I try to finish every book I start to read, but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s impossible. Sometimes books are so badly written that it’s an insult to expect me to waste my very valuable time on them.
Other times the book just isn’t working for me, and it’s a waste of my time when I don’t think the book will get better, and when I don’t think I will start to enjoy it, based on the evidence I’ve already read. if I have faith the book will get better, I’ll finish it.
I generally don’t review books I don’t finish because my time has already been wasted in the reading-then-giving-up part, but seeing as how I recently abandoned my fifth book since starting this blog, I thought I’d showcase them and mention why it is I gave up on them.
The Zero Stars Books
This one should be obvious! Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James was a huge literary fad, the book everyone was reading. When the hype is that huge, I have to check it out. Surely, even though it is fanfiction, there had to be some literary merit to showcase the book’s success?
“OK, 4% is all I can handle. We’ve already had elevators moving at terminal velocity, Ana blushing when anyone so much as looks at her, Ana’s best friend immediately assuming Christian Grey is in love with her, and now Ana’s mother has jumped to conclusions over Ana’s romantic/sex life as well. I predict I will not enjoy the rest of this book because it reminds me too much of Hush, Hush. I will not rate it because I have read so little.
Maybe I will attempt this again later but right now I have too many good books waiting for me.”
The author of Frost Arch, Kate Bloomfield, kept claiming this book was a bestseller when the much smaller number of reviews didn’t indicate that (back in July 2012). The book covers were absolutely gorgeous, and I believed that someone as dedicated to their art as this would put an equal amount of dedication into their writing as well.
How wrong I was.
Unfortunately, in the version I read, Bloomfield failed at the English language.
“Nope, sorry. Can’t do it. When absolutely none of the dialogue is correctly punctuated and there are way too many homophones – such as ‘queue’ used in the place of ‘cue’ – I simply don’t have the patience. Typos are one thing: not having a grasp of the written English language is another.
I will try again when my standards are not quite so high.”
Sometimes my Harlequin auto-approval on Netgalley doesn’t work out so well. This is the case of Undeadly by Michele Vail.
“I just can’t do it. When the second paragraph reads like this:
Rick’s lips ghosted across mine. He angled his mouth against mine and I opened for him. My eyes fluttered closed. Tentative, I met his kiss and felt electrified. I clung to him, completely unsure about what I was doing.
I just can’t.
Let me break it down:
Molly kisses Rick a grand total of three times, in three different ways, in what is supposed to be one kiss.
1. Rick’s lips ghosted across mine.
2. He angled his mouth against mine and I opened for him.
3. Tentative, I met his kiss and felt electrified.
And she is still unsure about what she’s doing. I’m pretty sure she’s kissing Rick, but hey, I could be wrong. Not to mention the whole ‘tentatively clinging’ thing.
This is going on my abandoned pile. I just can’t wade through this.”
The Wanderers by Jessica Miller was my very first author’s request. I was excited to read this book because it sounded like it would split its time equally between college life and the paranormal elements. However, I gave up at 15% because it needed to be properly edited.
It took me several months to fully give up on this. I really wanted to read it, but I found myself procrastinating and giving other books priority, which wasn’t fair on this book or the author. There was also a lot of slut-shaming, which i don’t think was intentional, but which really turned me off.
“I just sent the author an email telling her I am giving up on this book. I feel awful, but it really needs a good edit for me to get past all the punctuation issues and typos.
I wish Jess Miller all the best in her writing career, unfortunately this book is just not for me.”
I fell victim to another Harlequin auto-approval in Beautiful Danger by Michele Hauf. But the cover was irresistible, and I’d just read and enjoyed another adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance, so I thought I’d give this one a shot.
“DNF at 15%.
Things I like:
It’s set in France.
The main female character is a hunter and not some damsel in distress Mary Sue.
Things that made me put it down:
I don’t like the voice.
Words are simply missing in the narrative.
The main female character is extremely weak willed when faced with a crazy hobo vampire, and it’s totally NOT sexy.
The main female character is contradicting herself all the time.
The hobo vampire is super creepy and unappealing.
I made a mistake requesting this and I apologise to both Harlequin and the author Michelle Hauf.”