Never Ever Will I Finish This: Never Ever by Sara Saedi

Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn—confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome—at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities—permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

Source: GoodReads

I DNF’d this book within 40 pages.

It just wasn’t for me.

I am going to bullet point this review and it’s probably going to be really short.  If you want a more thorough review of this book I suggest you check out other reviews because honestly I gave up on it so soon that I don’t even know if this review is worth a shit.

Anyway, here’s the reasons I DNF’d it.

  • Stiff Style: It was one of those hard to connect to styles that just kind of hard to get into.  This might not bother a lot of people, but it bothered me.
  • Another Evil Peter Pan.  At least there’s no sexy Hook (so far) so it’s not a complete Once Upon a Time rip off yet.
  • A MC who gives a rat’s ass about anything else other than her love life even though she claims to care about her family.
  • Note, she treats her family like crap.
  • Usual sullen teenager dealing with divorce trope.
  • Modernization of the characters names from the original because you know you can’t name characters Wendy, John, and Michael anymore.  Wylie, Joshua, and Micha sound better and Phinn sounds better than fucking Peter Pan.
  • Because everyone has a party on a roof top in New York.
  • That whole going into Neverland drug induced scene-yeah, I stopped after that because that was just so stupid.

Like I said, not really a lot to go off of here if you’re really interested in the book, but just for you to know, it didn’t work for me.  It was just really bad and cliche…and when it’s only redeeming feature is not having the obligatory Sexy Hook! (or at least as far as I know, he still might’ve popped in there after the thirty or so pages I read).

Overall Rating: A mother fucking DNF.

First DNF of the Year: Flower by Elizabeth Craft and Shea Olsen

These are the things that I’ve always wanted:

To get the top grades in my class.

To make my grandmother proud.

And most of all, proof that I could succeed where the rest of my family had not: a Stanford acceptance letter, early admission.

My mother and my sister were obsessed with boys and love and sex. So obsessed that they lost sight of their futures, of what theywanted. And in the end, they lost everything.

I’ll never let a boy distract me. I promised my grandmother that.

But that was before Tate.

Before the biggest pop star on the planet took an interest in me.

Before private planes and secret dates and lyrics meant for me alone.

There’s so much I don’t know. Like why he left music. Where he goes when we’re not together. What dark past he’s hiding. But when we kiss, the future feels far away. And now…I’m not sure what I want. 

Source: GoodReads

Well, I knew it had to happen but honestly I was hoping it would be a little later than fourteen years within the New Year before I DNF’d my first 2017 book.  But hey, Flower can’t help that it sucked donkey’s balls.

Actually, that’s an insult to donkey’s balls.

Anyway…Flower was bad.  Really, really, bad.  Just to give an idea of how bad this book is here is a sample of writing from the first few pages of the book.

Love can undo you.  It can take everything away.

And so, I promised myself: no boys, no prom, no parties on Saturday nights.  I would stay home, I would get straight As, I would go to college and make a different kind of future for myself. I wouldn’t let anything stop me. I wouldn’t let anyone stop me.

But that was before everything changed.

That was before him (1).

That should give you an idea how cringe worthy this is.  I mean, yeah the premises made me think it was going to be on the cheesy side, but it could’ve been done in such a way where the reader didn’t think they were reading some 13 year old’s One Direction fan fiction with a self insert character and token gay best friend that was straight out of a bad early 2000’s Lifetime movie.

But alas, this was not the case with Flower.

It was published by not only one, but two real authors (meaning, people who actually have legitimate past credits and aren’t a celebrity with a ghost writer peddling crap).  And it still sucked.  Hell, it was a packaged book and it still sucked.

Usually with package books they’re at least homogenous enough where they aren’t painfully bad, but this one is painfully bad.

As the premises points out our main character, Charlotte, is turned off of love because everyone in her family gets knocked up at the ripe old age of 17 or what not and she decides to do the no boys thing until a pop star comes into the flower shop she works out.  Only she doesn’t realize he’s a pop star and…I don’t know how she doesn’t realize he’s a pop star.  I mean, I’ve never listened to Justin Beiber, but I still know who that foul specimen is.  I just couldn’t buy it that this MC didn’t know who he was.  Or that a pop star would be so interested in a high school girl.  Or that Charlotte would somehow have a job in a florist’s shop designing bouquets with no florist training whatsoever.

The book really felt like it was a skeleton of a story that could be interesting but turned out to be no better than a self insert fan fic.  Like I said, I stopped at page 58 when Tate-the wannabe Jonas Brother-was essentially pulling an Edward Cullen on Charlotte.

I often feel like there is a misconception in YA that there does not need to be any effort put in fluff books that just having two characters kissing each other is enough.

It’s not.

A good fluff novel has complex characters that have interesting relations together and you want them to be together.  This book has none of those.   I had a real hard time believing that this was even a finished product, that’s how lazy it came across.

Usually, Alloy is one of the better packaging companies (note, that’s not saying a lot since I think most packaged books suck), but this one is particularly wretched.

Avoid at all costs especially if you love fluff.

Overall Rating: DNF

Last DNF of 2016: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

Source: GoodReads

I think one of the things I hate the most is reading a book you were really excited for and being disappointed with.  Such was the case with The Girl From Everywhere.  I had this book on my shelf for awhile and delayed it because the reviews were mixed.

And boo, I fall in with the critical crowd which always sucks.  I couldn’t even finish the book because I got so bored with it.  It wasn’t necessary bad per say, but for what it was supposed to be it was boring and I sort of knew where it was headed.

The world building was also sort of illy explained which is a shame because there was a lot of potential with this book.  Time travel.  Dimension traveling.  That should be such an MJ book, but in the end it wasn’t my book.

The main character, Nix, is sort of boring.  I feel like she should’ve felt more desperation than she did.  Her relationship with her father is just odd.  She sort of has this friendship with the potential love interest that is sort of interesting but it didn’t hold my attention long enough to continue.

It was a box full of mehs.

Which is never a good thing especially with a book described to be full of adventure.

I also feel like the scenes that take place in these different worlds are never really explained in much detail.  If you’re going to do multiple worlds, describe them.  I want to experience that mother fucking world just describing a stupid dress in the Victorian era that you’re visiting isn’t going to have me experience said world.  Though, dress descriptions are important (I guess).

And like I said, you never really get a sense of how this time and world building works.  Yes, there’s the thing with maps but other than getting the maps I’m still a little flummoxed on how it works.  Maybe if I could’ve stayed the course and finished the thing I would know, but again I just couldn’t.

A part of me feels bad about closing 2016 on such a disappointment but honestly my feelings for the book sort of sum up the year.  There were great opportunities and they were missed.  Yes, there were a few good things that happened but on an overhaul.  Not thanks.

Overall Rating: DNF

Contrived: The SUn is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Source: GoodReads

I think Nicola Yoon’s stuff is overrated.

Don’t get me wrong, I found Everything, Everything to be okay but it was contrived.  The Sun is Also a Star is even more contrived than her previous efforts (though it probably didn’t help that I skipped to the end and wasn’t impressed at all with how things resolved themselves.

I think the thing that was supposed to be innovative about this one is its style.  And I’ll give it this, I did like the style.  Though I hardly found it unique or innovative.  Side character POVs aren’t exactly a new thing.  So that really didn’t give it any sort of leg up.

The overall story arc is pretty weak.  I did like that both characters were from diverse backgrounds though, Ill give it that.  But the thing is, maybe it’s being an attorney who has actually taken an Immigration law course and dealt with some immigration cases I knew how the book was probably going to end before it started AND when Natasha just showed up at the UCIS office, I just shook my head knowing that this was not going to end well.

There’s not a lot of twists you can thrown in when you decide to deal with immigration law, and actually go through the motions of stating that they exhausted all of their options.

Yeah, sort of makes the story suck.

And God knows, I wish Natasha was a little bit more of a compassionate character than she was.  From the pages that I read, I really didn’t like or care for her.  She was hateful and seemed to blame everyone for her situation.  Plus,  I still couldn’t get over the fact she went to the UCIS alone as a minor.    Or that she actually thought she had a chance after the appeal options had been exhausted.  And the fact she was bemoaning over the fact that she wasn’t able to use that stolen SSN her mom got her.

Yeah, identity theft is really going to endear me to a character.

And yes, I know she’s undocumented and has to deal with some terrible shit that’s not her fault.  But come on, you’re talking about stealing someone’s social security number.  That is so wrong.

Daniel, the love interest, was just as whiney in a lot of ways.  But I sort of got where he was coming from more.  Again, he hadn’t exactly been exploited that much in narration so maybe I would’ve hated him had I continued.

Again, I don’t think The Sun is Also a Star is the worst book I’ve ever read, but it was blase and something I honestly didn’t want to finish it which is why I DNF’d it.

Synergy Sells: As Old as Time by Liz Braswell

What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?

Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns–a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.

But Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind–images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.

Souce: GoodReads

I was less than impressed with Braswell’s A Whole New World and was content on just forgoing her obvious pandering to Disney synergy series when I saw As Old as Time‘s premises and then I was like.

Need this.

Because Beauty and the Beast and the twist looked actually interesting.  And besides, surely after two books with poor reviews, surely Braswell was able to pick up some pointers on what was going wrong with the synergy pandering series.  Obviously, I was wrong.  The same habits that made A Whole New World  a hot mess, were included in As Old as Time including the whole let’s quote the movie.

Note, I had to wonder how it was possible to regurgitate an eighty minute movie’s script in 400 pages but oh-the twist, oh the twist is that we’ll include Maurice’s romance with Belle’s mother who’s the Enchantress.

Yes, Maurice.

The bumbling absentminded idiot of a father of Belle’s who gets together with Mrs. Potts at the movie.

Well, at least I think they get together.  It’s in my head cannon anyway.  But when I think of romance with Maurice unless it involves Mrs. Potts it’s a no go.

And yes, I know that cannon assumes that Belle’s mother must’ve been a pretty hot number given the fact that Maurice is…well, Maurice and everyone in town sings about Belle who looks nothing like Maurice.  But the Enchantress?????

It’s not like it’s even explained that well in the alternating chapters where I’m supposed to ship Enchantress/Maurice.

It just doesn’t work.  Much like the fact I’m supposed to like a woman who cursed an eleven year old spoiled little boy and then…well, then regurgitate the screenplay which while simple enough in it’s Disney form was enjoyable because you know great voice actors/animation  and Alan Menken songs.  Not so much here.

The characters are extremely flat.  And it’s not the story.  The story has been retold many times in YA before.  Sure, those versions aren’t based on the Disney movie, but that shouldn’t really matter.  At the core the book was a retelling of a fairytale and while Braswell was using the Disney movie as a template there were plenty of jumping off points  that could’ve made the story interesting.

But to focus half of the book on Maurice??????

Really, Maurice.

I feel bad for all you Potts/Maurice shippers that’s for sure (surely, there have to be some) As for me, I am not planning on touching this series with a ten foot pole ever again.  It doesn’t matter what movie they decide to retell.  Although, I did accidentally grab buy Once which I didn’t realize was by Braswell until it was too late so….

You know, I could just give that book away.  Yeah, that’s how annoyed I am with this author’s writing.

Overall Rating: DNF.

Why I DNF A Book in Under Forty Pages; The Return of Brody McDouche by Jennifer Ryan

The black sheep of Fallbrook is back . . . and he’s in for the surprise of his life.

Former bad boy, now-decorated Army Ranger Brody McBride is home and on a mission: Find the woman he never should have left behind and right the wrong he did eight years ago.

When the man she loved broke her heart and skipped town, Rain Evans picked up the pieces. But along with heartbreak, Brody left her something infinitely better than she could have imagined: two beautiful daughters. One she gave birth to, and the other she rescued from the woman who helped destroy her relationship with Brody.

Brody is shocked to discover he’s a father, and he’s more determined than ever to win back Rain and protect his girls. Can they rekindle the love they once shared and become the family they were always meant to be? Or will a danger from their past return and ruin everything?

Source: GoodReads

I have been having a slew of DNF’s lately but The Return of Brody McDouche  McBride broke a world record of DNF’ing in under 40 pages!  Usually, I make it at least past the fifty page mark.  But I thought I’d list the reasons why I DNF’d Brody McDouche (yes, it really should’ve been named that).

  1. Secret baby plot:  It’s an annoying trope, but I’ll be willing to put up for it if it’s different and the girl doesn’t like give up her entire life for the baby.  Doesn’t happen here.
  2. Double secret baby plot with multiple women knocked up at the same time: Ew, ew, ew.
  3. Women randomly is able to adopt second child from the Evil Bitch-Slut! character despite having no familiar connection: Maybe it was threw illegal means or something, but generally the adoption goes through blood relatives first when someone’s parental rights are revoked.   There was a blood uncle to kid 2 here, so I didn’t get it.  This is one of those times you wish you didn’t have some experience in family law.
  4. Characters having weather and seasonal names: The female MC’s name is Rain her biological daughter’s name is Dawn.  Gag reflexes yet.  And Dawn’s half sister’s name is Autumn so there’s seasonal, weather, and dish soap names here.  It’s annoying it’s obnoxious.   And if you have those names I’m sorry, BUT….whatever. Combined its hideous.
  5. Brody McDouche says that Rain is his woman despite having no contact with her for eight years, and because of that not paying her the requisite amount in child support: Yeah.  He’s a McDouche.
  6. Brody McDouche’s brother is a caring uncle who is also a lawyer that seems to have never told Rain about maybe she should seek child support: Despite the fact Rain is pretty broke because she’s raising two kids as a single mom and doesn’t seem to be making much money, he doesn’t suggest informing McDouche even though McDouche would probably owe her a good chunk of his earnings because um, child support.
  7. Brody McDouche is rich despite working for the government for eight years: Because being rich is a requisite for a romance novel and somehow being deployed makes you an expert at the stock market or wherever McDouche got his money?!?!?!?!
  8. Demonization of Roxy (the other woman) being a complete bitch: Never mind it takes two to tango, and Brody McDouche willingly went into Roxy’s bed.
  9. Rain still dreams about Brody McDouche besides the fact that he abandoned her and she was forced to raise both of his children without child support: ew
  10. The fact that Brody McDouche is the hero: Enough said.

And that is why I DNF this book.
Simple enough, huh.  Sad thing is, that the other titles in this series don’t look that bad.   I just, I just don’t know if I want to touch it with a ten foot pole after Brody McDouche.

A Flight Like Icarus’s: Flying by Carrie Jones

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones introduces sassy alien-hunting cheerleader Mana in Flying, the launch of a sparkling new YA SF series.

People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while.

But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire.

First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective.

It turns out, Mana’s frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she’s missing–taking a piece of technology with her that everyone wants their hands on, both human and alien. Now her supposed partner, a guy that Mana has never met or heard of (and who seems way too young and way too arrogant to be hunting aliens), has shown up, ordering Mana to come with him. Now, on her own for the first time, Mana will have to find a way to save her mother–and maybe the world–and hope she’s up to the challenge.

Source: GoodReads

Damn it, a cheerleader beating up aliens should be my sort of book especially if there are plenty reviews comparing it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Flying, however, failed to take off and I DNF’d it.

I will just say right now, I read this book in part to get me out of a YA funk, it didn’t. I sort of have a weird obsession with comical alien books if done right it’s one of my favorite tropes. I like embarrassingly cheesy paranormal books, still do. And a MC fighting aliens should’ve been my sort of book. The problem with Flying was that it had so many stupid moments and it’s written in a style where I just wanted someone to tell Jones to slow down and flesh things out a bit.

Like this Mana chick and this Lyle guy, barely know anything about them. As for Mana’s crush, Dakota, I think I should’ve cared more that he turned out to be Slimer’s long lost twin but I didn’t there was barely any build up to the character or the relationship. Just another embarrassingly bad crush that YA is so famous for. Oh, and the fucking slimmer wannabe is racist so add that little shitty feather to your cap of shittiness book. Seriously, I’m  not joking. I’ll quote the little scene for you:

“I’ve been saved by the Asian cheerleader; how perfect,” Dakota says. “Breaking the stereotypes. How droll.”

Droll?

“Are you pulling the race card on me, Dakota? Seriously? What the hell? You just asked me to help you. Why are you being a dick?” I sputter. “You’re never a dick. You’re sexy and you point your drumstick at me, which could totally be misconstrued, obviously…but um..” I backtrack, because despite this situation, I’m pretty horrified that I just said that out load. “What’s with the race card?

“Of course…” Dakota smirks. “Race card.” (33-34)

Fuck me. Was that really necessary?   I’m mean he already spits up acid, do we really have to make him a racist Slimmer wannabe too? Interesting enough, I think that Jones used this scene to show that are MC was Asian since there was no mention of this earlier in the book. That’s just a…fucking-tastic way to mention that your MC is a POC. Though to be fair, I guess that I have to give Jones credit for having a POC narrator. Though get this, the MIB agent that is fighting with Slimer’s name just happens to be China and I was just like…oO after this scene.

Also, the caffeine allergy was just beyond stupid.   So she gets amped up on caffeine. so do I. My cardiologist snaps at me whenever I drink it, it raises my pulse rate to levels that aren’t considered safe but I don’t like a fucking hyper idiot when I drink a surplus amount of coffee rather I just get jittery and my hands start to shake. Which is why I now have to make do with decaf or half caf which sucks.

So yeah, not impressed by that allergy.

It’s just not lackluster character development and stupid caffeine allergies that ruined my experienced, the pacing in this book like the character development was way off. It’s a short YA book—honestly, it shouldn’t be in hardback it doesn’t even top 300 pages—and the short length doesn’t do it any favors. In some people’s hands (cough, Meg Cabot, cough) I think the length would’ve been fine. Hell, that might’ve been part of my problem with this one I expected it to read like a light and fluffy Meg Cabot book but rather than focusing on character development we just get event tacked on after event with little to no exposition and.

My head just exploded.

Imagine to my surprise when I looked at the author’s bio and realized this wasn’t her first time at the YA rodeo. Because honestly, if it would’ve been a debut novel I could’ve been a little bit more forgiving.

As it stood though, I am just dumbstruck at how ill paced and developed this one was.

Skip it.

Overall Rating: DNF. And I don’t think it’s a subjective DNF. At first I thought it might’ve been, but there’s just too many problems with form and bland characters who make so insensitive comments about race. Because really, was that entire conversation necessary?

 

How Did This Get Green Lighted: Red by Alison Cherry

Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say “strawberry blond.” Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

Source: GoodReads

Another day, another DNF. I blame a part of this on cleaning out my bookshelves—I want more space for my books so I am trying to get to those tomes I put off because I’ve been a bit weary about reading them (most of them are impulse buys/gifts). Red by Alison Cherry was one of them.

It has one of those premises that you know the book is really going to work or not work. Within 35 pages, I realized it’s going to be thrown into the storage/giveaway bin.   It just didn’t work for me. I think part of the problem was that the writing seemed too distant and it took itself way too seriously.

Then again, it sort of backed itself into a corner with that premises. Unless written masterfully, that premises is just not going to work it’s more like one of those parody summaries I do for Do Judge a Book by Its Cover.

The lack of characterization and stilted third point of view didn’t help its case either, by the time the main conflict (the blackmail) happened I could care less rolled my eyes and threw it into the bin.

Many people wonder why I count/review DNF’s, especially one like Red which I barely touched. Part the reason I do this, is I feel it’s necessary to write down my thoughts about why a book didn’t work for me. Besides, I feel like if I give a book a good college try I should add it to my reading count. I know I’m not going to return to Red anytime soon—unless I decide to dye my hair the same color as the model on the cover, that shade of red is to die for. The thing is the book isn’t to die for.

Overall Rating: A DNF. The premises is just too much an the characters and plot didn’t save the book. It took itself way too serious.

Another DNF-Joy: Joyride by Anna Banks

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber’s mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Source: GoodReads

Another DNF!

Party time.

I really hate DNF-ing things.  I think I’ve discussed this several times already.  But man, I really wanted to love this book.

The premises looks like it’s going to discuss a really divisive issue-immigration.  God knows there needs to be a few books that discuss it especially YA books.  Immigration issues are not only a US issue but a world issue, and I was excited to read a book that was going to discuss them in such a way that would be applicable to real life (full disclosure: I studied and did a little work in Immigration law).

Skip this book.  It is a cliche.

So much that after a whopping sixty pages I DNF the book.

The book more or less was another YA cliche romance where The Mouse (female protagonist) falls in love with Mr. Tarnished Golden Boy (male protagonist) and each of them help deal with their various real life melodrama.

Barf.

The thing is, had the book been less of a cliche, I would have enjoyed it more.   The premises made it look like it was going to be more about the characters’ personal struggles than their romance.  But as soon as Arden set his eyes on Carly he was like-damn, she is a fine piece of spunky ass and all of his problems were secondary.  Much like with Carly, I didn’t really feel her dilemma becuase her focus was more on her relationship with Arden.

The structure of this novel is off putting.  It is duel points of view, which I have no problem with, but what made it confusing was that one point of view was written in first while the other was in third.  This made reading the book jarring and honestly I couldn’t connect as much with Arden since his part of the story was in third and it was a distant third at best.

This actually saddens me, because I would like a really powerful book about this subject matter especially with the harsh, xenophobic attitudes that certain people seem to exhibit these days.  There are so many different problems and issues that immigrants face, and so many issues that people who aren’t immigrants do not know about (just see a Trump rally, if you need an example if you need any other proof of ignorance).  Unfortuantely, this is not the book.

Overall Rating: A DNF.  The writing itself wasn’t the best and it just made me even more displease to see what could be an interesting and relevant topic to explore be condemned to YA cliche-ness.

Last Years Purchasing Mistake: Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn’t ready to let her go…

After:
Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.

Source: GoodReads

Another DNF!

It’s funny because I read this one the same day after I quit reading The Notorious Pagan Jones.   Both of the books I ended up giving up on but for different reasons.

Last Year’s Mistake I was hoping would be a light forthy read.  Light forthy reads are actually sort of a hard thing to pull off successfully.  Unfortunately for this book, it was not a success.  I quit after reading roughly 90 pages of the book.

The structure sort of has the same structure as The Last Five Years in the fact that it will flip back and forth from the present to the past.  It doesn’t work too well in book form, because it just makes the book just jarring.   Plus, I didn’t really feel like I could get emotionally attach to any of these characters since it did take place in the same point of view (Kelsey’s) and I feel like the flashbacks could’ve been better even inwoven through the story or written in a purely chronological order.

Speaking of Kelsey, I could give a flying flip about her.  Apparently, there’s a new guy who caused her problems in the past so she’s tempted to cheat on her new hot piece of ass.

That’s all I really know about her.

David just seems as much as a cardboard cut out as the hot boyfriend whose name I can’t even remember.

Honestly, I didn’t really care about any aspect about this book which was why I DNF’d it.

It’s going to be a weird thing to say, but I just felt like this book was shallow.  Can books even be shallow?  If they can be it would be this book.

There was just no substance to it.  To be fair, it used a pretty standard cliche, but it didn’t even attempt to make it something more like other contemporary writers have done in the past.  Here, it’s just the “gimmick” of the novel is it’s structure, and like I previously stated it bugged me more than pulled me into the story.

Obviously, I didn’t finish this one like I didn’t finish The Notorious Pagan Jones while the the first book at least had an interesting hook, there was nothing about this one that interested me rather than trying to perfect he simple plot the book was one it just decided that changing the structure of the novel was sufficient enough to make it different.

Overall Rating: DNF