Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 DNF Madness [Part 1]

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Yes, sometimes books are so awful that I do not finish them. I used to refuse to leave a book unfinished, but then I realized how crazy I was to keep reading something I hated. However, as I usually read at least 50-70%, I still gather more than enough to have an opinion on it. This DNF madness event–which I gather will be at least 2 or 3 parts long, will showcase books that, unfortunately, took hours of my life that I will never get back. As these are simply reasons, or ramblings, on why I did not finish the book, they will not be up to par–in length and quality (hours of my life!!)–with my usual full length reviews. You might consider them… fleeting warnings.  


Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: January 22nd 2013 
by EgmontUSA 

There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

*A copy was provided by Egmont USA for review purposes*

This is my most recent DNFed book–just before the end of the world. Honestly I would have hated for this to be my last read ever, ditching it at around 40% figuring if I survived the apocalypse I would continue. And then the apocalypse never happened, saving me from my rash commitment.

Basically, I did not care for the writing nor the characters in this novel. It’s written in spazzy, fragmented sentences that might be meant to show us the strange disconnection the characters are feeling, but only amounted to leaving me especially annoyed. I disliked both main characters very early on in the novel because of this, which is never a good sign. Futhermore, the concept may be kind of neat, but it was overly weird. In an uncomfortable/annoying sort of way, not as in “Oh this is very different and kind of cool”. Finally, when I took a break to check the reviews on it, they convinced me that it’s very unlikely I would grow to like this book if I continued. Thank you, failed apocalypse!


Leah Bobet
Publication date: April 1st 2012
by Arthur A. Levine Books 

Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above—like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home—not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

*A copy was provided by Scholastic Canada for review purposes*
My actual mini review right after I DNFed it: 
That’s it I give up. Page 204 and I still don’t know what’s happening. Someone played Mad Lib with my copy and I’m not impressed!

above is written as if the protagonist never learned to speak properly, and although such a dialect worked great for me in Blood Red Road, it’s really confusing in this case. For instance, random words are capitalized and sometimes he means a person, other times a thing, and I could never keep it all straight. To be honest, I only realized over 100 pages in that one of the characters was a girl–I thinking she was a he the whole time… It’s a very true form of speculative fiction; there are a lot of fascinating fantasy/sci-fi elements which I usually highly enjoy, but the all showing, not telling writing style in Above makes it a very awkward read due to the character voices which really kept me from connecting to this book, or understanding it, in any way. I also felt as if it was aimed at a younger audience at times, not only because of the simplistic and choppy sentences, but for the fantastical oddness factor as well. This is a book that is looking for a very specific type of reader. It’s even likely to garner a cult following. I am not one of them.


Corrine Jackson
Publication date: November 27th 2012 
by Kensington Teen

Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll becoming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

*A copy was provided by Kensington Teen for review purposes*
Let’s see: This girl–Remy–moves with her dad to this tiny town. She meets a boy who seems to be intrigued by her immediately. He lives with his siblings, is insanely rich, and is a little mysterious with a reputation to never stick with one girl.

Then when we learn more about him and his powers, we learn that Remy lets him feel again, which is something that he craves–dangerously so–and that him and his family have to control themselves to not kill her for this “craving”. Not to mention how faster, stronger, and all around better than he is than a human–and immortal!

Sound familiar?


This concludes part 1 of my DNF pile. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read these necessarily, a lot of the times it’s more of an “it’s not you, it’s me” misfired connection with a book, but you know what they say: To educate is to emancipate! >.<
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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49 Responses to “2012 DNF Madness [Part 1]”

  1. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    I usually don’t have many DNF’s because I mostly try to struggle on to the end (although I’ve decided I’m going to stop doing that – there’s just not enough time!) I bought a copy of Touched but I haven’t read it yet, and from what you said, it does sound very Twilighty!

  2. Giselle

    @Rhiannon: No Matthew is a guy, it was one of the main secondary characters that was a girl that I thought was a boy the whole time. One of the adults if I remember right.

  3. Nick

    I haven’t read any of those 3 books and I don’t think I’m ever going to either judging from the ratings on GR.
    Giselle, woman, you sure have the courage to write reviews for books you DNF.
    I would want to throw away my laptop! 😛
    Before the book came out I wanted to read Above and then I read about what a confusing mess the book was and it seems that the reviews were right. It’s a bummer though because that cover is gorgeous.
    And, dude, yes, that last book sounds too much like Twilight. I thought we were past that by now? It’s never going to stop it seems!
    Thanks for the honest reviews, Giselle! 🙂

  4. kelseysclutteredbookshelf

    I only had one DNF this year, and it was actually Above too. I just couldn’t understand it and I did not like the writing style at all. You got further into it than I did though! I haven’t read the other two books you mentioned, but they sound like something I’d probably put down too.

  5. Amy

    I hate DNFing books, but with so many books to read, I just can’t waste hours on something that I feel like I am suffering through. My latest DNF was The Believing Game. I was just so bored with it and it felt like it was going nowhere fast. Another big thing for me is annoying characters. I will not force myself to read a book when a character makes me want to claw my eyes out just so I don’t have to endure reading anymore of the endless annoyingness. I had a few DNF books this year.

  6. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Don’t you just hate to DNF a book? It drives me crazy because I always want to LOVE a book but…it’s just not to be. I’m sad about NOBODY because it has such promise and I really do like JLB’s wolf series (even though I can’t remember the title right now). I agree with ABOVE — very hard to write “differently”, like Blood Red Road. Sometimes it doesn’t work in any other context. And what the heck is up with full-on copy-cat books? If you can write a book, you can write your OWN story!!

    Here’s to fewer DNFs in 2013!

  7. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Ugh Above sounds painful. But I have to admit what you said you DIDN’T like about Nobody, makes me think I might like it. The choppy, fragmented writing, usually works really well for me (though maybe it wouldn’t in this case, I’ll have to see.) And I did read a review of Touched that made me really want to read it!

    Love this feature, I hate to DNF books too but life is too short to struglle through books you don’t like.

  8. Christina

    Oh boy. At first, I thought this was all stuff you’d DNFed in the last week or so, and I was all HOLY COW, GISELLE. I like that you’re doing this. I would do it myself, but I don’t DNF much, and I usually do so before I hit fifty pages. If I get to halfway, I AM FINISHING.

    Wahhhhh, I wanted Nobody to be so good. I liked the one other Barnes book I read. 🙁 That’s totally what I do when I’m considering DNFing: read reviews, sometimes even looking for ones with spoilers. A good spoiler might convince me to keep going.

    Ugh. I finished that one and it was SO FUCKING WEIRD. I don’t even. I wrote a full review for this one, and I just don’t understand why it got published. It might be good for a certain audience, but that would be so small as to not earn much money. I don’t get it.

    Touched sounded good, but…gross. Also, the way she heals is EXACTLY the same as in Maria V. Snyder’s Healer series.

  9. Ems

    Yep. I couldn’t finish Above either. I struggled through Touched, but didn’t like it. I should have DNFed it long before the end. I’d really like those hours back. Blah.

  10. Anonymous

    Great post idea! I like recommendations or “don’t read” books that people tell me about. This gives us a better perspective and helps us decide on where we stand. These are convincing help me see that I DON’T want to read these. Even comparing the summaries to your review.

  11. russell1200

    Most of my DNF’s are books I set down and simply getted distracted to another book before I finish it up. I am particularly bad with historical (as in non-fiction) books with this.

    The number of books that are so much better in the second half, that they “cure” the poor start are really really rare. That being said, there are a fair number of books that seem to take about 1/3rd of their length to get going.

  12. Alexia561

    Always interesting to see why someone couldn’t finish a book. As I was reading the synopsis of Touched, I immediately thought of Twilight too! And the cover! *glares*

  13. Candace

    I haven’t read any of these but I remember wanting Above for the gorgeous cover. Now I know I’m probably not missing anything.
    I have lots of DNF’s but I always tend to think I will go back to them. Some are actually good but just don’t fit my mood when I start reading them. I have been particularly impatient lately though.
    Sorry you have had so many dnf’s but its bound to happen with all the books we read.

  14. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    Giselle, you are hilarious.

    Seriously, those Goodreads DNF reviews? Love them. But thanks for expanding those 1 sentence reviews! NOBODY sounded really intriguing to me, but I’m definitely not picking this one up anymore. I don’t want to hate the characters from the start, either!

    I’ve heard really mixed things about ABOVE as well. It sounds kind of weird and the format of it all sounds confusing.

    TOUCHED sounds really good, but is it EXACTLY like Twilight? :O Copy-cat, much? It’s insane how similar those two books seem. I don’t think I’ll be picking this one up anymore either, even if I did enjoy Twilight..

    I can’t wait to see the rest of this DNF MADNESS! Thanks for the honest reviews, Giselle! 🙂

  15. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Welcome back!
    I have so many damn books I want to read that I refuse to waste my time with a book I’m not gonna like or love. If I’m not interested by page 50-100 I give up and move on.
    Life is too short to read sucky books!

    I haven’t read any of these yet, not sure I will.

  16. Beverley

    I loved reading this post, Giselle! I usually struggle through books and usually make it to the end but I think I would’ve given up on these too if I were reading them!

    I haven’t heard of Nobody or Above before. Nobody seems interesting but I hate when sentences are fragmented and stupidly put together. And I find it hilarious that you couldn’t figure out the gender of one of the characters in Above! That must’ve been BAD. And I was intrigued by Touched but it seems to be emulating Twilight which is a big no-no for me!

    Thanks for the honest reviews, Giselle! I look forward to Part 2 😀

  17. Jasprit

    Eeep sorry these books didn’t work out for you Giselle, I hate it when they have such an interesting blurb, but they kind of fall flat for you. I hate not finishing books either, but it’s so hard to force yourself through something you’re just not enjoying, thanks for the heads up! 🙂

  18. Alba

    Oh my GOD!!! Seriously!!!????
    Wow!! I think you saved me precious moments of my life with Touched, since I can’t bear for ‘books’ that are similar, even slightly, to Twilight… O_O
    I LOVE you!

  19. Jesse Burgoyne

    The only one of these I sort of wanted to give a try was Above, but I heard pretty much te same thing from everyone. It was wonky and hard to follow. Guess I’ll pass on it. Sorry that none of these books worked out for you 🙁

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  20. Shooting Stars Mag

    Woow…Touched really does sound like Twilight. That’s crazy! Bummer Nobody wasn’t good. It does seem like a fun premise. Ah well, you aren’t going to like everything, I suppose!


  21. Sarah Johnson

    I try not to DNF but right now I’m reading my first big DNF I think. I came across one earlier in the year but I plan on giving it another shot, but my current read is just not cutting it for me.

  22. Lalaine

    I have never liked Jennifer’s books ever. Everytime I try, i just couldnt finish it. And omg, Above never made it to my read-list. 5 pages and i was done.

    I also have Touched here but I think I should avoid this book like the plague? save myself some time? Great post Giselle. Love it!


  23. Hannah Lorraine

    I wish I had DNF’ed Above. I love that you said someone played Mad Libs with your copy because you didn’t understand it. That seems like the perfect way to describe it. I can’t believe I stuck around until the end.
    I’m bummed to hear you DNF’ed Touched. I was really looking forward to it.

  24. Aneeqah

    I normally don’t DNF books, because I’m still in the mindset of ‘I need to finish every book that I read’ type thing, which I’m sure I will come out of. And, besides, I usually don’t DNF books because I’m very picky with what I read, making sure that it’s the type of thing that I’ll love.

    Anyways, all three of these books sound like they totally deserved a DNF, Giselle. Especially Touched! Not another Twilight book. =P It’s so disappointing though, because it seemed like it could have so much potential!

    Thanks for sharing, Giselle. I’ll definitely be staying away from these books.

  25. Samantha

    I try really hard to finish everything, but I couldn’t get through Above either. I think I could see what the author was trying to do, but, like you said, the writing wasn’t working!

  26. Jovon Tucker

    Thanks so much! You have inspired me! I too am an avid reader and and I used to try and push on to the end of the book but then I feel robbed of my precious time! I understand that authors pour their souls into their work but sometimes it’s a total miss! I enjoyed reading this entry and will no longer allow another bok that doesn’t captivate me keep my time!

  27. Lynn K.

    ABOVE has been on my list forever but I keep seeing reviews like this that puts me off it.

    TOUCHED sounds just like Twilight but for the cover I feel it resembles Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series more. xD

  28. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I have many DNFs as well but I stop by the time I hit 10% so I’ve been debating making a similar post but since I just have my weird personal reasons why I knew I didn’t like the book I have might not. I won a copy of Touched and have actually seen it on many top 10 posts so I’ll still be giving it a try. Might still try Nobody too. Thanks for the warnings though.

  29. A Canadian Girl

    Lol, I was reading your mini review of Touched and was like that sounds a bit like Twilight 🙂

    It’s good to know that you DNF’ed Nobody; I was curious about the premise but the synopsis kind of hints at insta-love, something I really dislike in novels. And the writing in Above is why I have avoided reading it!

  30. Elie

    haha this was a great post. I see a few on there I thought would be great. Thanks for the hints. I may have to bump them down a few notches.

  31. Mel@Thedailyprophecy.

    I also had some DNF books this year and I was planning to do something similar like this at the end of the year. Above has such a pretty cover and I might give it a show. Perhaps it’s my style 🙂 the other two books sounds horrible, especially the Twilight copy.. Not for me. Thanks for the warning!

  32. Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf

    Love that you are sharing some thoughts on your DNFs! I usually DNF about 1/2 adozen books a year…life is just too short to force oneself to read something! Above was on my wishlist but I’m taking it off now. Thanks for the honestly. I tend not to read reviews until after I’ve finished a book…so I don’t always see the negatives only the hype…but I always read DNF posts!

  33. Karen

    I used to finish everything. i HAD to but after 3 years of reviewing I just can’t waste the time on books I’m not enjoying. It was making me start to hate reading and blogging. I may skim to see how it all ends but I have no problem letting it all go now.

    Thanks for sharing.