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December 30, 2012

DNF Second Edition

It's those books where I feel like my copy was different from everybody else's because no matter how hard I tried, 
I. Can't. Finish. It!



Gasp!

I never thought I'd ever DNF a J.K. Rowling book! I've read a lot of reviews and it wasn't all good so I mentally prepared myself before I dove in and read it. I know it's nothing like Harry Potter and I can't even compare so I trusted on Ms. Rowlings skill with the pen to whisk me away to Pagford. 

The book is long-ish at 500 pages more or less. The book is like peeling an onion and it became too painful I can't take it any longer. It took me TWO DAYS to read 100 pages. Not only are there a lot of characters but it seems Rowling took her time in revealing her plot. So I quit at page 125.

CASUAL VACANCY is like a physical challenge to me and only the true Rowling loyalists are worthy enough to appreciate the "eloquence" of the book.  


Nothing about VENOM really worked for me. When I see "Renaissance Italy" I think overindulgent clergy, promiscuous Contessas, tyrannical Princes and genius artists. Historically speaking, I think this period in our history skipped YOUNG ADULT altogether. The daughters of well-to-do families, like Cassandra, are carted & married off to the highest bidder as soon as puberty hit, sometimes even before, girls lose their V-cards around the same time they start their menses. So yeah, a YA Renaissance book is truly a work of fiction and a little tricky to sell if you ask me. 

As for the murder-mystery, FPaul took her time in dishing out Venom, I stopped at page 100 because it was starting to feel a drag. I was getting impatient and I don't really want to read about Cass and the parties she attends, her spoiled rich friends, her timid and boring maid and her forbidden late-night trysts with the starving artist Falco. At this point a courtesan died, a dead countessa's body is missing and someone has been abducted. No VENMON yet. I've read my share of thrillers and if you're playing with that flavor at least make the stings successive, looming, throbbing and personally threatening. Paul's "clues" were lacking at this point which is the reason why I gave up on it early on. VENOM is a historical romantic suspense thriller so dish the suspense and thrill me

This book isn't for me obviously. I guess I was expecting something else so don't take this review at face value. I'm sure some of you will end up loving it, just don't shoot me for not liking this book if you do.


I first read the teaser from Amazon and I really liked the premise but as the story moved forward, I found myself losing interest in the story. Try as I might I can't find it in me to connect to any of the characters. Jay is too suave, I see him as this oily, up to no good scoundrel who thinks he's so cool. And Isobel, your husband is obviously not in to you so why wallow and debase yourself with Jay? Either you get out or you try and fix it. Don't stay in the middle.

I guess I'll never really find out Barry's objective or the point of the story because the road towards the end is challenging for me as a reader. I suppose I'm suppose to feel the lure of Jay's world and the freedom it offers Isobel but there was something "off" about the whole thing that reading it has become a chore.


I didn't even bother to look at the details of this book, my impulse responded to the catchy title BEAUTIFUL BASTARD. It sounds so forbidding.

Well forbidding is an apt word because if it were up to me, I'd forbid this to ever hit the shelves. I am not versed in Twilight fanfic and I believe Christina Lauren is Simon & Schuster's answer to E.L. James as both of them have hit publishing pay dirt from their Twilight fanfic. 

Hmm... 

Lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place. 

This saying is so true and IMO, very applicable to BEAUTIFUL BASTARD. I am not sure if Gallery books is selling this book as erotica or a parody like Fifty Shades of Earl Grey. I was taken off guard because my copy is uncorrected and I've read a lot of uncorrected works but BEAUTIFUL BASTARD takes the cake. It's feels like Christina Lauren just copy/pasted their posts from whatever forum they initially posted the story at without even bothering to edit the thing and I'm not even talking about typographical errors and such.

I HOPE and PRAY that one of Gallery Books' top editors will be assigned to work with this author make the necessary changes to make the story engaging and intelligent. This book needs more plot and less sex. It'll be a joke to send this story to the presses and have it sitting on the shelves of bookstores where gullible consumers are bound to waste their money on a pretty cover and a bad story. Readers deserve more than this.






18 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of these! *phew* LOL I hate wasting my time on crummy books.

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    1. I used to not DNF books but I've realized that time spent trying to like and finish a book isn't worth it.

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  2. Thank heavens that I haven't read any of those book either! Even though I haven't DNF'd a book in two years, it's still fun to read these posts and see what books to avoid at all costs!!

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    1. LOL Don't take my work for it Shelley, you might like some of these.

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  3. I have not read any of these but have been considering Venom. Maybe I'll continue to just think about it for awhile. My list was so much bigger than yours! Eep!!

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    1. A lot of people really liked Venom. My experience was a combination of wrong expectations and my current reading mood. The book was super pretty though!

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  4. I had a feeling that JK Rowling book wouldn't be that good.

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    1. I think it's good but I didn't have the patience to finally get to the great parts LOL but yeah, I think you won't like it.

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  5. After seeing so many blah reviews for The Casual Vacancy, I'm in no hurry to read it. And I think I'll skip Venom all together.

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    1. Don't take my word for it, Lee, some people really love TCV especially Venom. Maybe you will appreciate Venom better than I will.

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  6. Awe, I have 'When the Siren Calls' and Venom on my tbr :/ Hopefully it's a different take for me >.< I... never read the Harry Potter books *hides from J.K. Rowling fans*, but I loved the movies! I'm in no hurry to read The Casual Vacancy either >.<

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    1. I still encourage you to read WTSC & Venon, I'll look forward to read your thoughts on the matter. Honest truth, if I wasn't blogging and have a bunch of books to review for tour stops and what-not, I'd probably find a way to finish TCV but currently I'd rather spend my time in another book.

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    2. Ah, I understand, better to just walk away from them lest they make you angry and want to walk away from books for a while >.< Thanks Braine :)

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  7. I have Beautiful Bastard but I haven't read it yet. There's been a lot of mixed reviews about it. As for Venom, I've really been looking forward to reading that book. I hope I'm not disappointed.

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    1. Beautiful Bastard, I think, is one of those books where you'll enjoy how ridiculous and shallow it is or completely hate it. Sadly it was the latter for me. Try Venom, I think it'll be better appreciated by genuine YA lovers.

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  8. I wasn't planning on reading any of these, and now I definitely won't be! Lucky there are so many other books out there ;-)

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  9. I haven't read any of these either, but I've heard the same thing about The Casual Vacancy a lot of times. I love J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, but I knew straight away that TCV wasn't for me! :)
    Hope this new year has less DNF books for you!

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