Monday, July 6, 2015

DNF Review Roundup

I have a few mini reviews for some books I DNFed in the last month or so to share! Sadly, these didn't work out for me. :(

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary/thriller
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Goodreads Description: 
From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs. 
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited for this book! Stephanie Kuehn's books intrigue me and I recently read (and loved) Charm & Strange. Sadly, I wasn't as invested in Delicate Monsters as I was in the other book. It had an honest, gritty feel to it and there were a lot of ugly aspects, but that stuff didn't grab ahold of my interest as much as it usually does. I didn't really care for the characters nor what was happening in the story. It felt so meh. I read half of the book before I decided to DNF it and move onto something that intrigued me more. There's a possibility I'll pick it up again someday for a second try, but probably not anytime soon.


Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Goodreads Description: 
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.



With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The fact that I'm DNFing this book irritates me, but it's also a huge relief. I read 20 percent of it and wasn't liking much of anything. Plus, I was irritated, so it's a good thing I'm moving on from this one. However, I'm DNFing because things that I generally LOVE in books rubbed me the wrong way in Making Pretty. I prefer unlikable characters to likable ones in many cases, yet I was very annoyed by Montana's attitude. She seemed like a brat. I wasn't very interested in the story itself or any of the other characters enough to make me want to put up with her, either. That just made it even tougher to connect to her character. Also, the situation with Karissa bugged me way more than I want to admit. HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER Apparently a romantic relationship between a someone's friend (who is around her age) and father is a pet peeve of mine (both in fiction and outside of it). It really bugs me, which I find odd because I'm tolerant of a lot of worse things in books. END SPOILER It sealed my decision in walking away from this book.

Overall, I didn't like the 20 percent of Making Pretty that I read. Even though it had elements that I usually love, this book proved that there's always an exception to reading tastes. Not everything works for you, even when you really, really want it to.




The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Goodreads Description: 
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.

With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
Source: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I think I'm cursed. Mermaid books (and books featuring other sea creatures) tend to go downhill for me. I'm not entirely sure why . . . they usually feel a little boring. (I haven't read a ton of them, by the way.) With The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, I thought I would be fine. It's a contemporary that has received great reviews and apparently has a great romance. It wasn't a mermaid book in the sense that it had mermaids as character (at least, I don't think so). It looked like a good read for me!

However . . . within a couple pages, I knew this book wasn't for me. I immediately disliked the feel of the narration. It felt like the main character wasn't fully present, which was off-putting. I made it through about 16 percent and there wasn't a thing I was clicking with, which is a sign that the rest of the book wasn't going to go well for me.

Overall, what I did read from The Summer of Chasing Mermaids convinced me that it was water and I was vinegar. We didn't mix. I'm sure a lot of other readers will adore it, but this book wasn't for me.


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