Books Left Unread #96

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

The Loose Ends List

 

This cover! *heart eye emoji* Why haven’t I started it? EHHHHHHH… I don’t have a good reason. Help!

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DNF Review: Jane, Unlimited

Jane, Unlimited

 

What. In. The. Actual. I DNFd at 25% because I couldn’t continue. Not only is the audio super long (close to 15 hours if you listen at 1x playback) but it is a super slowwwwwwwwwww. If you are set on reading this, make sure you have plenty of time and are interested in umbrella making and art. (I’ll explain in a moment.)

Short recap: Jane feels like her life has been turned upside down after her Aunt passed away. An old friend, Kiran, has come back into her life and invited Jane to join her on her family’s private island for a gala. What could go wrong?

GAH. This story made zero sense to me, at least the bit of the story I read. There are so many raving and wonderful reviews for this story that it hurt me to DNF it. I knew it wasn’t for me when I continued to roll my eyes and sigh, wondering when the story would be over. That meant I was not engaged and I didn’t care what was going on. From what I did read, I did not get what the point of the story was. I knew that Jane, the MC, lost her parents at a young age and raised by her Aunt, whom she recently lost on an adventure in Antarctica. She dropped out of college but has an obsession with making umbrellas. UH….. what. Then a friend from her past randomly shows up in her life and invited her to her family’s private island for a party. Say what again? I’m all for good random things happening in someone’s life but these random events don’t seem to mesh. They legit come across as random. Moving on. Jane takes all of her belongings with her to her friend’s family’s place – which certainly isn’t odd at all. 8-| Now is when it gets really weird – the author spent so much time describing this house in great detail, to the point it is overkill. She talks about famous painters, artists, sculptors, designers, and more. NONE of this mattered to me. Yes, I want the author to build a world that I can get lost in but throwing hard facts at me about painters or the types of theft that take place in the art world and you lose me. I didn’t care. It felt like there was just too much time spent describing things without telling any kind of a story. Don’t get me started on the umbrella making! Holy crow! I now know more about that than I ever wanted to and I never was curious about that to begin with. I’m sure there was some magic within the creepy house that had something to do with the overall story and why the art was missing, but I didn’t care.

Jane’s character was just an odd duck. She felt underdeveloped and thin to me, if that makes any sense. She was completely forgettable because she carried herself like a meek kitten not wanting to get in anyone’s way. How can the MC of a story be that way unless she grows into a badass? I didn’t see that happening here at all. Her friend, Kiran, was just a spoiled selfish bitch. She was bored because was rich and could do whatever she wanted. Oh boo-hoo. Go cry me a river elsewhere. I think there was a love interest but who knows. There are two boys but honestly there were so many characters (SO MANY) that I couldn’t remember who was who. They did not have unique voices so they all could have been the same character for all I knew.

I just could not stay with this one. If I had finished this audio, it would have taken me nearly 7.5 hours. I didn’t make it 2 before I gave up. I did not have a dog in this fight so I quit. I struggled to quit but I did. I just wish I could have enjoyed it like everyone else.

 

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DNF Review: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

 

I had such high hopes for this one as nearly all of my friends have been gushing about it. I started it thinking it would be a nice, quick, light hearted read. WRONG. I had so many issues with this story.

Short recap: Esther Solar believes that she and everyone in her family are cursed. She believes they are doomed since her grandfather met Death many, many years ago. Since then, she has made a very comprehensive list of phobias (or just things that scare her) and she has stayed away from them. Everything in her life changes when she is runs into Jonah Smallwood, an old classmate from very long ago. After an awkward reunion, he is determined to help Esther overcome her fears and live her life.

Now that sounds like a right fine story, doesn’t it? Sadly, that is not what I read. What I read was two grossly underdeveloped characters, a weak plot, and two teens that cuss like a sailor on leave. Yeesh. I cuss as much as the next adult but, my word, I could take lessons from these characters.

The number one thing I remember from my very short time with this book was how the narrator’s voice didn’t match the character. I still wish publishers would realize how a narrator’s voice could absolutely make or break a story. For me, it broke it. I didn’t like the way she interpreted Esther. She made her seem like a lackadaisy idiot. The girl had issues for days but the narrator made her seem even more so, if that makes any sense. It just was not a good fit.

Esther’s character felt underdeveloped, just like the weak ass storyline. I just did not get it. I did not realize this story was “magical realism” or I would have ghosted on it altogether because me and that genre do not get along. I did just did not understand what was going on. Sutherland wanted me to believe that a girl that dresses as someone other than herself every single day since a long lost friend from elementary left her suddenly is ready to take on the world and face her fears because that long lost friend makes his way back into her life? Get out of here with that nonsense. You’re selling and I’m not buying. Esther has to be one of the most gullible characters I’ve read in a long time. She was robbed (pickpocketed) by this long lost friend and then she lets him back into her life with no issues? PFFFT. Whatever. I’m a bleeding heart as much as the next person but even I have my limits. Remember that phrase, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”? That’s what they remind me of. The way Jonah pushed Esther into facing everything on her “Semi-Definitive List” didn’t feel believable. If the girl is honestly scared of this stuff and has phobias of others, leave her alone, dude! Let her be scared. Personally, I have a severe phobia of clowns and there is nothing on this planet anyone can do to make me or help me get over that. Don’t come at me with that noise. I’m terrified of them and that’s that. You can’t convince me otherwise. Same goes for small spaces and spiders. Those are my three phobias. Maybe I’m just not the right audience for this story because if Esther was so easily swayed into “getting over her fears”, then she wasn’t really scared to begin with. I know her entire family was terrified of other things but why couldn’t she or someone else sought professional help? Why let some strange boy she hasn’t seen in years suddenly help her after robbing her? Do you see why I’m so confused? Her fears didn’t seem to be based on anything of substance but I’m sure my phobia of clowns could be seen that way by others.

The other thing that really stood out was how dated this story was and will always be. Sutherland did her absolute best to drop every modern and outdated reference into this story. You want 90s movies mentioned? Check. You want obscure TV shows? Done. You want outdated trends that people under the age of 25 won’t understand? You got it. I could not, and still do not, believe how dated this book already is. There is a reference to the show Highlander. WHO NOWADAYS IS GOING TO KNOW THIS REFERENCE?! I grew up in the 90s so I get it but few others will. I truly believe people will either glaze over those references because they don’t understand them, or they will stop and pull up Google.

I DNFd this audio a lot later than I should have. Part of me wanted to keep listening to see if it got better but when Esther started going on about how she was scared of moths because of the obscure movie, Mothman Prophecies from 2002, I knew I was done. I am happy that so many readers loved and enjoyed this story so much. I only wish I could have been among that crowd but sadly this book was just not for me.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Canary Club

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Canary Club by Sherry Ficklin

The Canary Club

 

 

From Goodreads:

“Bad Luck” Benny is a fella from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

 

How awesome does this story sound?! A gang busters story with star-crossed lovers? Count me in!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Feature LGBT Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Books That Feature LGBT Characters

 

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

 

 

More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not

 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)

 

 

We Are The Ants

We Are the Ants

 

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

 

At The Edge of the Universe

At the Edge of the Universe

 

 

We Are Okay

We Are Okay

 

 

Ramona Blue

Ramona Blue

 

 

Mask of Shadows

Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1)

 

 

Symptoms of Being Human

Symptoms of Being Human

 

 

 

If you could do list that featured books with certain characters, what would you choose? LGBT characters? Orphaned characters? Characters with superpowers? Let me know!

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ARC Review: Moxie

Moxie

 

BE STILL MY HEART! Holy crap this book was dynamite! I have not ever read a book that fired me up the way this book did. It made me feel empowered and ready to take on the world. AMAZING!

Short Recap: Vivian Carter is fed up with the sexist crap that is taking place at her small Texas school. Football rules and girls drool. The football players can do no wrong and they know it. Finally being pushed too far and inspired by her Mom’s 90s feminist zines and creates one of her own – Moxie. Is this enough to get the female population of East Rockport High School to rise up against the injustice that has them pressed between a rock and a hard place?

Hot damn this story was just so good! This is the type of book YA needs RIGHT NOW. Not just girls! Boys too should read this. Mathieu wrote a hell of a book that is sure to empower girls to speak their minds and stand up against what they feel is wrong. A copy of this book needs to be in the hands of everyone. I wish I could make that happen because I believe everyone needs to read this book.

Vivian’s character was brilliant. Her development throughout the course of the story was lovely to witness. She started out as a meek girl not wanting to cause waves and became this tough as nails female who would not put up with crap from anyone. She quickly became someone that figured out that if all of the females stood together, they would be a much stronger voice. She believed enough in what she was doing to risk her future and to me that spoke volumes. It even made me want to be as tough as her. I had problems with Vivi’s best friend, Claudia. For reasons that were not clearly explained, Claudia started to pull away from her lifetime BFF after Moxie made its first appearance and Vivi voiced how much she agreed with it. It seemed Claudia had serious issues with the other friends Vivi was making. Maybe that was just a fear of being replaced? No matter what, Claudia should have been big enough and confident enough in her friendship to talk to Vivi about it. It just stood out to me how petty she was being.

Growing up in small town America (my home town had less than 600 people and I graduated with only 27 people in my class), I can confirm that Mathieu nailed small town life. She has a gift for portraying this perfectly. It hit me harder and made me more uncomfortable to actually see it in print, but it was still true. Small towns thrive on football and those that play are treated as if they can do no wrong. That is no environment for young girls to grow up in because it gives a warped sense of reality. No girl should have to grow up thinking that they are the cause for a boy’s distraction. That made me so mad, moreso because it is so true. The message within the pages of this book are just so damn powerful.

I really am at a loss for what else I can say about this outstanding and powerful book without giving too much away. I really, really, want everyone to read this! Always remember that this is not a female-only story – it is for men too! It is for everyone with an open mind and a willing heart to stand up for what is right and just. I wish I could buy everyone a copy so they can share with others. Please, read this now and let me know your thoughts. I want to hear what you think!

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!!

 

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Books Left Unread #95

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

Nemesis by Anna Banks

Nemesis (Nemesis #1)

 

I haven’t had a lot of luck with fantasy stories so I have kept this at arm’s length. I love Anna Banks so I want to read this but afraid I’ll fall victim to the “I don’t understand what is going on!” that usually happens to me when I read these types of books. 😦 Have you read this?

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