DNF: Falling Immortality by Robert Downs (Jaclyn’s review)

Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private InvestigatorFalling Immortality 
written by Robert Downs
published by Rainbow Books, Inc, 2011

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: about 15% through

Why I stopped reading: I couldn’t get into this book. The story is told from the point of view of a private investigator. The book starts with him getting a new case, an unsolved murder. The main character is immediately unlikable. The author alludes to some financial windfall that allows him to work only when he feels like it. I know this was supposed to be bait for a subplot within the story, but it wasn’t enough of a draw. The book is terribly written and quite difficult to read.

 

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Falling Immortality is 3.06 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 3 stars. The average rating on Amazon is 3.3 stars. At Barnes & Noble, the average rating is 3.3 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Debut, hard-boiled mystery fiction for men. Stephen King’s son describes a fitting genre as MANfiction (the opposite of Chick lit).

Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention. So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn’t what it seems to be and he doesn’t have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey’s challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.

 

Happy 2

DNF: Lost in Arcadia by Sean Gandert

Lost in ArcadiaLost in Arcadia
written by Sean Gandert
published by 47North, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Where I stopped reading: I only made it ~20% through this book before I had to put it down and walk away.

Why I stopped reading: This book just didn’t work. From the beginning I couldn’t tell if this was supposed to be an alternate reality, a statement about our current society, or just plain fiction. Every chapter is told from a different point of view. I usually like this type of narration; however, this book doesn’t execute it well. There are so many different characters and too many seemingly disjointed plots–it’s impossible to follow. The language is also incredibly foul. I’m not particularly opposed to cursing in books, but this book is over the top. The language doesn’t add to the story, it’s a distraction. The lack of plot, the disorganized chapters, and the foul language all add up to an unbearable read. Definitely skip this one.

 

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Lost in Arcadia is 2.65 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 3 stars. Amazon’s reviews averaged 2.3 stars. There were no reviews at Barnes & Noble. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: The brainchild of reclusive genius Juan Diego Reyes, Arcadia is a wickedly immersive, all-encompassing social-media platform and virtual-reality interface. Although Arcadia has made the Reyes family fabulously wealthy, it’s left them—and the rest of the country—impoverished of that rare currency: intimacy. When Juan Diego mysteriously vanishes, the consequences shatter the lives of the entire Reyes clan.

As matriarch Autumn struggles to hold the family together, siblings Gideon, Holly, and Devon wrestle with questions of purpose and meaning—seeking self-worth in a world where everything has been cheapened. Outside the artificial safety of Arcadia, America has crumbled into an unrecognizable nation where a fundamentalist ex-preacher occupies the Oval Office, megacorporations blithely exploit their full citizenship, and a twenty-foot-high Great Wall of Freedom plastered with lucrative advertising bestrides the US-Mexican border.

In a polarized society now cripplingly hooked on manufactured highs, the Reyes family must overcome the seduction of simulation to find the kind of authentic human connection that offers salvation for all.

 

Happy 2

DNF: The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham

The Dressmaker
written by Rosalie Ham
published by Duffy and Snellgrove, 2000

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Did I enjoy this book? Nope! I borrowed this book by accident from the library (doesn’t that happen to everyone???). I saw that it had been made into a movie with some pretty big-name stars, so there’s no way it could be bad, right? Wrong! This book was awful! I couldn’t find a discernible plot, I couldn’t keep any of the characters straight, and I didn’t like any of the characters either. I’m fine with disliking characters if it’s intended, but it wasn’t. This was just a poorly written book with absolutely no plot. I plodded along until the halfway point and then gave up. I’m actually a little mad I devoted the time to get to the halfway point. I should have quit LONG before that!!

 

Would I recommend it? Nope! Pass this one by! If the movie is free on Amazon Prime, I might check it out to see if I can figure out the plot. If I do, I’ll report back!

 

jaclyn

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Dressmaker is 3.41. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 3 stars. The average rating on Amazon is 3.6. At Barnes & Noble, the average rating is 3.4 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: A darkly satirical novel of love, revenge, and 1950s haute couture—soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth

After twenty years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar. Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat—the town’s only policeman, who harbors an unusual passion for fabrics—and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly’s mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion.

 

Happy 2

DNF: Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson

Goodnight from London
written by Jennifer Robson
published by William Morrow Paperbacks, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, Walmart, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 127 of 361

Why I stopped reading: I just couldn’t get into this book. It sounded like it was right up my alley–I love reading historical romance fiction books set during World War II–but this book just moved too slow for me. The premise is interesting, but it just didn’t take off. After thinking about it, however, I may give it another read at a later time.

 

Chrissy

Have you read Goodnight From London? If so, should I give it another shot?

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Goodnight From London is 4.02. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were a majority of 5-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 5 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—author of Moonlight Over Paris and Somewhere in France—comes a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past.

In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it’s an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.

Although most of Ruby’s new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a country that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall.

As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer. When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship—and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren’t his to share.

Goodnight from London, inspired in part by the wartime experiences of the author’s own grandmother, is a captivating, heartfelt, and historically immersive story that readers are sure to embrace.
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DNF: The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

The People We Hate at the Wedding
written by Grant Ginder
published by Flatiron Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: I stopped reading about a hundred pages in, and I skimmed other parts to see if I should keep reading.

Why I stopped reading? I just couldn’t get into this book, and I really wanted to. I mean, look at that cover! Check out the title! It just screams, “Read me!” But . . . none of the characters were likeable. None of them. They weren’t nice, they had no redeeming qualities, they were all selfish, and they were all pretty vulgar. I’m not a prude or anything, and I can swear with the best of them, but this was just too much. Some parts had too much graphic detail that really wasn’t necessary and just turned me off completely. I think The People We Hate at the Wedding had so much potential, but it really fell short for me.

 

Chrissy

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The People We Hate at the Wedding is 3.04 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 3 stars. There were a mixture of star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 4 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads:

Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.
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DNF: Theo and the Forbidden Language by Melanie Ansley

Theo and the Forbidden Language (The Book of Theo #1)

Theo and the Forbidden Language
written by Melanie Ansley
published by Melanie Ansley, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: location 1016 of 3723 (27%) on my Kindle

Why I stopped reading: I thought the gory murder scenes contrasted a bit too much with the fluffy bunny characters, but when a human announced his plan to forcibly create an heir via a rabbit I slowly closed the book and backed away.

 

Melissa

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for this book is 4.16 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. 63% of the 38 reviews on Amazon were five-star ratings. There are no reviews posted at Barnes & Noble. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: In the isolated rabbit village of Willago, introverted Theo has a secret. Even though reading and writing were long ago outlawed as sorcery, Theo can’t resist the books hidden in the family cupboard. When a mysterious owl arrives with a priceless collar, all the rabbits try to unlock it, but fail. Theo is the only one to realize it’s a word puzzle, and rearranges the collar’s stones to form a sentence. When the village elders learn that Theo has broken the law yet again, they imprison him.

In the dead of night he is freed by Brune, an axe-wielding bear who believes Theo has a different destiny. They escape to Mankahar, a land where the human empire is robbing animals of speech using a poison called “pacification.” The empire will march to the furthest corners of the land, enslaving all animals to use on their farms, including the rabbits of Willago. The only thing standing in the empire’s way is the Order, a society of free animals determined to defend their way of life. Brune, a member of the Order, convinces Theo to join him in their fight.

But Brune’s cause proves dangerous. Whom can Theo trust, when the empire punishes those who read or write with death? Worse, his fellow animals view the written word as sacrilegious. As the battle for Mankahar’s fate looms, Theo must risk everything—including love—to learn the full power of the forbidden language, or be silenced forever.

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: Dreams of Youth by Christopher Abraham

Dreams of Youth: The Vindicated

Dreams of Youth 
written by Christopher Abraham
published by Christopher Abraham, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links)  Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 132

Why I stopped reading: I tried. I really did. I tried to get past the grammar issues and enjoy the What Dreams May Come vibe, but then I got to chapter 13, where Abraham introduces a third set of unrelated characters, bringing the total character count up to what seemed like seventy zillion. I felt like I was starting all over at the beginning of an entirely different book, and I’ll be honest, the plot lines of the first two sets of characters are so weird I just couldn’t take anymore.

 

Melissa

 

What others have rated this book: There are no ratings and no reviews on Goodreads.  There was one 4-star review and one 3-star review on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: The first novel in the Dreams of Youth Series.

“From vindicated actions to twisted hearts, the shooting stars form our destiny.”

It’s a sickening feeling in ones core when ones life cannot be defined. Dusk Hollow, a young man living on the planet known as Eryu, experiences this first hand. When someone precious to him is taken, Dusk must face the trials and tribulations of that undeniable truth. He will do all that he can to get her back. He will journey through landscapes he could only picture in his head. He will defy the odds against those who wish to crush him. He will deny death.

——-

There sits a girl who always gazes at the stars, wishing they would take her someplace far away. Her mother disappears one afternoon and her story unfolds thereafter. Through blank pages and close friends, Essa Starlight begins to understand who she is. She learns sometimes that harsh words are said with good intentions.

This is a story where a dream can shape everything.

This is a story, where what’s inside matters most.

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: Black and Gold: Formation by General Asa

Black and Gold: FormationBlack & Gold: Formation 
written by General Asa
published by General Asa, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazonGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: location 48 of 2414 on my e-reader

Why I stopped reading: General Asa published this book too soon. It’s in serious need of several more rounds of editing, revising, and proofreading. The story has potential, but it also has a plethora of grammatical errors, punctuation misses, and unwieldy prose.

 

Melissa

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Black and Gold: Formation is 4.5 stars. There were 2 ratings and 1 review on Goodreads. There was 1 4-star and 1 5-star review on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Malvia is a world caught in constant war. The three remaining races slaughter their way towards a victory that has escaped them and others for over a thousand years. In the west exists a great Kingdom belonging to the horned, grey skinned race of the Rell. To the north, behind walls of jagged steel and rock, are the Orc Territories where the savage Greenskins live. In the west, ever fortified and watched over by the Inquisition, is the Empire of the humans.

As the war continues there are many who seek to capitalise on its carnage, its pain, and its horror. One such man is the Summoner: a mysterious warrior whose name and past is well known to all in every corner of this violent world. But what plan has he concocted to make his mark on Malvia and what is in store for not only those who stand in his way but those he desperately seeks?

(The world of the Black and Gold is a large and vibrant one. If at any point you feel confused or lacking in knowledge feel free to dive into the Imperial Encyclopedia found at the back of the novel which can assist you with all you find in the story).

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: Written in Hell (Melissa)

Written in Hell

Written in Hell 
written by Jason Helford
published by Jason Helford, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: Chapter four.

Why I stopped reading: I . . . I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t like the story, I didn’t like the prose, heck, I didn’t even like Nathaniel.  It was all I could do to stop myself from picturing Fedora Guy and wondering why I started reading in the first place. Then I got a text or something and used it as an excuse to stop reading. Sorry, Mr. Helford.

 

Melissa

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Written in Hell is 4 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. The average rating on Amazon is 4.7 stars. There were no reviews or ratings listed at Barnes & Noble. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: “The entire narrative is irreverent fun, with mild overtones of Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins … An entertaining, inventive and occasionally over-the-top fantasy novel.”
-Kirkus Reviews

Written in Hell follows writer Nathanial Blovey on his strange and perilous adventures through Hell. Nathaniel’s book, a collection of lewd tales set in the old west, failed miserably, prematurely ending his career; however, unbeknownst to him, his stories had become a huge success in Hell. The Devil decides to send him a one-way invitation to her realm, to write for her, and to keep his damned fans happy. There is only one problem: he has writer’s block. With a firm deadline imposed by the Devil herself, Nate has to find a way to keep the most terrible of bosses happy, and survive his trip through Hell. While there is no fire and brimstone, and a burgeoning civilization is growing, Hell is still a very dangerous place for a soft man like Nathaniel.

Written in Hell is a creepy, fun and thought-provoking journey through Hell, with a guide who can’t help but anger people everywhere he goes. It takes you through a new and creative re-imagining of Hell.

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: The Saga of Urunem by Caton Hartworth

The Saga of Urunem: Revelations

The Saga of Urunem
written by Caton Hartworth
published by Caton Hartworth, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 100

Why I stopped reading: I’m certain Hartworth’s writing style was a conscious choice meant to inure me to Urunem, but it was a bit too much for me. I had to spend too much time deciphering the prose to enjoy the story, and I didn’t want to continue.

 

Melissa

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Saga of Urunem is 4.33 stars. There was one 5-star review on Amazon. There were no reviews listed at Barnes & Noble. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: “All beings in that place knew that the winds of change were coming, and there they were, standing on the precipice of all the ages before them, waiting to be swept up by the gale and take the leap of faith into the maelstrom of the future; that deep black lake where even the Weavers’ gaze could only pierce but a little.”

The Speakers have been the people’s connection to the High Ones for millennia. Ever since the days of the Old Wars, the Speakers have joined with the fair children of Urunem, the Sons and Daughters of the Trees, ancient wights, and the mighty Beast-Folk, to stand against those beings that usher forth from the harsher wombs of the Earth. Legendary warriors, healers, and wardens of the sacred, beholden to a deep and ancient wisdom, the Speakers with their divine power have always sought to enact the will of the High Ones. However, when an unexpected and devastating attack on the Morkvatn Seminary occurs on the Day of Great Light, the Speakers are left in turmoil. The wise and ancient High Speaker Asmund, fearing the prospect of a future attack, ventures into the cursed forest of Morkvatn to seek ultimate wisdom. When he returns from his trials a near god, he and High Speakers Bjarni and Alvilda begin an investigation to discover the source of the new threat. What they discover is a dark and awesome power that has been growing in secret; a power that could unite all the dark forces of the world, end the reign of the Speakers, tear apart the threads of fate, and threaten the existence of the High Ones themselves.

Prepare to enter a world that is ancient and cruel, gritty and unforgiving; where the keepers of light and wisdom are ever assailed by the forces of chaos and destruction. Written in epic and dazzling prose, and featuring a deeply realized world, The Saga of Urunem: Revelations will keep readers transfixed from start to finish with its diverse and unique cast of characters and the skillful balance of action, mystery, and profound questions of faith, fate, and the universal balance of power.

 

Happy 2