by Faber & Faber
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.
Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.
Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society, and as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe.
I tried to get into this one, halfway through and incredibly bored I deduced that it was clearly not for me. The plot is taking a lot of detours that I find quite pointless, seemingly used as filler material. I don’t like the protagonist that much. The world isn’t very believable, especially how this is supposedly only a few years in the future. Society could never change this drastically in such a short time, particularly considering how controversial it all is. Along with inconsistent perspective changes and improbable happenings that are simply ridiculous, I could not motivate myself to finish this. It certainly doesn’t give anything new and interesting in a year filled with dystopian novels.
Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.
But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.
Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she’s determined to do something about it.
Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?
I know a lot of you are glaring at me right now, but this one was not a fun read for me, at all. Having to look up words every 30 seconds, using an annex to keep all the world terms straight (which is an immense pain on an eReader), and being confused as heck because even with all of that, the language is just too foreign… this is not fun, lovelies! Not fun at all! I know the second half is apparently epic and worth studying for 12 hours to get through the beginning, but dude… Sure the heroine is fantastic and strong, and the world may be especially vivid, but if I need a set of Encyclopedias and dictionaries at the ready when I’m reading, no dice! The cover is cool, I’ll give you that.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things
by Dial Books
A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction
The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she’s lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice–and not just her own.
As some of your know, I’m very picky and hard to please when it comes to fantasy novels. The Treachery of Beautiful Things did not have any of the qualities that keep my interest in this genre. I was finding I didn’t care for the characters still at 65% in; the MC is easily swayed and a little too “damsel in distress” for my taste, so I called quits on this on knowing it wouldn’t garner more than a 2-star if I forced myself through it. I could see those who are big fans of fantasies/fairies enjoying it. Though you’d need to like the old school fairy tale style protagonist.
Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends.
But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity’s” own words, as she writes her account for her captors
This is the truest case of “It’s not you, it’s me” while reading, and DNFing, a book. I knew this was over my comfort zone to begin with. But I wanted to give it a try as it does sound like a good story – and it is, it was just too much for me. Too much piloting and plane details I didn’t get. Too many war specifics that I didn’t completely understand. I can easily see that if you can get into it it would be a fantastic novel, though. The narration is wonderful and the reason I kept reading so long–DNFed at 70%. So don’t dismiss it on my account. It’s a truly poignant story that has a lot of weight. I can see it becoming a true classic to be talked about for years to come. So it’s very unfortunate that I wasn’t able to get through the off-putting elements.
What books did you DNF this year?
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You’re not the first person I know who didn’t enjoy The Glimpse. From what I can remember they’re problem was due to the way the whole mental illness was approached.
As for Stormdancer, I had a very similar opinion to the book as you. I wasn’t a fan at all which is a pity because so many readers seemed to like it. I do know a few people who didn’t enjoy that one as well!
I liked Treachery but didn’t love it, so I understand where you’re coming from.
You’re actually the first person I who didn’t like Code Name. Everyone seems to be raving on and on about it. It’s good to hear a different opinion.
Great reviews as always, Giselle! 🙂
Mary @ BookSwarm
Ooh, sorry about Stormdancer! I liked it because of all the foreignness but to each his (her) own, right? I haven’t read the rest of ’em but good for you for hanging in there so long with all of them. I tend to give up pretty easily lately…
Stormdancer was a book I gave up on too. I intended to get back to it and never did. I think I will like it, but with so many other books I really wanted to read, I just didn’t want to take the time that I knew it would take to read it. Books like that I have to read slow to really take everything in.
I won The Treachery of Beautiful Things and haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I hope I have better luck with it than you. I do love fairy books, but I don’t tend to like weak or helpless MC’s so we’ll see when I get to it I guess.
I got a widget invite for Code Name Verity and skipped it because like you, it’s out of my comfort zone and I knew it wouldn’t be for me.
Great post baby doll!! I have found that I give up pretty easy on books lately. I always will give them a fair chance, but if I can’t get into it within the first like 30% I only give it another 10% chance to get my attention. That’s why I don’t tend to have a lot of reviews less than 3 stars on my blog. I tend to give up on books if I know they will be less. I read too slow to waste time on books I’m not going to enjoy.
I liked The treachery of beautiful things, because I love the fairytale style, but I can understand that a lot of people don’t like it 🙂 Stormdancer surprises me, because I’ve heard SO many great things about it. I will try it. Code name verity isn’t my cup of tea from the beginning, so now I will stay away from it for sure 🙂
I had to put Code Name Verity down two or three times and read something else. I did finish it, though. It was just so slow, detailed, and confusing for much of the book. I obviously didn’t relate to this one like many people did. But, I’d still recommend it to the right reader.
I didn’t finish The Glimpse either… Good premise, just not for me.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog
I loved Code Name Verity it is one of my favorite books this year.
As for one of my DNF’s V Wars by Jonathan Mayberry. That one just did not agree with me.
Aah. Stormdancer. I really feel in my heart of hearts that it is an “Asheley book.” BUT…I have it on my Kindle and you are SO RIGHT about going back and forth with the looking-up of words. I didn’t make it past Chapter Three. Perhaps if I had received a print ARC I could’ve reviewed it and I just know I’d have loved it because it sounds amazing. And yes, THAT COVER. But I can’t do flipping on my ereader. Sadly, my library doesn’t have a copy of this one.
I still do WANT to read it. Just not on an ereader. I want to be able to flip back and forth. sigh sigh sigh!
The Glimpse: meh. I read it. It was okay, but I don’t care enough to read more of the series I don’t think.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things: I never got around to my NG copy of this.
Code Name Verity: I ALMOST DNFed, but I’m glad I didn’t. However, if you made it 70% and it didn’t work, then, yeah, not for you.
Hi, Giselle. I really enjoyed reading your DNF posts! I haven’t read any of them for myself. What about The Unnaturalists? I saw your comment on Goodreads that you did not understand what was going on, and I felt the same way reading that one but I never saw your review. I was curious if you felt the same way that I did. Although I did not have DNF books this year, The Unnaturalists was very nearly one!
Code Name Verity has been on and off my radar. I don’t like the idea of all the pilot/plane stuff. I may just remove it all together and see if I ever get a strange bug…doubtful, but you just never know. Stormdancer is another I really want to try.
I still haven’t read Code Name Verity. Wasn’t really on my radar. I totally agree about Stormdancer, it took a lot for me to finish it, although I was glad I did. 🙂
Jenea @ Books Live Forever
I had a lot of trouble with Stormdancer too. The second half gets into some bad grammar usage that grated on me. I wanted to love it but only ended up liking it a bit.
@Darlene: I didn’t get far enough if the Unnaturalists to consider it a DNF. I just wasn’t in the mood for a steampunk at the time and never got back to it. I read 2 chapters I think and it was super confusing.
it’s sometimes very difficult… I’m curious about Stormdancer, I heard great things about this one. Well I think I need to try to see what i’ll think about it.
Thanks for the very honest comments.
Jenni @ Alluring Reads
I finished the Glimpse and it was so not worth the time. Really bad that one. Although I didn’t agree with the bad rap it got for it’s take on mental illness, it’s a book people! A fiction book at that, simmer down! I couldn’t make it past like page 10 of Stormdancer, I’m still confused when I think about it…
I struggled through Stormdancer definitely, so no glaring to be had over here. And I started Code Name Verity at some point… and just kind of drifted away from it unintentionally. Don’t know if I’ll go back and give it a chance at some point.
AHHH, I HATE DNFING. MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A FAILURE. But, boy did you deal with some duds this season. WHY ARE ALL THE BAD THINGS HAPPENING?
Little Miss Becky
I love these posts, Giselle! It makes me feel better about the books I DNFed. 😀
I actually started Treachery and didn’t hate it, but got distracted by another book that I wanted to read more LOL. I still plan to get back to it someday.
As for Stormdancer, I didn’t read that one, but I know what if feels like DNF a book that everyone seems to really love. I DNFed Sapphire Blue recently—just got so sick of the characters and couldn’t get into the writing. And I DNFed Such a Rush, too—but I’ve pretty much given up on Jennifer Echols now. For whatever reason, her stuff is just not for me.
I also DNF The Glimpse. Made it my usual 10% and was so bored. I know for sure Code Name Verity won’t be for me so I’m not even going to try that one. I also had concluded Stormdancer wouldn’t be for me but I saw so many glowing reviews I almost picked it up again but I don’t think I will.
Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue
I pushed through THE GLIMPSE but only because it was a review book. Your issues with it are totally valid. It’s the ONLY review where I literally made a pros-and-cons list. I just…couldn’t. The MC was not bright, and there was severe insta-love, and I took offense at the “world-building.”
I want to give your other ones a try though!
awww . im super exited for code name verity and The Treachery of Beautiful Things[ al though i hate the cover] i also could not get in too storm dancer
I DNF Stormdancer. As much as I like high fantasy books, I could not get into it.
Code Name Verity seems like the type of book you’d really have to be in the mood for. Like maybe you could pick it up after watching a war documentary marathon on the History channel or something. It looks really good though. Also, I never really wanted to read Stormdancer, but I think your DNF review for it has got me interested. Maybe it’ll annoy me, but I kinda want to see how intricate the world is if a set of Encyclopedias is necessary!
Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction
I had high hopes for Stormdancer–now, not so much —
DNF for me was, The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa and Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen. I was BORED TO TEARS on both of these…
I might not pick it up then… O_O
*Glares at you over DNFing Stormdancer*
I didn’t get Code Name Verity, either. The premise didn’t make sense to me. It’s wartime and time and resources are of the essence, but a prisoner is given ample time and materials to write a tedious autobiography? Right.
My sister picked Code Name Verity as her favorite book of 2012. I can’t wait to read it. I totally understand what it is like though to not like a book everyone is raving about. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet that didn’t like Days of Blood and Starlight. It was definitely a “it’s not you, it’s me” book.
HAHAHAHAHAHA “IT’S NOT YOU IT’S ME” SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT WAY TO REJECT A BOOK. I AGREE WITH YOU THOUGH IT’S THE REASON I REFUSE TO PICK UP CODE NAME VERITY BECAUSE BOOKS LIKE THAT LITERALLY MAKE ME RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION. IT’S ALL LIKE, “I’M SURE YOU’RE FANTASTIC WHEN IT COMES TO THE LITTLE THINGS, BUT SWEETIE, YOU’RE SO NOT MY TYPE.”
*turns off caps* *puts professional hat back on*
I haven’t read The Treachery of Beautiful Things yet but I’ve heard a few iffy things although I am a HUGE fan of fantasy so I’m sure that I’ll be flipping over my head to read Stormdancer! Although I’m someone who can be confused REALLY easily…so we’ll see about that lol 😉
Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)
I totally remember seeing negative reviews for THE GLIMPSE when it first came out! The world doesn’t sound very good at all. I got STORMDANCER as an e-arc too, and ended up not reading it. But I think I will still check it out from the library, despite the slow-moving beginning. I’m surprise you didn’t like CODE NAME VERITY! I don’t know, it seems like a book you would like. I didn’t know it made references to planes.. but at least you enjoyed the narration! Thanks for all of the honest mini-reviews, Giselle!
I loved Stormdancer but its a very heavy read and I think a person has to have some patience to get through it. And I didn’t really care so much about understanding everything (what words meant) and as long as I could mostly understand from the context I was good.
Code Name Verity was a DNF for me too. So many raved about it I thought something was wrong with me.
Treachery is one I have been curious about but haven’t really looked into much.
Ah Giselle don’t you worry! I still haven’t finished Stormdancer either..
Stormdancer, Stormdancer, shall we dance or not? Am confused!
I love these posts Giselle, it makes me feel better about all my DNFs!
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
So many people loved Code Name Verity! I do plan to read it — this year, hopefully. I started with the audiobook but the narrator wasn’t great. I also really want to read the Treachery of Beautiful Things … I love that cover!
Sorry you didn’t like these!