Recent DNFs

Posted September 3, 2014 by Kara in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

recent dnfs

Oh man, I am a reader fail recently.  At least, with review copies.  I can’t pin down exactly what’s going on with me, but I am SO over required reading at this point.  A few months ago I went crazy with my ARC requesting and here I am now paying the price for it.  Some of these books aren’t actually bad – they’re just not my thing.  But some of these were just impossible for me to get through.




This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

Why did I DNF?  This book is written in second person.  Basically that’s what it comes down to.  I’ve read plenty of books using this device, but used in a different way.  With second person, the book can be written like it’s addressed to someone, like a letter or a conversation.  Or, “You” can be the main character.  Blackbird is done the second way, and it just didn’t work for me.  I understand the author is trying to hide who the main character is, but this could have been done just as easily with first or third.  The second person narration took me out of the book every time.  I just didn’t not like it.



The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

Why did I DNF? In theory, I should have loved this, but ultimately it came down to boredom.  It starts out very intriguing and interesting, if not just a bit small-town cliche.  It’s a typical murder mystery with some weirdness added in, like people who are dead but still stuck in their bodies and still able to feel pain.  Or something with the cats that I just didn’t understand.



The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Why did I DNF? This is just a case of me not reading the blurb all the way through.  All I knew was that it was Gretchen McNeil and it was a revenge thriller.  After reading Ten I was excited for this.  But that went away quickly I realized it was a vigilante secret society type thing.  That is sooo not my thing.  Nothing wrong with stories like that, really, but I just don’t enjoy them.  They’re typically set in contemporary setting, so I don’t really like having to take out my suspension of disbelief kit in that kind of book.



There’s a murderer on the loose—but that doesn’t stop the girls of St. Etheldreda’s from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

Why did I DNF? Okay, so Julie Berry wrote one of my favorite books, All the Truth That’s In Me.  So Prickwillow isn’t my genre AT ALL, but since I figured I’d give a try anyway considering my history with the author.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  This book is actually funny and witty and well written.  But like I said, I just don’t get into Victorian-era books.  I just don’t.  Sads.



This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Why did I DNF? This is the one I feel most guilty about because I made a big deal about requesting it.  I originally didn’t want it because of the author’s previous work but after a ton of reviews started coming in so I thought, heyyyy maybe this is for me.  It’s not for me.  I just have to realize that I’m simply not a paranormal romance fan, no matter how dressed up in new clothes the books are.  It’s not happening.


Sooooo, yeah.  I’ve been horrible at review copy reading recently.  I fee super guilty about it, but at the same time, I’ve been having a lot of fun reading older books and books that have been sitting on my shelves for a while.


9 responses to “Recent DNFs

  1. Man, I’ve had DNF’s myself lately. The Vault of Dreamers was one of mine and The Girl from the Well was another close one but I made it through, although I wish I hadn’t. lol The Feral was the one out of this bunch I was most interested in getting. I still avoided requesting… think I made the right call. I wasn’t even enticed by Trial by Fire either but a lot of people were loving it! I’m glad I stuck to my guns and didn’t request it.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – Fiercombe Manor by Kate RiordanMy Profile

  2. MJ

    I’ve had a lot of DNF’s as well-most recently Ten Things I Hate About Me. Oddly, enough I finished Trial by Fire though, but such a disappointment.

  3. You are NOT alone! I’ve also been having THE worst luck with arc lately, struggling through them only to be let down in the end. I’m glad it’s not just me but at the same time it bums me out that every new book I was excited about has been a dud. I’ve decided to start reading more ‘me’ books before I hit a real slump D: I hope you find some better books soon!!
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday *89*My Profile

  4. I’ve read a lot of negative reviews about Feral. It really does stink. It sounds exactly like something I would like, too. But I think I’m going to have to pass on that one. Also Trial by Fire. I wasn’t a huge fan of the author’s previous works, either so I don’t think it will change with this one.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Ashtyn Stann recently posted…The Winter People Release Day Blast!My Profile

  5. Oh man, you’ve just made me feel so much better about not enjoying Trial by Fire huge amounts, I gave it three, but everyone seems to have given 4+ which just strikes me as so odd.. I’ve heard pretty similar things about Blackbird and I actually never considered it which is pretty lucky. I’m still unsure on Feral though, it’s a hit and miss novel, I need some thoughts me thinks. Thank you for going into this though, I might do one at the end of the year!
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – Still PointMy Profile

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