Sunday, July 29, 2018

DNF&Y [7]

DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative! If you would like additional information, please click on the DNF&Y tab at the top. If you want to join, you can link up at the bottom!

*I'm posting this a little early since I have other things scheduled the next few days!

The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn't share it with anyone, not even the person who shares your bed? Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know--and how much should we want to know--about the people we love the most?

After six years of marriage, the unshakeable confidence Cass felt on her wedding day is decidedly gone. Jonathan, on the other hand, is still smitten with Cass. It's true that the personality quirks he once found charming in his wife--her complexity, her high standards, her refusal to clean the dishes--are beginning to grate. But for him, these are minor challenges in an otherwise healthy relationship. So it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass suddenly requests a marital 'intermission': a six-month separation during which they'll figure out if the comfortable life they've built together is, in fact, the one they both want. 


After Cass and Jonathan devise an absurd and jet lag-inducing plan to swap custody of their beloved dog every thirty days, they decide that (aside from their monthly canine exchange) the intermission will be a time for self-reflection--and not a time for talking. But, as the months pass, Cass and Jonathan begin to see that the very worst of their problems are rooted in just these kinds of calculated silences--and in a delicate web of blistering secrets they may never be ready to share.

DNF after 20 or so pages

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Cass was catty and vindictive. She had a rough childhood, so now she thinks the world owes her something. It's pretty shitty that she takes some of that out on her husband. She'll pretend to be asleep when he wants to talk, or think about doing something nice for him only to change her mind. Relationships are partnerships, and Cass seemed remarkably self-centered.

"Her husband--before he became that--used to remind her of a nearly ripe farm-stand peach, a project almost completed. He was someone in need of finishing touches, a man who would be so grateful to her for getting him a better haircut and jazzing up his apartment that he'd fail to see that she was truly the one in need of finishing." This is not how or why you should start a relationship with someone.

Jonathan was pretentious and obnoxious. He was also paying way too much attention to people that were not his wife. "...was more tolerable coming from a twentysomething with perky tits and a gravity-defying ass." Ugh. Then there were two paragraphs that should not have gone next to each other... "Headboard-gripping, doggy-style sex followed a few dates later. Maybe she wasn't that hard to please after all." (This was said about Cass pre-marriage.) Followed by: "His mother, another woman for whose approved he'd worked overly hard..." and now all I can think about is him working his mother in that way. 

Yes, I understand this was a book about two people struggling with their marriage, but neither one was likable. They were terrible people when they were alone, so it's not surprising that they were awful together.


Caught Up by Rya Stone
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Cassie Mitchum is interested in one thing and one thing only—closing a deal on the Lucas property. Until she sets eyes on Jason “Jase” Lucas. He’s bad news, but he looks damn good doing it. She’s never been one for tattooed roughnecks, but she’s willing to make an exception, especially since he won’t look at her lease offer unless she agrees to a date with him.

Jason Lucas needs Cassie Mitchum to stay the hell off his land. There’s more happening than she needs to be aware of—or mixed up in. With that feisty attitude and those tight jeans…he can’t get her out of his head. Too bad being close to her would put her on the radar of the most dangerous person Jase has ever known.

DNF at 12%

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

This one was a little darker than I was expecting... domestic violence, prostitution, and so much drama. It wasn't enjoyable drama, but the type that follows jealous women around. These were supposed to be adults, yet they were acting like hormonal teenagers and wild animals claiming their territory. It just wasn't a good fit for me from the start.

Also, if someone is a jerk... please don't swoon over them. I don't care what the flark their eyes look like, or whether or not their rough exterior makes you hot and bothered. Have more respect for yourself!

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Kiss the boys and make them cry...
Arrowheart (The Love Curse, #1)
by Rebecca Sky

The gods are gone.
The people have forgotten them.
But sixteen-year-old Rachel Patel can't forget - the gods control her life, or more specifically, her love life.

Being a Hedoness, one of a strong group of women descended from Greek God Eros, makes true love impossible for Rachel. She wields the power of that magical golden arrow, and with it, the promise to take the will of any boy she kisses. But the last thing Rachel wants is to force someone to love her . . .

When seventeen-year-old Benjamin Blake's disappearance links back to the Hedonesses, Rachel's world collides with his, and her biggest fear becomes a terrifying reality. She's falling for him - a messy, magnetic, arrow-over-feet type of fall.

Rachel distances herself, struggling to resist the growing attraction, but when he gives up his dream to help her evade arrest, distance becomes an insurmountable task. With the police hot on their trail, Rachel soon realizes there are darker forces hunting them - a group of mortals recruited by the gods who will stop at nothing to preserve the power of the Hedonesses - not to mention Eros himself, who is desperate to reverse the curse . . .

Rachel must learn to do what no Hedoness has done before - to resist her gift - or she'll turn the person she's grown to love into a shadow of himself … forever.

DNF about halfway through

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I love books about Greek mythology, so I dove into this one without any hesitation. Unfortunately, everything was too unbelievable. Stories like this have to be explained and portrayed in a way that feels real to the reader. The characters in Arrowheart were not very likable, and they accepted the impossible with little very little doubt.

One of the characters was taken captive and he chose to accept it and do whatever they told him to. He didn't try to fight, escape (even though there were plenty of opportunities), and questioned very little. I also didn't understand the romance the author was trying to portray with him and another character. Keeping someone against their will (and actually taking away their will more than once), would hopefully make them look for an escape.

I don't know if the reasons were explained later in the book, because I just couldn't bring myself to continue reading it. The characters were either shallow and spent a lot of time on their looks, or oblivious and let others walk all over them. I barley understood Rachel's thought process most of the time, or why she chose to make certain decisions. 

In the end, it wasn't my cup of tea. I'll admit that I'm curious about Eros, because I'm not as familiar with his mythology, but my lack of interest in the story cancelled out my desire to know how it ended.


School for Psychics (School for Psychics, #1)
by K.C. Archer
Narrated by Madeleine Maby
Synopsis (via Goodreads): An entrancing new series starring a funny, impulsive, and sometimes self-congratulatory young woman who discovers she has psychic abilities—and then must decide whether she will use her skills for good or…not.

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

Set in a world very much like our own,
School for Psychics is the first book in a stay-up-all night series. 

DNF about halfway through

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I struggled with this one at the beginning, because I was unfamiliar with the setting and the terminology. I've never been to a casino or played whatever game she was playing, so some of the references went over my head. I wish the author had spent a little more time explaining what Teddy was doing, but instead I felt separated from the story.

Despite my initial misgivings, I decided to continue reading this one. I thought things would get better once she arrived at the super secret school, but sadly they did not. I originally thought this was going to be a YA book, and was surprised when it was about twenty-somethings instead. However, despite her age... Teddy's thoughts and actions were childish. She was impulsive and rarely considered what she was doing, she stole money from her adoptive parents (she was in debt), and she had very little concern for herself and others. 

Also, some of the logistics surrounding the psychics didn't really work. There were too many holes and not enough explanations. The story also started to feel like it was dragging on... she'd study, make a mistake, be threatened with expulsion, promise to do better, and then repeat ten more times. I didn't want to put any more time into a story I wasn't fully enjoying. The concept was interesting... psychics being trained to work in government positions, but the delivery was less than stellar. 

*Share your DNF&Y post! Please leave the direct link to your DNF&Y post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

35 comments:

  1. I haven't read or heard of these books before but sorry it was complicated...

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    1. It's okay! Sometimes a book isn't a good fit, and I like to let people know why it didn't work for me. :)

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  2. School for Psychics is the only one of these I've read and I remember thinking about DNFing it for almost the first half of the book. I stuck with it and did end up enjoying it overall but I completely understand why it didn't work for you since I struggled so much myself.

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    1. I'm happy you were able to stick with it! Honestly, I didn't want to take the chance. After reading half a book, I want to be completely engrossed in the story. I didn't feel very invested in the characters or their story, so I just stopped and moved on.

      I was curious about her reoccurring dream with the yellow house, what really happened to her parents, any why her vials of blood were stolen. I almost skipped ahead to see if they answered those questions at some point. You should email me if you know! <3

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  3. I'm so weird because I have such a hard time not finishing a book. I just keep hoping it gets better and sometimes it does.

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    1. I used to be like that! However, it really affected my love of reading, so I decided a few years ago to only continue with books I'm enjoying! There are sooo many books out there, so I'm sure the ones I like will outweigh the ones I don't.

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    2. I don't want to take a chance like that... if I'm hating something 50 pages in, I don't want to risk hating it the entire time.

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  4. I don’t blame you for quitting on any of these. They sound pretty bad. Hopefully they work for other people.

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    1. Hopefully! That's why I like to do this post. Maybe someone likes to read about jealous women and darker content--it just wasn't for me.

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  5. I haven't heard of any of these books before. I can also see why you DNF'ed them. None of them seemed interesting to me :/

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading

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    1. I was really excited about Arrowheart, so I hate that it wasn't a good fit! Eros isn't a god you hear about often, and I thought a story about his descendants would be fun. :)

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  6. Pretentious, obnoxious characters is definitely a reason for me to DNF a book, too!

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    1. I couldn't even finish his chapter, lol.

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  7. The Intermission kinda sounds like a mess! And school for Psychics- I was kinda interested in that one, it's got an interesting premise, but yeah... and I've seen other lukewarm reviews too, so that one's probably safe to skip.

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    1. The characters in The Intermission were sooo terrible. It was hard to read about them and what they thought/did. It made me feel gross. School for Psychics started off at a crawl, but then spiraled into something uninteresting. There were a few threads I was curious about, but not enough to listen to another 6 hours of audio.

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  8. I have heard similar things from other readers about School of Psychics, which is one reason I decided not to read it. I wish I could DNF more often! I always feel guilty:-)

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    1. I used to! I stopped feeling guilty when I started being happier about what I read. I want to fall in love with books and their stories, not trudge through them because I feel obligated to finish something I started. I feel like doing this post, DNF&Y, allows me to still give them attention. You might like something that I don't!

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  9. Goodness, I wish I was better at DNFing! You inspire me 😂 But seriously, I don't blame you, these sound rough indeed. The Intermission... wow, yeah, that is one I honestly think I COULD have DNFed which says a lot hah. Like they should be married to no one, and probably each need heaps of counseling just to be decent humans? UGH I feel you with Caught Up- who CARES what someone looks like if they treat you terribly!? What is that, why do people do this? Sad about the last two, because they both sound like there was potential there, but the execution just didn't work.

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    1. Have you heard of those free little libraries that pop up around neighborhoods? You're supposed to leave a book to take a book. I always put my DNF books in those! Someone else might come along and want to try it... and maybe they'll love it! There are usually some children's books in there, too. I'll take one of those home to give to my kiddos. Win-win! :)

      The Intermission was a mess. I really, really didn't like either of the characters. Who thinks, "Oh, I should pour him a glass of orange juice because that would be nice," and then thinks, "Nah, I don't want to be nice." Ugh.

      Right? You could look like Adonis and I wouldn't give you a second of my time if you were a jerk. I learned that lesson in high school. Jerks are jerks and you cannot change them. They have to fix themselves. I think it's a lesson some people have to experience on their own, but I hope to pass the information on to my children, haha. Adults though... they should know better.

      Arrowheart is one I REALLY wanted to love. I signed up for a blog tour and everything... but had to step down when I knew I wouldn't be able to give the book a glowing review. I want to be honest, but I also don't want to be a downer on someone's tour! I'll save my review for my DNF&Y.

      School for Psychics is one I received on NetGalley. I missed it's pub date because I was never in the mood to read it, so when I saw there was an audio version available at my library, I decided to give it a go. It just didn't work...

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  10. LOL, you weren't exaggerating when you said you learned to let go of books that you don't particularly enjoy. This is a whole list!

    It sounds like the main problem you had with all of them were the unlikeable characters...now, unlikeable can be OK, in the sense that characters should be lifelike, not too perfect and all. But there should be a valid reason for it, and/or a character's arc where they learn a lesson and try to be better...and most of all, as you said, swooning over jerks is a no-no.

    Quote: "The story also started to feel like it was dragging on...she'd study, make a mistake, be threatened with expulsion, promise to do better, and then repeat ten more times."
    I read a book like that once. My main problem with it wasn't even the repetition, as much as the fact that the character basically refused to grow (see above) and STILL GOT AWAY WITH IT as if she were a special snowflake - which she wasn't. I can't forgive it in a book. Give us consequences!

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    1. Yep! I always try to give a book 50-75 pages or 25%, but it's more of a guideline. Sometimes I read the majority of a book before deciding I can't keep reading it, and others I know right from the start. Four books isn't that bad for a month of reading!

      Unlikable characters that are supposed to unlikable are different. I don't want characters to be perfect--flaws make them more interesting. Like you said, there needs to be a lesson or growth, so I can't keep reading when I feel like the characters are awful and remain awful. There have been books with villains that I loved, because those characters had history and purpose. I understood them and their motivations, even if I didn't like or agree with them.

      It was sort of the repetition for me, because I felt like the story was going in circles. She kept making small, stupid mistakes (that she would think were mistakes before she did them), and then get caught. She kept saying she would be/do better, but I never saw it. "Give us consequences!" <3

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  11. Oh dear, these sound pretty bad! That first book I would've hated the characters and DNFed it pretty quickly!

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    1. The were the worst two people. One of the first scenes is the two of them at a friend's wedding. We find out that at wedding they place bets (with each other) on how long they think people will stay married. Some of the things they say are pretty cruel. They would keep those bets (usually on napkins or scrap paper) in a drawer at home, so they could see who was right if a marriage didn't work out.

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  12. I actually managed to read The Intermission and I agree, they were extremely unlikable. I liked the husband better once they split but on the whole, I just felt sorry for the dog. Smart call DNF'ing it.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to like something/someone about the story! That always helps. Pets are like children... they always get caught in the middle.

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  13. Caught Up sounds like I'd DNF too :(

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    1. He wasn't nice to her, but she felt this "attraction" anyways. Ugh.

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  14. Aw, I was really looking forward to School for Psychics :(

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    1. If you think it's something you'd like, definitely give it a shot. I got through 5 hours of the audiobook before I stopped. It wasn't awful, just not something I was interested in. It didn't hold my attention or captivate me like I wanted it to.

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  15. Sorry to hear these were all DNF's, but it happens. I was curious about School for Psychics but I've been hearing mixed things about that one.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I wish I'd read a few more reviews before starting it myself. I feel like I would have been better prepared for the content. If you're curious, the audiobook was available at my library, so it might be available at yours! :)

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  16. These books don't sound like a good fit for you. They honestly don't appeal to me either so I will be skipping them. I used to push through books no matter what. I will dnf a book but it doesn't happen all that often. Only 3 dnf so far this year but a few more I wish I had given up on.

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    1. I cannot justify sticking with something I'm not enjoying. If I have a spare moment to read, I want it to be something I'm dying to dive back into. If I'm having to force myself to continue reading something--ugh. I'd rather not. I did that a few years ago and it really impacted my reading and how I felt about books in general. I've been a lot happier just DNFing something that isn't working and moving on.

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  17. Hey Lindsi I'm so glad you are giving yourself permission to DNF... if I commit in the first 50 pages or so I normally read to the end. Since my perspective is about the writing I'm always on the lookout for books that need improvement. I do soooo agree about catty and nasty characters... when I hate a character and can't even enjoy a side character its so hard to keep reading!

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    1. This past year has been full of wonderful books! I've been able to get to more of them because I choose to DNF something that isn't working for me. I can't continue reading a book that I'm not fully enjoying. I understand that not everyone feels the same way, and I think it's awesome when people are able to finish a book no matter what. We're different and it's beautiful.

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