Hey all, it's almost the end of the week. It's still been raining a lot here in Oregon, which is probably contributing to my fickle reading moods. Today, I am going to quickly run down three books that were DNF reads for me. Perhaps you have read one of these books and you can weigh in. This is the first time I have done a DNF post because in the past I have been so stubborn, refusing to give up on books that were not working for me. Thankfully, I have finally learned to let go and to quit reading when I am not feeling a book. Why waste time slogging through to finish something I am not enjoying. These might work for you, so I am going to share why these didn't work for me and let you decide. I will love your feedback.
Here we go. First up:
Pressed to Death(Book #2 A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss
Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski has the perfect exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But when she’s accused of stealing the press, and her accuser is murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie. Knowing the perils of amateur sleuthing as she does, Maddie is reluctant to get involved . . . until her mother insists she investigate.
Does her mom have a secret agenda? Or is she somehow connected to the murder? Facing down danger and her own overactive imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Stopped at 50%
I picked this book up intrigued by a cozy mystery set in a haunted museum. I was expecting some ghosts or things that go bump, or something paranormal. Unfortunately, there was nothing paranormal. The mystery focused outside the museum and there wasn't anything ghostly. There was a cat in the museum, and I love cats. However, this cat was rather mean spirited. What was up with that? I also wanted a nice cozy, and I wasn't pleased with the lack of cozy. The story centered around a group of women, The Ladies Aid. These women were nasty and fighting amongst themselves. I didn't like all the drama, it felt unnecessary. I especially didn't like the way Maddie's mom was behaving, she was all caught up in the drama, hiding things from her daughter. Ugh.
There was a bit of romance, but then it looked like it was headed for derailment. Maddie had established a good relationship, and when her boyfriend tells her his ex is in town and wants to meet, she is fine with it as she trusts him. I stopped after the boyfriend starting acting weird.
Anyway, this book lacked cozy and no paranormal so I decided to part ways. I did not read the first book, so perhaps that is part of the reason I didn't connect with this one.
Dead Letters by Cait Dolan Leach
A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt in this clever debut novel of suspense for readers of Luckiest Girl Alive and Reconstructing Amelia.
“Ahoy, Ava! Welcome home, my sweet jet-setting twin! So glad you were able to wrest yourself away from your dazzling life in the City of Light; I hope my ‘death’ hasn’t interrupted anything too crucial.”
Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava renounces her terribly practical undergraduate degree, acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. Two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead. Even in a family of alcoholics, Zelda Antipova was the wild one, notorious for her mind games and destructive behavior. Stuck tending the vineyard and the girls’ increasingly unstable mother, Zelda was allegedly burned alive when she passed out in the barn with a lit cigarette. But Ava finds the official explanation a little too neat. A little too Zelda. Then she receives a cryptic message—from her sister. Just as Ava suspected, Zelda’s playing one of her games. In fact, she’s outdone herself, leaving a series of clues about her disappearance. With the police stuck on a red herring, Ava follows the trail laid just for her, thinking like her sister, keeping her secrets, immersing herself in Zelda’s drama and her outlandish circle of friends and lovers. Along the way, Zelda forces her twin to confront their twisted history and the boy who broke Ava’s heart. But why? Is Zelda trying to punish Ava for leaving, or to teach her a lesson? Or is she simply trying to write her own ending? Featuring a colorful, raucous cast of characters, Caite Dolan-Leach’s debut thriller takes readers on a literary scavenger hunt for clues concealed throughout the seemingly idyllic wine country, hidden in plain sight on social media, and buried at the heart of one tremendously dysfunctional, utterly unforgettable family.
Stopped at 70% but skimmed the end.
Ugh... where do I start with this one? I kept forcing myself to read this as I was wanting to get to the twist. This is billed as a suspenseful, psychological type thriller, but it isn't. Basically the book revolves around Ava, who is called home when her twin sister unexpectedly dies. Ava doesn't believe that Zelda is dead, and her suspicions are confirmed when she starts getting messages and emails from her supposedly dead sister. The emails lead Ava on a scavenger hunt that will hopefully lead her to Zelda.
I finally stopped at 70%, I just couldn't do it anymore. I did skim the final two chapters to learn what happened, and I am glad I didn't force myself to finish. There was no jaw dropping finale. This not a psychological thriller, okay there is a small twist at the end, but it wasn't that exciting.
Here is what put me off about this book: I couldn't stand the characters. All of them, except Wyatt, are manipulative, drunks. The mother is cruel and nasty dying from alcoholism. The father is a flake, and a drunk, and Ava gets drunk all the time, and Zelda what I could reconstruct of her character was a twisted drunk.
The characters don't redeem themselves. If you want to try this one, the mystery is okay, but not that thrilling, and you have to put up with characters getting wasted all the time. Not for me.
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?
Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.
Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.
Kindle Edition, 468 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Stopped at 30%
Whew! I feel like a dodged a bullet with this one. I am so glad this was a library check out for me. I had to try this one as I did enjoy the first book in the Divergent Series. However, I don't think Roth has ever recaptured the brilliance she displayed in Divergent. Insurgent was a mess and Allegiant was disappointing. For whatever reason, I had hopes for this one, but I was immediately frustrated.
First, the world building for me was seriously lacking. I never felt drawn into this world.
Second, I hated the violent and cruel Shotet characters. I couldn't stand the characters, and even though I am sure there was hope for Cyra, I wasn't willing to put up with all the drama and violence.
Finally, this book was incredibly slow. The pace plodded along.
I decided this book wasn't for me and parted ways. I think this is more proof that I am losing interest in YA, because it just ins't working for me anymore.
Alright, there you have my opinions on these books that didn't work for me. I would love to hear your opinions if you have read any of these.
Fingers crossed that my next reads will be better.