Mini-Reviews: Recent DNFs

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably seen me talk about how rarely I DNF books. It happens, at most, a couple times a year. But when I get in a DNF-ing mood, I really get into it. I DNFed three books in one day recently, and here’s why.

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Source: Borrowed

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

I’ve previously read one other book by Helena Hunting (I Flipping Love You) and I thought it was fun! I’d seen a lot of good things about Meet Cute, and it sounded just like the kind of book I’d enjoy.

Well, I didn’t. I made it to 7% before I quit.

There’s nothing overtly wrong with this book. It’s just not for me. Kailyn is a grown woman practicing law and she still spends an inordinate amount of time obsessing over one small event from college. There’s nothing sexy about her love interest other than, I guess, he’s supposed to be really hot?

I don’t know, I just couldn’t get into this story or these characters.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Source: Borrowed

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

I checked this book out from the library because it sounded so interesting and I figured the whole “moon” thing would make it count for one of my reading challenges. Well, I made it a whopping 5% into this one before I gave up.

This is the kind of book I would have probably loved as an actual middle grader. As an adult, not so much. Much like with Meet Cute, there wasn’t anything wrong with this book. I just didn’t like it.

#ps19: a book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Source: ARC via publisher

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA. 

Of the three books I DNFed, this is the one I wanted to like the most. I’d really been looking forward to this book and even did an interview with the author. But after reading this book for more than a month and only making it to 28%, I had to be honest with myself. I was not enjoying it.

To be fair, I’m not sure this is really the kind of book that you enjoy reading. It’s about conversion therapy, bullying, and an alcoholic parent. It’s really heartbreaking and it’s just not something that I need in my life right now.

I didn’t really get along with the writing style either. I didn’t mind it at the beginning of the book, but as it continued on, it just got to be way too much for me. Like, when Jonathan slams a door, the description is “whambamthankyouma’amSLAM.” Too much.

A lot of people have rated this book highly, but it wasn’t for me.

Have you read any of these books? What’s the last book you DNFed?
Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

I’ve been reading:

DNFs this week:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing this week!

1 thing this week:

  • Normally I push through books that I don’t like or don’t connect with, but this week I actually DNFed THREE books. It felt good. Maybe I’ll do it more often.

Song of the week:

How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

WWW Wednesday

I’ve decided to add another weekly meme to the blog rotation, so here’s the first edition of WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is hosted over at Taking on a World of Words and just involves answering the 3 Ws!

What are you currently reading?

  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
    • reading challenge: a book set in Scandinavia
    • I’m about halfway done with this one and enjoying it a lot more than expected since I didn’t love American Gods
  • Jealous Revenge by Octavia Singleton
    • this is one of the more entertaining books I’ve read recently and there will be quite a review coming when I’m done

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
    • reading challenge: a book with an astrology term in the title
  • Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
    • it’s been a loooong time since I read an adult romance, so I’m looking forward to this one!

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? Did you do your own WWW Wednesday post today? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite couples

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so of course today’s theme is favorite couples. I ship everybody and everything, so here we go.

Penny + Sam from Emergency Contact

You could maybe say that I have a soft spot for couples who fall in love via text messages. Penny and Sam were the cutest and I loved them so much.

Zorie + Lennon from Starry Eyes

Is it really my Top Ten Tuesday post if it doesn’t have at least one Jenn Bennett book on it? Another thing I have a soft spot for is the very specific trope of friends-to-enemies-to-lovers.

Arthur + Ben from What If It’s Us

Arthur is a ball of sunshine and Ben is snarky and I love it when characters balance each other out like that. They were perfect together.

Lucy + Joshua from The Hating Game

Just as it’s not a real Top Ten Tuesday post of mine without Jenn Bennett, it’s also not a Top Ten Tuesday post of mine without The Hating Game. Lucy and Joshua are the best, okay? The best.

Daisy + Lucas from Anything You Can Do

Anything You Can Do is the first book I ever read by R.S. Grey. This is still one of the best enemies-to-lovers romances I’ve ever read. Daisy and Lucas were so perfect for each other. ❤

Bailey + Porter from Alex, Approximately

So we’ve established that I have a soft spot for texting and enemies-to-friends-to-lovers. I also have a soft spot for online friends who fall in love IRL. ❤

Simon + Blue from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Is there anyone alive who doesn’t ship Simon and Blue? I mean, seriously. They’re the cutest.

Ronan + Adam from The Raven Cycle

I’m not sure I’ve ever shipped any couple harder than Ronan and Adam. I love their relationship so much.

Cress + Thorne from Cress

Of all the Lunar Chronicles couples, Cress and Thorne are my favorite. I don’t even know what it is about them, but I love them so much.

Simon + Baz from Carry On

They were roommates! ROOMMATES! Another thing I have a soft spot for. Their relationship was perfect and I can’t wait for Wayward Son.

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Who are your favorite literary couples? Let’s talk in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming releases I’m on the fence about

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is upcoming releases I’m on the fence about. This is a hard topic because if books don’t really interest me, I’m probably not going to read them. That said, I did finally come up with ten books that more or less fit this prompt!

The Last Hope by Krista & Becca Ritchie

I enjoyed The Raging Ones when I read it last year, but I definitely did not enjoy Krista & Becca’s latest new adult release, Tangled Like Us. I’m a little apprehensive about reading anything of theirs now, but I’ll probably give this a shot anyway.

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

If I’m being 100% honest, I’m probably not going to read this book. I didn’t love Furyborn and I doubt that the problems I had with it would be resolved in its sequel. Every time I see the cover, though, I’m tempted.

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

I’m never really sure whether I want to read Jennifer E. Smith’s books, honestly. I never have a problem with them, but I also don’t love them. This one looks so cute, though!

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

I didn’t love When Dimple Met Rishi, but There’s Something About Sweetie looks and sounds so cute!

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

To be fair, I’m not even sure why I’m on the fence about Meet Cute. I enjoyed the last Helena Hunting book that I read. This sounds embarrassingly adorable. There’s just something stopping me from wanting to read it!

This Is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale

I think the title and cover of this one just remind me too much of Love Scene, Take Two, which was one of my favorites of 2018.

Please Send Help by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

I didn’t love I Hate Everyone But You, but something about this book is calling my name. I might give it a try, but probably from the library.

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace

So, I liked The Princess and I hated The Witch. I’m not sure which way I’ll go with The Mermaid, but I’ll probably read it eventually. Maybe once I see some more reviews come in.

All We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter

This book intrigues me, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a super-heavy read (like I Stop Somewhere) and I’m not sure that I’m ready for that.

This Book Is Not Yet Rated by Peter Bognanni

This sounds like the kind of quirky book I’d enjoy, but, again, something is stopping me from fully committing to it.

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! What do you think about these books? Have you read ARCs of any of them? Let’s talk in the comments!