To All The Books I Never Finished

17 June, 2015 To All the Books... 30 comments

To All The Books I Never Finished

You know when you’re going through a reading slump and you find yourself starting a lot of books but not finishing them? Or maybe it just happens that you start a lot of books and statistically it just turns out that a higher percentage than expected suck? Well, both of those things happened to me, and I found myself with a lot of DNF books that I didn’t want to review. My answer? MULTI REVIEW POST!

 

tumblr_inline_nlspfiE1dV1rgvap6

So here we are, and I’m reviewing a bunch of books I never actually finished. They’re by no means comprehensive reviews – just reasons why I didn’t finish the books.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Goodreads | Purchase

In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives…. Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Tourists drive in to see the lush wonders of Faerie and, most wonderful of all, the horned boy. But visitors fail to see the danger. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake. Until one day, he does….

three-stars

Dear Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I wanted to finish you. I really did. We were going so well together. We made it about 50% of the book before I completely lost interest. The Prince character showed up and there was already a love interest and it was just becoming a jumble of stuff that I had no interest in.

And the writing just didn’t sit well for me. It never felt as polished as I thought it should have been. Then there was the little problem of what appeared to be a kind of love quadruple. Very confusing. Very meh to me, since I was starting not to care about any of them.

All up, i t just equalled a big nope for me.

Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

Goodreads | Purchase

Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy. Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly? Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home. Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live.  Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.

Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?

Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home.

Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live. Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.

two-stars

Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

God I was so close with this book. I made it all the way up to 90% and then said fuck it as I threw the book against the wall.

The problem was half me and half not me. Part of me was after a book about someone exploring their bisexuality. I really wanted that. And while the blurb made it clear that there would be some cheating in it, I didn’t expect to feel as disgusted with Will as I did. Especially since both Brandy and Angus are so awesome.

Also, I wasn’t expecting the bisexuality aspect to be such a side issue to that of parental neglect and conflicting issues of divorcee kids and depression and stuff. Really, most of this book was about Will’s parents letting him down. And this is going to sound terrible – I’m sure the author didn’t intend this. But it felt like a lot of Will’s messing around with Brandy and Angus was less because he wanted to explore his sexuality and more because he was depressed and desperate for human contact with whoever he could get it with. And that’s simply not the kind of story I was interested in reading.

Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler

Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler

Goodreads | Purchase

Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents’ wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls…opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he’s trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he’s in the spotlight—on everyone’s terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants. Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she’s painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she’ll have to choose between the one thing she’s always loved…and the person she never imagined she could.

three-stars

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

My problem with this novel was that I seriously just did not like, or want anything to do with Josh Chester. And unfortunately, him and his problems get a lot of page time. I actually only picked this book up for Van and Brianna. They were the reason I was reading this book. The sole reason. It’s not like I went in expecting to like Josh. Even from the synopsis, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. But I didn’t expect not to like Van too, and to find her difficult to connect with as a character. Brianna held no interest to me as a love interest. I struggled to get the attraction.

Ultimately, while this book was well written, it just wasn’t for me.

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

Goodreads | Purchase

What happens when the person you’re becoming isn’t the one your family wants you to be? When Aaron Hartzler was little, he couldn’t wait for the The Rapture: that moment when Jesus would come down from the clouds to whisk him and his family up to heaven. But as he turns sixteen, Aaron grows more curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn’t want Jesus to come back just yet—not before he has his first kiss, sees his first movie, or stars in the school play. Whether he’s sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can’t be found in the Bible. He discovers that the girl of your dreams can just as easily be the boy of your dreams, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you. In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey from devoted to doubtful, and the search to find his own truth without losing the fundamentalist family who loves him.

two-half-stars

Rapture Practise by Aaron Hartzler

This one was a really personal read for me. I couldn’t keep reading this book because I just couldn’t get over how horrible Aaron’s parents were in the book. And the fact that any child has to grow up in that environment seriously saddens me. It made it doubly hard to read since I used to be in that environment and the trauma of leaving and reentering the real world made it really hard to go back in the narrative. There was nothing wrong with this book, per se. Everything is well written and interesting, but not interesting enough to hold my attention through the hard times I had reading the trauma Aaron went through.

Shadows by Robin McKinley

Shadows by Robin McKinley

Goodreads | Purchase

A compelling and inventive novel set in a world where science and magic are at odds, by Robin McKinley, the Newbery-winning author of The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, as well as the classic titles Beauty, Chalice, Spindle’s End, Pegasus and Sunshine Maggie knows something’s off about Val, her mom’s new husband. Val is from Oldworld, where they still use magic, and he won’t have any tech in his office-shed behind the house. But—more importantly—what are the huge, horrible, jagged, jumpy shadows following him around? Magic is illegal in Newworld, which is all about science. The magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie’s great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago. Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He’s from Oldworld too—and he’s heard of Maggie’s stepfather, and has a guess about Val’s shadows. Maggie doesn’t want to know . . . until earth-shattering events force her to depend on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage. In this dangerously unstable world, neither science nor magic has the necessary answers, but a truce between them is impossible. And although the two are supposed to be incompatible, Maggie’s discovering the world will need both to survive.

two-stars

Shadows by Robin Mckinley

This book is so thoroughly McKinley, and whilst I felt her need to ramble and tell a story so thoroughly was charming and interesting for Sunshine, it was downright annoying and aggravating for Shadows. This book was like molasses. Hard to get through and just as interesting. If you’re a hardcore McKinley fan then you’ll probably like this, but otherwise you’re likely to find yourself too bogged down in unnecessary literary extrapolation to really enjoy the story.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Goodreads | Purchase

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still. A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world. Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

three-half-stars

Everything leads to you by Nina Lacour

I was actually super into this book. Like, super. I just loved the main character. I don’t really know what happened with this book. Once the mystery was solved and Emi and Ava were starting to bond, I just kind of lost interest. Decided not to pick it up again one day and never looked back. Sometimes these things just happen. Sometimes a book loses its glow and you stop loving everything about it. That’s just how this book was with me.

 

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy
@Alyssa_Susanna oooh! Scary but you'll do great! I'm okay! - 16 hours ago
Kat Kennedy
Kat Kennedy

Latest posts by Kat Kennedy (see all)


30 Responses to “To All The Books I Never Finished”

    • Kat Kennedy

      Thank you for the comment! Yes, he’s just so annoying. GAH! I think if he wasn’t in the book/didn’t need so much redeeming I would have liked it better.

  1. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings
    Twitter:

    It looks like Cut Both Ways had a misleading synopsis. :/ I will probably *not* be reading it just because the cheating sounds HORRIBLE. No thanks!

    I definitely understand the feeling you had with Everything Leads to You. I haven’t read it yet, but that’s how I felt reading Uprooted–I adored the first 30%, but then at around 50% it just wasn’t grabbing me anymore and I wanted to DNF it, but I’m so glad I didn’t because I ended up enjoying it a lot.
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Uprooted by Naomi NovikMy Profile

    • Kat Kennedy

      The cheating is worse than you can imagine. It’s not like I’m a big fan of cheating or anything, but usually I’ll over look it if I feel like the competing romance is intense. But it’s not! Neither romance feels intense. I certainly liked Angus and Brandy and felt bad for both of them, but I felt like Will was really just with them for a release.

      GAH!

  2. Liz
    Twitter:

    It used to be that I couldn’t bring myself to not finish books that weren’t capturing my interest but had the potential of being really great, but then I realized that sometimes it’s just better to let them go. But I always sort of wonder what if…do you find yourself ever wondering that lol? Not finishing a good book can be like ending a good relationship early, some part of you will always wonder how it could have turned out XD!

    • Kat Kennedy

      Sometimes I do. But I think the more I read, the more I recognise books where there’s just no point in continuing. Like, I think I might eventually go back and read The Darkest Part of the Forest eventually since I’ve had someone convince me *cough* Kate *cough*.

  3. looloolooweez
    Twitter:

    I’ve read a few mixed reviews of The Darkest Part of the Forest, so you’re obviously not alone! I’ve tried starting Everything Leads to You a couple of times because most folks I know are raving about it, but it hasn’t hooked me yet. I did really like Rapture Practice, but then again I never had to go through the serious struggles that the author did — I can imagine that it might be difficult to get through if you have. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with those situations. 🙁
    looloolooweez recently posted…It’s June?My Profile

    • Kat Kennedy

      Thank you so much for your comment! Yeah, look, sometimes there’s just personal reasons why I won’t finish a book and that it one of them. Religion and I just don’t mix, alas.

    • Kate Copeseeley

      Okay, Kat, I totally get you on the whole “I didn’t like the writing style” of DPOTF, but if the “love quadrangle” thing is why you dropped it, YOU TOTALLY NEED TO PICK IT BACK UP AGAIN. Because there is no quadrangle AT ALL. It is a clear 2 couple thing and has a fab ending.
      I loved it unabashedly, but there were definitely a few moments when I was like, “OH DEAR GOD I CAN’T HANDLE ANOTHER FREAKING LOVE TRIANGLE.” But I finished it because I love fairy stories and I tell you I was not disappointed I did.

    • Kat Kennedy

      The Taylor gif is boss, isn’t it. I was really liking TDPotF, so I don’t really know why I stopped other than I was afraid of a messy romantic situation. I’ve been assured it’s not that messy so I guess I’ll try to continue.

  4. Brigid
    Twitter:

    I’ve been moving closer and closer to wanting to read Everything Leads to You. I’m sad that you didn’t like it, but I am still looking forward to reading it in the future.

    I know what you mean about religious books. I don’t know what you went through, but I’m glad to know you and whatever you chose to do is the best choice for you. I didn’t grow up in a really strict religious household, but I did grow up in a religious community where you felt like you couldn’t be yourself.

    There are so many books that I have just forgotten about or dropped randomly and never looked back at. Like Stormdancer for example, I just randomly dropped it even though I do still mean to get back to it. It got a little emotional at a certain part that was a little too close to home. Great post Kat.

    • Kat Kennedy

      *Hugs*

      Sometimes I forget I’m reading a book until I check on GR and I have it on my Currently reading shelf and I’m like, “Whoops!”

      Oh well, such is life.

      The book mustn’t have been that good if I could so easily drop it.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Carina Olsen
    Twitter:

    Stunning post Kat. <3 Love your reviews 🙂 But aw, it sucks to have to DNF books :\ Wishing every book were amazing 🙂 But ugh, The Darkest Part of the Forest. I was SO EXCITED about that book for many months. Then my hardcover arrived. And I peeked. And love triangle? Seriously? Yeah. I regret buying it 🙁 I actually read chapter 1. Then I put it away, lol, which doesn't happen often :\ Might try it again sometime. But probably not. I'm sorry that it was disappointing for you too, though happy about it as well ;p <3 Thank you for sharing 🙂
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Cover Reveal: Ravenous by MarcyKate ConnollyMy Profile

  6. Annie
    Twitter:

    I love Robin McKinley but found Shadows… less than interesting. I’ve found that since I started reading her blog her literary work doesn’t quite live up to the things I loved in the past. But I haven’t read Pegasus yet….
    Annie recently posted…101 ThingsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge