Most Recent DNF’s

The last couple of months have been quite a hit and miss for me. There were lots of books I was looking forward to and reeally excited to read, but unfortunately some missed the mark and landed in my DNF pile.

Here they are:

1) Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I’m SO glad this was a library borrow! It was a good start, but as soon as I got to chapter 1, it all went downhill from there.

I was bored and found myself just staring at words! I had no idea what was going on and honestly no longer gave a fuck.

2) The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

This book had everything going for it: appealing cover, intriguing title & promising premise. Except it turned out to be a lemon. Womp womp.

The story had a strong start with Heather and her mysterious package. But things quickly turn sour with her repetitive, drawn out thoughts and unnecessary details of her home.

I got the feeling Heather would be too exhausting for me, I no longer cared to know the story of the Red Lady. I started zoning out, which is never a good sign.

3) The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

It’s been a while since I’ve read historical fiction and was really looking forward to this one since I keep hearing songs of praises for Kate Morton. I also won it through Simon & Schuster Canada’s giveaway last year, so I was very excited to FINALLY get to it.

Unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. While I’m a fan of multiple POV’s and timelines, this one left me confused. It was never clearly labelled, causing me to backtrack on several occassions and wondering if I missed something.

Maybe it was me, reading way too late in the evening, but it felt incredibly long-winded!

🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂 🍂

Well..there you have it folks! My last 3 DNF’s.

Have you read any of them? What were some of your latest DNF’s or disappointing reads?

We Should All Be Mirandas by Chelsea Fairless & Lauren Garroni @HMHBooks @laurengarroni @chelsea.fairless @everyoutfitonsatc

Genre: Non-Fiction

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you gonna do over there without your job? Eat croissant?

~ Miranda Hobbes, Esq.

I’m sorry (not really actually), but unless it’s a cookbook, non-fiction is something I don’t like reading. However, I’m a HUUUGE fan of Sex and the City and couldn’t turn this one down.

Like Miranda, I will call you out on your bull shit cheer-me-up bagels as a disguise to talk boy problems, while I’m down and out. Yet, I am the eternal optimist like Charlotte, when it comes to finding true love. However, like Carrie, I’ve picked the wrong men (which I think we all have at one time or another.)

I had such a blast reading this one! To be honest, I don’t think my review will do it justice!

I particularly enjoyed the bit with a rundown of different assholes.

Whether you’re a type A or not, this fun and witty read gives you the 101 on how to bring a little Miranda into your life when it comes to work, love, sex and fashion.

I highly recommend it for lovers of Sex And The City.

When Sex and the City premiered, many were hesitant to identify as the Miranda of their social circle—after all, sarcasm, workaholism, and dubious fashion choices are rarely considered aspirational. However, in the two-plus decades since her television debut, our culture has finally caught up with this forward-thinking icon and all she represents. The truth is, Miranda Hobbes is the feminist hero that we deserve— we were all just too busy obsessing over Carrie’s corset tops to notice it at first.

WE SHOULD ALL BE MIRANDAS is a celebration of a certain redheaded lawyer and the legions of fans who relate to her pragmatic, no-bullshit approach to work, love, and sex. Written by two self-proclaimed Mirandas, this humorous manifesto distills Ms. Hobbes’ core principles into a strategic guide for navigating life’s inevitable ups and downs. In it, you’ll learn to:

✔Overcome your internalized Mirandaphobia

✔Cope with humiliating sexual encounters

✔Make Google Docs your bitch

✔Dump that Skipper that you’ve been dating

✔Embrace your bad hair days
…and so much more!

[#BlogTour & Excerpt] Day Zero by Kelly DeVos

Author: Kelly deVos

ISBN: 978-1335008480

Publication Date: 11/12/19

Publisher: Inkyard Press

BUY LINKS:

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Don’t miss the exhilarating new novel from the author of Fat Girl on a Plane, featuring a fierce, bold heroine who will fight for her family and do whatever it takes to survive. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It series and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.
If you’re going through hell…keep going.
Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.
But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.
In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?

Dr. Doomsday’s Guide to Ultimate Survival

Rule One: Always be prepared.

I exhale in relief when MacKenna pulls the car into the Halliwell’s Market parking lot. Because of the Sugar Sales Permit waiting list, old stores like these are the only places that carry Extra Jolt soda. I have to buy it myself, because Mom won’t keep any in the house.

She thinks too much caffeine rots your brain or something. Halliwell’s is a squat brown building that sits across the street from the mall and is next door to the town’s only skyscraper.

The First Federal Building was supposed to be the first piece of a suburban business district designed to rival the hip boroughs of New York. The mayor announced the construction of a movie theater, an apartment complex and an indoor aquarium. But the New Depression hit, and the other buildings never materialized.

The First Federal Building alone soars toward the clouds, an ugly glass rectangle visible from every neighborhood, surrounded by the old town shops that have been there forever. Most of the stores are empty.

We park in front of the market.

Our car nestles in the long shadow of the giant bank building.

Charles gets out and stands on the sidewalk in front of the car.

MacKenna opens her door. She hesitates again. “Listen, I know you might not want to hear this or believe it. But my book report wasn’t about hurting you or getting revenge. I’m trying to get you to see what’s really happening here. That Carver’s election is the start of something bad. We could use you at the rally. You’re one of the few people who understands Dr. Doomsday’s work. You could explain what he did. How he helped Carver cheat to win.”

“I’ve been planning this raid for months,” I say. My stomach churns, sending uncomfortable flutters through my insides. I don’t know what it would mean to talk about my father’s work. What I really want to do is pretend it doesn’t exist. Pretend the world is normal and whole.

I reassure myself with the reminder that there’s no way MacKenna is going to the rally either.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Charles give us a small wave. Before MacKenna can say anything else, I get out and grab my backpack.

Inside Halliwell’s, I pick up a blue basket from the stack near the door. The small market is busy and full of other people shopping after school or work. The smell of pine cleaner hits me as we pass the checkout stations. They are super serious about germs and always cleaning between customers.

I leave MacKenna and Charles at the Click N’Grow rack near the door to check out the seed packets that my brother collects. Dad got Charles hooked on this computerized gardening that uses an e-tablet and a series of tiny indoor lights to create the ideal indoor planter box. Each week, they release a new set of exclusive seeds. Their genetic modifications are controversial.

All the soda is in large coolers that line one of the walls of the market. They keep the strange stuff in the corner. Expensive root beers. Ramune imported from Japan. And! Extra! Jolt! I put a few bottles of strawberry in my basket. I snag some grape too. For a second, I consider buying a couple of bottles of doughnut flavor. But that sounds like too much, even for me. The chips are in the next aisle. I load up on cheese puffs and spicy nacho crisps.

MacKenna and Charles are still at the rack near the door, and I try to squeeze by them without attracting any notice. I usually don’t buy unhealthy snacks when I’m with my brother. I smuggle them in my backpack and have a special hiding space in my desk.

My brother has type 1 diabetes, and he’s supposed to check his blood sugar after meals. He can have starchy or sugary snacks only when his glucose level is good or on special occasions.

MacKenna grimaces at a packet of seeds in her hands. “I still don’t like this one. It’s pretty. But still. It’s…carnivorous.”

I have to hand it to her. She really does have a look. She’s pale and white, like me, but she manages to seem like she’s doing it on purpose and not because she’s some kind of vampire- movie reject. Her glossy black hair always rests in perfect waves, and if the journalism thing doesn’t work out, she could definitely have a career in fashion design.

Charles smiles at her. “It’s a new kind of pitcher plant. Like the Cobra Lily.” He points to the picture on the front of the seed packet. “Look at the blue flowers. That’s new.”

“It eats other plants,” MacKenna says.

“You eat plants.”

“But I don’t eat people,” MacKenna says. “There’s got to be some kind of natural law that says you shouldn’t eat your own kind.”

Charles giggles.

So far so good. Until.

My brother trots up behind me and dumps a few packs of seeds in my basket. His gaze lands on my selection of soda and chips. “Can I get some snacks too?”

Crap.

I freeze. “What’s your number?”

Charles pretends he can’t hear me. That’s not a good sign.

“Charles, what’s your number?”

He still doesn’t look at me. “I forgot my monitor today.”

“Well, I have mine.” I kneel down and dig around for the spare glucometer I keep in the front pocket of my backpack. By the time I get it out, MacKenna has already pulled Charles out of his blazer and rolled up the sleeve of his blue dress shirt. I wave the device over the small white sensor disk attached to my brother’s upper arm.

After a few seconds, the glucometer beeps and a number displays on the screen.

221

Crap. Crap. Crap.

“Charles! What did you eat today?”

My brother’s face turns red. “They were having breakfast-for-lunch day at school. Everyone else was having pancakes. Why can’t I have pancakes?”

I sigh. Something about his puckered up little face keeps me from reminding him that if he eats too much sugar he could die. “You know what Mom said. If you eat something you’re not supposed to, you have to get a pass and go to the nurse for your meds.”

My brother’s shoulders slump. “I couldn’t go to the nurse. Hummingbirds were visiting the Chuparosa and…”

Charles is on the verge of tears and frowns even more deeply at the sight of my basket full of junk food.

“Look,” I say. “There are plenty of healthy snacks we can eat. I’ll put this stuff back.”

“That’s right,” MacKenna says, giving Charles’s hand a squeeze. “We can get some popcorn. Yogurt. Um, I saw some really delicious-looking fresh pears back there.”

“And they have the cheese cubes you like,” I add.

We go around the store replacing the cheese puffs and soda with healthy stuff. I hesitate when I have to put back the Extra Jolt, but I really don’t want to make my brother feel bad because I can drink sugary stuff and he can’t.

We pay for the healthy snacks and the seed packets.

I grab the bags and move toward the market’s sliding doors.

I end up ahead of them, waiting outside by the car and facing the store. The shopping center behind Halliwell’s is mostly empty. The shoe store went out of business last year. Strauss Stationers, where everyone used to buy their fancy wedding invitations, closed two years before that. The fish ’n’ chips drive-through is doing okay and has a little crowd in front of the take-out window. Way off in the distance, Saba’s is still open, because in Arizona, cowboy boots and hats aren’t considered optional.

I watch MacKenna and Charles step out of the double doors and into the parking lot. Two little dimples appear on MacKenna’s cheeks when she smiles. Charles has a looseness to his walk. His arms dangle.

There’s a low rumble, like thunder from a storm that couldn’t possibly exist on this perfectly sunny day.

Something’s wrong

In the reflection of the market’s high, shiny windows, I see something happening in the bank building next door. Some kind of fire burning in the lower levels. A pain builds in my chest and I force air into my lungs. My vision blurs at the edges. It’s panic, and there isn’t much time before it overtakes me.

The muscles in my legs tense and I take off at a sprint, grabbing MacKenna and Charles as I pass. I haul them along with me twenty feet or so into the store. We clear the door and run past a man and a woman frozen at the sight of what’s going on across the street.

I desperately want to look back.

But I don’t.

A scream.

A low, loud boom.

My ears ring.

The lights in the store go off.

I’ve got MacKenna by the strap of her maxidress and Charles by the neck. We feel our way in the dim light. The three of us crouch and huddle together behind a cash counter. A few feet in front of us, the cashier who checked us out two minutes ago is sitting on the floor hugging her knees.

We’re going to die.

Charles’s mouth is wide-open. His lips move. He pulls at the sleeve of my T-shirt.

I can’t hear anything.

It takes everything I’ve got to force myself to move.

Slowly

Slowly

Leaning forward. Pressing my face into the plywood of the store counter, I peek around the corner using one eye to see out the glass door. My eyelashes brush against the rough wood, and I grip the edge to steady myself. I take in the smell of wood glue with each breath.

Hail falls in the parking lot. I realize it’s glass.

My stomach twists into a hard knot.

It’s raining glass.

That’s the last thing I see before a wave of dust rolls over the building.

Leaving us in darkness.

Excerpted from Day Zero by Kelly deVos, Copyright © 2019 by Kelly deVos. Published by Inkyard Press.

KELLY DEVOS is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine, is available now from HarperCollins.
Kelly’s work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Salon, Vulture and Bustle.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @kdevosauthor

Facebook: @kellydevosbooks

Instagram: @kellydevos

Goodreads

House Of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

This was a highly anticipated read for me since the summer, and I was very excited to join in the Bookish Ladies Club buddy read.

I tried to walk into this one not expecting anything, but even then I was left feeling like it was overhyped.

The good..

-The atmosphere. I’m a fan of dark retellings, and liked the setting of this story. The mention of ghosts made for an eerie kind of read.

– I also liked that this was a murder mystery, which was great initially, but things started to go a little downhill for me.

The bad..

-The story is kinda slow to start and a bit too descriptive at times.
– I already figured out who the villain was as soon as they were introduced, so for me, it wasn’t surprising.

– Not gonna lie, there were some major eye-rolling moments: like when the girls are having their dresses and shoes made, and the moment Annaleigh meets Cassius. Ugh..this instalove story didn’t work for me.

But here is where things get ugly..

– There were too many elements: mystery, ghosts, fantasy & magic. The ideas were good, but the execution was kind of a mess, making the last portion of the story weird. I felt like I was reading an entirely different story.

Overall, I was intrigued and wanted to see where things were going, but it was a bit of a letdown.

The Institute by Stephen King #TheInstitute

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Oiy..I had to take some time to think about this one, cause I’m a big fan of Stephen King’s previous books and movies, and this is sitting between a 3.5 to 4 stars.

This was part of a buddy/group read on Instagram, so I’m gonna keep this one spoiler free since I finished before everyone else..couldn’t help myself! I was in need-to-know mode.

The story starts off slow (like most of King’s previous books), but picks up at Shots For Dots.

What didn’t work for me..

The story lost momentum at the very end. For me, the last 40% of the book was the best part.

What I enjoyed most..

The setting and characters. Stephen King always knows how to set the stage and create the perfect cast of characters. Some of which, I grew very fond of.

If you’re planning to read this one, here are just some of my two cents:

– If you enjoyed Eleven’s story in season 1 of Stranger Things, you’ll most likely enjoy this as well.

– If you’ve never read any of King’s work, his stories are slow burn with a lot of character building. So that’ll either be something you enjoy or don’t. But if you’re new to his world, this is probably a good one to get your feet wet with, especially if you don’t care for horror.

For my horror & King fans: don’t expect to get scared with one. I would classify this as Sci-Fi and NOT horror.

Overall, it was a good read that kept me entertained and wanting to know what was going to happen next.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

** Thank you Raincoast Books for my ARC **

Genre: YA

Rating: DNF

This was one of my most anticipated reads this fall and was uber excited when I received an ARC..so I was incredibly bummed to find it wasn’t working for me and landed in my DNF pile.

What didn’t work..

– the pacing was a slow as soon as Mavi was introduced. It felt like the author got carried away in thought, making the paragraphs drag on when they didn’t need to.

-So this one was a big one for me! I have no problem with the mention of cosmetics, but it didn’t work for this particular tale. In fact, it killed my reading mojo as soon as the face creams were mentioned:

It’s hardly enough to make do in the wilderness, unless pumas enjoy Lancome.

“Did you just spit on me?” I ask. My blood sugar is far too low for this nonsense, shea butter be damned.

What I did enjoy..

– I’m a fan of myths and legends, and I thought Faring did a good job of incorporating that into this story.

– The setting was perfect and what you’d expect in a gothic tale.

– I also liked that there was an element of a surprise at the end. It probably won’t sit well with a lot of readers, but I like my stories with unpredictable endings. I went ahead and cheated by going to the end as well as reading another reviewer’s spoilers. 😜

Overall, the premise and prologue were great hooks. The ideas were all there, but the execution just didn’t work for me.

Have you read it? What did you think? Is it on your radar?

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

Owlcrate Jr: October Box

Hello Booksharks! Has October been flying by for you the same way it has for me?!

Do you subscribe, or have you purchased any book boxes or bookish goodies?

I recently became a rep for Owlcrate Jr, which also happens to be our first book box!!

If you’re looking for a cool gift for a budding reader or even for yourself, you can use code: PRINCESS and receive 15% off your firt order.

This month’s theme is ROBOTS with some really neat stuff. Here’s what was inside this magical box:

✔ 2 books (1 MG fiction & 1 non-fiction about Robots)

✔ Activity roll

✔ 100 piece robot puzzle

✔ A Wall-E pin

✔ The Off bits animal kit

✔ Robot bookmark

✔ November’s Sneak Peek: PARALLEL WORLDS

I’ll be ordering their regular box for November ~ Through The Enchanted Forest, which will also be a first for me, so keep your eyes peeled!

Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall @PenguinTeen @PenguinTeenCa @VikingBooks @kmarshallarts

** Thank you Penguin Teen for my ARC **

Genre: YA, Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don’t believe in ghosts, not exactly. But I don’t believe Becca is dead either. Which means she’s out there, and no one is looking for her but me.

I can’t breathe. There’s something in my throat as solid as stone.

Whose hand am I holding?

Did you ever tell ghost stories at camp when you were young? Well, this was the perfect campfire story!

It’s told in a series of interviews, text messages, recollections and video footage that really bring this story to life.
The whole time I was reading it, I swear my eyes could not move across the page quick enough! I didn’t want to put it down and kept wanting to know what was going to happen next.

The ending..it left me hanging and mind boggled! (Which will either work for you, or it won’t.)

Am I the only one still trying to figure out what happened? Was that it? I NEED ANSWERS!!

I got such a thrill reading this story! It had a diverse cast and I loved all the characters.

For me, this was like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark meets Ghost Hunters & Coraline, making it the perfect Halloween read!

Have you read it? Is it on your TBR? What’s on your Halloween reading list??

Once a year, the path appears in the forest and Lucy Gallows beckons. Who is brave enough to find her–and who won’t make it out of the woods?

It’s been exactly one year since Sara’s sister, Becca, disappeared, and high school life has far from settled back to normal. With her sister gone, Sara doesn’t know whether her former friends no longer like her…or are scared of her, and the days of eating alone at lunch have started to blend together. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her estranged friends to “play the game” and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, Sara is sure this is the only way to find Becca–before she’s lost forever. And even though she’s hardly spoken with them for a year, Sara finds herself deep in the darkness of the forest, her friends–and their cameras–following her down the path. Together, they will have to draw on all of their strengths to survive. The road is rarely forgiving, and no one will be the same on the other side.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young @RaincoastBooks @adriennebooks @wednesdaybooks

** Thank you Raincoast Books for providing me with an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review **

Genre: YA

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you ever chosen to read a book based solely on the cover & title alone? (Without reading the description?)

That was me with this book!

Dum dum me, didn’t know this was the second book to Sky In The Deep, until I already had the ARC in my hands and stumbled upon moonprincess37‘s awesome review. 🤦‍♀️

It didn’t matter though, cause this could be read as a standalone. Phew!

To be honest, I didn’t think Vikings were my thing or my kinda story, but after reading this..it may have changed my outlook on it!

It totally reminded me of season 5 of Game Of Thrones. So if you’re a fan of the show like I was and haven’t read Sky In The Deep yet, I think you’ll enjoy this read.

There’s character building, an epic battle and alternating POV’s. Everything that makes for good storytelling!

Definitely going on my list of favourites for 2019!

Have you read it yet? If so, what did you think? Did you read Sky In The Deep?

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

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