trees died for you??? // ft. the books i disliked the most in 2022

I know what you’re thinking right now: Kaya, why would you put such a negative post in the midst of such hopeful times? My answer to your question? I always like to put the disappointments before announcing my favorite books of the year, because I like starting controversial and ending joyful.

anyways here are the books i disliked the most this year, starting from most tolerable to i actually should have DNF’d this. the top 3 are almost interchangeable. first though, let’s have the MOST DISAPPOINTING NOMINEES!!!

All six of these books are books I enjoyed to an extent and could see how others might love them. They just didn’t quite hit the highs I wanted them to and that’s okay!

7. now for the countdown! starting us off is, unfortunately, ninth house by leigh bardugo :/

Ninth House is the least terrible of the books in this countdown and yet…it’s still not great. I have no idea how this won the Goodreads Choice Award for best fantasy book in 2019. We follow Alex Stern who can see ghosts and is swept up into the dark aspects of secret societies at Yale. THIS WAS SO BORING. Bardugo has lots of triggers in this book that just absolutely feel forced and meh. I’d root for a good murder only to find that said murder did not spice up the plot at all! The writing felt so disconnected, Alex kept IGNORING her homework*, and Darlington tried so hard to be ✨quirky✨ and ✨interesting✨ but he just came across as a tryhard. This book tried too hard to be deep and dark and twisted, and just ended up being boring. Hence why it’s on this list.

*i’m sorry but you can’t just ignore your yale homework!!! that plot hole took me OUT of this book in ways you wouldn’t even begin to believe

6. i know who you are by alice feeney (this book-💀)

Look. This book has one of the most disturbing plot twists I’ve ever read but I can’t fault a thriller book for being disturbing because that’s just stupid. No, the reason this book makes the list is that it is just so mediocre. This woman’s husband is missing and we literally follow her as she lives her daily life, flirts with her hot coworker, and relives her life in flashbacks. WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE YOU DON’T CARE THAT YOUR HUSBAND IS MISSING?!?! The police are onto you! That’s not how you write an unreliable narrator! Not to mention, there are several interesting plot points that are just…never followed up on? Like, there’s one point where someone just casually mentions that a relatively important character has gone missing, and literally there is nothing else about it. Are we supposed to assume that said character was murdered? But how? And why exactly??? There’s something else but I won’t mention it in this post at the moment. Anyways, this book got me by surprise and the flashbacks were interesting. That’s all the positive praise I can give it.

5. final girls by riley sager (literally his worst book omg)

2022 was the year I read all of Riley Sager, and he’s always impressed me with how entertaining his books are. But this book??? You know, the one blurbed by Stephen King??? It was so bad. We follow a girl named Quincy who teams up with a remaining “final girl” named Samantha after another one named Lisa is murdered. This story caught the slasher feel only in the flashbacks. The rest of the time, it was snoozefest of confusing characterization. There weren’t a ton of stakes to Samantha and Quincy’s actions, no sense of urgency. Sometimes, I thought that they were villains. The final twist was fine I guess. I predicted it a few chapters before the reveal. Talking about thrillers is so difficult because everything’s a spoiler! But just know that the concept of this story sounds so much better than its execution.

4. meru peri vol. 1 by matusri hino

I enjoyed this story of a girl who meets a prince from a faraway land who is cursed to grow up physically whenever he enters dark spaces…wait what??? This really was fun until I realized that the author was setting up a romance between a child and a teenager. These aren’t ambiguous ages either, the child is literally stated to be like eight and the teenager is clearly in highschool. Just because the child physically grows into a teenager because of the curse does not mean that he is mentally a teenager. I have no idea how anyone can ignore or excuse it because it’s not really even a minor plot point. It’s lucky it even gets to be this high.

3. kingdom of the wicked by kerri maniscalco (this is probably the most controversial💀)

I haven’t written my review for this yet but I already know I’m going to rant. The first 100 pages of this book were so good, considering we follow Emilia, an Italian witch who loves to cook, hunting down her twin sister’s killer and being forced to team up with a prince of hell to solve the murder. BUT THIS IS ACTUALLY TERRIBLE. Twilight has better worldbuilding. Emilia was almost interesting at the beginning and then at the end I literally could not tell her apart from every other sarcastic, temper-driven female protagonist. For being a prince of hell, Wrath was such a pushover. Like, I’ve seen my little brother get angrier than him. And the mystery just goes in circles! Kingdom of the Wicked made me realize that Kerri Maniscalco and I don’t actually work out.

2. hide by kiersten white (hear me out!)

I actually don’t hate this book. But this really, really, really needed to be edited more. I remember really liking Brandon. The rest of the characters were just a mishmash of empty personalities and stilted dialogue. NOT TO MENTION THIS IS LITERALLY ABOUT A DEATHLY COMPETITION IN AN ABANDONED AMUSEMENT PARK??? This needed to have less character perspectives to even stand a chance at being good. After that, it needed to have not gone in the direction it went in because it ended up in this pathetic horror-thriller gray area that was neither scary nor thrilling. What a disappointment.

1. my only skim-read of the year: a secret princess by margaret stohl and melissa de la Cruz

I loved this pair’s reimagining of Little Women called Jo and Laurie. So when I found out they were doing a The Secret Garden + A Little Princess mashup, I was very excited! Which was clearly a mistake because oh my gosh this was not good. The Goodreads synopsis still has names mixed up six months after publication, not to mention that said synopsis literally covers at least 50% of the book. FIFTY PERCENT. Do you understand why I skim-read this book now??? I read the synopsis thinking, “hmmm this seems like it has potential!” not realizing that it would actually be a succinct summary of most of the book. I genuinely didn’t care about this at all.

So that’s it! Like I said, the top 3 are almost interchangeable. Kingdom of the Wicked makes me angry, I feel so bland towards Hide, and A Secret Princess was almost a laughable experience. Luckily, my BEST books of the year list are coming soon so I’m excited about that!!! Tell me: what’s a book YOU had higher expectations for this year?

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27 thoughts on “trees died for you??? // ft. the books i disliked the most in 2022

  1. THE TITLE OF THIS POST IS THE BEST THING OF EVER. PERIOD. which, you know, all in itself SAYS A LOT because there’s a lot of things to like here. SUCH AS ME NOT BEING THE ONLY EARTHLY BEING WHO DEEMED A MAGIC STEEPED IN POISON TO BE TOO BORING TO CONTINUE ON WITH (i dnf-ed at like 50% i think??) THE CHARACTERS WERE SOOOOO FLAT AND JUST?? IT BORED ME?? also one for all 😭😭 the most superior insult to books and just storytelling in general is when a book WITH THE MOST FABULOUS SOUNDING PLOT falls short in the execution BECAUSE GENDERBENT THREE MUSKETEERS IS EVERYTHING I’VE EVER WANTED OUT OF LIFE. this had no right being so disappointing. BUT ITS OK. it wasnt ALL bad, i guess?? (ALTHOUGH THATS A LIE. mostly) BUT ALSO NINTH HOUSE. WE MUST TALK ABOUT THAT??? such as the fact that not doing yale homework DOES sound ridiculously unreasonable?? IM SORRYYYY IT HAD TO BE SO BAD. (but also. EXCUSE ME while i secretly hope I END UP LOVING IT because a reality in which leigh bardugo is possible of disappointing is TOO GLUM TO THINK ABOUT) also HA i know who you are sounds terrible BUT ALSO KIND OF LIKE A FUN THING TO LAUGH OVER LATER ON. I’M VERY VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT KINGDOM OF THE WICKED RANT THOUGH. i’m like 84736365% sure that i’ll end up hating it BUT WILL STILL READ BECAUSE RANTING IS FUN LIKE THAT. so i need thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person


      omg YES honestly you didn’t miss much regarding a magic steeped in poison, the magic system was SO COOL but i genuinely can’t remember a single character💀💀

      HOLY CRAP YES one for all’s premise is still something that i can’t believe exists in the world because IT SOUNDS SO GOOD. and it’s not all bad like you said!!! just doesn’t live up to its amazing premise😭😭

      LOL alex stern’s allergy to school made me allergic to her sooooo yeah haha. i truly hope you love ninth house because there ARE good qualities to it!! and yeah being disappointed by leigh bardugo is a TERRIBLE feeling.

      LOL YES pls read kingdom of the wicked because you might like but you honestly might not and either way i’d love to rant with you about it💀😅


  2. Must i say the title of this post is fab?! 😭
    Also wow i lived for these rants. Though none of these were ever on my tbr so I’m glad i won’t have to go through the pain. I did think ninth house might have potential but ik it’s not really my type. And honestly, the sarcastic, temper driven female protagonist thing is just so annoying! Everybody is like that, you name it.
    Loved this post! Rants are the best 🐱


  3. I did like Seoulmates and Lore was alright, as was A Magic Steeped in Poison (but could have definitely been better!) The rest I have not read and don’t plan on it. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. omg the title 😂😂 i’m so sad you didn’t like kingdom of the wicked, i thought it was really good! altho your comment about wrath lmao? that was hilarious, he actually was sort of a pushover. he does get better as the series goes on (i think?) but yeah, the first book was not the best 😅 i also didn’t love ninth house, i didn’t actually end up finishing 😦 i loved this post, your rants are so fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha i’m happy you liked it😂😂 i’m happy that you enjoyed kingdom of the wicked!!! it had some great atmosphere honestly. and i’m happy to hear that wrath gets better lmao i would lose it if he didn’t😭😂 you didn’t miss much DNF-ing ninth house! thank you💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This title Kaya!! 😂 I’ve yet to finish One For All and it sounds so interesting and I’m not sure what made it a least favorite for you (have you reviewed this one?) but what’s making it so difficult to get through is the writing style, which hardly ever bothers me! Am also so hesitant to get into Magic Steeped In Poison bc of all the hype!! Tbh my most disappointing read was Belladonna, the romance felt so unnecessary imo & the writing style was not for me 😭

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i’m so happy you enjoyed it!! i wrote my review on it but haven’t published it yet. i think that the writing style felt very stiff? and i couldn’t really bring myself to care about the plot or most of the characters because of that.

      i hope you enjoy a magic steeped in poison!! it wasn’t perfect, but the magic system was so cool. i actually agree with you on belladonna’s romance, i read the book thinking i’d enjoy the romance best and it ended up being my least favorite part💀💀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yes I did! I read the series for my Halloween reads so I also read Kingdom of the Cursed and Kingdom of the Feared. I actually was satisfied with the ending and am happy that the author announced more novels about the other brothers!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw… thinking of trees. The Raven Boys would be proud 🤣 love it!
    This is always a juicy post to read! It is a shame to A Magic Steeped In Poison is featured on this list though, but at least it wasn’t the worse one.
    I have only read Ninth House on this list and your comments are fair enough tbh. (calling Darlington a tryhard 😂😂) The ending hooked me most I think because I am eager for the sequel. Do you think you will check out Hell Bent or have you got better places to be?? 😂
    I haven’t read Kingdom of the Wicked but it doesn’t greatly appeal. I feel like some are calling it a new adult romance series now, so a slight change from YA. Wrath being a pushover would annoy me too!
    Great post, I am excited to see your favourites! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL if only the trees talked latin😂😂

      they’re unironically some of my favorite posts of the year to read! a magic steeped in poison is one of those books that just personally did not work for me, but i think could work for so many others! it’s beautiful!

      LOL i do feel a bit bad hating on darlington like that😅 the ending was AMAZING though! i’m not sure if i’ll check out hell bent, i might if i’m in the mood for it! because i do kinda want to see how the story will end.

      kingdom of the wicked is 100% NOT YA. the publisher for some reason marketed the first as YA (which it is) but the series as a whole is definitely NA. I’ve seen people say that the 3rd book is 70% sex and 30% plot which is absolutely insane to me LOL.

      thank you, i hope you’re having happy holidays!!💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh I started reading ninth house two months back and have still made NO PROGRESS, I’m honestly just so confused about what’s happening in it

    Liked by 1 person

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