Thursday, 7 August 2014

DNF Round-Up (2)

BittersweetBittersweet by Colleen Mccullough
Series: Standalone
Published by Simon & Schuster on August 19 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
DNF'd at 54% 
This is the story of two sets of twins, Edda and Grace, Tufts and Kitty, who struggle against all the restraints, prohibitions, laws and prejudices of 1920s Australia. Only the submissive yet steely Grace burns for marriage; the sleekly sophisticated Edda burns to be a doctor, the down-to-earth but courageous Tufts burns never to marry, and the too-beautiful, internally scarred Kitty burns for a love free from male ownership. 
Turbulent times, terrible torments, but the four magnificent Latimer sisters, each so different, love as women do: with tenderness as well as passion, and with hearts roomy enough to hold their men, their children, their careers and their sisters.
Bittersweet started off strong, but quickly petered out. Around the 20% mark I started to grow frustrated with the inconsistent pacing and the constantly shifting point of view. At first I thought that it was a book that would follow the four sisters in a limited omniscient third person point of view, but at some point it seemed to shift into a omniscient third person, and far too many pages were wasted on the men in the book, who I just didn't care an iota about. 

The only saving grace this book had for me was Kitty. At the beginning of the book, I thought that Edda would be my favourite of the four sisters. Boy, was I wrong about that! She ended up being my least favourite of the bunch! She was snobby and judgemental and very rigid. I found it immensely difficult to relate to her, which was troubling due to the fact that she received the most attention of the sisters in the narrative. I found Grace and Tufts quite boring, and didn't particularly care about them one way or another. The only person I even remotely liked was Kitty, due to her salty tongue. She may have the face of an angel, but this girl can throw out some impressive insults! 

The lack of connection I felt to the characters, the impersonal nature of the narrative, and the problematic pacing aside, I made it through just over half of this book. It was a random, lengthy lesson in the history, politics, and economics of early 20th century Australia that convinced me that this book wasn't worth finishing. Despite a promising first few chapters, I was ultimately underwhelmed and often frustrated by Bittersweet, and feel no desire to find out what occurs next in these characters lives.

Eat, Brains, Love (Eat, Brains, Love #1)Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
Series: Eat, Brains, Love #1
Published by HarperTeen on October 1 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Zombies
Pages: 352
DNF'd at 66%

The first chapter of Eat, Brains, Love hooked me in really well. It was funny and inventive and interesting and it caught my attention. It was the introduction of Cass that threw me for a loop. This is a book about zombies, what do I need a weird psychic girl who works for the government for? I was never enthused or excited when I reached Cass' chapters, and I never grew to like her as a character. I think that this book would have been much more successful if it had been the story of Jake and Amanda. I think there is a romance between Jake and Cass later on, which grossed me out. Not because Jake is a zombie - because Cass has been inside his mind, which is clearly a total invasion of privacy.

I really enjoyed the fact that Jake was the kind of guy I grew up around - smoking weed and playing video games and blowing off homework. I couldn't help but think that I would have liked him a bit more if he'd been gender-swapped - same characteristics and personality and hobbies, but a girl. It's just a little more unexpected and interesting. Aside from that, I thought the tone of the book was a little on the younger side of YA. I liked the inclusion of the badass lesbian zombie couple though. They were fun, and I'd have liked to stick around with them a little bit longer. As the plot became less "zombies on the run" and more "government corruption" I decided to bow out. It's just not for me.

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