Top Ten Tuesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2014

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is a Freebie! I’ve decided to go with my Top Ten Most Disappointing Reads of 2014. Click on the links for my review (if applicable) or the Good Reads page.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. It seems like everyone in the blogosphere is obsessed with this series. I just don’t get it. I gave this book 1 star.

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)

2. Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth. I was hoping that this book would in some small way make up for Allegiant. Or make me fall for Four again. It did not.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

3. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman. Yet another book the blogosphere loves that I did not. I just don’t get it, guys.

The Dancing Master

4. The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen. I really enjoy Klassen’s novels, but this one was pretty bad. Especially the parts where she actually plagiarizes herself from another book!

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

5. All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant. This book had so much potential, but just didn’t live up to it. I really wish it would’ve focused more on the reality show plotline.

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)

6. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. While it started out interesting enough, it had super unlikable characters and became very confusing.

We Were Liars

7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I think this book suffered from too much hype. It had a good twist, but it did not make up for the rest of the book.

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Don’t get me wrong, this book was cute! But it was definitely my least favorite book of the series.

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)

9. The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. I love the fake relationship trope and had been looking forward to this book for a long time and it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The Archived (The Archived, #1)

10. The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Yet another beloved book in the blogosphere that just didn’t do it for me. I found it way too slow and pretty boring until the end.

What Top Ten Tuesday topic did you choose? What are some of your most disappointing reads of 2014?

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Review: All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself her is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

On paper this book seemed like it would be right up my alley. The best friends becoming more than friends trope. Reality tv competition. Cupcakes. All the ingredients (pun intended) were there. Unfortunately, it just didn’t quite live up to its potential.

Lucas and Kat are best friends that are secretly in love. A good portion of the book is spent with each of their POVs pining for the other and debating whether or not to express their feelings, for fear of them not being returned. I feel like this might have been ok if we were only given one POV and we had to guess at the other’s feelings, but getting both POVs and finding out right off the bat that they both feel the same took away a lot of the tension. It was also very redundant, hearing the same thing again and again.

I also had a hard time rooting for them as a couple. While Lucas had some sweet moments in the beginning, I spent most of the book thinking he was a big jerk. He was selfish and condescending and sometimes childish. He also used way too many football metaphors. It got kind of ridiculous.

On the other hand, I did find Kat to be a likable and relatable character. She had her moments of whininess, but for the most part I found her insecurities realistic and enjoyed seeing her grow more confident throughout the story.

What was easily the most interesting part of the story was Cupcake Combat, the reality competition Kat enters. Unfortunately, a lot of the competition was skipped over, or spent with Kat or Lucas’s inner monologues about their pining for the other instead of focused on the game.

Overall, All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes was an ok read. While there was an overall message of self-acceptance and trusting in God’s plan for your life, it was overwhelmed with repetitive romantic whining and longing. It had some enjoyable moments, but didn’t quite live up to it’s potential.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 2.5
Characters: 2
Readability: 2.5
Enjoyability: 2
Overall Rating: 2.25 Stars