Saturday, March 28, 2020

The DNF List: January & February 2020

Hello! I've been trying to do better about giving up on books I'm not enjoying, so I've been DNFing a lot more books lately. I decided to start doing monthly posts on what I have given up on. This first one is a little strange because I'm going to start with January and February! At the start of April, I'll have my March post up, and then it should be one DNF post per month.

Without further ado, here are the books I decided not to finish in January and February.

Happy Birthday to Me (Birthday Trilogy, #1)
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day!

High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a popular pretty boy who's never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.

All Cameron wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a mysterious young woman, however, he realizes his only hope for survival might be with the one person who started his condition in the first place...

How long did I last? 78%
DNF "Review"
I tried, I really tried to read this, but I couldn't keep going.

I like the idea behind the book, that a teenager starts aging a year every day, and I was actually intrigued in the beginning. Sure, the MC was unlikeable, but I thought that was the point. I thought the MC was going to learn his lesson and turn into a better person, that's what usually happens in these books, right? But, no, he doesn't change at all. Granted, I didn't finish the book, but I made it 78% into the book. I MADE IT THAT FAR! But I still did not see the MC growing as a person. He claims that he is different, he has a heart-to-heart with a girl who he used to ignore. He actually reads books now which is supposed to be character growth. But he still is very immature. I know the book is going to end with him being fine, getting the ignored girl, and claiming to be a better person. Reading the synopsis of the next book, and the book after that, I can tell that he will not grow and the same things will happen again. There were so many times that I wanted to give up on the book, like when the MC or his friends used to word "retarded" or when his dad kidnaps him to force him to get plastic surgery or when the MC is called a monster because he looks "old" (by the way, this book just did not have a good grasp on age. When he is in his thirties, others call him a senior citizen. Being in your thirties is not "old"), but I was past the halfway mark and thought I could stick it out.

But nope, I just can't. You know what my breaking point was? When the 58-year-old librarian kidnaps the MC from prom (he is approximately 60 here) and tries to have sex with him. I wish I were joking.

Well, this book was a waste of my time.

The Changelings (War of the Fae, #1)

Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?

How long did I last? 43%
DNF "Review"

I really wanted to like this book. It has so many positive reviews so I was trying to push through to the end, in hopes that it would get better, but this book just wasn't working for me.

Right away I had trouble connecting with the MC. She lets us know on the first page that she is "different" which mainly means that she is outspoken and doesn't give a crap. To show how "different" she is, the book over-generalizes and weakens the rest of her peers, which is a trope I hate. The MC, Jayne, does certainly have a voice, but it never felt authentic to me. We are told that she has a hard home life, but that is barely touched on. I did like her friendship with Tony, even though it had a strange start. I mainly liked how easily they could communicate with one another and that Tony was just a friend.

The plot is pretty slow and is one of the main reasons why I lasted so long as I was waiting for the plot to pick up. I was expecting faeries in the book, but I didn't see anything in the 43% that I read. Instead, the plot was more runaway teens forced to fight in a forest. It actually read more science experiment gone wrong than paranormal. The progression between plot points was also strange. There were also a few things that I just found problematic, such as a villainous monster being described as having a "flamingly gay" voice.

There is a hint of romance before I stopped reading and it was basically Jayne fawning over a boy because he has good teeth. He barely says or does anything interesting. Reading the reviews, supposedly this turns into a love triangle and all the girl characters are kicked off so the MC has all the boys to herself. In that case, I'm glad I gave up.

Overall, I wasn't a fan and I have decided to not waste time on books I'm not enjoying. I can tell this series has a lot of fans, and if you did enjoy this book that is perfectly fine. In fact, I'm glad that you loved this book. I didn't, but it just wasn't for me.

Ashes to Ashes (Ashes, #1)

If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.
Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker's sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me and Imaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.
When Callie's life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.
Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.
However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.
As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.

How long did I last? 76 pages

DNF "Review"
This wasn't a bad book, but it just couldn't keep my attention. I love reading books about the afterlife so I thought this would be up my alley. The afterlife shown in this book has some interesting ideas but it is mostly ghosts stalking the living which I have seen done many times before in books. The book also seems to revolve more around romance, there's even a hint of a love triangle, and that's not what I'm looking for. I kept wanting to read other things instead so I'm DNFing this. Again, not a bad book, and if I picked it up back in 2013 when I added it I might've continued, but I want to read books that I enjoy reading now. 

Illusions of Fate
I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him. 

How long did I last? 74 pages

DNF "Review"
I added this to my TBR in 2014 and if I read it then maybe I would have enjoyed it, but when I started this book all I could think was "this is okay". There are too many other books for me to read to waste time on an "okay" book. I waited a little longer because I wanted to see the magic come into play, but once the magic came in it didn't feel that developed and I didn't really understand what was going on. There was also insta-love, which I'm not a fan of, especially since the guy seemed kind of creepy and shady. Other reviews claim that this book is fun with witty banter, but I didn't care for the banter in this book. Also, where I left off the MC was just kidnapped, then tortured by some mysterious villain, so I wouldn't call this a fun book.

Overall, I don't want to spend time reading a book I'm not enjoying.

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Everyone knows how those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.
But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—pretty, smart, and, worst of all, nice—stepsister is dating the charming, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine?
Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her online. The school mean girl has made it her mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister is the most popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret crush, Jake Kingston.
Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against Jake.
Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie's going to rule the school.
And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.
How long did I last? 10%

DNF "Review"
This sounds like it could be a cute book but I just could not stand the MC, Mattie. Mattie is supposed to be quirky and snarky, but I found her whiny and annoying. She certainly has a voice in the text, but I did not find her sarcasm funny, I found it cringey. She spends most of the beginning complaining about her stepsister Ella and how she is The Worst. Her crimes? Basically that Ella is a Good Person which makes Mattie look bad. Instead of feeling bad for Mattie, it made her out to be a brat. Mattie has a crush on a boy named Jake (who happens to be popular and dating Ella) and she monologues about how awesome he is. What bothered me was that she says she loves Jake for being nice and charitable, when she hates Ella for the exact same reason. (although looking at the reviews, it seems that Jake is not such a nice guy which makes Mattie's reasoning even more ridiculous). My "not like other girls" alarm bells were also ringing. Mattie is an outsider at school and she makes it seem like she is an outsider because she wears black and draws manga and she's different. Overall, I did not feel inclined to read the rest of the book.

The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy, #1)
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.
What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.
How long did I last? 30%

DNF "Review"
I didn't have any major issues with the book, it just wasn't keeping my interest. The book is fairly short but I felt like it was taking an awfully long time for the book to get to the point. I gave up around 30% in and at this point very little paranormal elements were coming into play. None actually. They were being hinted at, but the contemporary elements were taking up the plot. I was interested in this book because it was based on Irish folklore, but instead it was mainly about the MC and her crush on a guy. I put the book aside for a little bit and realized that I just didn't want to go back because I did not care about the MC's relationship with the guy. I was curious about the folklore hinted at and the MC's dad coming into the story, but that wasn't where the focus was. Maybe it gets more interesting but I have decided recently that I cannot waste time on books that I am not interested in, and this one could not keep my interest.

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