DNF Reviews: Drowning in You, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, Fire on the Island, and Aleron

Posted June 27th, 2013 in book review / 18 comments

So, I don’t often give up on books. I always give them the benefit of the doubt and push on even if they aren’t that great. But these are the few books that did me in. With some I made it to 75% in, others I knew I couldn’t finish it at 10%. So I thought it was time to mention my Did Not Finish books in one whole post. My reviews of these books will only be a paragraph long because, really, there is no reason to drag this out. Obviously, I give all these books one star.

Title: Drowning in You
Series: Finding Forever in Us #1
Author: Rebecca Berto
Publisher: Self-Published (April 2013)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Format: eBook (novel length)
Source: Free book from blog tour for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences.

My Review
This one looks and sounds good, right? With the plot, it really had potential, but the writing style was just atrocious. I was so confused by this book. Everything felt choppy, and the dialogue was mind boggling. The sequence of events was very random and it made it hard to understand what was going on. The characters were unemotional and felt plastic. And in the end, I was simply bored to death.

Title: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #2
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 2012)
Genre: Steampunk, Young Adult
Format: eBook (416 pages)
Source: Free book from Netgalley for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of mysfits” have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei’s neck tightens and tightens. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper’s elusive trail. And they’re about to discover how far they’ll go for friendship. More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Now, to help those she’s come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….

My Review
I really, really tried to read this book and enjoy it. I haven’t read the first book of the series but I didn’t feel confused or out of the loop. That is not why I didn’t like this book. It has a very young feel, even younger than YA. It was too immature for me. The story bored me and the characters were uninteresting. I got 75% in and I forced those pages on me because I got this book from NetGalley, but I finally gave up. This is not the book for me.

Title: Fire in the Island
Series: Vigilati #1
Author: J.K. Hogan
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing (Aug. 2012)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult
Format: eBook (376 pages)
Source: Free book from blog tour for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Book Depository

“She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster. She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all. Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”

All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother’s insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.

Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn’t expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.

Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible

My Review
Bored, Bored, BORED. The concept was so interesting but how it was written made me bored to tears. The pacing was so slow. The characters felt robotic to me and I cared very little about their romance. The sex was lackluster and seemed forced. And there is a bad case of insta-love.

Title: Aleron
Series: Strigoi #1
Author: Kane
Publisher: Green Leaf Book Group Press (July 2012)
Genre: Paranormal, Adult
Format: eBook (300 pages)
Source: Free book from author for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

When Aleron accepts the gift of immortality from queen vampire Mynea, a blasphemy is born—to mankind and vampires alike. Having gone against the ancient creed forbidding the creation of male vampires, Mynea must hide Aleron for centuries, concealing him from the reigning vampire, Vlad, and his clan.

As Aleron adapts to his unusual limitations, astonishing new abilities, and an insatiable lust for blood—the sweetest nectar of all—he and Mynea bring others into their fold, creating a coven. But when Mynea suddenly disappears, Aleron’s blissful ever after begins to crumble. In his search for Mynea, he begins to piece together his own vampiric origins through the blood memories of others—and both trails lead to Vlad. Suddenly, Aleron’s own immortality is threatened.

My Review
I read about 10% of this book and had to give up. The writing style was not for me at all. It felt awkward and forced. Who knows, it might have gotten better, but to me it wasn’t worth finishing if I couldn’t stand the writing style. There was only a little dialogue, the rest was recapping this guy’s life up until he became a vampire. BORING. 

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18 Responses to “DNF Reviews: Drowning in You, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, Fire on the Island, and Aleron”

  1. Lexxie Lin

    What a great idea to do a 4-1 for your DNF’s Jennifer! And I think it’s a good idea to write reviews even for books you weren’t able to finish, it is valuable for other readers to know why you stopped reading.

    I hope your next reads will be made of awesome!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I agree. That’s why I finally got to them. I didn’t want to never write the DNF reviews but I didn’t want to dedicate a post to bashing one book either so I hope my spreading it out works for everyone.

  2. Ashley Robertson

    Of all of these, Fire in the Island caught my eye the most. The blurb sounds very interesting and I even liked the cover. It’s a shame about the pacing….if it’s slow I can usually make it to the end of the second chapter and if I’m not into by then, I move on to another book. Insta-love bothers me, but there have been some books with fast-love that were written in a way that I actually enjoyed it. Super-slow love drives me craziest, when the author drags it out longer than what it needs and you’ve pretty much given up on anything sexy happening.

  3. Ashley

    Bummer about Drowning in You! 🙁 That’s one I’d had my eye on. I hate it when writing just doesn’t work though. Sometimes I can’t even put my finger on why it’s not working, I just know it’s not.

    I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you!

  4. Jaclyn Canada

    Drowning in You was one that I thought looked really good! I’m sorry that these had the awkward moments, the writing problems, and characters issues that made you stop with them. It’s always a shame when you have to stop with a book. I know I always try to finish, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I really thought so too. The cover is so pretty the blurb is great.

      I really hate not finishing a book but there is such great stories out there, no point in wasting your time with bad ones.

  5. Sarah Elizabeth

    I hate it when books have pretty covers but are then poo when you start readng them. I know it must have killed you to not finish girl in the clockwork collar cause you always finish your netgalley books!

  6. Elisa

    Love it! Excellent idea. That clockwork collar one seems popular, I do like steampunk (and really did like the Iron Duke too) so I might give it a go. I have Aleron to read on my kindle, I will get to it someday but consider myself warned! 🙂

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