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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sharon's DNF's for September

Our Facebook group members told me they would like to know about the books I did not finish (DNFs). Most books I DNF (I give a book 4 chapters before moving on) because I couldn't connect to the characters, it didn't hold my interest or I found myself kicking into beta mode.

Reviewing is subjective and one reviewers "meh" is another's "OMG!" I have included the amazon and goodreads ratings for each book. It is a little strange that my DNFs tend to have very high ratings by everyone else. Go figure!

See How She Runs (The Chronicles of Izzy, #1)
by Michelle 
One delivery changed her whole life. 

Izzy was a normal girl living in Chicago as a bike messenger before that fateful day. She delivered one package and set into action a chain of events she never could have expected.

Now she is running for her life from the Corporation, her best friend is not at all who he seemed, and to top it all off she keeps having visions.

Will she survive to navigate the waters as a Seer? Will her feelings for Kennan be her very downfall? Find out in See How She Runs.

I stop reading this book after 4 chapters for two main reasons. First, the story isn’t any different from all the others out there in the same genre. It felt like it was written to fit a PNR/UF formula with all the PNR/UF requirements; almost as if there was a checklist. If you are going to write the same type of story as everyone else then it needs to stand out from the crowd somehow. One way of doing it is with great writing. Unfortunately this book didn’t deliver that for me. 

The author uses first person POV, which is my favorite because you can connect to the character, but she wasn’t able to make me believe the character was real or want to be in her head. The dialogue wasn’t natural sounding. Casual conversations have contractions. You say “I’m coming!” not “I am coming”. I felt like I was hit over the head with the slang phrases in the first chapter to prove she was southern. They felt contrived and not natural in the conversations. Then they kind of disappeared after that first chapter. The hero has been undercover for two years living with the heroine. Once he has to reveal his self we find out he is actually Irish and starts calling her “lass” to let us know he is Irish. She tells him to stop calling her that and he say he will try, but it will be hard… he just spent two years not doing it, how hard could it be? Then he has to deliver the big info dump about who he is, who she is and why he was protecting her.

That being said, the book has 26 reviews on amazon with a 4.8 rating. I suggest downloading the free sample and then make your decision.

Goodreads: 4.12 stars/ 52 ratings/ 29 reviews

Becoming Red (The Becoming #1)
by Jess Raven and Paula Black
‘You got me back. You always said you would.’

Ash DeMorgan, graduate, orphan, ice maiden, has long since consigned the fairytale nightmares of a troubled childhood to the realm of fantastical childish imagination.

Now, lured back to Dublin, the scene of her tragic past, Ash encounters a city pulsing under the dangerous sexual influence of a new street drug the locals call Rave. Nothing is as it seems. Ash is about to discover that her nightmares are real, ancient Irish myths are larger than life and roaming the streets of the medieval city, and she has become the prey in their erotic hunt. A step back into her past is about to become a high adrenaline race for survival.

Connal Savage, outcast, assassin, and living, breathing hunk of ancient mythology, has lived a thousand years servicing a debt of revenge. Dead inside. Until he encounters his boss’s granddaughter, an infuriating woman who threatens to lead him to hell with all his good intentions, who manages to chip away at the hard encrusted defences of a lifetime spent at war and burrow herself deep into a part of him that hasn’t breathed for centuries. He is about to discover that when it comes down to the wire, when you’re bargaining with the Grim Reaper for the life of the one you love, you will do anything...

I stopped reading this because it just didn't set itself apart from all the other PNR/UF out there and had a formula feel. I felt no connection to the characters and I could recite what was going to happen in each scene because I have read it so many times before. The writing was too metaphor heavy for my liking. In the end I found myself just picking out the faults of the story and I knew it was time to move on.

There are many who do like it on amazon is has a 4.2 rating and 33 reviews.

Goodreads: 3.8 Stars 122 ratings/62 reviews

Four 'til Late (Road Ghosts #1)
by Eric Garrison
In Four 'til Late, amateur ghost hunter Brett and his friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz are on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. But that won't keep them from reaching their goal: New Orleans. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Can they get there in one piece, or will they be stopped and rest in peace? The bags are packed, the engine's running. Turn up the radio and get moving because the road ghosts are waiting, and it's Four 'til Late. Four 'til Late is the first book of the Road Ghosts Trilogy.

I think some books are more male reader oriented and some are more female oriented. Of course there are tons that fall in the middle somewhere. I just got a "guy read" vibe from Four Til Late.

This story had trouble keeping my attention. A lot of time was spent exploring the everyday ramblings and actions of a group of guys. At one point in the story a woman joins the road trip, but she is described as one of the guys. I found myself skimming to get to the ghosty parts and then jumping right to the end to see how it ended. As you can see from the ratings on amazon and Goodreads there are readers loving it.

Amazon: 4.3 stars /6 reviews
Goodreads: 4.5 stars 12 ratings/5 reviews


  1. I just put a book down for gratuitous southern vernacular. It was also a tape-bound ARC and kept coming apart in mt hands. And, I have been having a hard time with formulaic same old same old stuff too. Especially 50 Shades clones. Young Ingenue meets Billionaire CEO (with lots of free time, right?) into kink and somehow attracted to the college student/recent grad/first jobber. He has baggage from childhood and she does too. Her love saves him,....
    Once a gravy train is on the road everyone wants to jump on board. :-)

    1. The formula thing has started to get to me too. I use to feel guilty about not finishing a book. I wanted to show respect for the author, but I have gotten less patient about poorly written stories and rehashing. There are so many self/trad pub books out there that are fantastic. I have learned to let go of the guilt of stopping a book and started focusing on those that give me the reading experience I want.

  2. Love that you said 'going into beta mode'!
    I can completely relate :)

    1. Yeah, that will kill a book for me quicker than anything.

  3. That second book, sounds like a copy of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. And the ghostly road trip, not touching that one :) I like knowing why someone DNF's a book. I do feel very guilty about it, especially as it was a gift from the author herself.

    1. it doesn't come close to being like Moning We spotlight so many books that we don't know if they are any good or not. So if I do review one and there is a reason I don't like it then I wouldn't feel right about not saying something.