(DNF) Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

the-inexplicable-logic-of-my-lifeThe Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Rating: DNF at 62% – N/A
Goodreads

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Synopsis: Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

review

Before I start with my thoughts on this book, I want to say this: I would still recommend you pick this up. There is a sore lack of diverse and #ownvoices books out there, so I want to support each one being published. This one is no exception. Benjamin Alire Sáenz is also the author of one of my favorite books ever, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I beg you to pick that one up if you haven’t. The biggest reason I didn’t get along with this book was the writing in this particular one, but that is so subjective. So please, give this a go still. I don’t want my review to scare any readers off. 


I was insanely excited to read this book. Like I said, Ari and Dante is one of my favorite books of all time. That book really gripped me, and I was so emotionally attached to both of the characters. Needless to say, I was over the moon when I got approved for this copy. 

First, let me start on what I liked about the book. 

I liked that this book talks about family. The family dynamics were so beautiful, and it made me smile. Salvador was adopted by his father, a Mexican-American guy. Salvador himself is white, but hates it when people say that because it makes him feel like he’s not actually part of their family. Which of course, he is. I really like how that raises some questions, at least it did for me. How someone can still be strongly immersed in one culture, and identify with it. That culture and ethnicity is not always the same, and how they are validated differently. Salvador’s father is an amazing guy, and I want to hug hum forever. I also liked seeing his extended family, such as his mima. Yet this book also included families that weren’t so good, and in different ways. Some are emotionally distant, and others have left their kids to raise themselves. 

I liked that this book wasn’t a romance story, but rather one of self-discovery and friendship. Again, friendships are so important to most people, whether “in real life” (I hate that saying) or online. Sam and Salvador have been friends for years, and that’s a beautiful thing to me, to see how much they care about each other. 

I liked the diversity here. Well, I didn’t like it, I loved it. I adored reading about Sal’s mima teaching Sam how to make tortilla’s from scratch. I loved watching Vicente (Sal’s dad) make tacos when he was upset. It’s the routine things of your life that calm you, and I found this truly amazing to read about. Then there is diversity of sexuality in here. Sal’s dad is gay, and so is Fito (one of Sal’s friends). I really enjoyed how it showed how comfortable they are with their sexuality, which unfortunately still isn’t possible for everyone out there today. Yet I also think it is important to show the awful side of being “different”: the rude comments, for example. Unfortunately, most LGBTQIA+ people have to deal with this, and I think Sáenz did a great job adding it to his novel.

Those are all reasons for you to read this book. Which is also why I still recommend it to you. But I have to be honest on my blog, and state the reasons I decided to not finish it. 

I didn’t like the writing. The sentences were extremely short, and constantly repeated themselves. Honestly, some sentences consisted of only one or two words. And that choppy writing took me out of the story. I find it hard to relate to a character when this type of writing is used, because it doesn’t feel like I am reading his thoughts? It feels more like Sal is a robot, and I’m reading what he observes. Because the writing was so hard for me to connect to, it also made it harder to connect to the characters. This story is about Sal’s life. It’s not plot driven whatsoever, it’s entirely character-centered. And for me, getting through a character driven book without being attached to anyone is impossible. 

I didn’t like some of the things Sal said or did. I had seem some reviewers state that some of the sentences in here were quite problematic and offensive, which made me curious. After all, it’s an #ownvoices book. I do know that diverse books can still be offensive! No one’s experiences are the same after all, and I was wondering how I would think of this book. And I have to agree that some sentences here were problematic. Such as “for a gay guy, my dad was pretty straight”. What does that even mean? Or “One of the great things about Sam was that she didn’t throw like a girl.” NO, NO, NO. And there was also the moment Sam says that Sal “is not like other guys”, which is basically the male equivalent of “you’re not like all the other girls”. I despise it. And lastly, I don’t like how this dealt with attempted rape and sexual assault at all.

Edit: As Cee stated in the comments, I can’t really pass judgment on the sentence ‘for a gay guy, my dad was pretty straight’. This is an #ownvoices book, and can’t speak for Benjamin Alire Sáenz’ experiences, nor the meaning of this sentence. For me, as a straight person, this sentence is hard to understand and seems offensive. I have read quite a few reviews on this book, but I don’t think I have found an #ownvoices review. If you have read this book/sentence, and understand his experiences/what he means by this, I would love to talk about it with you. Or if you have seen a reviewer/the author explain! 

I didn’t like Sam. I know, I just said that I loved the fact this book is centered around friendship. And that’s true. I just don’t think their friendship is entirely healthy? She basically badgered him until he told her everything, even things he didn’t want to talk about. I also feel like Sal’s personality got lost in hers. She was pretty much the only think he talked or thought about. You can be great friends without being so dependent on each other… 


It’s safe to say that I personally felt disappointed by this. For all the reasons I mentioned above. Yet I’d still say to give it a go. Not just because I want to treasure diverse and #ownvoices books. But also because this author wrote one of my favorite books ever, and I don’t ever want to forget that. 

DNF Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

ill-give-you-the-sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Published: 16.09.2014 by Dial Books (my edition: Walker Books)

Genre: Contemporary, YA
Rating: DNF
Goodreads

Synopsis: From the author of The Sky Is Every­where, a radiant novel that will leave you laughing and crying – all at once. For fans of John Green, Gayle Forman and Lauren Oliver. Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

review

I feel like such an outcast now. I DNFed this extremely popular book. I’m sorry if I let you down. Let’s talk about why I didn’t make it past page 133, shall we?

I have seen this book on so many blogs, and in so many YouTube videos! Everyone seemed to love and praise it, saying it was one of the best contemporaries they’ve ever read. So when the #Bookentine readathon came around, I thought it was finally time to give this a go.

This is the story of a twin brother and sister, Noah and Jude. It’s told through two timelines: when you read from Noah’s perspective, the twins are 13 years old, while if you read from Jude’s, they are 16. In Noah’s timeline, they are incredibly close. In Jude’s, they no longer speak to each other. You’re basically trying to find out what happened, what drove them apart.

I just wasn’t invested in this story. While I was reading, I was absolutely fine with the story. I didn’t mind reading it, but I didn’t love it either. Once I put it down, I just didn’t feel like picking it back up. I didn’t have the urge to read more of their story. To find out what happened. To be quite honest, I couldn’t care less.

If I had to choose one twin whose perspective I preferred, it’s Noah’s. He was the most interesting to me. Noah is an artist, who has always dreamed of going to art school. He’s also gay, something he knows at 13 but doesn’t really want to tell. He was kind, awkward and sweet.

I wasn’t attached to Jude at all. I didn’t really care for her perspective, as it was mostly her feeling bad for something that happened, and her talking to her dead grandmother.

Not only was I not invested in the characters or story, I also think Jandy Nelson’s writing just may not be for me. I liked that it was quite different, yes. For example, when Noah thinks of something to draw in relation to something that just happened, Nelson put the title of his drawing in brackets between the lines. That’s quite interesting! But to me, I think her writing just felt disjointed, and choppy. And I think that’s why I couldn’t connect to the characters.

All in all, this book just wasn’t for me. It’s not bad! That’s not what I’m saying at all. It just didn’t intrigue me. And I don’t want to read a book I’m not invested in.

DNF Review: The Grace of Kings

the-grace-of-kingsThe Grace of Kings (Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu
Published: April 7th, 2015
Genre: Fantasy

DNF at 20%
Goodreads

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way. 

Synopsis: Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

review

I feel like the outcast now. This book is so well loved. As is this author! But I struggled from the first page. I didn’t want to give up on this book. First, because it’s a review copy -and I really hate to DNF a review copy. Second, because it’s so loved! I wanted to love it too. But I don’t.

Normally, I would never DNF at 20%. I like to read a bit more before doing that. But I just couldn’t make myself continue. I started this book either in October 2015 or February 2016 -I don’t even remember. So it’s been either 9 or 12 months (or somewhere in between) since I’ve read it. I haven’t been able to pick it back up again. Every time I feel like I should continue, I have this nagging voice in my head. It’s whining. Saying: “noooo, I don’t want to”. 

Here’s why I struggled. 

I couldn’t remember any of the names, dynasties or kingdoms. Honestly, it’s really hard to try and keep up with a fantasy book if you can’t even remember the kingdoms or main characters. I just kept mixing them all up! It drove me completely crazy. 

I didn’t really feel any attachment to any of the characters we’d been introduced to so far. I really struggle to stick with a novel if I’m not at least intrigued by one character. I don’t have to like them,  I just have to be interested at the very least. But I wasn’t -and therefore, I didn’t feel like I wanted to continue reading. 

There’s also just something about the writing style and narrative that doesn’t appeal to me. It didn’t read quickly, nor did it feel fluent. I’m guessing Ken Liu has a very specific writing style, and that just wasn’t for me. 

I really wanted to love this book. That’s why I’ve been in denial for about a year. But sometimes, you just have to admit that a book isn’t right for you. 

DNF Review: Shadow of the Raven

shadow of the ravenShadow of the Raven (Sons of Kings #1) by Millie Thom
Published: 27.05.2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
DNF at 56%
Goodreads

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way. 

Synopsis: Thunder claps roar and Odin’s ravens fly. Dragonships set sail – and the kingdoms of Western Europe hold their breath. Warriors of Thor are on the move. By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other. The kings of these lands must put past enmity aside and take the first steps towards unity; steps they see as vital in the face of this newfound threat to their lands . . . Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia are the sons of kings, whose futures have been determined since birth. But the turbulent events in their childhood years change the natural progression of things – and shape the characters of the men they will become. Their roads to manhood follow vastly different routes, but both learn crucial lessons along the way: lessons that will serve them well in future years. Discovering that they enemy is not always a stranger is a harsh lesson indeed; the realisation that a trusted kinsman can turn traitor is the harshest lesson of all.

review

I feel really bad DNFing this. That’s why it’s been on my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads for 3 months now. But I need to face the facts. I read up until 56%, some of it a struggle. When I put it down in July, I had every intention of trying to finish it. It’s the end of October now, and I haven’t once felt like continuing it. It’s time to call it a DNF. 

I was really excited to read this one! I haven’t read that many Viking stories, or stories about the Danish raids, or the ninth century. It’s a period of history I don’t know all that much about, to be honest. So this looked like the perfect read to me! 

It started out fairly well. The story takes off with Eadwulf of Mercia, son to the king. He’s playing in the courtyard, when his father’s party is killed and he is taken hostage. I thought Eadwulf was a great main character. He seemed strong, kind, to care very much for his friends and family -a kid with a strong moral compass, in general. As the story went along however, I grew to understand him less. At first I was proud of him, because he stayed so strong and honest throughout his trials and tribulations. But it comes to a point where he joins a group of people, and I just couldn’t understand. I won’t tell you what it is, but I just couldn’t see how someone with his past could do this.

We also follow many other characters, of different countries. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble with all the names and people. There just wasn’t  character I was really attached to? 

I think this book is the epitome of the cliche: it’s not you, it’s me. Most people who have read this book, absolutely loved it. And I didn’t dislike the writing style, nor do I think it’s a bad book. I just didn’t have any connection with the characters -which for me, makes it pretty impossible to continue. If you like the synopsis and think it sounds interesting, I’d still urge you to give it a go. Maybe it’ll suit you better than it did me. 

DNF Review: Fat Girl Walking

fat girl walkingFat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons
Published: 01.01.2015 by Dey Street Books
Genre: Non-Fiction, Adult
DNF at 40%
Goodreads 

I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

SynopsisFat Girl Walking is a collection of stories from my life, my thoughts about the issues that I have faced as a woman, wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, and internet personality in regards to my weight. I have tried to be as honest as I possibly could—apologies in advance to my husband and parents, but hopefully any discomfort you feel is quickly replaced by laughter. The insecure texts to my husband and summer camp hijinks are hilarious if I do say so myself. And I also ask some tough questions, things like “What if my husband weighs less than I do?” and “Is my body hate ruining my daughter’s life?” Read Fat Girl Walking and let’s start having these conversations. No pressure, but we may just save all of womankind.

review

I requested this book from Edelweiss for several reasons. First, I’d seen her Ted Talk and thought it was really thought provoking and empowering. Second, I’m all about body positivism. I was expecting it to be a memoir of a woman who came to love her own body, even though society doesn’t necessarily celebrate it. That’s not what I got at all. 

I felt genuinely uncomfortable while reading this book -up until the 40% of course, because that’s where I gave up. Here’s why: 

  • This is more a chronicle of her entire awkward life, rather than her body positivity journey.
  • I got told the lovely story of when she thought she had her first period when she woke up to puking and blood on the sheets, but actually it was her dog’s period blood on her. EW!!!!!!
  • She taped her vagina shut as a young teenager because the priest in her Catholic school had scared her so much, and then had to go to the hospital.
  • While she stands for embracing your body, I got some really spiteful vibes towards “skinny women”. For example, when she stated she was glad her first time was nice, it said: “So many of my skinny, gorgeous friends have absolutely horrible stories about losing their virginity, and aside from an unfortunate eighties song about the Cold War, my first time was perfect.” This is not a competitio n. We should all want our friends to have a perfect/good first time?
  • I got some other vibes I’m not really okay with. Such as shaming her past self/behavior as such: “I began to search out a point of connection between the girlishness and attractiveness I wasn’t feeling, and that connection became messing around with boys. Or in better high school girl terms, I became a huge whole, which was actually somewhat of a challenge because I looked like a fat Dutch Boy with boobs.

I wanted this to be a book about body positivism. Instead, I felt uncomfortable the entire time, cringed so often people on the train thought I was having a stroke, and thought she sounded quite judgy of certain behavior/people even though that’s the opposite of what this book is supposed to achieve. 

2 Mini Reviews | NA Books I Didn’t Like At All

You all know I read mostly fantasy. Sometimes I want a lighthearted break between fantasy novels though, because they tend to be quite heavy. So I read New Adult romances at times. They’re usually fun, easy and quick reads. I also know which tropes I like and dislike, and am usually successful in avoiding NA romances I wouldn’t like. Yet in the past month or so, I’ve read two NA books I really didn’t like. One I DNFed, one I gave 1.5 stars. 


abel paradise foughtParadise Fought: Abel (Paradise #1) by L.B. Dunbar 
Published: January 25th 2016
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: DNF
Goodreads

Synopsis: I’m not a fighter. I was born into a fighting family. As the middle child, I was overlooked in favor of my older brother. He took the negative attention, too. In comparison, there’s nothing special about me. I’m not as big as Cobra. I’m not as strong as Cobra. He’s the alpha. I’m a beta. The second son. The lesser one. The one never encouraged to fight, never encouraged to do anything, but stay out of my father’s way. I’m not a lover either – but I wished to be – that’s why I needed her. I met a girl in the pouring rain. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. It changed everything. Because of love, I learned to fight. Betas come second, but in this fight, my story is first.

review

I couldn’t even make myself finish this one. I just couldn’t. Let me tell you why.

They first meet on vacation, when she is crying in a storm and he asks her if she’s okay. Then they meet at the student admin desk at university -or a similar place. It’s only at the admin desk that he realizes she’s the girl he had a crush on for years in high school. I’m sorry, how can you not recognize someone like that immediately? I think it’s their first year at uni, so it can’t have been that long ago. 

At said meeting, she finds out she doesn’t have the money to pay for the upcoming year (or something like that) at university. He offers to pay for her, if she teaches him how to flirt and pick up girls. That already sounds extremely creepy to me. She accepts. Then completely ignores him. Not even a thank you! I mean, I’m sorry, but that must have been a lot of money. No matter the reasons, if someone pays for you, it’s only polite to say thank you. No, she ignores him because she wants to get the attention of a certain guy who will help her get what she wants. She’s rude to him in public. She completely ignores him for the other guy. He gets completely jealous and feels like they belong together, even though they literally haven’t had a conversation longer than a minute. You don’t even know the first thing about each other! But he gets jealous. And then suddenly they both know it’s love and have to be together. I couldn’t read further than that. It just made no sense to me.


stone coldStone Cold (Iron Tornadoes MC #1) by Olivia Rigal
Published: 31.03.2014
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: 1.5/5 stars
Goodreads

SynopsisLisa Mayfield returns home from law school to a dead brother and a former lover she no longer recognizes. Brian Hatcher, her brother’s best friend, dropped out of the police academy. Instead of working with Lisa’s brother to bring down organized crime, he became a full-patched member of the Iron Tornadoes, an outlaw motorcycle club, the very one that may have caused her brother’s fall. Searching for answers to how her David died, Lisa can’t ignore the attraction she still feels for Brian. The chemistry is undeniable but is there anything left of the boy she once loved or has he turned into a stone cold biker?

review

I’m just going to say that the only reason I finished this book is that it’s only like 120 pages. Usually, I hate writing negative reviews. I always try to find the positive aspects in it, because a person put his time and effort into it. And I’m not trying to be mean. But with
this book, I honestly don’t know what to say. I didn’t like the writing, nor the characters, nor the story. So I’ll just tell you why.

I was not a fan of the writing because I felt like there was just no flow whatsoever. It was more along the lines of: “I did this. Then I walked there and did this. This made me think of this person.” Sometimes, I feel so attached to the characters of a book mainly because of the way they are written, like in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. This writing style left me feeling so detached from the characters though.

Secondly, the story. It was just way too short. It was only 120 pages, which of course doesn’t allow for much to happen. The story centers around Lisa, who returns home when her brother dies. He was a cop, and she wants to find out who killed him. Well, she didn’t. Not only did she not find out anything, I feel like she didn’t even try!

Lastly, the characters. Like I said, I felt so detached from Lisa. Mostly because of the writing, but I also felt like she was a very cold person in general. It’s a bit like reading a robot’s mind? There really isn’t that much emotion. Don’t even get me started on Brian. There is nothing good about this guy. He treats Lisa like a slave, is so disrespectful, and probably a criminal too.

To illustrate my frustration, I have selected some quotes for you.

“I resolve to stop crying and try to reason with myself.”

Okay, good luck with that?? Your brother just died. How do you reason that away?

“You know you are mine, right?” And my universe bursts with millions of bubbles of happiness because I’m certain what he means is that he loves me.

NEWS FLASH: that’s NOT what that means at all! What is wrong with you?

“Now that I’m wrapping my mind around the concept (of her mother dating), I see my mother in a totally different light. Objectively, she’s really okay. How old is she anyway?”

You don’t know your own mother’s age? What?

Here she asks Brian how her brother died, because he knows more about it…

“I was told by someone who was there,” he says, his expression and his tone almost indifferent. “You sure know how to kill the mood.”

Oh yes, I’m sorry to rain on your parade. Who am I to ask questions about my dead brother when you just want to have sex? How insensitive of me…

DNF Review: Once Upon a Dream

once upon a dream
Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tales #2) by Liz Braswell
Publication date: 05.04.2016

Genre: Retelling, YA 
Rating: DNF

Goodreads 

Synopsis: What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. It should be simple–a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess’s, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over. With a desperate fairy’s last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent’s agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?

review

My first DNF of 2016. Another milestone reached. I know that many bloggers did not like the first book in this series,  A Whole New World. I actually did, maybe because Aladdin is one of my all-time favorite animated movies/stories? I love Aladdin. I don’t have that attachment to Aurora, or Sleeping Beauty though. 

From the first few pages, I knew this book wasn’t for me. There’s just something about the tone of a book that immediately tells you whether you’ll like it or not. But I didn’t want to give up yet, because I’m always so grateful I get a review copy. So I don’t want to let anyone down. However, at 31% I decided to quit reading. Here’s why. 

Characters are incredibly important to me. Without a good or interesting main character, a story is lost to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t like Aurora, the main character. I was just so incredibly bored by her. She doesn’t do anything but dance in hallways, sleep, lie in bed and ask herself questions. She doesn’t actually DO anything. And it seems like she doesn’t take initiative ever. She either lies in her bed thinking/dreaming or is acting on someone else’s request. For example: her aunt will ask her to do something. So she does. And that’s it. At times, I felt like she was depressed? Not getting out of bed all day, not feeling up to doing anything, having so many questions going through her head.. Why did no one help her? 

Here’s a quote so you’ll understand: 

There was also the little matter that when she wasn’t twirling, her favorite thing was lying down and dreaming the hours away.

How riveting. Aside from that, the sentence just doesn’t quite make sense to me? I don’t know. 

Another issue I had with Aurora is that she’s supposed to be around 16 years old in the story? Yet she lacks basic skills, in pretty much everything. For example, math. I know we are not all math geniuses. I’m definitely not. But I’m not stupid! Here’s an example:

Aurora drew a tiny ugly scribble of a sheep. Then she drew four more. She counted them. There were five. She drew two more, farther away. Now there were six. 

Wait. WHAT? Five plus two does NOT equal six! I am so confused at this point. She’s obviously not smart (sorry, but if you can’t do that at 16…), she’s not particularly brave, daring or interesting in any way. I just didn’t like her. Another quote: 

Sometimes she would spend a whole afternoon watching lazy little motes of dust doing their slow dances in the golden light like lazy, otherworldly fairies.

So she stares at dust the entire afternoon? Okay…

Up until now, I didn’t like Aurora, but I figured I’d give the story a try anyway. After a certain point, I was so confused. I didn’t know which timeline was the present, and it all seemed so jumbled. I couldn’t keep what was happening straight! Looking back on it, the answer to the first 30% of the book is in the synopsis (which I didn’t really read). So even the mystery of that would be lost to you if you read the synopsis first. After I figured it out on my own (sorry synopsis), I just had this feeling that I knew where the story was going. And I wasn’t intrigued enough to stick to it. 

Here’s a last quote, to show you at which point I kind of had enough. 

In his own territory, he certainly had more swagger and braggadocio.

Swagger. Braggadocio. I’m out, people. I’m too old to be on board with this language (I’m 21 by the way). 

The story wasn’t captivating enough to overcome the issues I was having with the main character. This is obviously a personal taste and preference, so I’m certainly not saying no one should pick up this book. I’m just saying it wasn’t for me. 

DNF Review: Don’t Get Me Wrong

don't get me wrongNovel: Don’t Get Me Wrong by Marianna Kavanagh
Published: August 25th, 2015 by Atria
Genre: Adult contemporary
DNF at 29%

Goodreads 

I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Synopsis: Kim and Harry are total opposites who happen to have the same favorite people in the world: Kim’s older sister, Eva, and her young son, Otis. Kim has never seen what her free-spirited big sister sees in a stuck-up banker like Harry and has spent her childhood trying to keep him out (must he always drive the most ostentatious cars and insist on charming everyone he meets?), while Harry’s favorite occupation is provoking Kim. Both Harry and Kim are too stuck in their prejudices to care about what’s really going on beneath the surface of each other’s lives. They’ll never understand each other—until the worst of all tragedy strikes. Faced with the possibilities of losing the person they both love most, long-buried secrets come to a head in ways that will change both Harry and Kim forever.

Review

When I requested this, I was expecting a fun romance stories. You know the famous trope “I hate you but I love you”? If it’s done right, it’s one of my favorite romance tropes. But this one… I just couldn’t. I felt really bad DNFing a book I received for review. But to be honest, I couldn’t deal with it. It wasn’t for me. And I knew that if I continued reading, I would become a raging mess. And then in my rage, I would offend everyone who loves this book. By the way, I encourage you to go to Goodreads and check out the other reviews! There are soooo many people who absolutely loved this book. It really just wasn’t for me. So today, I’ll tell you why. 

Kim. There it is. The reason I disliked this from page 1. I get that not every character can be likeable. And that no character can like everyone. Or no person, for that matter. But most people actually have a solid reason for not getting along with another person. And that’s fine. If you don’t have a reason for not getting along however, except for your prejudices, you are a terrible person. And that’s where my problem lies. To show you how much this book unnerved me, here are my Goodreads updates:

 don't get me wrong updates

You see my slow descent into madness? Let me explain. On the first few pages, Kim explains why she hates Harry. He was standing in her sunshine the first time they met. His humor is sarcastic, but she constantly thinks he’s laughing at her. There have been many people who have once blocked the sun for me. I don’t hate them. I just ask them politely to move. Like a normal person. What I understood from the first 30%, is that Kim is jealous. She can’t handle her sister having a best friend if that’s not her. So she hates Harry. Because she adores her sister, puts her on a pedestal. WHICH IS WHERE IT GETS CONFUSING FOR ME. Her sister is exhausted, yet Kim fights Harry because she thinks he is a bad influence. While the only person making her sister sad, is Kim herself. 

Kim made the graduation dinner of her friend Izzie and herself a living nightmare, by fighting out loud with Harry in the middle of a restaurant. He made a few jokey remarks, and she just pounced. Like an angry lion. Until everyone wanted to get the hell out of there. For which she then blames him. Sigh. Another shining example is a flashback to Kim’s 18th birthday, when Harry got her a pair of diamond earrings in the form of daisies. For which she was mad at him. YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE… 

My last point on Kim is that she is the kind of person I hate the most: those who claim to know best, yet don’t listen to anyone. Her sister literally tells her a fact, Kim later tells her friend that she suspects the opposite of the fact is true but her sister won’t tell her. (I can’t make that clearer without spoiling you,sorry). SHE TOLD YOU THE TRUTH. YOU JUST DIDN’T LISTEN.

Because I want to end on a positive note, here it is: I loved Harry. I loved his POVs. I’m actually quite sure that if the entire book was told through only his eyes, I would’ve enjoyed it.

Like I said, I’d encourage you to look at other reviews on Goodreads. This book wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it! Give it a try. You never know, right? 🙂

DNF Review: Whole in the Clouds by Kristine Kibbee

Adobe Photoshop PDF Title: Whole in the Clouds
Author: Kristine Kibbee
Standalone novel
Published: November 6th, 2014
Genres: middle grade, fantasy
Rating: not really applicable…

GoodReads
I received this book via Netgalley for review, which in no way affects my opinion.

Synopsis: Cora Catlin is a misfit at best, and an outcast at worst. She feels out of place, as if everything is backward and something is missing from her life. And then, on her first day of middle school, everything changes. When Cora encounters an elfin stranger who speaks of the magical world Clouden, an entire kingdom hidden up in the sky, she can’t wait to leave her boring, humdrum life behind. As Cora travels to her new home, where children sprout from the ground and rivers flow with chocolate, she finds herself transformed—and if that weren’t enough, she has to adjust to royal parents, talking Pegasuses, a raging war, and an alluring love interest as well. Exploring this new land, Cora unearths wonders and secrets beyond her wildest imaginings, discovering the meaning of true friendship, love, and what it means to feel whole.

Review

I DNFed this book at about 38%. If you’re not familiar with the term DNF, it means did not finish. Because I didn’t actually finish this book, I don’t feel comfortable rating it either. This is my first DNF review ever! I tend to finish books, even though I am not enjoying them at all because I am just too stubborn to give up. That almost always ends in a reading slump though, which I kindly want to avoid. Since the publishers were kind enough to send this book to me for review, I did feel like I owed them one. But I could not make myself finish this book so I figured this would do. I’ll go into the reasons I didn’t like this one now.

First of all, Cora’s adoptive mother is HORRIBLE. She keeps telling Cora that she’s fat, has to lose weight and only lets her eat diet or extremely healthy foods that her daughter dislikes. That’s some great parenting right there… Cora is bullied at school every day and her parents know this and don’t do anything about it. Her mother just insists that she needs to try harder to make friends. WHAT?

As I said, Cora gets bullied at school by pretty much everyone. She doesn’t speak up to the teachers about it, which I understand happens a lot in reality. Yet the teachers know and don’t do anything either. The children are absolutely cruel just because Cora might not be as slim as the others. Because she’s been a bit depressed and lonely, she gets a dog and choose one herself. I think it’s adorable that she chose that particular dog, but again, I think it was done for the wrong reasons. She chose that dog because it was the one that mistrusted all humans, one that wasn’t wanted. She said that would fit her. So she feels like she’s not wanted either?

The last thing I just couldn’t deal with was when Cora gsoes to Clouden. Apparently, in our world everything is upside down or “backwards”. So when she arrives in Clouden, she becomes the person she really is on the inside. And I understand that they probably wanted to show that she was a beautiful person on the inside but in my opinion, they went about it the wrong way. Because she turned beautiful and is described as: older, SLIM, etc. So she wasn’t anything before, when she was chubbier, but now she’s beautiful because she is slim? So everyone that isn’t slim is ugly and everyone who is slim is beautiful? That is not what I would want to teach anyone.

I know I sound really harsh right now, but you know I only state my honest opinion. The only parts that I liked about the book were her father in the beginning and the description of Clouden. Her father kept slipping her treats and he seemed to be the only parent that really cared about her. And Clouden really seemed like a magical place! I just didn’t agree with the rest of the book.

Have you ever DNFed a -review- book? Do you feel guilty as well? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I didn’t rate this book on Goodreads and neither did I count it for my 2014 goal. It didn’t feel right to do those things, as I didn’t actually finish it.