Google+ Reading Teen: 11 Book I DNF'd in 2015

Saturday, January 2, 2016

11 Book I DNF'd in 2015

by Elisa

All the books: each one I picked-up, I would finish, simply on principle. But that was a stupid, suffocating principle, and following Andye’s example, I finally gave myself permission to quit books I didn’t like. On the flip-side, I now suffer from this bookish problem, so seriously described by Becca. The book-quitters have a hard time knowing what to bother sticking-with when reading, without throwing in the towel after a chapter or two.

So what is a YA Lover to do? I might not be able to advise you to push through or tell you to quit. But I can at least let you know what I didn’t like enough to keep reading in 2015 (or thereabouts) so you can decide if you want to pick them up these stories yourself.

Note, some of these are audiobooks, so it is possible my decisions to quit reading them were influenced by the production rather than the actual story. Usually I can push through audiobooks better than print copies, though. Also, I can typically note when I am turned-off by the audiobook itself. Considering, all the books included below I believe I quit because of the actual story.  

  1. Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

This is the story that started it all for me--the quitting books thing. I love different cultures, and thought this would be fun. The heroine was so unwise, believing in a guy she had no reason to trust. She was also a terrible communicator, not speaking up enough to protect herself and fight for what she loved. Then by the time she did, she just did really stupid things. I couldn’t get over my dislike of her.
There were a few scenes that were really good, and the world was interesting. The romance was barely there and I just didn’t care enough about the heroine to keep reading.
And so I quit.

I really liked the first story of this compilation of short stories, but as I only watched one of the movies and haven’t read the Lorien Legacies books (two are reviewed here: I Am Four and The Power of Six), I didn’t care enough about the characters to want to continue it. It wasn’t a good stand alone (but that shouldn’t really be surprising).  

3.) Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr (Audiobook)

I got about a third into this book and I think this story might actually be worth finishing. It was a contemporary--not my favorite genre. And it was depressing. The girl made bad decisions, even though her life experiences made me understand why.
But because my motive in listening to it was to escape rather than build my empathy this didn’t book work well for me. I was so frustrated with the storyline so I decided to put it away for awhile. I did pick it up again, but it was still so depressing.

4.) Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2) by Rachel Hartman

I really hoped to love Shadow Scale because I really liked the first book in these series, Seraphina (I totally agree with everything Reagan says about it here). Why else would I want to love it? The dragons! Need I say more? But it was so. so. boring. The first book I listened to on audio but this one I read, so maybe that attributed to why I couldn’t get through it? I’m still not sure I would have finished Shadow Scale on audiobook either, though.
The dream is dead.

5.) Railsea by China MiƩville (Audiobook)

I got a chapter into it before realized it was a Moby Dick rewrite with a bunch of men searching for giant moles.
I. was. out.

6.) Like No Other by Una LaMarche
This was another contemporary that just kept going and going. It was a forbidden romance between teens in Brooklyn--a strict hasidic Jew and a second generation immigrant, from a hard-working family. I liked the characters and cultures, but the tension between the family and the constant thought of, “this can not end well” put me off. Eventually I admitted I was not being rewarded in my effort to read it and skipped to the last few pages.
Pretty sure I didn’t miss much.   

7.) An Ember in the Ashes by Tahir Sabaa (Audiobook)
The cover of this book is beautiful and I really wanted to like An Ember in the Ashes, even though I heard mixed reviews. In fact, I kinda did like it. I usually love stories like this, and this one had plenty of intrigue. I liked the main guy character, his unfortunate backstory, the relationship with his partners, and the tension he feels about war and power.
I never really liked the heroine or what she represented, though. She seemed shallow and made poor choices. I only stopped this story because I was listening to Scorpio Races and having the same voice for both of the male characters was a major conflict of interest to me. But, I also never picked An Ember in the Ashes up again because it worried me that I didn’t care about what happened in the end, especially when I was over 3/4ths through it. I haven’t fully written it off, but as of now, it is on my DNF list.

Here is another book I wanted to like. I loved the first two books in the Dispossessed Trilogy (check out my reviews of The Beautiful and the Cursed and The Lovely and the Lost). This one though, I was bored out of my mind reading. I am not sure why. It seemed that everything that was happening had already happened and I was just reading the same story again.

I might have actually finished this book. You see, it all just blended together until I wished it was done so maybe I didn’t actually finish it in the midst of my “be done already” mentality. I might have skipped a CD or two or three. Or maybe I just half listen to all of it.
Although overall the Mortal Instruments series was one of the best series ever, Cassandra Clare should have quit this series while she was ahead. The plotline had been already dragging in books four and five, so by book six it was begging to be finished. Just like with Wondrous and the Wicked, I felt like I had already read everything and I was sick of it all.  

10.) Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2) by Garcia, Kami (Audiobook)

I think there just might be something to reading the first book before the second and I didn’t follow Andye’s advice on this here (even though I have the prequel, Beautiful Creatures on my shelf). This was so easy to get into, without understanding the history of the prequel that I just didn’t consider that maybe I needed that first book to like one of the main characters (Lena) before she became a total b*** (sorry guys, I just can’t think of another word). Instead, I was stuck with a jerk of a girl, a lot of grief, a sad boy, and a bunch of dark magic.
The other three main characters were funny and nice, which kept me going for at least half of it. But eventually I felt like it was probably just sucking my time away and I was getting nothing in return. Although Amy loved it (see here) I kinda hated it. I decided that my token story in the South, filled with magic would be the Heirs of Watson Island series (check them out: Compulsion and Persuasion).

11.) The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
I listened to a few chapters of this before I confirmed it was for children or middle-grade. I might come back to it when my kids want to read it, but as of now, it is put away.


There were a few more I quit along the way, but they were not YA books. Except for the Hobbit, but I fear for the good of literature and the high value of wonderful movies set in New Zealand, so I can’t officially commit to saying I actually quit reading that classic.

Regardless, hope this helps and have a merry, happy-reading end to 2015!

Ethereally and unequivocally penned by Elisa (@AverageAdvocate) at “Inspiring the average American to change the world.”

She also dabbles in fiction hidden amongst others occasionally at She also really needs a new picture, because she hasn’t had red hair in like, forever. You can follow her on goodreads here.

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