Thursday, April 3, 2014

DNF pile


I wrote a post about negative reviews, and how I don't review if I don't finish, and a very wise blogger pointed out that knowing what a blogger doesn't like can be valuable to publishers and authors too. I think that it also helps my readers build trust that I am not just slapping good ratings on everything I read. I have a knack for picking what I will lack based on synopsis and reviews, but that even fails. Then another blogger mentioned she did a did not finish post and I thought it was a great idea. So, here we go:


Anything to Have You
Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.
Source: Harlequin Teen via Netgalley

I did not like how Brooke talked about Aiden at the beginning and couldn't figure out why she would stay in a relationship with him unless it was a plot device.
I only had Natalie's point of view and I didn't like her. This would have been pivotal because I am going to have to love the main character to get over her sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend.
I knew this was a perfect storm for disappointment.

stopped at: 2%

That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
I'd love to see if you have a great review of any of this books and what you loved about it.

Positive Reviews:
Electively Paige
Dandelion Wine




Second up:
Blindfolded Innocence (Innocence, #1)
Blindfolded Innocence (Innocence #1) by Alessandra Torre
source: netgalley

I got to 10% and it just wasn't for me. There was no hint of romance yet except the "prologue" and she talked entirely too much about the monotony of her first week at the new office. There wasn't anything extraordinary about her to make me NEED to finish this book or invest in her character. 

That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
I'd love to see if you have a great review of any of this books and what you loved about it.

Positive Reviews:
Must read books or die
Passion Book reviews





Song of the Fireflies
Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski
New York Times bestselling author J.A. Redmerski brings us a stunning and heart-wrenching new novel about a couple who find each other in their darkest moment.
Since they were kids, Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates have been inseparable. When Bray moves to South Carolina, separating the two for the first time, they both at last realize that their innocent childhood friendship has developed into something much more. So when Bray finally returns to Georgia—and to Elias—things between them couldn’t be more perfect…until one fateful night changes everything.
Desperate not to go to prison for a terrible accident, Elias and Bray decide to run. As they try to make the most of their freedom, the two find themselves relying on a rebellious group of people who tempt the duo into a wild and daring new life. But they can’t run from their troubles forever.
As the consequences of their past catch up to them, the couple must finally face reality. Even if they can make it through the unimaginable, Elias knows the truth about Bray’s painful history, and in the end he may not be able to save Bray from herself…
stopped at: 8%

I wanted to read this one because I enjoyed her other new adult series the edge of never, and I really connected with the characters and the romance.
But unfortunately, I didn't connect so much with these characters. I don't think for the beginning I got enough of Bray's point of view to like her, she just seemed to uncaring and like she didn't care about Elias. I know she and him told me it was her past, and she really did care for him, but I was mostly in his head, and saw how much he hurt.
I really wanted to fall in love with Elias as well, but something about his voice and narration didn't do him justice, and he sounded distant.
That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
I'd love to see if you have a great review of any of this books and what you loved about it.

Positive Reviews:
Way Too Hot Books
A Book A Day





Don't Even Think About It Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
source: Random House

Stopped at page 30
I wanted to read this because I liked the premise of telepathy. Maybe I should have gathered from the cover or synopsis but it was too mean girl type book. I also could NOT get over the "we". I need a main character to connect with, or even two, because I sure love a dual perspective especially the guy and girl from a relationship. But the "we" did this or "we" did that was something else all together, and not the writing style for me. 
It might have even worked if I wasn't thrown all these names at once without an anchor. I couldn't keep the names and the we's and their stories seperate. 
That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
I'd love to see if you have a great review of any of this books and what you loved about it.

Positive Reviews:
Anna from Goodreads
V's Reads





Death Sworn (Death Sworn, #1)
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by Greenwillow
source: Sent

Stopped at Chapter 3
Why?
I didn't connect to Ileni. She was sassy one minute and then seemingly deathly afraid and cowering the next. I didn't really think this was the best starting place, either should have been action or along her journey a little bit so I can get to know her before she is in the cave--which gives me little sense of what this fantasy world is like. It also just seemed too slow getting started and catching my attention, and since I didn't request, I decided to stop.
 That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.

Positive Review:
Eater of Books
Dark Faerie Tales
Fiction Fare





Searching for Beautiful
Stopped at 11% after skimming since 8%
I wanted to read searching for Beautiful because it had all of the elements that I normally love in a story. There is a hint of pregnancy, of loss of a parent, the cute boy next door romance. Unfortunately I just couldn't connect with Brynn. I think that I needed to get a better sense of her character and their relationship instead I think that I was thrown into her story at a really hard time for her, and it was hard to feel for her since I didn't know her.
 I also don't think that the before and after worked for me in this one, I was just getting to get a feel of her and then I see her before the character growth or before the big problems.
 That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.

 Positive reviews:





Love Letters to the Dead
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.
Publishes in US: April 1st 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
Genre: YA contemp
Source: MacMillan
Series? No

Buy it:
IndieBound ›
Amazon ›
Barnes & Noble ›
Books-A-Million ›
Powells ›
Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

Stopped at 5%
    I wanted to read Love Letters to the Dead because it sounded like it would be an emotional story about Laurel healing and figuring out who she was. Besides the cover really catches my eye which doesn't hurt. 
    I guess I was expecting something different though from Love Letters, and it is probably all my fault. I expected maybe a letter here and there, but that is the complete format of the book. And that is not my thing. I have a hard time connecting with Laurel and it felt like she was projecting a voice that really wasn't her, because we tend to put a better foot forward on paper, to someone else, even if they are dead. 
   The obsession with Sky bothered me to, all we had was a glance and his looks. While I will admit I love a man in a leather jacket, there felt like there needed to be more. 
That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
I'd love to see if you have a great review of any of this books and what you loved about it.

Positive Reviews:
Syncronized Reading
Social Potato
Follow on Bloglovin

35 comments:

  1. I'm 31% into Don't Even Think About It! It's hovering around 3 stars at the moment, and the fact that the plot is enjoyable is the only thing keeping it there. It's far too cutesy and there's a ton of questions, the main one being how everyone has such simple thoughts. If I were telepathic I'd be thinking the most terrible things, I couldn't help myself.

    Then there's the we thing. Every so often I feel like the author suddenly remembers to do this and jumps in a few pages of 'we' thoughts and then forgets again. It's a great concept but poorly executed. It's a shame because I loved her previous book.

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

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    1. I liked her previous book too. Great point about not staying in perspective and the thoughts not being realistic

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  2. Wow I wish I was able to dnf books as quick as you Brandi, I seem to force myself through a lot of them. It's a shame that you weren't able to enjoy Love Letters to the Dead,. I hope you have some great books to look forward too!

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    1. With the kids and other responsibilities I have had to learn its okay to stop and read something else.

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  3. It sucks to DNF a book, but it's always better to move on when having trouble reading. I've had a few DNFs so far this year, one was a big title too.
    The only one on here that I've read is Death Sworn, and I did finish it but it wasn't great. I agree with it being slow and her changing how she is too much. I just hope the next book improves or I probably won't continue the series.

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    1. If something is too slow to capture my attention I have just had to say no even knowing that it could be amazing later on

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  4. Oh boy, Brooke made me so stabby in Anything to Have You, throughout the whole thing! I did like Death Sworn though but I can see the issues you had with the main character at the beginning.

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  5. Oh, I have a little pile of DNF books I need to post about. I'm reading Blindfold Innocence soon, I hope I like it. And Song of the Fireflies, ve seen a lot of people who couldn't connect with it.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Def hope that you are able to connect more

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  6. I had the same problems with Anything to Have You, and Don't Even Think About it. I made it almost half way into the first, but just couldn't do it. And the second, I only made 10%. The writing style just wasn't for me.

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  7. I like DNF and negative reviews. I find them helpful and a good way to figure out how a bloggers taste mesh with mine. They don't' stop me from buying a book either. Your' reason for disliking it may be just the thing that intrigues me.

    I know a lot of people had problems with Love Letters to the Dead. I liked it but the romance and the letters towards the end didn't work for me so maybe it's good that you stopped where you did.

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    1. That really is on me, I don't usually do letters or prose

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  8. These are definitely helpful. And to be honest, I don't trust bloggers that do not give 1 or 2 stars. I'm disappointed about Love Letters to the Dead. I've been looking forward to reading that one. I definitely understand you're feeling on Fireflies. I suffered through the entire book and gave it a very poor rating.

    Great post, Brandi!

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    1. It is hard with only positive reviews to see the full blogger

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  9. It's good to know what made you stop, but I understand about not wanting to write negative reviews. I feel the same way! :)

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    1. Its hard, because obviously every book isnt for every person

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  10. I stopped with The Song of Fireflies as well since the characters were so shitty in my eyes. I'm sorry you didn't like it either :( Also, you DNF Searching for Beautiful? Ah, I'm sorry. I want to read it bad since it's Nyrae, but um.. yeah, I'm sorry you didn't find it that addictve :(

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    1. Others liked Searching so just may be a me and brynn thing

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  11. Thank you for sharing your DNF's, I agree it is useful to see why you stopped reading them. It's a shame Love Letters to the Dead didn't work for you. I normally don't like letters books either, but this one really worked for me, especially in the second half. It seems like a lot of people had problems with Song of Fireflies and Anything to Have You too. I'll probably steer clear of those. Thank you!

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    1. It is just too hard for me to connect for the most part whenever its letters or poems

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  12. I like reading why these books didn't work for you, and I like that you link to positive reviews, too!

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    1. I try to be balanced to be fair to author and publishers

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  13. I'm sorry for all these books, I heard some same things about some like Song of the Fireflies, I'm sorry they weren't for you.

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  14. Brandi, these are definitely helpful and thanks for sharing the "why" of your DNF books. I think this is a great idea, and publishers and authors would find it valuable knowing what/why a blogger doesn't care for in a certain book. Plus, it helps other bloggers decide if the book is for us or not. Thanks! :)

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    1. Thanks! I still struggle with these types of posts, because I had to be part of any negative right at publishing date, but I think that it keeps me real. I don't rate them on goodreads though, still in the air with that

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  15. I found that a lot of people couldn't finish Anything to Have You, with so many bad things about it out there, kind of glad I did not nab this one.

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    1. Yeah, I prb should have read more reviews first

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  16. DNF.. oh I hate when I can't finish a book, but it happens. I almost put down Searching for Beautiful... But I bared through it. Thanks for sharing and your honesty!! :D

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    1. I don't stick in there too far with books these days if I don't click. Was it better in middle and end?

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  17. I usually don't rate books I DNF and I don't usually put them on the blog but I totally get what you mean about ratings. If readers only see reviews for the books you love they soon think you just love everything. I'm all about trying to only pick up books I know I'll love because honestly I don't have a lot of time to read and I don't want to waste it with a book I'm half way convinced I'll love. With that said I still manage to pick up books I don't like and more often than not, I won't waste my time reading the whole book.

    I wonder at readers who seem to only publish negative reviews. I think I'd invest some time by taking a step back and evaluating the method I use to choose my next read. Why waste time reading what you hate?

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    1. I totally agree, I don't have the time for reads that don't make me feel. I am pretty good at picking what I am going to read based on synopsis, publisher, etc, but like you, some sneak in or I get too click happy with beautiful covers...

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  18. That's a big ol' pile of disappointment :( Out of all of them, the only one that I really had my eye on was Death Sworn, but even that was iffy. I hope your reading future is brighter than your reading immediate past!

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