DNF'd Books

DNF’d books [2]

It’s time for another round of DNF’d books. I have no time for books that I’m not enjoying. I try to give books a chance so I typically don’t DNF until I’m at least a quarter through it. These are books that I just COULD NOT finish.

DNF’d Books [1]

Click book titles to go to it’s Goodreads page.


 

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The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

This book started off so promising. I was really enjoying it but when Cora traveled to England I lost interest. It got super boring and cliche. I actually got pretty far in this book and thought about continuing but I don’t want to waste my time and at this point I’d have to just start over because I’ve forgotten the details. I think the writing style just wasn’t for me because the premise is normally right up my alley.

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A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

I really enjoy Alex Flinn as a writer, but I cannot stand this book. I don’t like either of the main characters. I find them both too annoying to continue with. Sleeping Beauty has always been my least favorite fairytale as well. I actually sold this book to Half Price books because I bought it when I decided to buy a bunch of Flinn’s books. So far this is the only book I outright couldn’t finish from her.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I am an avid Asian Drama watcher and when I read the back of this book it sounded like an Asian Drama in book form so I was super excited. Unfortunately, that’s not really what I got. Instead I got confusing writing that jumped characters and introduced too many people at once so by 30-40 pages in I had absolutely no idea what was going or who was who.

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Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

This is a technical sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle, one of my favorite books. I reread Howl’s Moving Castle at least once a year but I just did not like this book. I was bored basically from the first page. I forced myself to get about 40 pages in and I sort of wish I didn’t. I find Jones writing style endearing in Howl’s Moving Castle but for this book it was just bothersome. I also didn’t care for the plot at least what I could see of it from how much I read. I definitely won’t be going back. I ‘ll stick to the book I like.

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Rebel by Elle Casey

I have never in my life met a more annoying, entitled, bratty, inconsistent main character in my life. I got 30% in according to Kindle and I’m surprised I lasted that long to be honest. My inner monologue was disbelief at Teagan basically the entire time. Her best friend was just as annoying. There were also so many plot holes and things that obviously just did not make sense. This book frustrates me so much because I just wanted it to be good.

 

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historical fiction, paranormal, romance, steampunk

Novella Review: Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger

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Title: Poison or Protect (A Delightfully Deadly Novella)
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 150 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Steampunk, Romance, Historical, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Warning: This novella contains explicit scenes not for people under 18.

Note: I received an Ebook Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb:
Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment. It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

PoPsquare

Review:
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I read Carriger’s first three Parasol Protectorate novels last Summer. I loved Soulless and enjoyed Changeless and Blameless and because I reviewed previous novels, Carriger reached out to me to read and review her newest novella set in the same world.

I really enjoy Carriger’s world building. Even without reading previous works, the world is really rich. It’s full of steampunk and supernatural elements that made Soulless so endearing in the first place. A favorite character of mine even made a (brief) reappearance.

Preashea is my kind of woman; fierce and stubbornly independent. Her character made it all the more satisfying to watch the romance unfold. I liked being able to see the various depths of her character which is difficult to do in the short amount of time a novella provides.

Carriger seems to share my weakness for muscley Scottish men as well. First Lord Maccon and now Captain Gavin. Both of them are very swoon worthy but I think I actually like Captain Gavin more. He was sweet and understanding. I enjoyed that he was able to intuitively figure out what Preshea needed from him.

The romance was such a satisfying and slow build and the perfect read to pull me out of the reading slump I’ve been slowly falling into (again, I know!). I actually read the entirety in about 3 hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I now feel the urgent need to continue reading the Parasol Protectorate series. I forgot how much I enjoy Carriger’s writing, especially when it comes to the romance aspect.

I’m sure I would have read this novella eventually since I plan on working my way through all her books, but I’m so glad I got to read it now. It’s probably going to end up being one of my favorite books that I read this year and I’m excited to see future novellas from Carriger.

Uncategorized

Book Review: Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Coming in from the Cold
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Rennie Road Books;
Length: 246 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Warning: This book is not for those under 18 since it includes explicit scenes.

Blurb:
He can’t have her. And he can’t tell anyone why.

Ski racer Dane “Danger” Hollister does not do relationships, though he keeps his reason a secret. The real-life curse he’s inherited from his mother will eventually cost him everything: his place on the Olympic ski team, his endorsement income, and his ability to fly downhill at top speed.

Reluctant country girl Willow Reade meets Dane by accident. Literally. Her skidding truck forces him off the road during a blizzard. Stranded together in his Jeep as night falls, the two loneliest people in Vermont find themselves sharing more than they’d planned. And not just conversation.

Yet neither can guess how their unlikely tryst will threaten Dane’s frightening secret and Willow’s tentative peace with her own choices. Only mutual trust and understanding can end their pain and give them a hard won shot at love.

Review:
I was scrolling through Tumblr the other day when I happened to see someone I follow recommend Bowen’s books. I was in the mood for a good new adult-esque romance so I picked this up. It’s currently free on Amazon, as an ebook, so I had nothing to lose.

Willow is very relatable. She’s been given a kind of tough lot in life and she makes do with what she has. She also isn’t annoying and didn’t try forcing herself on Dane. Dane had his moments. Sometimes I really liked him and sometimes I really didn’t. But I think that’s what the author wanted and it made his character more interesting.

The writing was good. I’m not sure why but I tend to expect bad writing in free ebooks. It’s an (unjustified, probably) expectation I go into free ebooks with but I can’t seem to help it. Bowen’s writing, however, is my favorite kind of writing. Just descriptive enough to let you get an image in your mind without being so descriptive that it disrupts the flow of reading.

If I had to say one bad thing about this book, it’s that I don’t quite care for how Bowen builds suspense in it. This is the first book I’ve read by her so maybe it’s just this particular story, but I found it annoying rather than suspenseful.

Either way this book was a super quick read. I finished it the same day I started it and it has definitely put me in the mood for more like it.

unpopular opinion

Unpopular Opinion: Tropes [6]

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I’ve decided to bring back this series! I’ve missed interacting with people on my blog and I think my Unpopular Opinion series is a good way to start more interaction!

Today’s topic is Tropes. Specifically tropes I LOVE but a lot of people seem to hate.

Side Romance

I’m the kind of person who really enjoys romance. I romanticize everything and I have a hard time consuming media that doesn’t have at least a little bit of romance in it. I’ve noticed recently a lot of people are sick of romance in stories especially if the main plot of the book isn’t romance. I personally really enjoy when my science fiction, fantasy, and/or mystery books have a side plot of romance.

Female Characters Obsessed with Books and/or Nerdy Things

A lot of female characters recently are obsessed with books or nerdy things. Personally I really enjoy this. It’s nice to have relatable female characters. Sure the field is saturated with them right now but it’ll die out soon and I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

Hate to Love Relationship

Even if I know hate to love relationships/romances aren’t realistic and can sometimes be extremely unhealthy in how they are presented, I shamelessly love them. It’s one of my favorite things about watching Korean dramas and I get giddy every time I’m reading a novel and that sort of relationship is presented.

Various Love Interests

This is a little different. I think most people describe it as a love triangle but triangles infer person a likes person b, person b likes person c and person c likes person a. I enjoy plots with various love interests for the main character if only because it makes it interesting and more true to life. Most people don’t find one person and stay with them forever. YA has a hard time with this. Various love interests tend to turn into wishy-washy protagnists wondering if they should be with this person or that person. But various love interests can be done well and right. I want to see more of this trope if only in hopes that an author soon will do it justice.

What tropes do you love but everyone else seems to hate? Do you disagree with any of the tropes I love? Start a discussion below. I want to know your thoughts on the matter. Am I the only one who has these opinions?

Wrap Up/TBR

May 2016 Wrap up

 

may 2016 wrap up

 

I keep forgetting to do my wrap ups!! But it’s better late than never at least. I didn’t read too much in May, mostly because of the move but I did get some reading done so onwards.

 May Wrap Up

Book Reviews

Books Rated 5 Folded Pages:
  • None 😦
Books Rated 4-4.5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 3-3.5 Folded Pages:
  • None.
Books Rated 2-2.5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 1-1.5 Folded Pages:
  • None!!
Books I’ve given up on (when I get 5 books total I’ll make another DNF post):
  • None!!!

Total books for May: 5

 

science fiction, young adult

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

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Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Length: 240 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Review:
It’s amazing how much of this book went way over my head the first time I read it. I think was about 15 at the time and I remember enjoying the book but not really getting why everyone praised it so much. This is my second time reading and wow this book packs a punch.

I think my favorite thing about The Giver is Lowry’s writing. It’s to the point but still descriptive enough to give you the whole picture. It’s the kind of writing I aspire to have. I never felt bogged down by meaningless details or unnecessary information that just muddies the story. I enjoy when things are straight to the point especially when it’s a story like The Giver. The message would not be the same if it was written in a more flowery way.

The character’s themselves are kind of 2D except for Jonas and maybe the Giver. Normally this would bother me but for the world it makes sense. They don’t have a reason or a need to be more than that.

I read this book in about 2 days. It was quick but it resonates with me as it does with the thousands of other people who have read it. My version of the book also has an introduction by Lowry that I found extremely interesting. I won’t give anything away but if you have a chance to read the introduction by her, you should.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I really enjoyed The Giver. It has all my favorite things about books aside from romance. It was funny sometimes and extremely sad others. It had interesting characters. It wasn’t trying to be poetic with the writing. Basically, I need more books like The Giver in my life.

Fantasy, romance, young adult

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Length: 426 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Warning: Might be slightly spolier-y. I can’t tell, but better safe than sorry.

Blurb:
On a continent ruled by three empires, everyone is born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end, the balance of power-and the failing health of all magic-will fall on the shoulders of a mythical pair called the Cahr Awen.

The biggest thing on Safi and Iseult’s minds is saving money for their planned future in the Hundred Isles. Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the emotional Threads binding the world. Safi, on the other hand, is a Truthwitch-she always knows when a person is telling a lie. A powerful magic like that is something people would kill to have on their side-or to keep off their enemy’s side-and so Safi cannot even admit what she truly is.

With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and a ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must rise above their doubts and fight to learn who they are and what they are made of, if they are going to stay alive and preserve the balance of their world.

Review:
I’m not sure if it was just me or not but I found this book a little hard to get into. Once I got past the first 100 pages or so I couldn’t put it down but it didn’t hook me like I thought it would from all the reviews I’d read up to this point.

Let me start by saying that even though the story jumped into the action from page one, the beginning was boring. I had no reason to be invested in the characters or care about why they were in that predicament so I didn’t really want to read it. I also had a hard time differentiating between Safi and Iseult for the first 100 pages or so. I think this is a world and book that could have used a bit of build up instead of jumping straight to action.

I do appreciate the connection Iseult and Safi have. It’s refreshing and fun for the main story line to revolve around a female friendship and have romance be the side thing instead of the other way around. That being said, I had expected more of this because of the hype. The majority of the book Iseult and Safi spend apart. I hope the next book can showcase them as friends more and have them actually be together so I can get more of their dynamic.

I also think that the romance involved is very insta-love. Even more so, it feels, because it’s such a side thing. There’s not love confessions and I appreciate that. But there unavoidable attraction to each other is weird.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Dennard builds out this world and how the story continues. So far the Truthwitch series is a definite improvement over Something Strange and Deadly which I DNF’d before 50 pages. I can definitely see an improvement in her writing.

nonfiction

Book Review: The Smartphone Photography Guide by Peter Cope

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Title: The Smartphone Photography Guide
Author: Peter Cope
Publisher: Carlton Books
Length: 256 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: 2 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Thanks to our smartphones, we’ve all become camera-carrying photographers, able to snap a photo whenever and wherever we want. But how can we realize the full potential of this powerful tool? Complete with “Pro Tips,” “Try This” panels, jargon-buster explanations of technical terms, and advice on video settings, this smart guide will help you take, create, manipulate, and share your phone images like an expert.

Review:
I saw this at a bookfair my work had to help benefit a charity. I bought it so long ago that I can’t really remember what charity it was but I wanted to support it and this seemed interesting. I’m going to be real (as per usual, honestly) and say that I think this book was written for people who didn’t grow up with technology.

At the ripe age of 22, this book was boring and didn’t really tell me much that I didn’t already know. The majority of this book is spent explaining how photography and editing apps on phones work and how a phone camera differs from a regular camera. I was so bored most of the time.

The section of the book focusing on getting good angles and understanding how to photograph were plagued with the same details about smartphones and apps that were stated in the first half of the book so it was also very redundant.

Some parts of the writing felt downright condescending in the way it was worded or what was said. My least favorite thing about nonfiction books is the tendency for the writing to feel like the author is talking down to me and this book did that a lot.

I didn’t enjoy this book and I didn’t learn anything from it. However, if you aren’t very familiar with phones or apps this book might be for you.

Manga, romance

Manga Review: Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama by Hiro Fujiwara

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Title: Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama (The President is a Maid) Volumes 1-7
Author: Hiro Fujiwara
Publisher: Tokyopop
Length: ~200 pages each
Genre: Manga, Shoujo, Romance, Slice of Life
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Brilliant and overachieving, Misaki Ayuzawa is the President of the Student Council at Seika High School, formerly a boys’ school. Unfortunately, most of the students are still male and stuck in their slovenly habits, so man-hating Misaki really socks it to ’em in an attempt to make the school presentable to attract more female students. But what will she do when the sexiest boy in school finds out that after school, Misaki works in a maid cafe.

Review:
I’m not sure if many people know this but I subscribe to so many fandoms it’s hard to count. One of those fandoms is anime and manga. I’ve been in the mood for Manga recently but find a new one to read is always difficult. I’m very picky with manga because I can’t read it for very long. It’s fun but long on going series bore me and short one offs don’t seem to be worth it. Instead of searching for something I didn’t know if I’d like, I decided to pick up the manga of one of my favorite animes.

Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama is considered a shoujo manga. Basically it’s written for females and typically focuses on some completely unrealistic romance. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine if I’m honest. Most shoujo manga/anime isn’t very feminist. The male characters usually land somewhere on the spectrum of douchey/controlling that in a real person would be absolutely appalling but I can’t help but love when it comes to the media I consume.

Misaki is adorable and fun. She’s very hardworking but also a little clueless and naive. She’s very smart book wise but not so much street wise and it’s endearing. I love watching her interact with the world Fujiwara has created.

Thankfully, Usui, the main male protagonist doesn’t fall into the douche type too much. He’s fiercely protective and a little bit controlling but for the most part I wouldn’t consider him douchey. He’s cute and funny and I mean, look at how he looks at Misaki.

Usui

The whole premise of this manga is that Misaki works at a maid cafe even though she’s a hard ass as student council president at school and Usui discovers it. The high jinks, fun, and romance ensue from there.

The art style is really detailed and fun. It can be so pretty but also so adorable. I love how versatile manga artwork as a whole is and Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama is no different.

I loved reading this manga even if the anime seems to closely follow it. It’s fun and cute and the perfect lightweight romance to help balance out all the hardcore fantasy I’ve been reading recently.

I can’t give it 5 folded pages only because there are some aspects I’m not okay with as a feminist and woman, but I will unapologetically love what I love even if it’s problematic.

Fantasy, romance, young adult

Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Length: 624 Pages, Hardback
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

Review of Book 1 and Book 2.
Warning: Possible spoilers for books 1 and 2 of this trilogy.

Blurb:
What power can bruise the sky?

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited–not in love, but in tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

Review:
I have to be real here. I was super disappointed by this book. I was SO bored while reading, especially during the first 300 pages or so. I’m pretty sure I skimmed at least 50% of it, if not more. According to my status updates on Goodreads, I didn’t start to get interested in it until about page 464. For a 600 pages novel, that’s pretty bad.

For me, I think the novel had too much exposition. Taylor could have cut out a lot of Akiva’s and Karou’s point of view and still got the point across. She didn’t need pages and pages dedicated to how they were pining for each other. It was so annoying.

I usually hate when new characters are added in the last novel of the series but for this, I found myself enjoying the new characters POV more than the main protagonists. Of course, I have to say Zuzana’s POV was still my favorite and she’s still my favorite character. But you didn’t get much of her or Mik.

The action packed scenes were really good and I was thoroughly invested in those which saved this book from being a 1 folded page review. Honestly, I think the only reason I didn’t DNF this book is because it was the last in this series and I wanted to finish the series since I had already invested so much time in it.

I hate how disappointed I was by this novel because I LOVED the first book and the second book I thought was good. It wasn’t great but I still enjoyed it. This one, however, was so hard for me to read. I found my mind wandering a lot because it wasn’t engaging.

I really do like Taylor’s writing style, but I think she needs to cut down on the exposition and maybe stop repeating the same idea over and over, IE how much Akiva and Karou want to be together but can’t.