Recent DNFs and Mini Review

25902919Title: Public Library and Other Stories

Author: Ali Smith

Pub Date: November 5th, 2015

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Why are books so very powerful? What do the books we’ve read over our lives—our own personal libraries—make of us? What does the unraveling of our tradition of public libraries, so hard-won but now in jeopardy, say about us?

The stories in Ali Smith’s new collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make.

Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives. At a time when public libraries around the world face threats of cuts and closures, this collection stands as a work of literary activism—and as a wonderful read from one of our finest authors.

DNF @ 28%

It’s the third time I gave Ali Smith’s book a chance. I heard a lot of good things about her books. My friend adores her. So I tried, first with The Accidental, then with How to be both, and now, the third and final try – Public Library and Other Stories. Now I can say for sure that there is no way I will enjoy Smith’s writing. I don’t like it, I don’t get it and it often makes me uncomfortable in a bad way.

28814309Title: The Thunder Beneath Us

Author: Nicole Blades

Pub Date: October 25th, 2016

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To the world, Best Lightburn is a talented writer rising up the masthead at international style magazine James, girlfriend of a gorgeous up-and-coming actor, and friend to New York City’s fabulous. Then there’s the other Best, the one who has chosen to recast herself as an only child rather than confront the truth.

Ten years ago, on Christmas Eve, Best and her two older brothers took a shortcut over a frozen lake. When the ice cracked, all three went in. Only Best came out. People said she was lucky, but that kind of luck is nothing but a burden. Because Best knows what she had to do to survive. And after years of covering up the past, her guilt is detonating through every facet of her seemingly charmed life. It’s all unraveling so fast: her new boss is undermining and deceitful, her boyfriend is recovering from a breakdown, and a recent investigative story has led to a secret affair with the magazine’s wealthy publisher.

Best is quick-witted and headstrong, but how do you find a way to happiness when you’re sure you haven’t earned it—or embrace a future you feel you don’t deserve? Evocative and emotional, The Thunder Beneath Us is a gripping novel about learning to carry loss without breaking, and to heal and forgive—not least of all, ourselves.

DNF @ 20%

This book is not for me at all. I tried to start this book few times after I got this book from the author’s assistant for me to review. I normally I would do my best to read the book to deliver a proper review. But I just cannot do it, it would be too painful for me and will end with me writing a bad review.

What put me off this book in the part I read is the main character – she is doing a lot of hating. She is hating herself in a way that I cannot stand and makes me cringe – she tells us how horrible she is, how all the people think she is so amazing, but truly she is a monster. I cannot stand such kind of hating, and it’s hard to relate. There are other ways to show that the character is hating themselves. Best (that’s the MC name) is also doing a lot of hating of others, mainly women. Maybe only women in the part I read. She hates her new boss, a girl that got promoted, she talks shit about a sales girl. I get that she can hate them, but please, first tell me why I also should be hating them. Did I miss a big chapter of the book when Best tells us about all the horrific deeds her new boss did to her? Because I cannot hate her just because you’re hating her, I’m not your best friend Best. I need some evidence. And this brings me to the last thing that bothered me so much that I decided to give up on the book. I felt like bits of the story were cut out. Things were happening and I didn’t know why. I struggled to plot.

30812672Title: Shadows and Dreams

Series: ReMade #1.1

Author: Matthew Cody, Gwenda Bond, Carrie Harris, Kiersten White, Andrea Phillips, E.C. Myers

Pub Date: September 14th, 2016

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You live. You love. You Die. Now RUN. ReMade is a thrilling sci-fi adventure that will take readers past the boundaries of time, space, and even death.

This is the 1st episode of ReMade, a 15-episode serial from Serial Box Publishing. This episode was written by Matthew Cody.

Holden Black never imagined his crush knew his name, much less that he’d suddenly be driving her to a party. But life can change in a second, especially when you’re 16. A look. A flash of headlights. A scream. What do you do when the unexpected jumps straight to the unbelievable, the dream becomes a nightmare, and waking changes everything except your heart’s desire?

ReMade Season One: In one moment the lives of twenty-three teenagers are forever changed, and it’s not just because they all happen to die. “ReMade” in a world they barely recognize – one with robots, space elevators, and unchecked jungle – they must work together to survive. They came from different places, backgrounds, and families, and now they might be the last people on earth. Lost meets The Maze Runner in exciting serial adventure.

This book I finished, because it’s just 30 or so pages. It’s not a full story, just the pilot, the first episode of the season, that sets the whole story.

This is quite ridiculous. The format of the story – book in a series, each book released is a new episode of a season – forced the author to pack as much information about the world, characters, and events as possible. The first book in such series is the most important one – you need catch readers attention and convince them to find the second episode and keep reading. And this first episode didn’t deliver. It was too much, happening too quickly and it all just seemed ridiculous. Also, it didn’t help that I didn’t like the main character, he managed to discourage new from him in such a short story. He’s the type of a shy boy without friends that fallen in love with the pretty popular girl and was ‘gathering information’ (stalking?) about her and her knew so much that he felt ‘connection’. Creepy!

5 thoughts on “Recent DNFs and Mini Review

  1. Donna says:

    You gave the first author plenty of opportunities to charm you! I would not have been so nice! I hated Carry On and was so bored I am now refusing to try the author again, haha. Maybe one day. I feel guilty whenever I DNF a book, but I learned the hard way that time is precious so why waste it on a book that does not work for you? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ola says:

      Reading time is precious! And sometimes you can make yourself you finish some horrible book, and sometimes there is something that you just cannot stand. And if I feel that I absolutely cannot read one more page of that I have to dnf. It’s always hard, but sometimes I’m in a cruel mood and I just say fuck it, I’m not reading it.


  2. TeacherofYA says:

    Yeah, all these sound like big DNFs. Glad you didn’t waste anymore of your time!
    Reading time is valuable: I’m lucky I haven’t had to DNF…well, I did once with Murakawa’s 1Q84 (the book was 900+ pages and I was confused and frustrated the whole time…people kept saying it was brilliant but I was so lost and only read as far as I did because I was waiting for some action! Never reviewed the book bc I’m sure people would’ve thought I wasn’t “smart enough” to get it).
    So I feel you, and support every single DNF here, and the dislike of the serial (15 episodes?? Really?).


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