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Did Not Finish Reviews

Saturday, June 22, 2013
by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Genre: YA Paranormal     Paperback: 336 Pages
Publication: June 8, 2013 by Flux

With New Agey parents and a Pakistani heritage, it might have been difficult for Sunny Pryce-Shah to fit in. Thankfully, she had her older, popular cousin Shiri to talk to—until now. Shiri’s shocking suicide brings heartwrenching pain and grief, and also seems to have triggered a new and disturbing ability in Sunny: hearing people’s thoughts.

It’s awful, especially when Sunny learns what her so-called friends really think of her. Feeling more comfortable with the Emo crowd, she tells them about her strange talent and uses it to help cute, troubled Cody. But when his true motives are revealed, she isn’t sure whom to trust anymore. Sunny hopes to find answers in Shiri’s journal. Was her cousin also cursed with this “gift”? Will Sunny end up like Shiri?

I can't conenct with Sunny. It may be in part due to Shiri's death and Sunny's emotional disconnection from everything. Nevertheless, it felt as if Sunny was telling the story instead of living it. She also dwells a lot on the past and details that I don't care about.

The City's Son
(The Skyscraper Throne #1), by Tom Pollock

Genre: YA Paranormal     Hardbackback: 480 Pages
Publication: September 8, 2012 by Flux

Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen-where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.

I could not connect with the characters. Also, the changing between first and third person was jarring.

The Huaca
by Marcia Mickelson

Genre: YA Paranormal     Paperback: 256 Pages
Publication: May 14, 2013 by Cedar Fort

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Cummings just wants to be a regular teenager, but after her mother’s mysterious murder, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever be normal again. Her mother’s death has left Ellie and her father worlds apart. And when her best friend abandons her, Ellie has no one else to turn to—except for the strange boy who says he can help.

Gabe de la Cruz seems to know way too much about everything, and her instincts tell Ellie to stay far away. But when he claims that he can communicate with the dead through an ancient Incan artifact, Ellie can’t resist the temptation of seeing her mother again. In the hanan pacha—the Incan afterworld—Ellie’s mother sends a message to help Ellie understand what happened the night of the murder—a message that may be better kept a secret . . .

Another book where I couldn't connect with characters. It felt as if the story was beind told to me instead of pulling me into the world. Considering Ellie's age and all that's happened to her, I think I expected the narrative style to be more advanced. It feels as though the writing was meant for a younger audience.

(Avena #1), by Marianne Curley

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance     Hardback: 336 Pages
Publication: June 25, 2013 by Bloomsbury Children's

For as long as Ebony can remember, she's been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It's as if she's being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can't be concealed. She's growing more beautiful by the day, she's freakishly strong, and then there's the fact that she's glowing.

On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she's intensely drawn to him. It's as if something explodes inside of her--something that can be seen from the heavens. Ebony still doesn't know that she's a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.

The opening chapters did not hook my attention. In spite of, or rather because of, the info dumping, I was confused. Also, I couldn't connect with Ebony.

A Shimmer of Angels
(Angel Sight #1), by Lisa M. Basso

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance     Paperback: 321 Pages
Publication: January 29, 2013 by Month9Books

Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?

There was something in the way Rayna narrated the story that made it hard for me to connect with her. It felt as if she was summarizing events instead of being present in the story. There was too much telling. Also, the way characters are introduced and talked about made them feel like one big cliche.

Data Runner
(Data Runner #1), by Sam A. Patel

Genre: YA Science Fiction     Ebook: 231 Pages
Publication: January 29, 2013 by Diversion Books

In the not-too-distant future, in what was once the old City of New York, megacorporations have taken over everything. Now even the internet is owned, and the only way to transmit sensitive information is by a network of highly skilled couriers called “data runners” who run it over the sneakernet. It is a dangerous gig in a dirty world, but Jack Nill doesn’t have much choice in the matter. A brilliant young math whiz and champion of parkour, Jack must become one of these data runners in order to get his father out of a major gambling debt. But when a mysterious stranger loads Jack’s chip with a cryptic cargo that everybody wants, he soon becomes the key figure in a conspiracy that could affect the entire North American Alliance. Now it’s all up to Jack. With the help of his best friend, Dexter, and a girl who runs under the name Red Tail, Jack will have to use all his skills to outrun the retrievers and uncover the truth before they catch him and clip him for good.

The world building is poorly handled. There is a lot of info dumping in the first chapter, particularly through a dialgogue between Jack and his father, and I didn't understand much of it. Too many terms are thrown at the reader at once without enough details to put the pieces together. I also felt disconnected from Jack and couldn't relate to him.

Indigo Awakening
(The Hunted #1), by Jordan Dane

Genre: YA Paranormal     Paperback: 304 Pages
Publication: December 18, 2012 by Harlequin Teen

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.

The premise of this story is interesting and original. However, it just didn't work for me. I didn't believe the story or the romance. And while I admire Rayne's courage and loyalty, her actions often crossed the line between bravery and recklessness. I would have liked to see more of the action and intrigue in the story as well.

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend
Confessions #2, by Louise Rozett

Genre: Contemporary     Paperback: 288 Pages
Publication: June 18, 2013 by HarlequinTEEN

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

It feels as though the first quarter of the novel is a recap of what took place in the last book and what has since taken place (over the summer). While a couple characters are introduced and there are some developments, it felt as if I didn't really learn anything new about Rose and her companions. For the most part, Rose spends most of her time mulling over past developments instead of focusing on the present. It'd be fine if she recapped in the first chapter, but it goes on too long. I don't have any interest in reading past this point.
3 comments on "Did Not Finish Reviews"
  1. It's a shame you didn't finish these books. I also hate being unable to connect with the character and infodumping. Ugh, I remember trying to read The Tiger's Curse and running into massive infodumps every few sentences.

    Hope you find better reads next time!

    1. Yeah, they're the two main reasons I'll stop reading a book. Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

  2. Bummer that Underneath didn't work for you-I thought it had its interesting moments but had trouble connecting with Sunny too. I wish we had gotten to actually meet Shiri before her death.


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