Sunday, February 8, 2015

DNFs: Disconnected with contemporary

I've always been a huge fan with contemporaries and can find success relatively easy in this genre. But the big downfall for any book I may read and DNF is disconnection with the book and/or the characters. For review or not, reading is supposed to be enjoyable so sometimes you just have to cut the cord on a current book and move on.

Title: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publication date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: an e-galley provided by the publisher for an honest review

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost. 

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. 

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

For months now, I've gone back and forth with this one, deciding on if I should try to go back to this. I finally looked at Goodreads and realized that my problems with this aren't going to go away.

If only Hudson could be cut out of this and most of my issues would be resolved. I didn't like him, didn't connect, and was annoyed by his narrative. He was very woe is me, but my main no-no was the fact that insta-love is involved. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't do insta-love. I don't like love triangles, but insta-love is way worse. I knew something felt weird about the Hudson/Leila thing (I refuse to call it romance) besides the insta-love, but wasn't sure what. Then I read other reviews and realized it was MDPG (Manic Pixie Dream Girl), which sounds awful. 

I actually liked what I read of Bree's narrative, but boredom and frustration already settled in and I knew I couldn't continue if I had to keep reading about the wonderful Leila and read Hudson's narrative. I really looked forward to this one so it's disappointing that it ended so quickly and badly.

Title: Cut Me Free
Author: J. R. Johansson
Publication date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux
Source: an e-galley provided by the publisher for an honest review

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte barely escaped from her abusive parents. Her little brother, Sam, wasn't as lucky. Now she's trying to begin the new life she always dreamed of for them, but never thought she'd have to experience alone. She's hired a techie-genius with a knack for forgery to remove the last ties to her old life. But while she can erase her former identity, she can’t rid herself of the memories. And her troubled history won’t let her ignore the little girl she sees one day in the park. The girl with the bruises and burn marks.

That’s when Charlotte begins to receive the messages. Threatening notes left in her apartment--without a trace of entry. And they’re addressed to Piper, her old name. As the messages grow in frequency, she doesn’t just need to uncover who is leaving them; she needs to stop whoever it is before anyone else she loves ends up dead.

Like Let's Get Lost, the "romance" in this fell flat. It felt forced and uncomfortable throughout the narrative. The story was interesting at first and I cared for Charlotte. But suddenly, and not too far in, the connection stopped. I couldn't understand why Cam was pursuing Charlotte, who hired him to make her disappear. Being distant, closed-off, and a stranger is attractive and a signal to pursue? The story and the romance fell flat for me, with any intrigue falling away. Charlotte wasn't dislikable, per se, but if I had liked or connected with her more, I feel like I could've stuck with this. 

Instead, another DNF appeared. Life is short. We have to seize the day with our reading. 

Why do you usually DNF? 


  1. Feeling connected to a book/character is so important to me when I read. I can't stand reading about characters that annoy me! I also just posted a discussion about The 7 Types of Insta Love, and what annoys me about them (there's only one type I can deal with). I won't instantly DNF it though unless it's annoying or I just can't take it anymore - it can just be so wrong and based on nothing. Not a real romance! So I totally understand your feelings on that!

  2. Ugh that sucks when contemporary books aren't working out for you Summer, they're my go to books when I need a quick pick me up. I still need to read my copy of Let's Get Lost, I'm not a fan of insta love either, so I can see why it didn't work for you. I hope you come across some great contemporary reads soon :)

  3. Yes, DNF's happen. Especially when you're in college with limited free time, no sense wasting it on books you're disliking. Good job being decisive! I'm still debating whether to call time of death on an eARC I've been avoiding for a few weeks. :P

  4. 2 things I completely agree with you about:
    1) if you're not enjoying a book, sometimes you just gotta stop. YES. I mean, that's kinda the point of reading, to ENJOY it, so if you're suffering through a book I say DNF that baby.
    2) The romance in Cut Me Free was reeeally uncomfortable. I couldn't even make it half way.

    Sorry these didn't work out for you, lady, but hopefully it'll bring you sooner to books you do love!