DNF Books for August

Four books I abandoned this August (two are #spon) | Book reviews by NewberyandBeyond.com

As a chronic finisher of books I dislike, I’m amazed that I did not finish enough books in August to create an entire post around it!  Below are some mini-reviews of four books that I DNF and the reasons why I put them aside. (Note: I received two of these books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)


Why I picked it up:
It seemed like it was going to be great–a book-lover’s dream book!  Here’s part of the summary, taken from Goodreads:

Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization’s recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school’s strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell–who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he’s done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.

Why I didn’t finish it:
Needles, swearing, sex, persuasion/hypnotism.  It made me way too nervous to be curious about what would happen next.  Such a promising idea; so horribly executed (for me).  I had to drop it after less than 30 pages.

The Feng Shui Detective

Why I picked it up:
I had read a recommendation for it on a book blog somewhere (I can’t remember now which one it was), and it seemed like something I would really enjoy–a mystery without too much tension.

Why I didn’t finish it:
This book was extremely slow moving.  I actually read about a hundred pages, and I still had no idea what the mystery was.  Also, it was kind of uncomfortable in its portrayal of Asians and Australian teenagers (I can’t remember exactly why these two groups were hanging out together–I think the Australian girl was an intern for the Asian feng shui guy?), as the use of slang, etc., was kind of jarring and awkward.


The Committee on Town Happiness

Why I picked it up:
It sounded like an interesting, fun book, so I requested it on NetGalley (I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review).  Here’s the summary from NetGalley:

The Committee on Town Happiness consists of ninety-nine linked stories about disappearing townsfolk. Air balloons are launched to search for the missing, galas proliferate, laws are imposed ad absurdum, and a guerilla group forms as the Committee shapes the future of small-town America in this biting examination of modern bureaucracy.

Why I didn’t finish it:
I didn’t understand it.  It was well-written, and I felt dumb for not understanding the style (satire, I think?).  This book is written mostly from a “we” point of view–possibly revealing the dangers of groupthink/bureaucracy/voting on every single decision?  It was just out of my reach.  It’s not bad, and I’d love to hear from any of you who have read it and enjoyed it, but it made me feel dumb and bored, so I let it go.

Switch On

Why I picked it up:

I’m a sucker for pop science, psychology, and self-help books. (I also received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.) Here’s the NetGalley summary:

Reconnect your heart. Rewire your brain. Remix your world

Switch On presents a comprehensive life philosophy for how to thrive in the world by using creativity to break through any problem, whether feeling stuck at work, in relationships or with a business challenge. With an explicit call to turn inspiration into action, the Switch On experience is as much for those interested in changing their companies, communities and the world as it is for those wanting to shift things in their own lives.

Why I didn’t finish it:

It was kind of… New Agey?  My preferences lean toward the practical, not the metaphysical.  Oh well.

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