DNF Review for Frost by M.P. Kozlowsky

By: M.P. Kozlowsky
Release Date: October 11th 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

DNFed at 10%

Being human is her greatest strength.

Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.

She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders…

It’s his memories.

Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the one living creature she loves.

With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters…to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own? Or will her first journey from home be her last?

My Thoughts:
I DNFed this one at 10% which is earlier than I normally do. This started off pretty well. I was immersed and intrigued but the further I got the less and less I was interested. I started reading this in October and I set it aside. It sat on my side table until December and I never had the urge to pick it back up. I figured it was about time to DNF at that point.

I thought the world was interesting but the main character, Frost, wasn’t able to really grab me in the little bit I read. I think some of what turned me off from the book was how sad it was. Frost has been alone for ages with just her Broot (a beast she’s turned to a pet). Her father’s persona has been uploaded to a robot but besides these two elements she’s been alone. The relationship between Frost and her father was so sad and the idea that the pivotal point in Frost’s life- the one that has her ready to leave the home she’s had- is that her pet is sick and dying. It all just seemed so sad I struggled wanting to immerse myself in that.

Things could have picked up wonderfully and possibly this book is amazing and I didn’t give it a fair chance. I’m holding onto it and I’ll maybe pick it up again.

Have you read this? Should I try it again?

Stacking the Shelves

Whew, it’s been AGES (a month) since I’ve done one of these. I’m not going to gather up all the books I’ve gotten over the month though (too lazy) so this will be just this week’s worth.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books


Eeee. So excited about this haul! 9 of them are unsolicited but I’m intrigued so I’ll give them a go. I am really excited about Dreamers Often Lie. Anyone read it yet? I think I’ll read And I Darken first. I’ve not had the best luck with White but I’m really, really hopeful I’ll love it. So many thanks to Random House, Tor, Scholastic, and Harper.

How have you been? Read any of the books I got this past week? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Review of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall-Great Character Growth but Lacked the Creepy Factor I Wanted

HysteriaHallThe Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
By: Katie Alender
Release Date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)

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

My Rating:

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

My Thoughts:
If you look over on Goodreads you’ll see that this book gets wonderful ratings but sadly I’m in the minority. It wasn’t bad by any means but I didn’t love it nor did I find it creepy. It was an easy read though that did manage to keep my interest.

This was the first book I’ve read from this author so I didn’t know what to expect past the creepy cover and title. I was sold with the setting being an old insane asylum…who doesn’t love the idea of a place being haunted by crazy ghosts? Well, turns out that most of the ghosts aren’t very crazy and the asylum was less for the mentally unstable and more for ‘troubled’ girls…girls families wanted rid of (if I’d bothered to read the summary I’d have known that). I thought this was an interesting approach though it did take away from the scare factor.

Writing this review I realize I just don’t have a ton to say about this book. Everything about it was okay but nothing blew me away. Was it worth the read? Sure! It was an enjoyable and fast read that kept me interested though I wasn’t fully invested in needing to know the outcome. I will say that the topic of grief was addressed and it was pretty heartbreaking though it didn’t impact me as much as I’d expect (since I do have a child I thought I’d be a mess reading some of this but nope).

I did appreciate the relationship between Delia and her sister and felt that the author did a great job representing a sister relationship. Delia did experience a good amount of character growth throughout the novel which I appreciated. I also enjoyed the overall message the book presented.

Final Thoughts:
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was worth the read but I think I went into it expecting something it was not. I wanted more creepy than I got. This book’s message was very well done and I appreciated the family relationships and the main character’s growth.

Review of Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson

DeadUponaTimeDead Upon a Time
By: Elizabeth Paulson
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

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

My Rating:

It’s a fairy-tale nightmare . . .

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she’s given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles — and if she pricks her finger, she’ll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .

A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate’s world. She’s not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother’s house in the woods — and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can’t get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what’s happened.

Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention — even though the girl’s stepmother would rather he didn’t. It’s up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that’s far from happy.

My Thoughts:
Dead Upon a Time was a mash-up of several fairy-tales that was an easy, fast paced read. The book itself was fairly short and the writing was immersive but I never fully connected with the cast of characters. I enjoyed reading about them but I feel like the story might have been a tad too short to really grab me emotionally.

I did enjoy the adventure aspect and also seeing tid-bits of fairy tales all mixed up. I felt that the book was a very entertaining read and I especially liked Jack’s character. Of course, this is Jack and the bean-stalk Jack but in this book he wasn’t a hero in any way. He was actually an outcast. I loved reading this twist on the typical and felt that it was a great direction to take.

Our main character, Kate, was Little Red Riding Hood for the most part. She’s a bold and loyal character that was very easy to root for. She’s on a quest to save her grandmother from an evil force and the story rotates around her realizing what this evil was (though the reveal was sort of anti-climatic for me).

Some of the imagery was enticingly creepy (like the embroidered images of classic characters being tortured) but as with most other things in the book not enough was done with them. It all seemed a bit rushed to me.

Final Thoughts:
Dead Upon a Time took a creative and unique look at the classic fairy-tale. I loved the twist on the typical and felt that though the characters were easy to like I never had a deep connection to them. Regardless, this book was an entertaining and fast read.

Review of The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

GameofLoveandDeathThe Game of Love and Death
By: Martha Brockenbrough
Release Date: April 2 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now… Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured—a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.

My Thoughts:
I was really excited about this book because I love seeing emotions personified. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comes to mind first off when I think of Death or really any emotion as a being. The idea behind Death and Love having a game spanning decades with people as their game pieces? So much love for this idea!

For the most part I really enjoyed this book. It was a slower read for me and I took longer than usual (a couple weeks off and on) to read through it. I enjoyed reading it slowly and savoring it. The writing was really lovely and lyrical. Brockenbrough had a very smooth style that lent itself to this type of story very well.

I really enjoyed that this story focused on a time period I often don’t read about and took the subject of race and put it forefront without being heavy handed. I loved that we saw a few diverse characters and relationships. The idea of choosing someone society found to be ‘different’ and the struggle this would cause even doing things as simple as going out to eat really caused me to pause and think.

The characters were also likeable though I did run into a problem with the romance. I loved the idea behind it but for some reason I never really felt the chemistry between any of the characters. I liked them all, related and felt their struggles but I could never connect with them together and really feel their emotional attachment to one another. Honestly, this even went beyond the romance and even impacted the friendships for me. I went in excepting a love story that would have me swooning and I never had that.

This book was layered because we had the main characters- the pawns of the game you could say-and the otherworldly beings, Death and Love. You get point of views from them all and a chance to see behind Death and Love’s point of view. I found this to be interesting and possibly one of my favorite aspects. I will say that I never fully could grasp exactly why these two had this game they played. It made for a great story-line but I never felt like I totally got it if that makes sense?

Final Thoughts:
Overall a beautifully crafted and elegant book. I enjoyed the diversity of the characters and relationships though I never formed a real emotional connection.