Saturday, 30 January 2016

January DNF Roundup + Second Chance Pick

In 2016, I'm being a bit more ruthless with putting books aside for good. I put aside about 10 books last year and I'm already at 2 - maybe 3 - for this year. There's just too many books on my TBR and too many books I want to get for me to read a book I'm less than thrilled with. Plus, I don't have a ton of room for books - my storage space has been cut in about half since the move - so I really need to keep books going out if I'm going to keep bringing them in. So I figured I would start doing monthly-ish round ups. It'll probably be one each month, but if I only DNF one book some month, then it'd be kind of silly. 

Like I said, for January, I'm at 2 and I'm debating another one, but I'm gonna let you guys decide on that for me.

Abandon
Meg Cabot
Point
[April 26, 2011]
Hardcover purchased at signing

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
This one was so hard to put aside. I've had it on my shelf for years - I bought it when Meg went on book tour while I was still in high school. It's a Persephone and Hades retelling, which is the only Greek myth I LOVE. And it's Meg Freaking Cabot, who I've adored for over ten years. How did this go wrong?

Honestly, I was just bored. It was 100 pages of flash backs and mentions of the past and build up - but in the actual present story, it had only advanced like a day. It was just so slow. I remember a lot of friends having issues with this one and when I asked for advice on twitter, many told me it was one of their least favorite Cabot reads. Ultimately, I knew that I wouldn't be picking up the rest of the books in the series. The writing wasn't hooking me, I still really didn't know Pierce enough to connect with her, and there was so much set up. And if I already knew I wasn't going to finish the series, why would I bother finishing the first book? So, I set this one down around page 120.
 
Kill the Boy Band
Goldy Moldavsky
Point
[February 23, 2016]
ARC from ALAMW16

Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn't supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band.

We didn't mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he's tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it's Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn't be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group.

We didn't mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn't. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that's what you do when you love a group so much it hurts.

How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell.

I was so excited about this book because I LOVE the growing trend of writing teen fangirls.  It's something very representative of how I grew up and feels so real to me. But this one...didn't.

The writing was great. It was voice-y and distinct and fun. But it contrasted with the actual story. The story went places that - honestly - made me really uncomfortable. I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil things, but I had been kind of expecting a more literal accidental kidnapping and things kind of taking funny turns that seem totally outrageous. Instead...it was just scary logic. And it made me more uncomfortable with how fangirls were portrayed than anything else. I'm probably gonna be a black sheep on this one, but the humor wasn't humorous to me for long. I stopped around page 120 then skipped ahead to the final chapters and still felt okay in my decision to put this one aside.

And now for the one I'm not sure on.

Rebel of the Sands
Alwyn Hamilton
Viking Books for Young Readers
[March 8, 2016]
ARC from publisher

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic.  For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three.  She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

Right now, this one is reminding me a LOT of Walk on Earth a Stranger. I'm - again - about 120 pages in and I'm intrigued by the romance and stuff is happening, but for the most part, it feels like a journey story. And while I love road trips, those are usually symbolic trips as much as they are physical trips. With something like this, it feels more like a drag through to the action. Where I left off, there trip had just become a lot longer than originally planned and that's just not something I wanna read - but I DO really like the romance and Amani is an intriguing character. But really the thing that has me most hesitant to put it aside is how many friends I know who LOVE this book - including friends who I usually agree with on books. I just need someone to tell me that this book is not going to be 250 pages of Amani and Jin wandering to a destination.

So, do I keep going or do I give up on this one? And what did you think of my other two DNFs this month?

--Julie

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