Sunday, November 30, 2014

November DNF

These review-y things are becoming noticeably longer. I don't write full reviews for books I haven't finished, simply because I don't have a full scope of the book. So these are my DNF reviews for the month.
The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
204 pages
Yes, that right I actually got over halfway through. This does happen. Here's the thing: I was on the fence to begin with about it, but I saw it at the library and I tried reading it, and nope. It started off alright. Not perfect, by any means, but alright. And then it went downhill. Here are some thoughts:
  1. This book is a stock YA post-apocalyptic novel. It was trope-y all get out. There was a scene that was incredibly similar to those in The Hunger Games. It has all the pitfalls that YA dysopia novels sometimes fall prey to. There's no realistic background for how the dystopia happened, not explanation as to how it functions (because it really shouldn't) and absoloutely no reason for the society to continue functioning as it was. I have a hard time with "it's sci-fi, anything goes"- I need background.
  2. The character of Violet bothered me from the start, but I could push it aside, since I brushed them off as being mostly "me" problems. There was just nothing to attach me to her character.
  3. I thought I would be able to finish it until we met the love interest... and I knew then that I wouldn't be able to to deal with how the story was going to play out. I, personally have a hard time with insta-love. I mean, I get that people can be attracted to someone the first time they see them, but there's a big difference between that and love.
So, what I'm saying is it didn't work for me. I think if you liked The Selection or Landry Park, this might be something for you to check out, they have a similar feel.

Trust Me, I'm Lying
Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
65 pages
I haven't had very good luck with debuts recently. This was another one that just didn't work for me at all. My rule is that I give a book 50 pages... and I stopped right after that mark with this one. I just couldn't do it. I had hopes for this novel, especially because I really liked the title (I think I liked the old cover better, but that's neither here nor there). Thoughts:
  1. Julep bothered me. Not in an "she was an unlikable character" respect, though I didn't find her particularly likable, but in an "you say you are intelligent and good at what you do, but I'm REALLY not seeing it" respect. Part of this was there was a lot of telling and not a lot of showing (at least as far as I got). From what I've gathered, manipulating people requires subtlety, and she's about as subtle as being bashed in the head with a hardcover. It's also necessary to observe the people you're manipulating (and be observant in general), and she just wasn't.
  2. This might sound petty (probably), but Julep's so called "wit" bothered me. Being really witty generally requires some though behind it, and she didn't think. I know some very witty people, and the thing that lets you pull it off is that there's intelligence behind it.
  3. There was a love triangle of sorts lurking on the horizon, about as subtle as a thunderhead. Or possibly a tornado. I have a hard time with love triangles, they are extremely difficult to get right. This was not getting it right, even in the early stages, and I just wasn't willing to drag myself through another if there was one to be had.
  4. I started getting the sense that this was going to be one of those mystery stories where everything is incredibly convenient for the main character to solve. 
I think that this book mainly suffers from a lack of finesse. Everything is told to the reader, rather than shown to them. Much of it was likely a problem of personal preference. 

All That Glows (All That Glows, #1)
All that Glows by Ryan Graudin
100+ pages
I actually got fairly far into this one. I thought I wasn't going to finish it, then I thought that I was, and in the end I didn't finish it. I sort of put it on hold again and again until I had to return it to the library.
  1. The romance in this book really, really came out of nowhere in this one. I was expecting insta-love, but it was really fast, even by the usual standards.
  2. I found that didn't connect to the characters. I think an element of that actually came from the sudden relationship- I found it really difficult to understand Emrys's thought processes or choices.
  3. The world in this one just didn't win me over. The world building didn't make if feel particularly vivid and I didn't really understand how the magic system worked. 
In the end, this just didn't interest me. I'm very hit-and-miss with fae books, and this just ended up being a miss for me. I'm not entirely sure exactly why... I didn't have a strong dislike for it or anything, it just didn't grab me. I might try it again at some point... we'll see. 

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