Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Two for One : February's DNF books

I've discovered that the more I read, the pickier and more discerning I become. I hate to DNF (did not finish) a book, but I realize that I can only read so many books - so why waste time with ones that I'm not enjoying?

Today I'm going to briefly review two books that I DNF'ed in the last month. One is YA with a sort of contemporary fairy tale feel to it, the other is a urban fantasy YA story featuring merfolk!

Hush by Stacey R Campbell
Green Darner Press
Book One in the Lakeview Chronicles
Published November 15, 2012
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Goodreads


For small-town girl Blakely Henry, any hope of finding her biological parents died when she stopped believing in fairy tales and Disney princesses. That is, until she spots her boarding school’s new British exchange student, Max Ryder, staring at her. Why would a boy who looks like he stepped out of the pages of a magazine be looking at her? Because Max knows something Blakely doesn’t. 
Following the tragic demise of one of Europe’s most beloved royal families, Max has stumbled upon information he thinks may lead to a lost royal heir, and now he is on a quest halfway around the world to see if he’s right. 
Sworn to secrecy by his university professor and the headmaster of Lakeview Academy, Max is admitted into an exchange program with the sole purpose of finding out the truth. But will his personal feelings for Blakely get in the way? 
When a stolen email surfaces, Blakely and her friends’ lives are threatened, and Max starts to question what he is really after.
From the exclusive rolling lawns of Canada’s most prestigious boarding school to the University of Saint Andrews’ hallowed grounds, Blakely’s quiet, unassuming life is turned upside down. Is she really who she thinks she is? Can she survive long enough to help Max unearth the truth?

Reason for DNF:

I loved the simplicity of the cover. It really drew me in - probably appealing to my inner historian. I liked the feel of an old manuscript or document that was going to reveal this modern fairy tale. I read the first 50 pages of Hush and I had to call it quits. The plot was too outlandish for me. I was okay with the premise but once Max is sent undercover to determine whether or not Blakely could be royalty, I just... couldn't stick with the book. It seemed so far-fetched to me for a university to be sent uncover to a fancy boarding school in another country under the guise of this investigation because it would somehow be better for the family not to know, should the suspicion prove wrong. This, plus the way Max thought about the pictures of Blakely (reading so much into them), really put me off the book, unfortunately. 

Water So Deep by Nichole Giles
Jelly Bean Press
YA, Fantasy
Book One in the Water So Deep series
Published February 2, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Goodreads


Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.

Reason for DNF:

Again, I loved the cover. And I haven't read much merfolk fiction before so I thought, yes! Something new! My problem with Water So Deep was simply that it was impossibly slow. Though the story starts off in a really dark but eventful place, everything tapers off really quickly. I stuck with it for about a hundred pages but by then I was pretty well over my mermaid excitement and ready to move on.  

I suspect this book could be awesome for the right reader: that reader just wasn't me.

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