These are my two most recent DNF books. Both were books I tried to read in June and both were books I stopped reading because of the characters and their behavior. I couldn’t continue to read about them anymore. I think these are both books that other people can appreciate much more than I did and really just aren’t my kind of book. Neither were poorly written or terrible, they just dealt with characters and situations I wasn’t interested in reading about any more. Also a reminder, my DNF reviews are more about why I didn’t finish the books instead of actual reviews. There may be minor spoilers in them relating to the characters and their actions but no major plot spoilers. If you’ve read these books, I’d love to hear what you thought of them in the comments, whether you loved them or not. I’d love to know!
I did receive these books for free from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for honest reviews. That did not affect my opinion of the books or the content of my review.
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Published by HarperTeen on May 27, 2014
This one wasn’t great from the start. I made myself continue to read to 40% to see if it improved at all but I just couldn’t continue on past that point. I didn’t like any of the characters. At all. Lana is the first one I started to dislike. The way she treats her family was completely terrible and overall she is just a brat. She judges other people and thinks she’s so much greater than them because she’s into games and dresses differently and other people like sports. And she isn’t even nice about it. I really couldn’t stand her. Next came Greg. He is Lesh’s best friend so we don’t even see him as much as the other two but I hated him so much that he played a big part of me putting this novel down. He uses multiple derogatory terms, saying that other f-word several times, and talks about females as if they’re only there for his pleasure. He’s not nice, doesn’t seem to care at all about Lesh or anyone else and I couldn’t imagine reading another paragraph with him in it. I don’t even care if that’s how “real” teenagers talk and behave, I don’t need to read it and I won’t support it. Then there’s Lesh. I actually liked him for a while. Then he became kind of creepy. I don’t play video games or role playing games or anything like that so this might not be weird to those of you who do, it might even be normal, I don’t know. But it was weird to me that he created an avatar that looked almost exactly like Svetlana, named the avatar after her, and then became slightly obsessed about playing the game as her. It was definitely weird to me. Also, there were several chapters that took place in the game that he was playing. And I have to say that I really don’t care about the levels and progressions and quests and I really don’t care about some random game guy repeatedly hitting on Lesh’s Svvetlana character. Overall I think some people will enjoy this book and maybe if you’re a gamer you’ll really appreciate it. But I just couldn’t read any more of this book.
The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
Published by HarperTeen on June 24, 2014
Just a heads up, this book deals with abuse. And jerks who treat women terribly. Granted I only read to 31% so I can’t comment on whether the guys get any better and I do know there were two guys who seemed to be nice in the book as well, but I just couldn’t keep reading to find out what ended up happening with any of them. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with characters like that. I fully admit that this isn’t the best reason to put a book down and depending on how everything turns out, this could be an important YA book about abusive boyfriends and learning how to deal with situations similar to the ones Bettina found herself in and standing up for yourself and demanding you being treated the way you deserve. But I don’t know that that is how it turns out. So I can’t say. Maybe if any of you have read it and it does turn out like that, you can let me know that I should keep reading it and give it another chance. Or if you’ve read it and know otherwise, you can just let me know that you agree with me putting this aside. When I started reading this book, I honestly had no idea what it was about. Based on the cover, I assumed it was a YA contemporary romance with a story about a girl finding herself. This was one of those times that not reading the summary really bit me in the ass. Regardless, I can’t continue reading this right now. Maybe when I’m in a different mood I will pick this one up again. I really hope Bettina will stand up for herself, both to her boyfriend and to her very strict father. So I don’t know if I’ll pick this one up again. Chances are not, but you never know. If you decide to read this, just be aware that it is a book about a teenage abusive relationship.