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#019 | Frustrating Fiction: Books we found incredibly disappointing

Saturday, 8 June 2019
Episode 19 of Rants and Reviews is all about the books we found incredibly disappointing. Featuring The Maze Runner Series, Labyrinth, Magonia, and My Fat Mad Teenage Diary. [podcast artwork - lettering Frustrating Fiction]

Sometimes you’ll read a book that won’t quite live up to expectations. In this episode we’re chatting about the books that we’ve found disappointing. Stay tuned to find out what we’ve put on our lists, and be warned; there’s quite a few, so buckle up!


Each episode of Rants and Reviews we share what we’re currently reading, so you can discover our favourite genes, add some books to your TBR pile, and hear us rave and rage about characters, plot, setting and more.

Anjali is currently reading The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell, and has just finished Fame by Andy Warhol. She's about to read The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu, and The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman.
Sophie has just finished The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary and is currently reading Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney and P.S I Love You by Jenny Han.


(07:58) Anjali kicks us off with the first book on her Disappointing Books list. She does point out that just because we didn’t enjoy these books we’re about to list, doesn’t mean they’re bad books. It just means that we didn’t enjoy them for the reasons we will mention while we’re talking.  Her first choice is Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse (not to be confused with Kate Moss the model).

(12:00) Sophie’s first choice is the third in a series, and Anjali completely agrees when Sophie says that she really liked the first book, didn’t really enjoy the second book, and then didn’t even finish the third one at all. While Anjali did finish all three, she agrees that they went downhill from the first one. It’s a YA dystopian; can you guess which series it is? We’ll give you a clue: there’s a maze …

(15:40) A retelling of Alexander the Great, you say? Yes, please! Unfortunately, this retelling was such a let down for Anjali. Tune in to find out why!

(19:50) A really good idea that wasn’t executed very well; Sophie’s next choice is one that Anjali really enjoyed: The Binding, by Bridget Collins. While Anjali possibly hyped it a little bit too much, Sophie has thoughts on why she didn’t like and it struggled through the book.

(24:10) Anjali’s next book is one that she’s talked about on the podcast before, and how angry and upset she was with the book. And that book is Beast, by Lisa Jensen.

(29:20) Guess who watched a TV show and then realised it was a book? Sophie did! Find out which one she’s talking about and found thoroughly disappointing!

(33:20) Just because one author’s series was enjoyable, doesn't mean all their books will be. Anjali found this out the hard by when she read The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer.

(37:00) We take a quick sidebar as we wonder if there’s a YA theme. In the past decade or so we had a plethora of vampire books, werewolves, and there were a bunch of dystopian books. Listen to the episode to find out what conclusion we come to.

(39:30) Another end of the series that was disappointing for Sophie. And there is a spoiler in this section, but the book has been out for years and years, so sorry if you haven’t read it, but also catch up.

(40:28) Anjali has an epiphany.

(42:11) “Did we just have a revelation?” - Sophie

(43:58) Anjali’s last book is Magonia, by Maria Headley, is one that we both found disappointing. The concept of the book was so neat for Anjali, because boats in the sky are epic, but then it got really weird really fast. And that was the end of that. Goodbye.

(49:30) Sophie’s last one is also a movie, and it was actually renamed from what it was originally called, and the book is Love, Rosie, by Cecelia Ahern. The problem was, for Sophie, the letter form. The movie was good, and the plot was fine, but the letters were not great. We have a whole conversation about letter-books and how much we don’t like them.

(56:10) We quickly do a shout-out to all the other books that we found disappointing by try not to go into too much detail because we’re already nearly at an hour. Sorry.


Do you agree with us? What’s your most disappointing book? Flick us a Tweet, send us a message on Instagram, or leave us a comment below to let us know!

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Books mentioned in this episode

The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell, Fame by Andy Warhol, The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu, The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman, The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, P.S I Love You by Jenny Han, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman, The Binding by Bridget Collins, Beast by Lisa Jensen, My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary by Rae Earl, Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Magonia by Maria Headley, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern.

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