Mini Reviews: DNFcember

December was not a good month for reading. My choices were questionable and my luck was worse, ending in a staggering six DNFs, which is more than the rest of the year combined. Spanning the whole spectrum from the books that were just kinda mediocre, to those others might like but I very much didn’t, a betrayal leading to a rage quit, and a couple genuinely bad stinkers. No quicker way to knock a couple books off the TBR.

Ready? Ready.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

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goodreads

DNF point: 13%

I usually give books at least 20% before I quit, but the meta commentary in the form of dialogue randomly inserted in the text was driving me absolutely bonkers. It interrupted the story, broke my immersion, and added absolutely nothing. Referencing characters from various classics felt a little lazy and pointless, but that I can easily forgive if the story is good. Irritating writing I cannot. Really wanted to make it to at least that book in the series where they go to Vienna, but welp. Not if they’re like this. Nope.

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley

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goodreads

DNF point: 27%

I was looking forward to reading a f/nb historical romance SO much, but…nope, not for me. I hate fake dating and I hate reading about women being extremely constrained by society and forced to find a man to marry even more. The MC’s mother in particular was awful. No matter how realistic, it’s anxiety-inducing and it grates. If the idea of a fake dating f/nb historical romance sounds appealing to you, you’ll probably like it, but I’m out.

Content warnings: abuse

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

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goodreads

DNF point: 29%

I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to try this one. The blurb did make it sound like there might be some hurt/comfort hidden in there, but there wasn’t much, the love interest was horribly stereotypical, the worldbuilding was thin and made no sense, and overall it was just…very very tropey, poorly written YA with a lot of ass pulls and deus ex machina. When the prince randomly saved the MC’s ass because he found her attractive, I lost my patience. Nope. The dedication to Sarah J. Maas should have been enough warning. At least I tried it via Overdrive…?

Thornfruit by Felicia Davin

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goodreads

DNF point: 37%

I started Thornfruit when I wasn’t sure what to read next and honestly…while the concept of a world lacking day/night is interesting, and I got the book for the f/f subplot, the writing is not the best. All the characters sounded very very young somehow and while that made sense in the first chapters where they are children, it sounded weird later on when the main plot kicks in and they’re adults. Plus it’s just very mediocre. Meh.

His Secret Illuminations by Scarlett Gale

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goodreads

DNF point: 78%

Not what I wanted. Liked how much it deals with shame when it comes to attraction a whole lot, but the main selling point for me, m/f with an unconventional and not traditionally masculine male MC…what’s the fucking point if there’s a training sequence? Unreasonable as it might be, I felt a little betrayed.

(Also why does she keep calling him “good boy” like he’s a dog?)

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

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goodreads

DNF point: 45%

I simply can’t get past the tastelessness of making “what if there was an alternate history where England is the oppressed and enslaved one” the main premise. Making the biggest colonial empire into a victim and centering the plot on saving and restoring it was certainly A Choice. The time travel was interesting, but the characters weren’t that good, and the whole “let’s make England great again” angle…no thanks.

Content warnings: there’s a scene very early on where the protagonist’s apparently-wife keeps pressuring and then rapes him when he keeps refusing sex and it’s not really addressed

5 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: DNFcember”

      1. My reaction too! Like, I don’t know what was the author thinking there. Probably wasn’t. And what shocked me the most is that it was published this year…

        Like

    1. I’m at eleven total so far, for the whole year. Which I feel is high for me, most other years my luck picking books was better, but what can you do. It happens.

      Like

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