Google+ Reading Teen: [Read or Ditch?] A Few DNFs

Sunday, March 10, 2013

[Read or Ditch?] A Few DNFs



Recently I've read quite a few books that have just not done it for me.  They've been sitting on my Goodreads shelf (as well as my shelf IRL) for months and months, and I've finally given up on them.  But before I press the eject button, I thought I'd give you the chance to tell me what you think.  Should I try one last time to read them?  Or should I ditch?


Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.
Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to.

At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
I have to admit, I didn't get very far in this book.  The dialog just seemed stiff to me, and I had a hard time getting into it.  I felt like the pacing was too slow, and the characters were too flat.   Since I had so many other books I was really excited to read, I put this one down "just for a little bit" and never picked it back up.  Have you read it?  Does it deserve another shot?

progress

I'm on page 52 of 331 of Beta: Interesting. Dialog is a little stiff. Maybe that's on purpose? — Oct 29, 2012 04:51pm — update status


In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
I can not tell you how disappointed I was that I didn't connect with this book.  I absolutely love high fantasy (Graceling, The Demon King, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Poison Study, Shadow & Bone), and I had been looking forward to Falling Kingdoms for a long time.  Once I started reading, though, I just couldn't force myself to keep going.  It just seemed too kid-ish for me, like it should've been a middle grade read, but the content was too much for MG.  The only character I found slightly interesting was Magnus, and I kept trying to make myself keep going, just to find out what happened to him, but in the end, I just couldn't do it.  Am I crazy?  Does it get better?

Reading Progress

11/05/2012page 120
29.0%"All of these characters are complete brats. The only one I like is Magnus and he's kind of a spoiled jerk...."
11/01/2012page 49
11.0%"Five chapters, five different viewpoints. This could get confusing :P"

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club--in the depths of her own despair--Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her
I really feel like I should like this book.  It seems so.....me!  I love the concept, I love the feel, but there was something missing.  I just could not stay interested.  It was just too slow.  I kept picking it up and putting it down, picking it up and putting it down.  I finally gave up, but maybe it gets better?  Should I try again?


Reading Progress

03/10/2013page 112
35.0%"Having a really hard time staying interested....."
11/06/2012page 68
21.0%"Taking everyone's advice and reading this one. I like it so far! Very intriguing."

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Out of all of the books listed, I'm the most sad about this one.   I adore Alex Bracken, and Brightly Woven (her other novel), is one of my favorite books, but I just didn't click with this one.  And honestly, I have no explanation for it.  I just couldn't make myself care about any of it.  Elisa, who sometimes writes guest reviews for us, really liked it a lot and kept encouraging me, but it was like I just bored and wanted to fall asleep every time I picked it up.  There was nothing wrong, that I can point to, it just wasn't right for me, and it was different enough from all the other dystopians out there to capture my attention.  SO SAD!


Reading Progress

11/14/2012page 92
18.0%"Ewww Martin. Creeper."
11/14/2012page 70
14.0%"I'm having a hard time getting into this one.....which is making me immeasurably sad." 2 comments

There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.
This book?  Was just plain weird.   Oddly enough, I spent the majority of the time reading it, trying to decide whether or not I liked it.  The dialog was strange, immature, and often cheesy.  The insta-love had me gagging, especially when the guy had a gun to her face and she acted like it was a great pick-up line or something.  And did I mention it was weird?  The thing that kept me going for as long as I did (which was about 3/4 of the way through) was the storyline.  It was pretty original, and I liked the idea of their abilities, and I did want to know how it turned out, but in the end, one day I put it down, and I never picked it back up.


Reading Progress

12/22/2012page 230
57.0%"Have I mentioned that this book is weird? It's holding my attention though...."
12/21/2012page 128
32.0%"Oh snap! Claire gone wild."
12/21/2012page 90
22.0%"Claire is weird. Nix is weird. Together they are beyond weird."
12/20/2012page 54
13.0%"Wow, this is strange. Kind of interesting though!"


So, what do you think?  Have you read these books?  Did you love them?  If so, make a case for them in the comments!  Convince me that I need to give them one more chance.  Or did you find yourself nodding in agreement?  If that's the case, feel free to tell me how right I am.



*No books were harmed in the making of this post.

25 comments:

  1. The only one I've read is Masque of the Red Death and I ended up being very disappointed so I fully support you in your decision to DNF it.

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    1. Ugh, some are saying they loved it....I guess it's just a matter of taste, and mine seems to align with yours.

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  2. Only one I can say anything about is Masque of the Red Death. The concept completely intrigued me, but finishing the book was a complete waste of a day. Definitely ditch it.

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    1. Ok, I feel better about it then! Thanks!

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  3. Ergh. Ditch Beta. Absolutely crap. The dialogue was one of the biggest turn offs for me but the world building or character development wasn't all that great either. There was this really big twist at the end that if Cohn had executed the rest of the book well, would've made it a worth-while read. Alas, it was not so. Good for her for trying something new but she should just stick to contemps.

    I loved Falling Kingdoms but I can understand why you just couldn't get into it.

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    1. Haha, I just read through some goodreads reviews on Beta, and it seems like a lot of people hated it. I guess I'm glad I didn't finish it.

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  4. I would keep trying with The Darkest Minds. I remember being a little disinterested at first, but then at about page 100 (I just checked and it was exactly page 100 in my ARC) things change and it really takes off and ended up being one of my favorite reads.

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    1. Ok, maybe I'll keep this one on my shelf, and hopefully try again.

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  5. I didn't enjoy Falling Kingdoms the way I thought I would. I love high fantasy, but I just couldn't take that book seriously. The characters. God, the characters. Nope. FK completely missed the mark for me. And the storytelling didn't seem polished enough, like it wasn't planned out enough.

    I started reading The Darkest Minds on Netgalley (computer) and stopped at about 70-90 pages in because I wanted to really get into it with a physical copy. I liked where it was going though.

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    1. Yeah, Falling Kingdoms just seemed like someone was trying to write HF, but just didn't really know what they were doing. I don't want to sound mean, and I guess that does, but that's how I felt. Or maybe they should just try writing for a younger crowd?

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  6. I pressed on with The Darkest Minds, but it was a chore to read ... I probably should have ditched it myself!

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    1. haha, so it didn't get better for you at the end? Good to know! Thanks!

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  7. I actually only read Masque of the Red Death, and am sorry that you didn't like it as much as I did. (I thought it was one of my 2012 bests.) I personally didn't mind the lack of plot development, but I guess that's a personal preference. Things only get interesting in the very back, but I felt it was worth pushing through since it was considerably short compared to my usual reads. But mostly, I valued its ability to play my emotions more than its speed.

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    1. Hmmm.....you're making me want to try again.

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  8. The only one I've read from your list is Masque of the Red Death, and I loved it! I thought it was action-packed, had a fast-moving story line, awesome characters, and awesome writing. I highly recommend you pick that one up again :)

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    1. Ok, I'll keep it for now and see if I get the urge to pick it back up.

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  9. Falling Kingdoms doesn't get any better. I rated it one star. It was AWFUL.

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    1. Good to know, yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll ditch this one completely.

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  10. Most of those I finished and enjoyed --looking at masque, and the Darkest Minds. I hated beta with a passion.

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    1. Ok, I've heard way too much bad about Beta. It's out. And Masque and DM are now possibilities. Thanks!

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  11. You should totally keep reading The Masque of Red Death. It's a little slow in the beginning, but I ended up adoring it!

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    1. EEK, I'm starting to change my mind on this one!

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  12. I definitely think you should keep reading Falling Kingdoms. Yes the characters are brats at the beginning but I think the book is an excellent character development. They really grow throughout the story. I'd abandon Nobody though. It didn't really do it for me either.

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    1. I really think it was just that I didn't connect with the writing in FK. I had the same issue with Throne of Glass. They were both just too immature for my taste. Nobody....just weird.

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  13. I can only speak about Masque of the Red Death, but I really enjoyed that one! It's slow, but I thought the writing was gorgeous and atmospheric. And things do start happening later in the book! The ending is downright cruel >.< Only another month or so till the sequel though.
    I understand the books isn't for everyone, but maybe give it another try?

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