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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

DNF 2015 Tributes

The title suggests exactly what Eirini and I have done; we compiled all of our DNFs from this year and done a giant review montage right before the end of the year. Please take the time to see what novels did not make the cut. Feel free to let us know in the comments below if you, too, shared similar feelings about the novels, or if we were the black sheep of the bookish community. Have a very happy rest of 2015, everyone.

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
DNF 17%

Seeker seemed like a promising read, and it started off well with action. But then things started to get boring, unexplained, and just downright confusing. And I am not one to enjoy a book that doesn't explain things about the world or confuses me to the point of no return. I felt like I was reading the bare minimum, and given vague explanation in order to draw suspense, but really just left me confused on what in the world happened to these kids before taking their oaths. I felt left in the dark and no one was throwing me a damn match.

Another thing, Seeker just doesn't know what it wants to be--high fantasy, science fiction, futuristic--and it confused the hell out of me. One moment there would be castles and estates and the next everyone is fighting with weapons that can change at the turn of a dial, or there would be weapons that can render a person brain dead, and life support machines to keep them alive, and then anomalies that transport people like portals? and hover cars. My head was spinning for 60 or so pages. I didn't feel very welcomed in the world of Seeker and I don't see myself giving this novel a second chance.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
DNF 29%

I'm very upset with myself that I couldn't get into the story and narrative of Challenger Deep. I hope that if I give this book another shot it will speak to me in a different way. But right now I just don't see myself wanting or even have the motivation to continue. I have heard nothing but great things from Shusterman's novel, but I am going to hold off on reading Challenger Deep for the time being and come back to it in time.


The Cost of All Things By Maggie Lehrman
DNF 30%

I wanted this book to be good so badly I pushed myself to read a lot more than I should have.  The characters making awful decisions left and right the world and the reader just gets to sit there and suffer through the predictability of the outcome. The world of the story is nowhere near explored enough. The writer made this amazing, new kind of magic and just sort of left it there as a plot device. I honestly wish I could have enjoyed this book, but The Cost of All Things made my brain hurt and I couldn't take it.


Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headly
DNF 10%

So, I have found that once you start rooting for the deadly, mysterious illness to kill the main character off it's officially time to put down the book.
I didn't even make it to whatever magical world is suppose to be waiting for the reader and I don't care.  The main character is so boring, so generic and so needlessly snappy I wanted to throw the book across a room.  Neil Gaiman tricked me with his review and he will have to regain my trust for this.


The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
DNF 15%

I don't know what crime I committed in a past life to make this book fall into my lap, but I'm so sorry.
The Cemetery Boys is a book on friendship and monsters and I was so hopeful for it because it seemed to be a very original idea. The Cemetery Boys did not deserve my hope because the main character is so annoying.  Stephen's life is so pointlessly miserably and he almost deserves it for being just a miserable person.  The tone of the book matches the creepy plot, which is a good thing, but could you at least make the main character somewhat likable?


Remember By Eileen Cook 
DNF 30%

Okay, I almost swallowed this book down but when the main character, Harper, started messing around with her brain because her horse died I drew the big line in the sand and stopped reading.  Bad decisions are great in books sometimes, they force characters to grow and readers to think about their own choices but the entire plot of this book started because a horse died and Harper got sad. So no, I did not finish this book, I will never finish this book and I hope this book burns in hell next to The Cemetery Boys.


Darkthaw by Kate A. Boorman
DNF: 30%

I sort of liked the first novel, despite how Emmeline annoyed me to no end. Well, Emmeline did not change at all. The fact that I had completely forgotten the entire last half of the first novel did not help me ground myself in this novel. The untranslated French also deterred me from wanting to continue. Also, the "suspenseful plot twists" were anything from suspenseful, were useless triggers to make the plot line gritty, and rather tacked onto Emmeline's lackluster character development. I just lost interest in the somewhat-plot.


Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
DNF @ 30%

I don't find that every heroine needs to be a badass running around and being the apple of everyone's eye. Westie irked me to no end, her attitude did not become her, how fickle her emotions were and the way she would find herself helplessly aroused and heart-throbbing by someone she despised just because he is attractive. I only took the time to read up until Westie's backstory with the cannibals had been revealed, because I didn't care much for anything else. Not the creatures, not the magic, not the blossoming romance which could turn into a love diamond for all I know. For a steampunk/supernatural wild west story, I was disappointed.

I also was not taken with how Native American culture was portrayed in this novel. I saw it as a stereotypical and culturally oppressive characteristic by saying that Native Americans were magical because they "came from the land." It just made me sick to read. The attempts for diversity in the novel was an ok try, but I felt that it did not attribute any defining characteristic except to remedy a need for the book to be diverse.

Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking
DNF @ 16%

Nope, I cannot read this immature paperweight of a novel anymore. I barely made it through book 1, and I am not giving Ice Kissed any more of my precious time. I hope Amanda Hocking can write better characters and plot structure otherwise I will not pick up another novel of hers until i see improvement.


Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
DNF @ 9%

I had tried to get into the novel, but it just wasn't a right fit for me. I understand the intrigue by magical realism and the need for less hetero-normative novels and more diverse gender and sexual orientation novels, but Teeth just was not my book. Something about the writing and the plot didn't really do it for me. Perhaps I will try another novel by this author in the future. I sadly did not finish this novel.


Question: What books did you DNF this year?