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!
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.
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
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
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 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
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
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.
I haven’t read any of these except for UNDER THE LIGHTS and I could totally see why you would stop because of Josh. I ended up liking the book, but he does get very annoying and douchey. I have a few of the other books, so I’ll just have to see! Great mini-reviews (I guess? :P)!
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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.
Aimee @ Deadly Darlings
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 Novik
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.
I love that Taylor Swift GIF! I agree with Everything Leads to You. I did end up finishing it, but it did go downhill from that point. I got pretty bored around that point as well.
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Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad you finished it but, yeah, I got the sense that it was going downhill.
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!
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*.
Ahh sorry you didn’t enjoy these! I’m quite excited to read The Darkest Part of the Forest, so I hope it’s not too disappointing! >.<
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Don’t listen to Kat, it’s amazing!!!! (unless you hate it, in which case, sorry about that) I loved it.
It was probably just my brain being jacked. You’ll probably love it.
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. 🙁
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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.
Tiffany / Bookplates for Brunch
From this list, I’ve only read Everything Leads to You and I really liked it because of specific moments & details that felt special somehow – but I completely understand where you’re coming from. Some books just come around at exactly the right time and mesh with your life in just the right way – others, not so much.
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You know, I loved the detail in Everything Leads To You. It was such a rich novel. I’m sad I couldn’t finish it.
Oh no! I have the Holly Black one. Hopefully I’l be in the right frame of mind for it!
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.
Okay. You have convinced me. I shall pick it back up again. Promise. As long as there’s no quadrangle.
You’ll probably love it! Thanks for the comment!
I love that Taylor GIF! I actually liked The Darkest Part of the Forest but maybe I was just in the right mood at that time to tolerate the messy love quadrangle…it was awfully odd now that I think about it…
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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.
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.
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!
Mari - Escape In A Book
This sounds like me, just a quick look at my Goodreads “Currently reading” shelf will more than confirm it.
I kind of couldn’t get passed what you wrote about Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian. Sounds like the novel signals that being bisexual has got something to do with a person just being desperately in need of human contact.
Mari – Escape In A Book recently posted…My pet pevs: The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace
It FELT that way when reading it. And I just couldn’t get over that either.
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 🙂
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Maybe try it again because Kate swears up and down that there’s no love triangle. Just two different couples.
Maybe 😀 But it bothered me that she is kissing both boys in this one :p I am going to read it someday, as I own the hardcover. But not just yet. As of now I would hate it :p
Carina Olsen recently posted…In My Mailbox #190
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….
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Lauren @ Bookmark Lit
I wish I DNFed Cut Both Ways. I felt the exact same way and did not enjoy any part of what I read 🙁 The ending wasn’t satisfying either.
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