Netgalley DNFs #2

I got all of these books from netgalley for my honest review.

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The Takedown

Pub: 4/11/17

Kyla Cheng doesn’t expect you to like her. For the record, she doesn’t need you to. On track to be valedictorian, she’s president of her community club, a debate team champ, plus the yummy Mackenzie Rodriguez has firmly attached himself to her hip. She and her three high-powered best friends don’t just own their senior year at their exclusive Park Slope, Brooklyn high school, they practically define the hated species Popular. Kyla’s even managed to make it through high school completely unscathed.

Until someone takes issue with this arrangement.

A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla “doing it” with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school’s website. It instantly goes viral, but here’s the thing: it’s not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible-take something off the internet-all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint. Set in near-future Brooklyn, where privacy is a bygone luxury and every perfect profile masks damning secrets, The Takedown is a stylish, propulsive, and provocative whodunit, asking who would you rely on if your tech turned against you?

Why DNF? It reminded me of Before I Fall which I did not finish either because the main characters were not nice people. The thing is that I do like ambiguous/possibly mean/possibly villainous characters. What I do not like is that the main character meanness is just an average high mean girl meanness. The way that the main character built things up she was going to be more than that. I don’t know what is going on in terms of the story and what I see doesn’t catch me at all.

Questionable: There is a lot of mention of thinness in the first few chapters, conversation about how main character would rather girls who advance forward in life because of their brains (a woman can use her brains to use sexism to advance her forward)  I only read a few chapters so it may deal with these things later.

Liked: There is a relationship between two people of color, the embellishments in each chapter

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Girl Out of Water

Pub: 5/1/17

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.

Why DNF?  Girl Out of Water is not a bad book and that is the hard part about letting it go.  I just know that I could (and have) put it down and forget about it. It is in that middle area of its okay but I’m not engaged by it.

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Hollywood Homicide

Pub: 8/8/17

Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.

But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her.

And there are no second takes in real life.

Why DNF? Once I got to later part of the first chapter when we reached the mystery that is when things went down for me. I didn’t find the mystery interesting.

Liked: I liked the first chapter a lot. The idea (and follow through) of the main character being a former child star was really entertaining.

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Rotten Stepbrother

Pub: 8/1/17

AGAIN, Holden?! First you broke Cinderella, now Beauty and the Beast? Your stepsister is ready to strangle you. Pointing out that the Beast kidnapped Beauty and only fell for her looks has somehow put the real Beast in jail! Now there’ll never be a happy ending. You need to go into the fairy tale world of rural France and– what do you mean you don’t speak French?!

Why DNF?  I did not realize that this book was part of a series (it’s the 2nd book). The first book comes out the same day as the second so I cannot review it. Also, what I read so far I was not into.

Liked: Cover (the beast and beauty are my favorite part of it)

Netgalley DNFs #1

I requested all of these books from netgalley for a review. It sucks to request a book then be picked just to DNF the book.

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Finding Mighty

Pub: 5/30/17

Along the train lines north of New York City, twelve-year-old neighbors Myla and Peter search for the link between Myla’s necklace and the disappearance of Peter’s brother, Randall. Thrown into a world of parkour, graffiti, and diamond-smuggling, Myla and Peter encounter a band of thugs who are after the same thing as Randall. Can Myla and Peter find Randall before it’s too late, and their shared family secrets threaten to destroy them all? Drawing on urban art forms and local history, Finding Mighty is a mystery that explores the nature of art and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Why DNF?  Overall the bit that I did read was okay but I was not engaged into the story.

Liked: Has an Indian main character, mentions micro-aggressions that happens to Indians in a middle grade novel

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Judas Cypher

Pub: 3/23/17

In a war between man and machine, he must find a way to protect them all…

After a devastating war forced humans to rely on synths for survival, the two have learned to coexist peacefully.

Until now….

When detective Dhata Mays is called in to investigate a homicide, what he uncovers threatens the serenity of this futuristic society. The gruesome murder means only one thing: someone is ready to incite another war. Now, it’s up to Dhata to ensure that the truth stays hidden—to protect both sides of the battle. But can he be unbiased in a black and white world that forces him to take sides?

Why DNF? Feels like average mystery P.I. story with sci-fi added to it (which is good if you are into that type of story), “synthetic racism” which gave me a bad taste of trying to equate racism with not liking synths, all in all it could be summed up with I just am not caught by the story

Liked: Sci-fi bend to a mystery story, the murder and mystery is actually interesting, also the cover

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I’ll Eat When I’m Dead

Pub: 5/2/17

When stylish Hillary Whitney dies alone in a locked, windowless conference room at the offices of high-concept magazine RAGE Fashion Book, her death is initially ruled an unfortunate side effect of the unrelenting pressure to be thin.

But two months later, a cryptic note in her handwriting ends up in the office of the NYPD and the case is reopened, leading Det. Mark Hutton straight into the glamorous life of hardworking RAGE editor Catherine Ono, who insists on joining the investigation. Surrounded by a supporting cast of party girls, Type A narcissists and half-dead socialites, Cat and her colleague Bess Bonner are determined to solve the case and achieve sartorial perfection. But their amateur detective work has disastrous results, and the two ingenues are caught in a web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturizer that changes their lives forever.

Why DNF? The mystery from what I read so far was not grabbing me.

Liked: Cover it is very eye-catching

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Willow Born

Pub: 6/1/17

You’d think waking up fifty years after she died would be the least of Collette’s problems. 

Years ago, witch hunters came to Carolina and devoured the Willows. Sixteen-year-old Collette, a powerful empath, was one of them. A part of a long line of witches that stretches back as far as the slave auctions of Charleston, she was especially gifted.

Decades later, a series of strange kidnappings prompts a member of her secret coven to make a plea for help and Collette is chosen to answer the call.  But things have changed. Angels have come out of the divine closet and everyone is on the lookout for the supernatural.

Snatched from the Void, she has to choose between a normal life and following the warrior path of the Willows, a coven she didn’t know she belonged to. Soon, problems pile sky-high as she struggles to keep the boy who could blow her cover at arm’s length and her sanity as family secrets come to light in the midst of a serial killer.

In the end it all comes down to destiny, death  and the grey places between good and evil. But then again, when you’re Willow Born death can be just the beginning.

WILLOW BORN is a  stand alone Paranormal Fantasy. Fans of Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild and  Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost will be delighted with the book’s mix of supernatural drama, romance and Southern fantasy.

Why DNF? Fatphobia (one of side characters is described as weak and fat) I did not read far enough to see if the label put on him is challenged. Of course on the opposite spectrum the love interest is muscular thus brave. The story overall needs to be polished more.

Liked: black love interest, main character is reborn (born? reincarnated? summoned?) knowing her past, I think overall the story is a good idea

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Pub: 3/1/17

1931. Bronzeville. Chicago. The mage, Frank “Half Dead” Johnson, is a marked man. Literally. A drunken decision fueled by tragedy has left him with half a soul, sorcerous powers, and two centuries to work off his debt to Scratch (aka The Devil) himself.
Watch as “Half Dead” attempts to save his own soul, pay his debt, and help as many people as he can along the way. It’s a hard-hitting Hoodoo Noir highball with just a splash of Southern Gothic. Smack-dab in the dark heart of the Windy City. Hold on tight! It’s going to be a bumpy ride down Hard Times Road.

Why DNF? I did not like the story just based on investment sake. I did not feel propelled to finish it.

(images are from goodreads and synopsis are from netgalley)

 

 

Allegedly Readalong: Chapters 9-12

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Chapter 9

Q: Does new girl have a plot with lawyers and/or Kelly? Did Kelly do crimes on purpose?

I think she did it on purpose.

Questions Marys mental stability.

Interesting that Mary is friends with the white (innocent) girl. Again, thinks about the questionable race stuff in this book.

Chapter 10

I feel like the lawyer is exploiting Mary.

(We finally get the events of what happened with Alyssa according to Mary)

Q: So what was all this about Mary blacking out? The story and some of what we read do not match.

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Ted has a point! Remember he has no experience and a record of doing the horrible crime he has done. It is real that he would get involved into some shady stuff to have somewhere to stay.

Q: Did Ted low key say he is a pimp?

Chapter 11

Word of the day: Exploitation

Mary is not getting any money for anything that profited off of her. If Allegedly says anything it says something about the exploitation that happens on these murder cases.

I do not like Alyssa mom (I get it and all). Nonetheless, I do not like Alyssa mom. So she thought Mary did not do it but she still carried on letting Mary go to jail. She really made me mad.

Chapter 12

The reality is that even if she is found not guilty people could still not believe her. Mary could still deal with condemnation especially since she is a black girl.

All these people do not care about her. The only people she had in her life have left her in the cold. Her mom let her take fall for a crime she did not commit. Alyssa mom just let her take fall even though in her heart she felt she did no do it. It made me feel like so any black woman/girl would do.

Mary very much mythicizes Alyssa mom and white people in general- dad is white savior, Alyssa mom is greatest mom ever.

What I do not think we are going to get answers to:

  1. Who is Mary father?
  2. What did the other girls do?
  3. Does her father know about her?
  4. Does her mom even know who her father is?

What we have left to cover in book:

  • trial
  • all reveals/reactions of people

Q: Do you think the portrayal of mental illness is done well? A lot of books use it for short hand=criminal.

The story overall has been a mix of hopefulness with dose of  “realism”.

Try Chapter Tag: Reading Groove (Mostly Black Women Authored)

I did do Diverseathon but because of reasons as you will see I stopped midway through the readathon.

Diverseathon

These are just the non-comics/picture book books I read.

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Red Queen Dies

+it is very current in certain aspects about the political climate of future (it is set in 2019)

-the mystery is boring sounding, narration/voice is ugh

Overall the story does not make me want to continue it. This sentiment is very much prevalent in everything I read for diverseathon. No

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Ardency

1st poem: this may be too lyrical for me

further on: I don’t know if I like poetry books and upon further reading most of it feels like an inside joke that I don’t get. I’m not super familiar with the Amistad which is what the poems are about. Again, I just am not invested. No

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The Secret of Magic

+more back story into characters than Red Queen Dies (even though as a story Red Queen Dies is more interesting)

This is set during the civil right movement time period so it is kind of dark. The first chapter (spoiler!) ended pretty bad. I’m really at a place that I’m not into just doom and gloom.  I just did feel interested after first chapter. No

I really want to see a psychological thriller with a black woman as the main character from the publishing industry in the future.

I was not enjoying the books I picked up for Diverseathon so I hit a reading slump that I hope that I can get out of it in February.

Non-Diverseathon

I have read these in the last couple of months or so.

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Living Violet

-main character is kinda judgemental (I know many teens are judgemental but I think it is deeper than her being judgemental it is me finding her voice as an issue), average mean love interest

+It is interesting (it has been a while so I do not know what exactly past me thought was interesting)

No

It is basically a black girl main character filling the space of the average girl who is introduced to fantasy world. The problem comes when I already have an issue with the genre of teen paranormal romance girls. I have a problem with the voice of most y.a. characters in general so yeah.

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Bad Feminist

Jumps around in the first essay in a weird way. I think it is because of  the informalness with which she is writing. I want to like it more but it feels like a rehashing of things but not in a fun way.  No

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Randomly decided to read Allegedly even though I was super afraid I would not like it. It kinda reminds me of Fosters which is a good show.

+the main characters voice is way more fun to be around than a lot of others in y.a.

-fatphobia is present in here

I probably will not finish this book knowing me (my relationship with y.a. and fiction in general) but right now Yes

Questions (don’t actually answer/spoil it)

Did she do it? And why?

Did her mom do it? I think her mom left her alone with the baby and she as a nine year old made a mistake she has blocked out. Or her mom is a psychopath who did it but blamed her daughter. I like the second theory because it is devious and can have a dramatic reveal towards the end.

What is the difference between baby jail and juvie?

Is she related to the child that died? How does she know the child who died? I think the child who died is actually not related to her because I sort of read the back which makes it seem like it is just a baby someone left for her mom and her to babysit.

The true winner of this Try A Chapter Tag is Allegedly since it is the only book I half-way liked. So I am going to read that and hopefully finish a non-fiction book sometime this year.

Waiting To Exhale: Comics TBR (TP)

In 2017 my family plans to not go out as much (acquiring books) so that we can save money and finish books I own.

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  1. Black Panther

I got this for Christmas so I will be reading this soon.

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2. Saga vol. 2

I am so far behind in this series.

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3.Virgil

I heard it is about machismo thus masculinity and homosexuality.

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4. Nighthawk

It starts off already with the main character beating up racists in the first page which was very funny. I need to fully get into this so I can finish it.

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5. Cold Space

It is good to find some sci-fi so I can wean myself off of reading so much science fiction novels. I’m always in want of sci-fi and fantasy novels even though I do not like majority of them.

Goals

  • Read indie (some artsy)  comics
  • Own books~ read way more
  • Get up to date on series currently reading (making tbr for this soon)
  • Do one post at least a month about comics
  • Read more own voices and diversely

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Comics That Have Under 2000 Ratings

I don’t know if comic book readers really use goodreads so that may be a major reason a lot of these books having lower ratings.

  1. Howard the Duck vol. 0

Ratings: 363

Hot off the pages of the…well, the post-credits scene at the end of a popular movie…Howard the Duck is back! Join the foul-mouthed fowl, trapped in a world he never made (but has grown accustomed to) as he takes on weird cases that only a talking duck can crack — as the Marvel Universe’s resident private investigator! Howard’s first case begins with the Black Cat but soon goes cosmic, landing him in the Collector’s clutches! But he’s not alone — Rocket Raccoon is a prisoner, as well! Can these two anthropomorphic animals turn the tables and break free? Well, yeah. Plus: Howard investigates a a senior citizens crime spree, teams up with Doctor Strange for some magical antics and learns a lot about new friend Tara Tam, because communication is key. Plus: a SECRET WARS tie-in! Sort of. Collecting HOWARD THE DUCK (2015) #1-5.

I love how fun, funny, and creative comics are.

2. Storm #1

Ratings: 225

Storm does not get enough recognition for how powerful and awesome she is!

3. Hellcat #1

Ratings: 190

Patsy Walker is so goofy I love it. Again, comics being fun.

6. The Infinity Gauntlet #1

Ratings: 61

Black family is main characters in this.

4. Doctor Fate #1

Ratings: 49

This deals with Egyptian gods which I don’t see that much in any other books.

5. Halloween Eve (one shot)

Ratings: 43

 

Eve has an imagination that’s more than active – it can be downright dangerous! Working late at the costume super-store Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night. The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real.

High fantasy and heartbreak in an oversized holiday one-shot by BRANDON MONTCLARE (FEAR ITSELF: FEARSOME FOUR) and Eisner Award nominee AMY REEDER (BATWOMAN, MADAME XANADU).

7. Cyborg #1

Ratings: 39

I don’t love the cover but the comic is good.

8. Effigy #1

Ratings: 21

After a sex-tape scandal, former Hollywood child star turned Z-lister Chondra Jackson returns to her hometown of Effigy Mound, IL, to find a seemingly impossible crime–a fresh corpse in an ancient Indian burial site. Even weirder, the murder resembles a scene from an episode of her old TV show, Star Cop, a show about a kid detective. As Chondra starts to investigate, she stumbles upon a bizarre cult that worships celebrities as eternal effigies. And these cult members aren’t just worshiping–they’re also ritually sacrificing anyone who defies their veneration of the beautiful and famous. Written by rising star Tim Seeley (BATMAN ETERNAL, GRAYSON, Revival) and illustrated by Marley Zarcone (Black Circle, MADAME XANADU), EFFIGY is a twisted murder mystery and conspiracy tale that examines celebrity, godhood, and the price of fame.

9. Spawn : Resurrection

Ratings: 8

Way better introduction to Spawn than the super 90s television series.

10. Captain America and Mighty Avengers #1

Ratings: 5

[all images are from comicvine.com. All synopsis and ratings are from Goodreads]

 

Try A Chapter Tag: Mostly In Limbo

Since I found the Try A Chapter Tag I have been obsessed with it. Basically it is a more structured form of one of my  Samples&Previews posts.

Rules

1.Choose 5+ books that “you have been meaning to read”
2. Read up to the 1st Chapter (prologue included)
3.Yes or No, will you finish or set it aside?

Most of the  books I picked are in that space between officially own books  and getting rid of/adding to own list.

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The Creature From the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast

The writing was off with this one. It had terribly done exposition: story  from idea to idea without correlation and the world building is not seamless. I feel the prologue and first chapter should’ve been edited down to one  single chapter for structure. In terms of the content of the story the main character is a stereotypical unpopular kid *yawn*

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

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Bait

It gets straight into the action which is so exciting and refreshing. Tells you a lot about the characters without directly telling, aka showing not telling (which Boy or Beast suffered from).

The tagline “Jaws meets Lord of the Flies meets Drugstore Cowboy”= I would say more Jaws meets The Most Dangerous Game.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

Who Goes There, Lincoln?

Another book that has better exposition than Boy or Beast. I do like that the main character is black. I also like that his family has little threads about them to possibly pull on later. The problem is that this story feels bare which makes me not care about it.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

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The Devotion of Suspect X

I like that the characters and setting are Japanese.This is one of those books you have to get into. I feel I’m in a light/fun kind of mood. I think this will be serious and philosophical which is not what I want right now.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

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Truth or Hair

Yep, again exposition not done sloppy. I think I will wait until late August to continue reading this. I do think it is good so far. One thing I like about this series is that all the characters are distinct from each other.

Verdict: Yes No Maybe

Cycle of Thought

Need New Books

There is a discussion that was on my mind after sampling these books about how I need more books that fit me as a reader currently. I think my shelf of books are dated. Yes, a lot of purging happened in the last years because of my blog. However, there has not been a big input of books to match who I am as a reader today.

Cycle

Read Own Books

There are many things that stop me from getting new books.

  • Trying to save money
  • I have high DNF ratio
  • 347 books history has me leery

At the end of this sampling of books I knew I NEEDED  new books. In my next post I will go more in-depth to talk about what I need and don’t need in terms of books.

[all images are from goodreads except Who Goes There, Lincoln which is from amazon.]