Sunday, March 31, 2019

DNF&Y [15]

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!

Potency (Glow, #1) by Aubrey Hadley
Synopsis (via Goodreads): The Maasai Mara Sleeping Syndrome has returned after a six-month hiatus. This time, it's popped up in New York, and it's wiped out an entire homeless shelter.

The same night of the outbreak, Harper, a seventeen-year-old girl, stumbles across a glowing figure in the desert outskirts of her neighborhood. As her suburb goes on lockdown, Harper finds herself isolated from her friends and family, and soon begins to suspect that the events — though thousands of miles apart — may have something in common.

Harper must find her bravery and embark on a plot-twisting adventure that will have her looking for answers in unexpected places... and worlds.

DNF at 19%

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 Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Warning: potential spoilers for the first few chapters of the book.

I was really jazzed about this one after reading the synopsis, but it ended up not being a good fit for me. Harper was a very bland character that I couldn't relate to, and her family was confusing. Her mother is only strict when it comes to Harper, and her brother comes across as uncaring and aloof. His sudden desire to be protective later on really threw me. Harper says something about forgetting about the past (she says this out of nowhere), but they were both in unfavorable situations. I feel like there would have been more pressing concerns at that moment. Especially if her brother knew something she didn't.

All of the relationships were weird. Harper's mother is scary strict, constantly grounding and yelling at Harper, while praising the behavior of her other children. She lies to Harper, snoops through her personal stuff (even online), and comes across as slightly unhinged. Harper has three close friends that she plays soccer with, but I kept getting them mixed up. I felt like they were trying too hard to sound like teenagers, while also trying to make Harper seem special.  

Then there's Max, a really odd character that I don't know how to place. He appears at a soccer game with Harper's brother (who appeared gross and disheveled, no questions asked), and then just happens to be around when the quarantine happens. He shows up in Harper's room uninvited, which was super creepy, and basically gave her cardboard to eat. I don't know, the whole thing was weird. After leaving her room, he makes her sit away from him, but then he comes closer to ask her questions about her brother and father. It made zero sense! He would be angry and reprimanding one second, sleazy and flirtatious the next.

If you decide to try this one, you're going to have to suspend a lot of belief. At one point, Harper rolls a tennis ball across the street and it's immediately seen and targeted. However, she slips out and runs across several backyards completely unnoticed? And then Max happens to find her before someone else does? His explanations are bananas, and then he helps her only to change his mind at the last minute.

I stopped reading this one shortly after Harper was captured. I'm not entirely sure where she was when she woke up, but she's captivated by her surroundings despite being stuck in goop. It was a touch too unbelievable for me. I would have been freaking out, if I'd woken up in a foreign substance that wouldn't let me move. Also, her brother is there yelling that she doesn't know anything, but then shouts for her to tell them what she knows -- sooo confusing!

Potency has a beautiful cover and an interesting premise, but lackluster characters and an unbelievable story. It's also insanely long, and I feel like some of it could have been left out for a quicker pace. There's a lot of telling instead of showing, which I always find disappointing.

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26 comments:

  1. Yeah complicated and I confess that I don't think I knew about this one

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    1. It's hard to know about them all, haha. There are so many books out there! ;)

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  2. 19% and already this messy and confusing?!?

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    1. I liked the concept, but it wasn't always believable. She just accepted what was happening with very little struggle. If I had been quarantined away from family and friends, I would be freaking the fuck out. And then when she finds herself in an unfamiliar situation, she doesn't react in a way that makes sense.

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  3. We're not always gonna like the books we pick up.

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    1. Very true! It's why I do this post at the end of every month. ;)

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  4. That cover is pretty but glad you figured out early on it wasn't working for you.

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    1. I prefer knowing after a few chapters! I always feel more let down when I get pretty far into a book before calling it quits. It means I found something interesting and worth continuing, but was disappointed before reaching the end. The cover is lovely, though!

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  5. Wow, that is one long dnf post. I do appreciate that!
    Dang, cool premise too

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    1. It's actually pretty short! I only DNFd one book this month. ;)

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  6. It's always a bummer when you DNF a book, but it's better than reading something you aren't enjoying!! It doesn't sound like I'd really enjoy the characters in this one either.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Truth! I would rather DNF a book I'm not enjoying, so I can try something else I might love! I'm always happier when reading is fun and exiting. I want to look forward to the books I'm reading, not dread getting through another chapter.

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  7. This does sound really confusing, and the mom does sound like a psycho!

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    1. I didn't understand why she was so hard on one child and not the others. It didn't seem like Harper was doing anything to stand out, but I also didn't get very far into the book. There may have been secrets that I didn't discover, or something... ?? She just seemed overly cruel for no reason. I hate when parents are portrayed negatively just for the sake of conflict within a book. There needs to be a reason, background information, for me to believe that someone is just bad.

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  8. Weird Max guy. Maybe he is curious about her dad and brother for something in the future of the book. Yes so far seems confusing. Telling and not showing always ruins a book. The cover is cool looking.

    JoLee
    Mine

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    1. It could have something to do with what happens later in the book, but I didn't get that far. He had a weird relationship with her brother, and then her family as a whole, but he was creepy in general. First, he's hostile and reserved. Then he's leering at her while she sleeps and barking orders. It made no sense.

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  9. This one is new to me as well but that's okay, it doesn't look like I was missing much. ;) Sorry this didn't work out for you.

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  10. I have to say that this wouldn't be one that I would pick up in any case and the problems with the plot issues (the tennis ball thing!?) Gah! That would frustrate me so much. So sorry that this wasn't a good fit for you.

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    1. It's been ages since I've read a good science fiction book, so I was super curious about this one. However, I was ultimately left feeling disappointed and confused. Bummer! It could have also been way shorter than it was! A lot of unnecessary words were used telling me how things were happening, instead of showing, if that makes sense.

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  11. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far with me. Some things I'm willing to let slide but sometimes it's just too much. There's always that "one more thing" added to the pile and I'm like, "Nope, that does it. I'm out." LOL

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    1. Haha! I'm the same way! It was just one unbelievable thing after another, until finally I couldn't do it anymore. I love, love, love fantasy, so it's possible to make me believe in the unbelievable, but this one just didn't work for me.

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  12. My first thought reading your review Linds, is that this sounds like it was written by two people who failed to let the other one know what was going on in the narrative. So full of contradictions, I'm surprised you stuck with it as long as you did to be honest. I like the concept but it sounds a mess. A friend of mine tried reading this one as well and made it almost halfway. There's no need for books to be over 600 pages unless you're writing a Sarah J Maas or Samantha Shannon fantasy, specially not for a full length debut. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one Linds but loved the DNF review!

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    1. It was definitely a long debut! I want to be able to get a feel for the author's writing, but sometimes it can be too much. There's a way to build up a fantasy world without overwhelming the readers. Kelley Armstrong's Age of Legends series is one of my absolute favorites!

      There were a lot of contradictions in this one, and I'm a person that notices discrepancies. For example, I'm reading a book now and one of the characters made a big deal about not liking sweet tea, but was later sitting at a table sipping on a glass. I'm sure a small detail like that doesn't stand out to most people, but they stick in my brain.

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  13. Hmm, this doesn't sound like my kinda thing!

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    1. Clearly it wasn't mine either, haha. I haven't read a good science fiction book in ages! Any recs?

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless