The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐ ( DNF @ 41 pages )

Not sure how I missed posting this here on my blog last month, but here it goes..

Guys! I think I just found the book that can cure insomnia!!! Seriously! This just made my top list of boring reads and I’m so disappointed. Talk about a waste, cause I purposely bought the fairyloot edition and was really excited to read it.

Aside from the beautiful setting of New Orleans and a girl getting brutally murdered on the docks (which earned it the 2 star rating), I have no idea why this book took place in the 1870’s. It felt too modern to be historical.

My other issue with this one was the repetition of Celine running away from her past. Yes..I know..she has some dark secret! If you’re gonna mention it that many times, just frikkin spit it out already!!

Ugh..I tried.

Have you read it? Did you love it like everyone else? Or are you an unpopular opinion like me?

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

One Day In December by Josie Silver #BOTM

** Spoiler Alert **

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

His real downfall came at the end of the date; he escorted me home to Delancey Street and then kissed me in the style of someone trying to administer CPR. CPR with an entirely inappropriate amount of saliva. I made a dash for the bathroom as soon as I got inside, and my reflection confirmed that I looked as if I’d been kissed by a Great Dane. In the rain.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I don’t, but I do believe in finding “The One”. When it comes to storytelling, if it’s done well, it can be a great story.

I’m gonna be totally honest, I had to cast my cynicism aside for this one. To be fair, it wasn’t a bad read, but I didn’t love it like everyone else. Trust me. I really wanted to! I’ve read SO many rave reviews and I was in the mood for a chick flick type of read.

What I enjoyed..

– The characters. They were both loveable and infuriating, which makes for good writing.

– The love triangle. I thought the author did a really good job with this one.

– I loved the alternating POV’s between Louise & Jack.

What didn’t work for me..

– I found myself skimming..A LOT. Like through the entire book. There were many times I considered DNF-ing, but I wanted to see how Jack and Lousie would finally end up together (which is pretty obvious. No surprise there.)

Overall, it was entertaining with some laugh out loud moments.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

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?

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 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.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Genre: Horror

Rating: DNF @ page 90

An old car, at the end of the block, was easing away. A black Rolls-Royce with sideboards and chrome fixtures. Its taillights flashed red in the night and illuminated the license plate: NOS4A2. Then it turned the corner and disappeared, taking the joyful noise of Christmas with it.

When I first started reading this, I was wowed by the prologue. It reminded me of the Christmas scene in season 2 of American Horror Story.

So why did I DNF it?

It wasn’t that the story was bad. It was actually really good..until I met Maggie. She had a striking similarity to Bill from IT. Even though it was a different character and totally different story, I just couldn’t get past the resemblance.

According to some of the reviews I’ve come across on Goodreads, there are other references to King’s work throughout the book. That’ll either work for you, or it won’t (like in my case).

As much as I enjoyed the idea of the Shorter Way bridge, which was like a morbid rabbit hole, I also found it a tad confusing at first.

Aside from that, if I hadn’t read IT, I probably would’ve loved this one like so many others.

Have you read this one? Have you read any of Joe Hill’s other books?

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff #OverhypedBooks

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

Rating: DNF ⭐⭐

I was given fair warning by The Book Prescription about this book. But I’ve been on a sci-fi kick and LOVED Illuminae. So I wanted to give this one a try. To be fair, the premise sounded like it would be up my alley and I DID walk into it without any expectations.

Kudos to you @thebookprescription for seeing it through till the end, cause quite frankly, I got tired of hearing about Tyler’s dimples, killer smile, how hot he was and his scar on his right eyebrow. I lasted 6 chapters and could have sworn the story was titled Captain Hotness & his dimples. Seriously. There was not one chapter that didn’t mention them. Or his good looks. Or his tousled hair.

This could have been a great story, cause it was moving quite nicely with Auri and I liked the multiple POV’s. But it was those stupid dimples that got to me.

They were annoying..like Steve Urkle level of annoying!

Still wanna read this one? Then I highly suggest the library.

Have you read it? What did you think?

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Thriller Thursday: The Luminous Dead by Caitlyn Starling

Genre: Horror, Psychological Thrillet, Sci-Fi

Rating: DNF @chapter 7

I have no clue how this raved about book made it on the top horror books to read for 2019! Did I miss something? Cause there was nothing scary or creepy about it. At least not for me, and I scare easily! I’m afraid of the dark for crying out loud!!

Gyre is in a cave with dead bodies and a tunneler lurking.

Ya, I know, sounds like some Aliens or Predators kinda shit. Interesting! But it wasn’t. It was mostly banter between Gyre and Em, with a crap load of repetitive thoughts and conversations. Oh! And let’s not forget the cave that felt so Earth like, I forgot it was supposed to be on another planet!

Ugh..What a disappointment.

The best parts? The premise and the fact that the story starts off in the dark cave. That’s it.

Sorry, but this SO didn’t work for me.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

** Thank you Netgalley & Forge Books for my eARC. **

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Crime Fiction

Rating: DNF ⭐⭐

I am going to be a VERY unpopular opinion with this one.

I’m all for courtroom drama, but this…was just drama. It felt like I was reading a daytime soap. The storytelling was slow and repetitive. Hello Y&R!

I could have skipped from chapter 1 to chapter 5 and it would still be the same thing: the mention of Jack being a lawyer who hates losing, his hatred for Martha Gardiner and Rachel the law student, who also happens to be Gardiner’s intern.

I also found it juvenile at times. Rachel was like a melodramatic teenager trapped in a 36 year old’s body.

The premise is what hooked me, and I liked the alternating timelines, but I just didn’t have the patience for this one. Sorry..

Have you read this one?

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

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