DNF Round-Up is a feature in which I talk about my latest books I marked as did-not-finish and reflect upon why they didn’t work for me.
1. Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin
source: Free on Kindle
Where I stopped: page 88
Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn’t mind being called bitchy and closed off. It’s safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.
Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out…in the name of research, of course.
As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.
Why I DNF-ed:
This wasn’t bad, but it was just SO. STANDARD. NA heroine with a rough past that gives her intimacy issues but oh wait, here’s this super hot guy who will take the time to get to know her. Just not really what I’m interested in reading as far as NA goes. I will say that the love interest was slightly more original in that he wasn’t the growly alpha male type, but I also found him rather boring. Not to mention I didn’t understand their attraction to each other at all.
2. Those Girls by Lauren Saft
source: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my final opinion of the work.
Where I stopped: At 30%
Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.
Why I DNF-ed:
I’m a sucker about mean, unlikable girls–it’s why I love Courtney Summer’s novels and Before I Fall. I love when authors pull back the layers on the “unlikable” girls to reveal complex inner lives and powerful writing. That’s what I thought I’d get with Those Girls. The thing is. . . *Those Girls* are mean, but they’re not that complex, and they’re pretty. . . well, boring. The main characters in this book were vapid and shallow. . . by which I mean, they were shallow character-wise, not that they were intentionally written to be shallow. One girl has a lot of sex. One girl has a jerk of a boyfriend. One girl joins a band and smokes a lot, I guess. They’re catty, but there’s no depth. I love dark, gritty, contemporary books, but this isn’t it.
3. Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
source: I received an electronic advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Where I stopped: 20%
And it isn’t pretty.
Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.
As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.
Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.
Why I DNF-ed:
Sigh. I got sucked in by the pretty cover & the fact the main character plays the piano. My brain somehow skipped merrily over the part where the main character has to move to the “bad” side of town after growing up super privileged, which isn’t my kind of story at all. . . or at least not how it’s portrayed here. I know the summary says affluent neighborhood, but I guess I kinda thought this would be more about a semi-comfortable, but still middle class, family having to deal with a stroke of bad luck. Not so. Ivy’s definitely from a *wealthy* family, and the judgements and prejudice she has the entire time just annoyed me. Now, except for my very first job, every. single. job. or internship I’ve had has been at a poverty relief non-profit, so I KNOW this is realistic. . . but I still don’t want to read about a whiny main character having to “see the light” about her judgements of poor people. And yes, I’m sure she goes throughout the book, but for me I didn’t really care about her journey to that point.