Tag «50 page rule»

DNF Series Review: Death in Neverland (Neverland #1) by Heather C Myers

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Death in Neverland (from Goodreads):
In the Neverland, people don’t grow up. Because they’re dead.

Remy Cutler dies, and somehow escapes certain death. She returns to the land of the living with nothing but a ripped gown and a fear of heights.

Two years later, she plans to escape her arranged marriage by stowing away onto a ship in hopes to leave her home with no one none knowing. However, she is found out, and the sailors aren’t happy. Before any damage can be done, she is yanked from her predicament back to The Neverland, a place where death resides – the very place she escaped from years ago. Souls are ferried by her savior. To her, he’s known as Nick, but to The Neverland, he’s the slippery Nicholas Grey.

The more time Remy spends with Nick and his crew, however, the more she realizes he’s shockingly misunderstood. Pirates aren’t all bad the way gentleman aren’t all good. One such gentleman goes by the name of Peter, and he has nothing but power on his mind and revenge against Grey in his heart. And then there are those that are completely indiscernible, like James Hook, a Viking and ruler of The Other World, whose sole ambition is attaining more souls to rule over, no matter what the cost.

This dark retelling of Peter Pan infuses familiar characters created by J. M. Barrie with new characters and Greek mythology. It is the first in a trilogy.

breakdown

Series: Neverland Trilogy
Author: Heather C Myers
# of Books: 3 (Death in Neverland, Love in Neverland, Book 3)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Book 3 has yet to be published
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Dark, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: November 2014 – ongoing
Source & Format: Xpresso Book Tours–eARC

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thoughts

I DNF’d Death in Neverland at 26% (just before Chapter 7). Find out why…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Peter Pan retellings have always fascinated me, especially the ones were Peter Pan is evil. It’s such a radical change from the Peter Pan of my childhood (the number of times I have watched the Disney version, I can’t even begin to count) who is a childhood “hero” to all kids. So when I saw this book had a dark twist on an otherwise light story, I was more than intrigued.

What I Liked:

–The Concept–

The idea that Neverland is the Underworld is one that is really interesting to me. It was like a hybrid of Elsewhere meets the Everneath Trilogy to me. I was eager to explore this dangerous world and see the parallels between mythology and Peter Pan. Unfortunately though, I never got to get into it and see how it all plays out.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Overly Descriptive–

If you like rich descriptions of EVERYTHING in your novels, you will probably love this novel. But my mind needs to be stimulated if I am going to read something and because of the descriptions, I constantly found myself wandering. I don’t need to know every single detail of a characters appearance nor do I need to know the exact layout of the ship. Sure it helps, but they are mindless details I will forget by the next chapter that I probably don’t need to know for the sake of the story.

–Remy–

I couldn’t decide if Remy was a dull heroine or an annoying one. Her elitist attitude was annoying for sure but she also didn’t seem to have much personality otherwise. I also got confused regarding her motivation and perception of Neverland. Spoiler: Earlier in the novel she mentions she remembers dying and that her motivation for leaving her arranged marriage is because she has experienced death. Yet when she gets to Neverland again, she doesn’t seem to want to be there. I just didn’t understand what her thought process was. |

–Didn’t Seem to be Going Anywhere–

I have no idea what the actual plot of this story was going to be. Where does Peter Pan come into it or even  Captain Hook? They are briefly mentioned in an early chapter than disappear. I get the need for exposition and setting up the story but this just seemed like nothing was going to happen anytime soon. There was just too much description of the setting, too many characters introduced as once and not enough plot line to keep my attention.

Will I Finish It?

At this point, no. I even read the synopsis of Love in Neverland to see where this plot was heading and it only left me more confused. Where this story is heading, I will never know and I am A-OK with that.

Series Rating: DNF

Death in Neverland  DNF | Love in Neverland  N/A  | Book 3 TBR

overall

This book simply wasn’t for me. I’m picky with my mythology reads. I need a strong heroine I can get behind and a world that captivates me from the get-go. I also feel like this book just needed that little bit of polish to make it flow better. If you like descriptive books that a mythology retellings, than this is the perfect read for you!

Read if You Like: descriptive books, slow plots, mythology
Avoid if You: want a straight retelling of Peter Pan, want a fast plot, dislike description

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DNF Series Review: City Love by Susane Colasanti

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Synopsis for City Love (from Goodreads):
Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn’t resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl’s life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.

breakdown

Series: City Love Trilogy
Author: Susane Colasanti
# of Books: 3 (City Love, Lost in Love, Book 3)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Lost in Love, will be published May 2016
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: unsure
Point of View: First Person, Multiple
Publication Date: April 21, 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I had read Susan Colansanti’s Something Like Fate years ago and while I didn’t like the love triangle, I did enjoy the cute story. City Love seemed like a New Adult version of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants–the book that inspired my love of YA fiction. I also love books with multiple POVs because even if I don’t connect with one character, there is usually someone’s story I become obsessed with.

Why I stopped:

To be fair to this book, I was in a major reading slump when I picked this book up (June 30). June wasn’t a stellar month for reading. Not only did I read less than I normally do, I just hadn’t been wowed by anything (ie no 5 star books). I was really looking for a book to lift up my spirits and I thought this one might do it…but it didn’t. And so I enacted my 50-Page Rule for one simple reason:

I didn’t like any of the main characters!

I find with contemporary YA romances I really have to mesh well with the characters personality-wise to enjoy the story. I think “would I be friends with this person in real life?” and if I say no, then I usually have a problem with their story. Sometimes I have the tolerance/patience to put up with a character I don’t really like but when I’m in a reading slump, that isn’t going to happen.

I just found that these girls were all extreme in their personalities. They all rubbed me the wrong way because they seemed so over the top to me and I think it is because I consider this to be a YA Contemporary and not a New Adult Contemporary.

It’s weird, I really enjoy New Adult novels–they’re my favourite genre–but YA Contemporaries drive me nuts (there are exceptions of course)! I just prefer the darker, more mature and realistic edges NA novels have. And that isn’t to say YA contemporary novels can’t have this–because there are quite a few that do–I just find the problems are what I consider to be “petty” and “high school-focused” whereas NA focuses more on being an adult. I also think I identify more with NA characters because I am in that age group.

So with these three, I just didn’t have that instant bond and I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “this girl can’t be real”. But I get it! They are young, on their own for the first time in a tempting and energetic city and trying to find out who they are. The shame is that I just didn’t care.

Will I finish it?

Possibly. I feel like I tried to read this book at the wrong time. I needed a book to wow me and this book wasn’t the one to did it. I also was feeling the pressure to read some other books I had out from the library and had to make a decision. Thankfully, it was definitely the right one to pick up a different book instead. So because I enacted my 50 page rule (I got to page 43/230 on my Kobo), I feel like I didn’t give it a fair shot and wouldn’t mind restarting this book to see if it gets any better.

My Rating: N/A – 50 Page Rule Enacted

overall

I think if you enjoy YA Contemporaries with multiple character POVs, this is a great one. If you want the more mature/darker edge of contemporary romances,pick up a true New Adult Romance instead.

Read if You Like: multiple POV, contemporary romances
Avoid if You: want layered characters
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Tag it Thursdays: Reader Problems

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Tag it Thursdays: I occasionally get tagged by fellow bloggers to complete various tags. Once a month I will post my response. Please, feel free to tag yourself if any of these tags interest you!

This month’s tag:

The Reader Problems Tag

I was tagged by Summer @XingSings wayyyy back in July to do  this fun tag. We actually share a lot of the same problems it seems 😛 Thank as always Summer!

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
Who doesn’t have that many books on their TBR? What I read next is almost entirely based on what books come in from on hold at the library–a problem I identified back in late May of this year and decided to do something about with my Tackling the TBR personal goal. I do have a beautiful TBR jar for all my purchased books when I manage to get a chance to pick something out (it’s colour coded and it is glorious) and thanks to my TBR challenge, I’ve been able to do that a lot more! Prior to my TBR jar I used to use a random number generator to pick from a list of 5-10 books I was in the mood to read.

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2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?
I actually have a 50 Page Rule when it comes to books: if I’m not loving a book and by the end of the first 50 pages, if I don’t care what happens next, I drop it! Most of the time these are books that cause my mind to wander while reading or even worse, cause me to NOT want to read! GASP! After reading and blogging for two years, I think I have a good handle on what I like and don’t so I rarely have to do this. More often than not, I will keep reading it. Sometimes I will book that book up at a later date if I think it was just my personal mood preventing me from liking it or the pressure to finish it before I return it to the library was stressing me out too much.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?
I’ve never had this problem. I’m constantly underestimating how many books I can read in a year. Take for example this year, I had completed my Goodreads goal by August!

But, if I did have this problem, I would read lots of novellas, join a few readathons and set aside some weekend days just for reading!

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?
Haha you know, this was never a problem until I started blogging and read about other people freaking out over this. I’m not really picky about hardcovers mixing with paperbacks (the frugal reader in me doesn’t mind so long as the artwork is the same). BUT, I recently bought two books I already owned to make them match the other books I have in the series. They were only a couple of dollars, I think I spent more to ship them! I only plan to do this if the price is right.

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
This happens a lot actually, as does the reverse. Part of the reason I started blogging was to have this outlet to share my feelings about books. No one I know really reads books like I do (though my best friend from university is pretty close!). For example, I was a huge Throne of Glass fan but totally thought it was an underdog when it was first published (maybe it was? I dunno because I wasn’t following blogs online when it first came out); so imagine my surprise when everyone starts to rave about it once I do start to blog! I’ve tried some groups on Goodreads but people don’t really discuss it

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?
I totally struggled with this at work the other day! I’m pretty good about holding back my emotions in public because I am very aware of where I am. But if I was alone in my room at home, full out sobs. #noshame

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads?
Time for a shameless self plug! I actually have recaps for a lot of book on my blog for this very purpose! Because I read so many series and don’t have the time–nor the desire for some series–to reread all the books, I created a word document for myself that summarizes the key points of the book–especially the ending! I do this for all the sequels and I’ve even started to do it for romance novels that have sequel books with different leads just to keep my memory fresh.

But a helpful hint is that some series have great fan-run Wikia pages and even Wikipedia has detailed summaries for very popular novels!

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?
I actually don’t mind people boring my books. I don’t have a lot of physical books anymore so I suppose I am possessive of them (they are books I consider to be my favourites that I want to pass on to my kids one day). But I am also a firm believer in sharing the joy of reading with anyone who wants to read something and if borrowing my book will let them read, I’m all for it.

I just make sure to tell them to return it in the same condition when they are done AND TO BE SURE THEY RETURN IT!

9. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?
I had this problem at the start of July and it sucked! Nothing was wowing me and I hadn’t had a 5 star read in WEEKS! I got over that one by reading a sequel to a series by one of my favourite authors (FYI it was Empire of Night in the Age of Legends Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong and it was AMAZING!). It depends what type of slump I am in. Most of the time reading something I’ve been dying to read will work; other times, reading a favourite authors work will do the trick. Most of the time though, I good romance (usually New Adult) will make me happy again (unless I am in a slump from reading too many romance novels than a good dystiopian or high fantasy will work).

Can you tell that I am a mood reader yet?

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
I don’t by very many “new books”, I put them at hold on the library. I don’t reread a lot of books so I don’t see the purpose of buying them. Most of the time, if I really enjoy a book and think I will reread it once I have read it from the library, I will buy it later. I do buy lots of Kobo eBooks but mostly when there is a contest promotion so I get coupon codes. Again, I am a cheap person. So unless a book is under $3 when it comes out, I won’t buy it immediately. I’ll wait until I get a coupon or a sale or it drops in price.

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?
I have books that have been on my shelf since 2009 if not a little sooner. I had been hoping to read them when I was home at my parents for the summer before I left for school but (as I write this, it is the first week of August) but that doesn’t look like it is going to happen. BUT, does it count if someone else has read them? I think my mom has read most of them 😉

Thanks again Summer!

Do we share any of the same problems? Tag yourself or comment below!

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DNF Series Review: Study by Maria V. Snyder

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Poison Study (from Goodreads):

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

breakdown

Series: Study Trilogy; The Chronicles of Ixia

There are numerous spin-off/companion series. See Goodreads for book order.

Author: Maria V Snyder
# of Books: 3 (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study)

There are 3 novellas: #1.5 Assassin Study; #3.5 Power Study & #3.6 Ice Study

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, High Fantasy
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: March 2007 – March 2009
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: I did not finish Poison Study (I was about halfway through when I stopped). Find out why and if I plan to pick it up at a later time below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When the spin-off/continuation of this series (Soulfinders) was being released earlier this year, this series sparked my interest. I heard a lot of good things via Goodreads so I decided to put these books on hold at the library. Luckily I got them all around the same time; unluckily I had a lot of books to read and felt the pressure to read all of my books before their due dates.

What I Liked:

The Concept

The concept behind this series is very original to me.  The whole predicament Yelena finds herself in is very intriguing and something I have never come across before. I like the danger that’s at play. And I also like how Yelena is a murderer—probably not the nicest way to phrase it but I like that she isn’t a goody-two-shoes heroine and that she holds no apologizes for her actions.

The World

I really like the setup of this city. Instead of some tyrannical ruler, you actually have someone who seems like an OK guy in charge. I like how the hierarchy of the  world is laid out as well. It was very refreshing to read.

What I Didn’t Like:

Very Slow plot movement

This book just couldn’t keep my attention. I’m sure that part of the problem was that I wasn’t in the right mindset to read a slower book but I found myself drifting. And normally I like plots where a lot is going on but I just felt like too many things were thrown out at once and then left to ferment while another plot-line was worked for a bit. I’m sure if I was into this book like I expected and usually am, this wouldn’t have been an issue but this time around it was. I was halfway through and I felt like we were just scratching the surface when we should have been in the thick of something.

Will I finish it?

I really think this was just a case of bad timing. Because I felt the pressure to read so many other books I just didn’t have the patience to read something on the slower side of things. In the end, it was simply a matter of priority to decide what books to read and which ones to drop. And unfortunately, I opted to read the sequels to a series I had already started.

I plan on finishing Poison Study at the very least. When I stopped reading it was building really nicely so I think it has a lot of potential to keep my interest when I actually have the time to.

My Rating: –

overall

This one showed a lot of promise and I’m not quite ready to give it up. I hope to pick this series back up later when I have the time for this slower inaugural book.

Read if You Like: magic, slow building stories
Avoid if You: don’t like slow stories, want more romance

similarreads

  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin Trilogy #1)
  • Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (The Poison Diaries Series #1)
  • Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Defiance Trilogy #1)

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DNF Review: Until I Met You by Jaimie Roberts

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Until I Met You (from Goodreads):
What happens when the worlds of two tortured souls collide?

Angelina Bradshaw has always believed that she does not need a man in her life. That’s what she has been telling herself her entire adult life. She feels worlds apart from her family’s dreams for her to meet a man, settle down, and have babies. She certainly can’t be doing that because love just gets in the way. She has a ‘go to’ guy and that’s enough for her.

Living in rural Cornwall, she is bored and in desperate need of adventure, so when a family friend offers her a job in London, there’s no hesitation. She expected adventure, she expected a new start, but what she didn’t expect was to meet a man who would turn her life upside-down. Seth Jacobs is hot, sexy, and can’t understand why Angelina doesn’t want him. No one has ever said no to Seth Jacobs—in fact—they all fall at his feet.

Seth pursues her relentlessly and Angelina fights him at every corner. He is the only man who has ever affected her, and the need to run from him is immense. However, Seth is not one to give up so easily. He soon finds himself on a mission, determined to win her heart.

Unfortunately for Angelina, all is not well when her past and present collide after receiving some unwelcoming and frightening news from home. She feels desperate and alone, but most of all, she feels she has to push Seth away before it’s too late.

To make matters worse, a catastrophic secret from the past is revealed, threatening to destroy the one thing, Angelina finally holds dear to her heart.

Review:

PLEASE NOTE: That I only read until the end of Chapter 6 (page 91) for this book and did not finish it prior to publishing this review. Find out why below…

I got this book as an Amazon Freebie one day and decided to read it right away because of the positive reviews on Goodreads and the synopsis captured my attention (also, I needed a standalone novel for my blog post this week). But once I was 50 pages in I started to wonder if I was reading the same thing as everyone else…

I can get past the slightly sloppy writing and editing errors when reading a book, especially ones that I get for free on Amazon because they are mostly self-published. And that was my plan going into this book after reading the reviews. However, I can’t get past slow plot lines and annoying heroines. I almost enacted my 50 page rule but decided to give the book the benefit of the doubt because we hadn’t met Seth yet (yes, that’s how slow the book is) and I had hoped he was going to save the book.

He didn’t…

And the reason is Angelina. Of course every man in the world is attracted to her and I have no idea why. For a 26 year old woman she acts like she’s 15 at times. Perhaps I expected her to be more mature considering “her secret from the past” but I was very disappointed in her as a character. I just didn’t like her at all and because the book is told solely from her POV it irritated me beyond belief. Lots of other reviews said she was “funny”–again, I fail to see how. I laugh at everything and I never laughed at anything she said/did. I just didn’t like her.

As I mentioned before, the book was slow. Certain plot points weren’t needed. For example the first chapter could have been greatly reduced to get the same message across and get into the thick of things. Because from what I’ve read from others’ reviews, there were some great twists along the way. I just wish we got that momentum earlier in the book because I probably would have stuck it out if we did.

Conclusion:

As of this moment, I don’t have any plans to finish this book. I was 1/3 of the way through when I stopped reading and I really don’t feel like I missed out on anything as I write this review. Just poor execution and nothing original (from what I read) in terms of contemporary romance. Pass.

Rating: 1/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Hell no.

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Contemporary, Romances, Drama, Chick Lit
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Worst Reads 2014
Similar Reads: Reflect Me by K. B. Webb (Reflect Me Series #1) and Chosen Heart by Ann Stewart (Hart Series #1)