DNF Review of Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

glittercoverGlitter
By: Aprilynne Pike
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Random House
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

DNFed at page 265

I will briefly go into aspects of the book that are mentioned in the summary but some might find it a little spoilery.

Summary:
Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

My Thoughts:
Oh goodness where to start? I’ll start with what I did like- the world was interesting. The idea that a group of people in the modern age would live like it’s the 18th century- well at least dress that way is a really interesting concept. I loved the descriptions of the clothing and was excited to see where the story went.

Things went wrong for me fairly early on sadly.  There was a description of the main character’s friend Mei who’s Chinese and it was so very stereotypical. I couldn’t help but feel that it was poorly done. This was in chapter 1 and I thought – oh things will improve. They must. Well, the main character Danica was in such a bad spot. I felt really sorry for her since her father was addicted to drugs and her mother sold her out to the King for a higher status. This poor girl had no one looking out for her in any real way. Because of that she was willing to do anything to escape.

Well, this led to her literally drugging the people around her without their knowledge. All this so they would be addicted to the makeup the drugs are in so they’ll buy more which will give her the amount of money to escape. I can understand the motivation for this but it was really hard to read.  What type of person drugs those around themselves? It showed the complete lack of options Danica had and I found it so sad.

Because of her secrecy and betrayal of those around her this character couldn’t have any really connection with those around her- the only person she did connect with was a love interest that I wanted to ship but sadly I could not.

This novel dealt with such heavy topics- drug abuse, an abusive fiancé, and just wow- so sad. Danica also continually binds herself tigher and tighter into her corset so that she can nearly wrap her hands around her waist. She does this I assume for a measure of control over her life. This was briefly mentioned several times but in the part I read not really addressed or looked at as seriously as I would hope. I’m hopeful though that by the end of the novel it is addressed.

So- I guess this novel didn’t work for me because the subject matter was rather sad though not written that way? It is easier to read than I’d expect. I had so much trouble connecting deeply to any aspect of this book and by page 265 I’d hope that I’d be attached in some way. I figured I’d give up since  I made it that far.

glitter

I wonder- have you read this book? Should I pick it back up?

DNF Review for Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

bloodredsnowwhiteBlood Red Snow White
By: Marcus Sedgwick
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

I DNFed at page 93

Summary:
There never was a story that was happy through and through.

When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his home in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, it is with little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously romantically entangled with revolutionary leader Trotsky’s personal secretary. Both sides seek to use Arthur for their own purposes…and, as he struggles to find autonomy, both sides grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from the conflict with his beloved. But when he attempts to extract himself and Evgenia from the complicated politics and politicians that he fears will lead them both to their deaths, the decisions he faces are the most dangerous and difficult of his life.

My Thoughts:
Blood Red Snow White started off so strongly for me. I was immediately captivated with the writing and story telling. This book was written as if I was listening to my grandfather telling me stories. I was in love. I just KNEW I’d love this book to pieces.

So, what went wrong? The tone of the book changed as we got to the main character and his story. It went from the fairy tale feel to more of a dull account of what Arthur was doing, talking to and seeing. I wanted to be interested but sadly I was not.

This book heavily goes into Russian history which, at first, I found intriguing. I loved they symbolism Sedgwick utilized and felt that it was such a strong start. Once the scene was set and the real story began all the heart just seemed to leave the story. I felt nothing for Author though I wanted to.

Also, if you are thinking this is a fairytale retelling- it’s not. You might think from the title- Snow White- but nope. It has nothing to do with Snow White. The beginning did feel like a fairy tale but after that it felt very much like historical fiction. If you are a fan of slower paced historical or Russian history this book might be for you.

bloodredsnowwhiteig

Have you read this book? Should I continue? Does it ever got back to the beautiful feeling of the beginning of the novel?

 

DNF Review for The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

TheLovelyRecklessThe Lovely Reckless
By: Kami Garcia
Release Date: October 4th 2016
Publisher: Imprint
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

I DNFed at  64%

Summary:
I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

My Thoughts:
The Lovely Reckless started out strongly for me-the writing was absorbing and it didn’t take me long to get invested in the story line. I felt for Frankie and for all she had lost and I understood her motivations (though I didn’t always agree with them). It frustrated me the way her parents treated her and her coping with the loss of her boyfriend. I felt this was a tad unrealistic (I hope) but it set the story up well for Marco to enter into her life.

I expected to really get behind the romance in this book and have all the stomach fluttering but sadly this was not the case. I never really felt the chemistry between these two characters. Honestly the more I read the less I liked them together. At first I got a Dirty Dancing vibe from them but this slowly dissipated and left me feeling sort of bleh about them. Once I stopped caring so much about this relationship’s outcome I started feeling the book drag and I honestly DNFed because I was bored.

I will be the first to admit that I am not typically a fan of issue books or contemporary so that could possibly be why this didn’t work for me. I had hoped for a book where the romance would move me and sadly that did not happen.

DNF Review of Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

StoneFieldStone Field
By: Christy Lenzi
Release Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

I DNFed at page 105

Summary:
In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

My Thoughts:
I really want to love this book because the summary sounded amazing. Things started off pretty well. I enjoyed Lenzi’s writing and I was impressed that the main character didn’t fit into societal rules of her time period. She smoked a pipe, ran in the woods and really didn’t fit into polite society.

Sadly, the further I got the less I was enjoying the story. After Cat meets the strange, naked man on her land things started going haywire. I’d heard that there was some major insta-love going on. I was prepared and thinking I’d be able to cope with it. But…it wasn’t just insta-love/lust it was instant CONNECTION. And not only the ‘I feel I’ve known you forever’ but literal telepathy…it was too much. If there’s going to be a paranormal element I need some explanation. After 100 pages I still had no clue how these two were communicating this way- I think it was just supposed to be accepted as how things were. I just couldn’t suspend my sense of reality.

I was interested in the time period the novel takes place during but I was having trouble with everything else. Did you read this? What were your thoughts?

DNF Review of Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre

PUblicEnemiesPublic Enemies
By: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

DNFed at 39%

Summary:
Through a Faustian bargain, Edie Kramer has been pulled into the dangerous world of the Immortal Game, where belief makes your nightmares real. Hungry for sport, fears-made-flesh are always raising the stakes. To them, human lives are less than nothing, just pieces on a board.

Because of her boyfriend Kian’s sacrifice, she’s operating under the mysterious Harbinger’s aegis, but his patronage could prove as fatal as the opposition. Raw from deepest loss, she’s terrified over the deal Kian made for her. Though her very public enemies keep sending foot soldiers–mercenary monsters committed to her destruction–she’s not the one playing under a doom clock. Kian has six months…unless Edie can save him. And this is a game she can’t bear to lose.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed the first in this series, Mortal Danger, fairly well. I had a connection with Kian and Edie and some of Aguirre’s descriptions were incredibly creepy. I figured Public Enemies would be more of the same so I was eager to try it out. Sadly, even from the start, I was afraid this book wasn’t going to work for me. I had lost connection to the characters- maybe a reread would have helped. I didn’t really care about Kian and Edie’s relationship any longer. The writing wasn’t nearly as strong as it was in the first book. I felt that there was a lot of telling so I was unable to really get into the storyline.

I only read up to 39% so I’m not certain how things concluded but there was a more in depth look into a character, the Harbinger, (I honestly can’t remember how much this character was mentioned in the first book) that felt really stereo-typical to me. I felt that I’d read this same character many times before. He was a dangerous yet charming guy, misunderstood perhaps and I could see it going into love triangle territory. I have NO CLUE if it actually did since I didn’t finish. I could be completely off base there. The saddest part though was that even though his character felt done before he was the most interesting part of what I read.

Final Thoughts:
I maybe should have stuck this one out since Ann Aguirre is such a wonderful writer. As I neared the mid-way point and was still not enjoying it I decided I’d move on to something else. If you’ve read it let me know what you think. Did I make a mistake in giving up?

Also, what do you think of the change of pace concerning the cover art?