Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & more

August 22, 2014 Book Review, DNF, Multiple Reviews 38 DNF

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 GathersWHERE 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.

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The Fog of ForgettingTHE 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.

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Zenn ScarlettZenn 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.

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Evil LibrarianEVIL 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.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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38 Responses to “Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & more”

  1. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    It’s too bad these books were not for you! I feel like I’ve been disillusioned with YA a bit lately too, so I can understand the need for something different and a little more mature. Your thoughts on these books are still so thoughtful though – very helpful for anyone considering reading these books!
    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted…Review: LandlineMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I’ve totally been put off by YA lately I still want to read so many of the YA books I have but I just find myself rolling my eyes a bunch lately. No idea why LOL.

      I’m glad you found the mini DNF reviews thoughtful. I figured showing the books that I DNF is a good idea because so often I write anywhere from 3-5 star reviews and rarely lower ones because honestly if it’s going to crap I just give up now. Time is too short to waste the limited time I have on books that aren’t doing it for me.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & moreMy Profile

  2. Steven M. Long

    Hooray for DNF! I mean, not that it’s good that you didn’t finish, I just think that they’re very useful reviews. I don’t really read YA (it’s just time, I like it), but I’d love to read more about why you’ve been having issues with it.

    My wife and I struggle a lot with characters who wallow and don’t HTFU (harden the fuck up) as well (she’s tougher than I am, about it). I wonder sometimes if part of it is age: you (I?) get to a point where you just lose patience with that stuff. Like you said, it’s not that it isn’t realistic, but you just don’t want to read about it.
    Steven M. Long recently posted…What are Our Character Classes Telling Us?My Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Hmm I honestly had really enjoyed YA the past several years but this year I’ve found myself gravtitating back towards mostly adult SFF because so much of the YA that is coming out feels like ‘much the same’ or just not even as good as others I’ve read. Quantity over quality genre it’s become almost.

      I hate characters that wallow. I was an army brat and spent six years in the service as well and there is nothing I freaking hate worse then someone that is wallowing in self pity. So reading about a character like that? Hell the fuck no! LOL
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & moreMy Profile

  3. Danya @ Fine Print

    I haven’t DNFed a book for my blog yet, but I’ve been tempted – and I’ve only been blogging regularly for a few months! When you’re going through as many review copies as the Not Yet Read crew, I think it’s definitely a good idea to quit reading a book when it starts sucking. Normally I’m crazed for all things librarian, but Evil Librarian sounds too high school love-obsessed even for me!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Tough Traveling: ShapeshiftersMy Profile

  4. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I saw the title and thought you meant Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarian by Brian Sanderson. That series is one of my sons favorites (or was before he deemed his 11 year old self too old for any books aimed at younger audiences … *sigh*). Glad to see that wasn’t what you were talking about. Don’t hear much about them, but he LOVED them! I’ve not heard of any of these that you DNF’d. Definitely wonderful that you feel like you don’t need to finish books your just not feeling. No reason to finish something that you don’t enjoy (and is just going to get slammed in a review anyway).
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – ShapeshiftingMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      My thoughts exactly – but I figured since I mostly rate things 3 to 5 stars on my blog I should show the books that just don’t make the cut and hence why there aren’t many 1-2 stars from me because I throw in the towel a bunch lately.

      I feel bad for Tina who has this OCD thing about HAVING to finish a book hence her giving way more 1s and 2s lol.

      I doubt anything Sanderson writes could ever be bad in my eyes!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & moreMy Profile

  5. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I really do dislike DNFing books but sometimes, they just don’t work (and it’s bound to happen with as many books as we read). I completely agree about YA lately. I’m disillusioned…burned out, maybe? I don’t know. But I’m reading and enjoying fewer lately.
    Plus, grr to those wallowing characters. Yeah, we all wallow at some point but I don’t want to read at it ad nauseum. Wallow a short while, get over it and move on. Oy.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…Do It In 140: Tweet-Short Book Reviews (3)My Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes exactly! I’m getting burned out on it. But you are still reading WAY MORE then I am. I’m so jealous that you read pretty much a book a day that one month. I wish I could get that gumption back. Right now I blame it on sickness but I’ve been in a slump ever since after BEA. No idea why either. Think I’m in the gloomy glooms. Thankfully the girls are helping me otherwise it’d be more bare bones around here lately.

      But really I think so often in YA lately its just rinse repeat – much the same story coming out in so many of them just sound ….like the same.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & moreMy Profile

  6. Lupdilup

    What a shame 🙁 It’s good to know tho. There’s a few covers that would have gotten me for sure, and there’s some that I would have never picked up.
    After a while books start to sound the same from the same genre. I’m going through something like this right now with paranormal romances…And it kills me because I used to love, love that genre, but lately, I have stopped listening to more than a few books, I’m gravitating towards straight Fantasy right now.
    Thank Tabitha 🙂
    Lupdilup recently posted…Twist Audiobook by Dannika Dark (review)My Profile

  7. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Blah, Tabitha. Sorry you’ve had so many fails. And how disappointing that you loved Some Quiet Place, only to get so annoyed with the next installment. But I totally get you. I cannot stand wallowing. It’s hard enough to have patience with it in real life, but in books? No way, man. I don’t read many MG anyway, and books that make reading a chore . . . not interested in that either. As for MCs who are completely focused on their crushes . . . again, BLAH. But thanks for the heads-up 😉

  8. Sarah C.

    I appreciate DNF reviews, so thanks for sharing! I have also given myself more permission to quit reading books I don’t like. I used to finish everything I started, including series, which was just dumb, as I certainly didn’t enjoy them. And life is short and there are so many other good books out there, why waste the time?
    Sarah C. recently posted…Review: ShiverMy Profile

    • Steven M. Long

      I sometimes don’t finish a series, not because I didn’t like the first book, but just because there’s other stuff to read, so I don’t need to return to that world. I think that’s pretty unusual, though. It has to be a clear, multi-book arc to get me to continue, sometimes. Or, you know, not just good but fantastic.
      Steven M. Long recently posted…Friday Top Ten #4My Profile

      • Tabitha (Pabkins)

        I’ve been doing a lot of reading of the first in a series or trilogy lately and not continuing on. Because I read so much I have to choose which series are worth my time to continue. I might miss out on future really great books but there is just SOOO much genre fiction out there. Mostly I don’t continue with YA books because hey lets face it those things are a dime a dozen – so they have to really make an impression on me to continue the past few years.

        Urban Fantasies – those I love I just wish that they weren’t such LONG freaking series.
        Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Hounded by Kevin HearneMy Profile

        • Steven M. Long

          I think I have the opposite problem. I read maybe 1-2 books a month, and I’m trying to branch out and read other kinds of books, as well, so that means I have really limited time – for me to read it, it better be really good, and if the sequel is just going to be a return to the world with some “more stuff” happening, that’s not going to cut it. I think the last “first” book I read where I’ll pick up the second was Annihilation.
          Steven M. Long recently posted…Why “Beauty and the Beast” is a Story We Need to Stop TellingMy Profile

  9. Molly Mortensen

    I always feel so guilty not finishing a book, but sometimes you just have to. Usually I can tell right away if a book is for me or not, but there are some that start really promising and then take a turn. I’d seen evil librarian on the free ebooks list, that’s sad that it’s not funny in a good way. (I’m a Pratchett fan myself!)
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Red Rising NetgalleyMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Pratchett is amazing! Normally I can tell if a book isn’t going to be for me within the first 50 pages. I don’t normally DNF but then usually I can tell if a book is for me just based on the cover and the book blurb – this one totally got past me. I don’t like to DNF but lately I’m just in a bit of a slump and I have to not force myself to read something that I’m not getting into.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Hounded by Kevin HearneMy Profile

  10. lynnsbooks

    I totally don’t finish a book if I’m not enjoying it! I used to be a bit obsessive about completing but these days I tend to just think ‘why? why put myself through it if I don’t like it!’ After all, if you started watching a series on tv you wouldn’t keep on watching it religiously every week if you weren’t enjoying it! Consequently I must look like a real pushover when it comes to books because my reviews are mainly books that I really enjoyed. There are only a few, where I’ve read so far, and I just keep hoping things will get better – and then they don’t! And then I’m faced with a negative review which makes me feel all bad so it’s like a double whammy of badness!
    Lynn 😀
    lynnsbooks recently posted…We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious!!My Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes I know exactly what you mean! I used to be obsessed with finishing too but no longer. Which I’m thankful for. It makes me look like a pushover as well I think. I was surprised that I actually gave two 2stars this past month with Night Terrors and Mortal Danger cause normally I just wouldn’t have finished I think. But I’m also just rating harder this past month I think because I’ve been so sick. So if the book is not successful in making me feel better and forcing me to forget how nauseous and nasty I feel then hey it FAILS!! lol Ok thats just mean – I can’t help it – I feel bad for the books I read when I feel this unwell. Darn blasted hormones!!

      I hold out hope sometimes too things will turn up I should probably just give up even more but hey I can’t be a total quitter!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Prodigal Son by Debra MullinsMy Profile