DNF: The Boy Who Granted Dreams by Luca Di Fulvio

The Boy Who Granted Dreams

The Boy Who Granted Dreams
written by Luca Di Fulvio
published by Bastei Entertainment, 2015

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

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

Where I stopped reading: 25%

Why I stopped reading: I should have liked this book, but I couldn’t get into it. There is a lot of rape and violence that takes away from the story and its characters. I know that sometimes a character can overcome a certain situation, but this book was not moving fast enough and there was no promise of overcoming anything. So sadly, I’m not going to finish it.

ginasig

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Boy Who Granted Dreams is 4.09 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. 61% of the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars. At Barnes & Noble, there is one 5-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: 1909. Ellis Island. Arriving off one of the many transatlantic freighters are Cetta Luminita and her illegitimate baby boy Natale, fleeing the poverty and violence of their Southern Italian hometown. Having sacrificed everything, and endured every possible shame, Cetta has but one wish: that her baby should be an American, and grow up with the freedom to decide his own destiny. As they alight, US Immigration officials give Natale a new name: Christmas.

Growing up in the Lower East Side of New York with his mother, who works as a prostitute, Christmas is determined to be a success, whether a decent person or a gangster. The city is ruled by gangs from each community, Italian, Jewish and Irish, and survival is dependent on ruthlessness and strength. But Christmas has a vivid imagination, and an ability to tell stories that people want to believe…and thus is born his imaginary gang, the Diamond Dogs, which earns him respect within the ghetto. All this changes the day he saves the life of a rich Jewish girl Ruth, and despite their different backgrounds, he falls hopelessly in love with her. When circumstance tears them apart, Christmas vows that he will find her, by any means possible.

A sweeping saga of love and hate set in the Roaring Twenties, The Boy Who Granted Dreams is the story of Christmas and Ruth; the story of the dawn of radio, Broadway and Hollywood; and above all, a story about believing in the power of dreams.

 

efchappy

DNF: The Blue Line by Ingrid Betancourt

The Blue LineThe Blue Line
written by Ingrid Betancourt
published by Penguin Press, 2016

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

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

Where I stopped reading: page 70 of 360

Why I stopped reading: I just could not get into this book. It had too much information about Argentina’s Dirty War. I know that is the time period for this story, but I expected it to be more about Julia’s gift of visions and the later interventions than about the details of the political unrest. I wanted the magical realism, the love story, the visions.

chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Blue Line is 3.74 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 5 3-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were ? stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: From the extraordinary Colombian French politician and activist Ingrid Betancourt, a stunning debut novel about freedom and fate

Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War and infused with magical realism, The Blue Line is a breathtaking story of love and betrayal by one of the world’s most renowned writers and activists. Ingrid Betancourt, author of  the New York Timesbestselling memoir Even Silence Has an End, draws on history and personal experience in this deeply felt portrait of a woman coming of age as her country falls deeper and deeper into chaos.

Buenos Aires, the 1970s. Julia inherits from her grandmother a gift, precious and burdensome. Sometimes visions appear before her eyes, mysterious and terrible apparitions from the future, seen from the perspective of others. From the age of five, Julia must intervene to prevent horrific events. In fact, as her grandmother tells her, it is her duty to do so—otherwise she will lose her gift.

At fifteen, Julia falls in love with Theo, a handsome revolutionary four years her senior. Their lives are turned upside down when Juan Perón, the former president and military dictator, returns to Argentina. Confronted by the realities of military dictatorship, Julia and Theo become Montoneros sympathizers. Julia and Theo are radical idealists, equally fascinated by Jesus Christ and Che Guevara. Captured by death squadrons, they somehow manage to escape. . . .

In this remarkable novel, Betancourt, an activist who spent more than six years held hostage by the FARC in the depths of Colombian jungle, returns to many of the themes of Even Silence Has an End. The Blue Line is a story centered on the consequences of oppression, collective subservience, and individual courage, and, most of all, the notion that belief in the future of humanity is an act of faith most beautiful and deserving.

 

efchappy

DNF: Deceit and Other Conveniences by Alex Adelson

Deceit and Other Conveniences: Love and War on Wall Street

Deceit and Other Conveniences
written by Alex Adelson
published by Windessa Press, 2014

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

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

Where I stopped reading: 1.9% of the way through the book on my Moon+ Reader app

Why I stopped reading: You know the old adage, “Show me the story, don’t just tell me?” I feel like Adelson missed that memo . . . the story might be interesting, but the writing was just, well, boring.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: There are no reviews for this book on Goodreads. 58% of the reviews on Amazon were 5 stars. At Barnes & Noble, there is one two-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t. 

About the book – from Goodreads: A mystery surrounding a Wall Street deal and an unexpected attraction between two unlikely protagonists is the basis for this contemporary American drama. Garrett Carlssen is an entrepreneur from a small town in Pennsylvania, who with his difficult and brilliant partner, Jersey Smart, has built a growing technology business. They need big money to continue growing the company. Enter, a Wall Street Banker, Anne Mills, who grew up in the same town as Garrett Carlssen, but in a different social stratum. She, and her Company, can supply the funds the company requires. The goals of each of these three people are very different and therein lay the seeds of conflict. Wall Street culture, ethics, and methods, along with the psychology of human behavior are the fabric of “Deceit and other Conveniences.”

 

efchappy

 

DNF: The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser

The Beast of Cretacea

The Beast of Cretacea
written by Todd Strasser
published by Candlewick Press, 2015

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

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

Where I stopped reading: The end of Chapter 34 — page 166 of the ARC.

Why I stopped reading: I wanted to like this book. I really did. I had high hopes that my memory of being forced to read Moby Dick in high school would be swept away by a new, awesome, sci-fi version of the same story (ish). <sigh> It’s the COOL version of Moby Dick. I just don’t like it. Mr. Strasser can awesome it up all he wants . . . I’m just not into ocean beast hunting.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Beast of Cretacea is 4.27 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. There were 2 5-star reviews on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Master storyteller Todd Strasser reimagines the classic tale of Moby Dick as set in the future—and takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure.

When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t on Cretacea to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s here to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth. Even though easy prey abounds, time and again the chase boat crews are ordered to ignore it in order to pursue the elusive Great Terrafin. It’s rumored that the ship’s captain, Ahab, lost his leg to the beast years ago, and that he’s now consumed by revenge. But there may be more to Captain Ahab’s obsession. Dark secrets and dangerous exploits swirl around the pursuit of the beast, and Ishmael must do his best to survive—if he can.

 

efchappy

 

DNF: Dwarves in Space by S.E. Zbasnik

Dwarves in Space

Dwarves in Space 
written by S. E. Zbasnik
published by S.E. Zbasnik, 2015

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

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

Where I stopped reading: page 108/1110 per my Moon+ Reader app.

Why I stopped reading: The prose is convoluted and difficult to follow. Add to that the fact that Zbasnik built a universe where cat videos are currency (even if that’s just what they’re calling the actual money), and I, um . . . I can’t even.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Dwarves in Space is 4.10 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 11 5-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, there was one 4-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Thousands of years after the jewelry’s destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans. Dwarves in Space is Tolkien merged with Hitchhiker’s and Firefly in a horrific transporter accident.

The Elation-Cru is not the flashiest ship, nor the newest, or even has all of its bolts attached; but she can fly. Well, sort of wade through space, and that’s when all the parts are working. She supports a sugar addicted dwarven pilot, an elven engineer, an orcish doctor, a silent djinn, and the lone human trying to hold the entire thing together with duct tape. Variel, the captain, has been hiding from a secret for the past five years and time’s finally run out.

When she goes against her common sense and fights to save her on-board assassin/renter from a job gone sour, she finds herself before an ex-colleague that knew her in her previous life as the Knight of the realm. The entire ship is sent on a mad dash across the universe — from a decaying space station, home to the wackiest species the galaxy has to offer, down to the Orc homeworld, which wouldn’t be so bad if Variel hadn’t spent most of her previous life fighting in the war against them. Chances of survival are nil and slipping fast.

 

efchappy

 

DNF: Family Magic by Patti Larsen

Family MagicFamily Magic (Hayle Coven Novels #1)
written by Patti Larsen
published by Premiere, 2015

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

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

Where I stopped reading: Page 95 of 251 on my Nook. I just finished Chapter 14.

Why I stopped reading: I just couldn’t get into this book. The main character, Sydlynn, was a brat. She didn’t care about her family. She was rude to her mother and her mother’s friends. All she did for the first 95 pages was complain about how she just wanted to be normal, and that she didn’t have any friends, and that she didn’t want to be a witch. That’s it. I just couldn’t read anymore of that. chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Family Magic is 3.89. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 and 5 stars. 65% of the reviews on Amazon were 5 stars. At Barnes & Noble, the average review is 4.3 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Her mom’s a witch, her dad’s a demon and she just wants to be ordinary. But, when an insidious evil comes after her family, Sydlynn Hayle has to choose to be the normal girl she craves or step up, embrace her magic and save her coven from disaster.

 

efchappy

DNF: Seducing Excel by Sofia Santiago

Seducing Excel Volume 1: Ooh La La, Quickies!: Enjoy the Sexy Features of Microsoft Excel 2010 That Men Wish Women Had Too

Seducing Excel 
written by Sofia Santiago
published by Createspace, 2014

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

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

Where I stopped reading: I only made it through the first several pages.

Why I stopped reading: I’m clearly not the target audience for this book; not only do I not have enough working knowledge of Excel to make sense of Santiago’s tips, but I was also horrified at the blatant sexism she uses to explain things. I was expecting an “Excel for dummies with a feminine twist” sort of thing, and instead I had to keep reminding myself I’m allowed to vote. Disappointing.

 

melissasig

What others have rated this book:  There was one 3-star review on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Book Depository: Are you a Microsoft Excel 2010 user who would rather spend time with Excel(r) than with your spouse? Do you have a love-hate relationship with your spreadsheets? Here’s why: Excel(r) is FEMALE. And she’s better than any other woman you’ve ever met. Learn why… And get her to do anything you want! This book is a compilation of the best tricks and time-saving techniques that will impress even the most advanced users. Take your game to the next level by reading it cover to cover, or use it as a reference. The author’s 20+ years experience delivering advanced Excel training, reflected in this fully illustrated step-by-step book, make it an easy and fun read. Who said learning Excel has to be boring? Learn by example. This book will teach you: ** Some of the sexiest features Excel(r) 2010 has that men wish women had too ** How to make Excel speak… Most importantly, how to have her shut up when you want her to! ** How to navigate the sheets like a top banana ** How to invite Word(r) for a menage-a-trois ** The secrets of Control Mustache ** Unusual hot spots you’ll enjoy double-clicking ** The WOW things you can do with “The Thingy” ** Excel’s multiple OMGs (yes, multiple, you read it right!) ** How to create spin buttons, form controls, and drop-down lists ** Where to find the Control G Spot. Explore it and your life will never be the same ** Custom styles, date math, sparklines, charting best practices… And a lot more! Whether you’re a basic or an intermediate level Excel(r) 2010 user you’ll be less frustrated and you’ll have more spare time to do what you really want. Stop feeling like a dinosaur or a leech on your coworkers, and build the confidence you need. Oh, and don’t go to a bar and buy a drink for that girl who probably won’t go home with you; for less jack, take this book home and learn to communicate better with the hottest chick around.

 

efchappy

 

DNF: Link by D.A. Karr

Link

Link 
written by D.A. Karr
published by Createspace, 2015

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

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

Where I stopped reading: Halfway through Chapter 2

Why I stopped reading: The writing is just too bad, and every time I came across the acronym N.S.T.E.A. I suddenly wanted a glass of iced tea.

 

melissasig
What others have rated this book: The average rating on Goodreads is 3 stars. There were two 5-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, there were two reviews, both 5 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Smashwords: As the N.S.T.E.A. seals a deal to deliver time technology to the notorious outlaw, Menser, Captain John Garrick plots to undermine the N.S.T.E.A. as the Phoenix’s crew prepares for the inevitable – a fight to the finish. Garrick doesn’t live by its rules, and he knows one thing is for sure: kill or be killed.
Tick, tick, tick…timeliners never die. They never leave.

As the Earth shifts on its axis, mankind is caught in a war of survival and time. Imprisoned in this time war, Captain John Garrick and the N.S.T.E.A. Phoenix become a pawn between technology, humans, and what’s left of civilization. No amount of careful planning can prepare the time jumpers for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. As the N.S.T.E.A seals a deal to deliver time technology to the notorious outlaw, Menser, Garrick plots to undermine the N.S.T.E.A. Garrick doesn’t live by the rules, and he knows one thing is for sure: kill or be killed. Technology becomes the enemy and time an illusion as Phoenix’s crew prepares for the inevitable – a fight to the finish. Available on Amazon.com in paperback and audio book formats.

 

efchappy

 

DNF: Chronicles from Chateau Moinesby evelyne Holingue

Chronicles From Chateau MoinesChronicles of Chateau Moines
written by Evelyne Holingue
published by Burel Press

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 26% on my Kindle.

Why I stopped reading: This is one of those books that I should have finished. That I should have liked. That I wanted to read. But it just didn’t grab me. It didn’t interest me. It was slow, and I didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters. Nothing made me want to keep reading this book. chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Chronicles from Chateau Moines is 4.21. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 7 5-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: September 1970: Scott’s mother has recently died and his father gets the crazy idea to move his family from California to Normandy. Now Scott has to learn to live without his mom while adjusting to France. In his seventh grade class there is only Ibrahim who comes from another country. Scott doesn’t even want to play his guitar anymore. Why does his father think that life will be better so far from home?

Scott has no idea that his arrival is also a challenge to Sylvie. While her best friend is excited to have an American boy at school, Sylvie cannot say one word to Scott. She can’t even write good songs in her notebook anymore. Why is life so different since Scott moved to Château Moines?

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War protest era and told from the perspectives of twelve-year old Scott and Sylvie, this is a story about loss and friendship, music and peace, and also about secrets.

Although this is a work of fiction, the cultural, social, and historical background of the early 1970s in France and the United States inspired the writing. At the end of the book the reader will find a list of the songs, the names of singers, and bands mentioned through the novel as well as some elements about fashion, immigration in France, the Vietnam War, and other cultural, social, and historical facts relevant to the period of time.

efchappy

DNF: The Tell-Tale Heart by Jill Dawson

The Tell-Tale HeartThe Tell-Tale Heart
written by Jill Dawson
published by Harper Perennial

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

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

Where I stopped reading: page 56 of 242

Why I stopped reading: I could not get invested in this story. I wanted to, but it just wasn’t happening. I didn’t like the first main character, Patrick. He wasn’t likeable or sympathetic. He just had open-heart surgery, and I didn’t care. In part two, we are introduced to Willie Beamiss. I didn’t like his narration. I understand that he was uneducated, illiterate, but it was difficult to read his language. I understand that the author was writing in his voice, but I just couldn’t read it. I’m sure this book will appeal to many, but it just didn’t appeal to me. chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Tell-Tale Heart is 3.46. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 3 4-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 3 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: After years of excessive drink and sex, Patrick has suffered a massive heart attack. Although he’s only fifty, he’s got just months to live. But a tragic accident involving a teenager and a motorcycle gives the university professor a second chance. He receives the boy’s heart in a transplant, and by this miracle of science, two strangers are forever linked.

Though Patrick’s body accepts his new heart, his old life seems to reject him. Bored by the things that once enticed him, he begins to look for meaning in his experience. Discovering that his donor was a local boy named Drew Beamish, he becomes intensely curious about Drew’s life and the influences that shaped him–from the eighteenth-century ancestor involved in a labor riot to the bleak beauty of the Cambridgeshire countryside in which he was raised. Patrick longs to know the story of this heart that is now his own.

In this intriguing and deeply absorbing story, Jill Dawson weaves together the lives and loves of three vibrant characters connected by fate to explore questions of life after death, the nature of the soul, the unseen forces that connect us, and the symbolic power of the heart.

 

efchappy