaptation I’m going to DIE, there’s a whole world of untold fairytales than need updating so pick something else! ACOTAR will forever be my favourite adaptation because Maas cleverly uses it’s framework to build a greater and more complex story. I will probably continue with this series because I’m curious to see where Kemmerer takes these characters and her storyline!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – One of my reading goals this year was to start and finish this series, and although I was hooked with the haunting concept and world of book one, sadly book two didn’t have the same effect! I remember really struggling to finish this book and I probably couldn’t even tell you what happened! I do hope to pick up this series again in the future but right now it’s not at the top of my TBR.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – What is it with sequels? I think my problem is that I fall utterly in love with the first book and I’m so eager to start that second book that my expectations creep higher and higher. I knew it was going to be difficult for this book to top its predecessor but I just felt like something vital was missing. I felt like we were missing the camaraderie and brotherhood of the first book, I understand that it’s good for each characters to have their own time and storyline but it just felt a little empty. 


10 thoughts on “Surprising and Disappointing Reads of 2020

  1. I might have to give Madeline Miller another chance and read The Song of Achilles – I have yet to see a bad review! Even though I thought the book itself was kind of boring, I did really like her writing style in Circe, so I suppose there’s still hope for me! 😁
    Also, I’m so sorry you didn’t like Thunderhead more, that book is one of my favorites! But I guess I’ll just have to love it even more for to make up for it, then 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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