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Did Not Finish Reviews

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Reality Boy
by A.S. King

Genre: YA Contemporary  Hardback: 368 Pages
Publication: October 22, 2013 by Little Brown BFYR

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

Though I'm marking this as a dnf book, this is a book that I'd still recommend to people. Gerauld has a strong voice. It's witty and sympathizable. I hate what reality TV has done to him, and I want happiness for him. And I love A.S. King's writing. I love how she tackles touchy subjects and gives voice to characters who have been in crappy situations. The reason why I stopped reading this a quarter into the novel is because the story doesn't seem to follow a set path. It flows from scene to finish, between the present and the past when he was on reality TV as a young child. And even in the present, it doesn't seem to have any order to it. If I was in the right mood, I might've made it through the whole book. However, this isn't the type I'd read on a typical day.

A copy was provided by Hachette for review

(The Tudor Witch Trilogy #1), by Victoria Lamb

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy   Paperback: 320 Pages
Publication: September 24, 2013 by Harlequin Teen

If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned.

If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged.

Meg Lytton has always known she is different—that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practise witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne.

With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg's hand in marriage, and Meg's own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn't a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice.

The historical setting doesn't feel believable. It seems more like character play acting court life rather than characters actually living the time. The first couple chapters didn't do anything to set up the exposition, and I didn't really get a feel for the characters. More internal dialogue would have helped with getting to know Meg, but as it is she feels like a stranger. This feels more like the set up of a historical romance than what the synopsis suggests will be a dark and dangerous novel where the practice of witchcraft can lead to a death sentence.

A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen for review

by Shannon Curtis

Genre: NA Fantasy   Ebook: 113 Pages
Publication: May 1, 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Australia

Once Upon a Crime…

Melanie wants to get incriminating information on her evil stepfather and she’ll get it —even if it means giving in to an odious toad’s demands. Cole is undercover, and when theopportunity arises for him to get closer to the criminal he’s investigating, using the man’s beautiful stepdaughter, he grabs it.

Esmerelda is a Fairy Godmother Enforcer charged with getting the Frog Prince fairytale back on track. But fate has saddled her with a partner, and Rumpelstiltskin — with his sexy badboy swagger — has a hidden agenda of his own.

In the Fairy Isle, nothing is as it seems…

The plot idea is fun. However, with so many perspectives and plot lines going on, it feels like the novella is moving too fast and trying to do too much in a limited amount of space. I would have appreciated more detailed descriptions and character development.

A copy was provided by Harlequin Enterprises Australia for review

Dancing with the Devil
(Nikki & Michael #1) by Keri Arthur

Genre: Urban Fantasy   Paperback: 368 Pages
Publication: July 30, 2013 by Dell

Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there's nothing left to surprise her. All that changes the night she follows teenager Monica Trevgard into the shadows-and becomes a pawn caught in a war between two very different men. One fills her mind with his madness, the other pushes his way into her life-and her heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be, but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in a man who could easily destroy her.

Michael Kelly has come to Lyndhurst determined to end the war between himself and another brother of the night. For 300 years he has existed in life's shadows, gradually learning to control the life from death cravings of a vampire. Nikki not only breaches his formidable barriers with her psychic abilities, but makes Michael believe he may finally have found a woman strong enough to walk by his side and ease the loneliness in his heart. But will his love be enough to protect her from a madman hell-bent on revenge? Or will it drive her into his enemy's deadly trap?

Only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both. But the secrets they keep from each other might prove to be the greatest threat of all.

Nikki and Michael are wonderful characters that I could grow to love even more than I already do. Nikki is intelligent, brave, and pretty kickass. Michael is the mysterious man with a haunted past and fierce loyalty to those he cares about. Together, they make a good team. What made me end up quitting the book halfway through is how the plot just seemed to get bogged down. I wanted a greater sense of danger from Jasper. I wanted more tension and plot development. However, this felt like another urban fantasy where the kickass girl and her vulnerable side don't really match up, and the vulnerability seems to come out mostly to set up for moments of romance. While I love a good romance, I don't want it to overtake the plot or seem to be stuck in there for the sake of having it.

A copy was provided by Dell for review

Delia's Shadow
(Delia Martin #1) by Jaime Lee Moyer

Genre: Historical, Fantasy   Hardback: 336 Pages
Publication: September 17, 2013 by Dell

It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

The opening lines of Delia's Shadow are beautiful. I love the dark, haunting imagery. Delia and Gabe are likable characters, and the plot is interesting. The right perspectives were chosen to tell this story as a multiple-perspective one. Delia is haunted by the ghost of a woman killed by the serial killer that the police are trying to find, and Gabe is the officer heading the investigation of the murders. Still, the perspective changes so frequently that I don't feel like we really get time to get a feel for either of the narrators.

Moreover, it didn't really feel like the plot was moving forward. A quarter into the novel, where I stopped reading, we still don't know much about the ghost and what she wants, and the investigation is at a stand-still. I also still don't quite feel the danger Delia is potentially in from the haunting. There is an excess internal dialogue keeping us in the character's mind, and the subsequent lack of action makes the story feel bogged down in mundane details. I wanted to see the characters do something. They didn't necessarily have to do something to move the plot forward. What I wanted was to see them interact with the world. In addition, the perspective changes so frequently that I don't feel like we really get time to get a feel for either of the narrators.

A copy was provided by Orbit for review

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