Books That Didn’t Live up to First Impressions

There are books that grab our attention from the outset. Reading some of them is a pleasurable and gratifying experience until the very end. Others, on the other hand, can leave us slightly frustrated, because they end up not living up to our first impressions. In the latest years, there were some books that I was quite enjoying reading at the beginning, but that I didn’t like that much as a whole. Below are some of the most striking examples of books that had potential to be far more than just satisfactory reads.


Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

In Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, we are introduced to Sonja, a woman in her early forties who is struggling to learn how to drive. Overall, this is a story about loneliness and lost family bonds presented in a fluid writing style. I was intrigued by the references to Sonja’s past and her relationship with her sister. However, the ending was too abrupt and I felt that there was far more story left to tell.


The Power by Naomi Alderman

I had high expectations for The Power even before I started reading it, since the premise has great potential. This is a speculative fiction book in which girls start to electrocute people with their hands. The prominent question is: what would women do if they had supreme power? It reveals that power can corrupt and that the aim should be to achieve equality. But it lacks character development and tries to cover too many points of view and events in an insufficient number of pages.


The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis

Set in the 18th century, The Butcher’s Hook has as main character Anne Jaccob, whose resentment and infatuation with the butcher’s boy, Fub, make her go down a dark path. She reveals herself to be capable of brutal actions. I was immediately interested in the story being told. However, I was slightly disappointed about the ending and found the pacing and the writing style somewhat inconsistent.


Daphnis and Chloe by Longus

Daphnis and Chloe were found as babies by two different families who then took them in. While taking care of goats and sheep, they fall in love but, at first, don’t fully understand their feelings for each other or what they mean. Halfway through this short Ancient Greek novel, many new characters are mentioned in a rushed sequence of events, and the tenderness between the two main characters, which I liked so much, is somewhat lost.


Have you read any of these books? What books didn’t live up to your first impressions? Tell me in the comments!


3 thoughts on “Books That Didn’t Live up to First Impressions

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    I have only read The Power of those four and, like you, was slightly disappointed. It wasn’t bad, but it became a bit too… diffused and therefore repetitive and weakened by the end. It could have been a great book but it was merely good.

    Liked by 1 person

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