Burn baby burn and not necessarily in a good way. As there are several of us reviewing now from one big ginormous pile of books I’m giving myself more leeway to DNF books when I just can’t get into them. Then that book goes back in the stack for another one of us to give it a chance (If someone else actually wants to read it). Sometimes though that’s it and nobody else wants to. But no tears – there are always more books clamoring to be read!
WHERE SILENCE GATHERS by Kelsey Sutton | Goodreads (DNF’d by Tabitha)
I’m sad to say I had to let this one go. Last year when I read Some Quiet Place I was utterly in love with the characters, the story and just everything about it. I tell you I was oodles of in love with it. But Where Silence Gathers just hit all sorts of wrong notes with me personally. Some of it was undoubtedly my mood. I’ve been more and more disillusioned with young adult fiction as of late. However – my reasons for discontinuing this particular one is mainly due to the main character. She was aggravating. I take issue with people that wallow in their grief and self pity. I am very much a suck it up and drive on sort of a person. Is that cold-hearted of me? Probably some might think so. But I believe in using tragedy to empower you not giving into your desire to wallow and let it define who you are going to become – which in her case was all kinds of not good. Drinking, ditching school constantly, endlessly disrespecting the people that have at that point taken care of her ever since she lost her family. Unacceptable. You don’t need years upon years to get over a tragedy like the one she suffered. Do some people sometimes need that long – I have no doubt some likely do. Does that mean I want to read about them? No. So again I say this is completely my personal preference. I didn’t know her story was going to be a pity party. Then when it looked like another typical YA love triangle I was out, closed the book and decided – that’s that. I’m confident the book is probably still a good one. I especially like to give it the benefit of the doubt given that the author wrote a book that I really did love. But this specific book, Where Silence Gathers, is more assuredly not for me.
THE FOG OF FORGETTING by G.A. Morgan | Goodreads (DNF’d by Tabitha)
I didn’t realize The Fog of Forgetting would be as much of a middle grade novel as it was. While I read a small handful of middle grade novels from time to time – I find myself more and more leaning towards adult novels this year. Unfortunately this one happened to fall into the rare ground of me wanting to skim it by page 35 and completely losing my interest after about 60 pages. The scene was set with with 3 quarrelsome brothers meeting 2 young girls new to their area and then all of them winding up in this fantasy world. But honestly I wasn’t fond of the brothers much (probably because of the squabbling and attitudes? – yes I know boys squabble) and I think because of the age range being so decidedly low. They all felt more juvenile to me than then even the ages specified. I have to admit Teddy’s dialogue (the 6 year old, little as it was) annoyed me because it was written based on pronunciation. I totally understand that some kids aren’t as articulate at that age but I found it unnecessary to have his dialogue like this:
“Dad! You thaid ath!” squealed Teddy
“You’re thtupid, Chathe,” said Teddy (both on page 10 and Chathe is supposed to be his brother’s name Chase – I know its a very odd thing to get annoyed by isn’t it?)
I get the feeling this would be a much more enjoyable reading experience if I were reading this to a child or even if I were listening to it on audio. I likely might have continued but right now I’m just not feeling the flow.
Zenn Scarlett by Christian School | Goodreads (DNF’d by Tabitha – quite awhile ago actually)
I read through 31% of Zenn Scarlett and have decided to abandon the title. I was not enjoying the reading experience for various reasons and these are those reasons that I can point out up to the point when I stopped reading. The opening was very interesting/engaging by pulling me into the crisis of what occurred with Zenn’s mother. However, quickly after when we switch to present time I had a big issue with everything. The style of the writing didn’t read well to me. Some of the sentences seemed overlong, and the way the thoughts were structured seemed a chore to read. In several instances I stopped to read back over sections. I personally didn’t like Zenn’s personality, behavior, and general attitude – this made it hard for me to want to continue or care about what was going to happen in the story (mostly care about her at all but hey the story is ABOUT her right – so yeah…all or nothing here). The biggest problem for me however was the large amount of info dumping that was happening. I understand that the world/society/backstory needed to be setup but it was so heavily detailed that I felt like the story was completely living in the past rather than concerned with the present. The character Hamish became a convenient way for more information to be dumped on the reader. So after too much of this I had to bow out.
EVIL LIBRARIAN by Michelle Knudsen | Goodreads (DNF’d by Tabitha)
The main character Cyn(thia) is a reasonable girl when she isn’t being a twitterpated fool over her crush Ryan. At first that was a bit funny, and the humor had a campy sort of peculiarity to it but it unfortunately for me that got old fast. There are quite literally paragraphs of her internal monologue gushing over this guy Ryan. So when her best friend Annie turns into am almost mindless love drone for the hot new librarian I couldn’t handle it anymore. I originally picked this up becase the description sounded like it would have a silly sort of humor and normally I like that sort of humor. (By silly I mean Terry Pratchett, A. Lee Martinez, etc) but this wasn’t that kind of humor. I still think some folks would like it but overall the topics and plot just weren’t doing it for me.
Essentially the things Cyn thinks about are very focused on these things: Ryan, school life, the musical she’s assisting with, and Annie’s new obsession with school librarian, how odd the school librarian is. As nothing much in the novel was grabbing my interest, I wasn’t really enjoying myself and I felt I could likely predict how it would end I decided to throw in the towel. (FYI, I skipped to the end, and yep I was mostly right).
I think this one would be best for actual pre-teens or teenagers, not adults who occasionally read YA. I’ll pass it along to a teen girl I know.
*These books were provided by the publishers. No compensation was provided and all opinions you see are my own.