Disappointment: Why It Is the Worst

(I started writing this post quite a while ago and I meant to post it before my semester started but then things happened and I didn't have the time to finish it and now the semester has started and I have even less time! What I'm saying is: I'm sorry my blog is so empty at the moment.)


Before I get into this I want to make a couple of things clear:
  1. I think it is important to read books you dislike at least every now and then (if you read a lot). On the one hand, I'm pretty sure it not only keeps my head awake it also provides sensibility to certain problematic aspects in stories (it's so much easier to detect flaws – and why said flaws are flaws/how they could be not-flaws – in books we are already not liking all that much) and, on the other hand, it often feels like a bad book makes space in your heart (when I read a lot of great books in a row it often feels, at some point, like I can't properly appreciate said books anymore and like $2my passion is running low").
  2. There are some books I truly and passionately hate (whenever I talk about them I do it in an angry manner), some books I simply "hate" (or, very strongly dislike but am able to make fun of them), and some books I dislike but it's okay (I can shrug them off but when I hear that my sister has neglected reading The Name of the Wind and instead chose to read one of those I will scold her. A lot.). I am not ashamed to admit to any of these things.
  3. I am not, necessarily, referring to books I hate (in this post). On the contrary, some of the books which have disappointed me were really good just not as ridiculously good as I wanted them to be and, thus, I felt betrayed by them. How dare they not be fantastic beyond belief? 
  4. Obviously, you should take everything I tell you with at least a grain of salt. A bucket of salt would, probably, be even safer.
  5. That's all. Let's start.
There is nothing more soul-crushing than reading a book you've been excited to read for weeks/moths/years and finding out it isn't what you had hoped for. But why is it soul-crushing? Why is it the worst (is it really the worst)? To answer these, and more, questions I want to take a look at some of the books I've been disappointed by in the past and explain why our relationship would be forever tainted by the bitter and creeping fog of disappointment. (A List organized from least to most disappointing. More or Less.)
Quick disclaimer: If you loved any of these books then that's great! I just didn't and that's okay, too.


The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Die Tearling-Dummheit) or:

The Popular Book Which Turns Out to Be Tragically Bad

This one is (only) slightly disappointing because I, for one, always have a critical voice in the back of my head which warns me not to get my hopes up too much when I pick up a book which has received lots of praise by many people. Obviously, it feels less bad when reviewers you trust have already read it and didn't like it (which was the case for me with The Queen of the Tearling) and worse when reviewers you trust have already praised it. The Queen of the Tearling, wich received a lot of buzz for a very long time, really wasn't my thing. (And after a while it grew obvious that it wasn't many people's thing.) My main problem with it is its stupidity, which is present throughout the whole series and only parts of the last book I found actually enjoyable.


The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The Hyped Book Which Is So Boring You Want to Throw It

So, soooo many people loved this. And I don't understand why. When I think about it I have either absolutely no feelings (because it was so boring) or I'm irrationally angry (because it was also incredibly stupid). But, because of other people's reactions to The Red Queen I picked it up excited to see what all the hype is about! 😃 Until the realization hit that it would not get any better than terrible. 😠
(Oh, wow, I usually never use emojis but I have to admit it does insert the right mixture of disappointment and silliness.)


What

Once more, this is one of those hyped books everybody loves. What is different than the previous two is that it had sooo much potential to be totally unique and fun and I've been staring at this book for ages pondering whether I finally want to read it and also the movie trailer looked so interesting it had to be good, right? Right??
No. My heart bleeds bitter disappointment. And also anger because, once more, the stupidity of this book is just … urgh.


Whatever by Michel Houellebecq

The Book You Objectively Understand As "Good" But Just Can Not Stand

Yes, as I said, there is a part of me that understands why so many people love Whatever, which means that I'm not only disappointed by the book for not being my thing but also disappointed in myself for it not being my thing. I'm supposed to love dark and weird stories about people with problems by French authors, so why did I despise reading this one? *Shakes the universe in frustration.*


The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

Books Which Start Out Great and Suddenly Become Terrible and Hope Is A Lie

Do you remember how I said before that there are some books that make me so angry I can't even joke about them anymore and I just get worked up over thinking about them? Yeah, The Storyteller is one of those. I'm going to spoil it right now so you won't ever read it ever, that's how much I hate it. Frankly, it did start out great and eery and even fun – until rape happened and then rape was glorified and it turned out that the love interest was killing people additionally to raping the narrator (but he's such a good guy so that's okay, I guess???), who, admittedly, did a very weird thing to him which seemed like she was going to rape him (but then she didn't, still, I was put off). Romantic sexual interactions, yay. Honestly, my bitterness about this is never-ending.


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Birthday Presents From People Who Love You and Whom You Love and You Want to Love Their Present But You Can Not and The Universe Is Disappointment

The title says it all. My mother gave this one to me and it was one of the first big English books I read but then it was about vampires falling in love with witches and it was real bad and I, eventually, confessed to my mother that I disliked it (after I had lent it to her because she was interested in it, too) and she totally agreed with me (meaning: the disappointment is bearable, the book is still unbearable).


Night Angel by Brent Weeks

Books Your Friends Made You Super Excited to Read But Then You Had to Realize Your Friends Have Different Tastes Than You and the Books They Recommended Are Not All That Great and Why Is The World So Cruel

To be fair, it could have been possible that I was wrong and that my friend actually suggested I read the Lightbringer series (which I do still want to give a try) by Brent Weeks and not the Night Angel series but it took me a while to realize that that was a possibility. So long, to be precise, that I had already read the series and it was too late (I liked the first, disliked the second, and hated the third book) all the while expecting great things from this series but never receiving anything outstanding - or, later on, even decent.


The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Books Beloved By People Whose Opinions You Thought You Could Trust 100% But You Just Do Not Love These Books and What Is Wrong With You

This one is particularly crushing because when people I trust recommend a book I will pick it up just expecting it to be one of my favorites. By now, I know that Fforde is kind of hit or miss for me and that I need to be in the right mood to enjoy his writing (the same as with many other authors who write primarily comedy books) but when I first read a book by him I wasn't aware that I couldn't just randomly dive into his books and love them. My opinion towards this book, thus, consists of: 50% meh and 50% whyyy did I not love this???


The Hyped Book Which Sounds Right Up Your Alley But Why Do You Not Love It Help

Everyone and their mother read and loved this book. But I just couldn't get invested in it. It was a fine book but it was praised so much for it's diversity and representation that I, naively, just expected it to be fantastic. The truth is: yeah, there is diversity and representation but, firstly, diversity and representation ≠ good story and, secondly, diversity and representation ≠ "good" diversity and representation. I'm not saying the representation is bad but it included a lot of information which I was not interested in (like, it wanted to explain bisexuality and epilepsy and stuff but I already know about everything it had to explain and, thus, I'd rather have heard about something more interesting). The disappointment this one left me with is of the very weary kind, like you wake up in the morning and you already know it's a bad day but you get up anyway and you immediately hit your foot against something and you realize you don't have food in the house and then … until you get back to bed in the evening entirely drained of life force but you can't fall asleep and that's the kind of sad and disappointed I'm talking about.

Am I overdramatic? Duh. But, in all honesty, there is nothing quite as frustrating as a disappointing read. So much hope and happyness in anticipation for nought.
That being said: I hope the books you're reading are all great and will never ever dare be anything less. Have a great day and happy reading! 

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