DNF Reviews: YA Misery

I don’t finish a lot of books. Truck loads. I’d say about 1 in 4 books I start, I don’t actually finish. While I do love writing negative reviews (because they are just so much more entertaining) I am not going to suffer through a book just in order to rant about it! But it means that I never get the chance to not recommend the books I don’t finish. So this year, I’ve taken note of the books I haven’t been able to finish and why I haven’t been able to finish them.

I’d say “enjoy”, but that feels rather wrong.


Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz: I was not expecting miracles with Blue Bloods, I knew it wouldn’t be very good. But seriously? What was with the 300 narrators? I’m fine with multiple narrators, as long as they are all following some sort of game plan. Blue Bloods just seemed to follow a dozen inane, unrelated, and petty squables. Oh, and what was with the overblown clothing descriptions? Who the hell cares what they are wearing??!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I read a review calling this the YA book for people who thought The Host by Stephanie Meyer was science fiction. And after only 20 pages, I completely agreed with them. Across the Universe felt like science fiction 101. Barely-there world building, boring characters, and no apparent originality. Perhaps it improves after a few hundred pages – but given the vague, emotionless writing, I doubt it.

The Hollow by Jessica Verday: Girls who follow creepy boys around cemeteries are my definition of the Too Stupid to Live (TSTL) heroine. I worked out the “twist” 40-odd pages into the book, and jumped to the end to find out I was right. Everything in this book was too cookie-cutter: the villain, the romance, the spooky setting. It felt a lot like Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen (which was another book I didn’t like!).  Alas.


Torment by Lauren Kate: God, the first chapter of this book made me roll my eyes so hard I hurt. I look back on my review of Fallen, and all I can say is “what was I thinking?”. Fallen must have had little of the nauseating tru wuv business – but Torment has it is spades. Horrible, pinching, nasty spades. Eugh. The whole “we’ve been in love for centuries… you just don’t remember” business is just such a cop-out. And lame. Really really lame.

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel: I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it past page 5. Because everything I disliked about Evermore was in abundance in Blue Moon… rather like Torment. Just skip this series. No, seriously, just skip it.

Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck: I had been so excited to get Tiger’s Curse along with its sequel Tiger’s… something else. I had gotten an email from the publishers asking me to review it, and I went “OMG YES”.

And then I started reading it.

And, yeah… no. Just no. The main character is ludicrously childish and the writing is extremely disjointed. I had to re-read passages two or three times in order to understand who was doing what… until I just didn’t care what happened next. Also, writers that insult vegans? So off my wishlist.

DNF Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

DNF Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene FrostHalfway to the Grave (DNF) by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1
Published by Gollancz
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

I don’t like reviewing books that I haven’t finished – after all, how can I judge a whole book by only looking at part of it?  But sometimes there are books that people love, while I had to struggle to get through 50 pages (which is when I allow myself to give up).  So, I thought I would share my misery – a books that I was excited to read, have great reviews on goodreads, but I found utterly unendurable.

Feel free to snark back at me, as I haven’t been all that kind.

Average goodreads rating for Halfway to the Grave: 4.26
My rating: I could have bought Buffy DVDs with this money.

I was crazy excited to start this book.  There must be a few hundred praising reviews about Cat and Bones and their epic hotness.  What did I get from it?  Buffy fanfiction.  Now, Frost says that her character Bones is of absolutely no relation to Spike from BtVS.  Well, even if that is the case, Bones is still his literary twin.  People can come up with similar concepts independent from each other – I know.  But seriously?  A bleached, accented, cocky, luv’-and-darlin’-saying vampire?  One was enough.

Besides my issues with Bones, I had also not been so crazy about Cat.  She seemed angry at the world – especially vamps – when really she should have been pissed about her mother’s crappy parenting.  But that wasn’t enough for me to even dislike her.  Zero personality.