2016 DNF Compilation | Reviews




Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Down with the Shine is guilty of cover distraction. The simplest definition of this common phenomenon is becoming enthralled with a novel based solely on the beauty of a cover. This happens quite often among book reader’s and although it can be avoided sometimes, it can sneak upon you like a serpent waiting to attack simply because – it’s beautiful.

What the hell am I talking about?

Valid question. I was so amped to read this novel after looking upon this beautiful, magically enhanced cover. To be honest, the blurb was also exciting, therefore, my hopes and expectations were high – wrongly placed.

I didn’t get far, therefore I’m declining to give it a rating, however, I refused to continue. The premise was extremely intriguing, but I smelled the stank of the following:

1. Love Triangle

2. Hot guy too beautiful that heroine just drools

3. Figuring out how to cure the bad mojo, hence, boring fact digging

4. Cliché outsider looking in but beautiful

I’m so sick of books like this – bursting with nonsensical trite passing itself off as an exciting fantasy. This might seem a bit harsh, but my reading time is precious and reused formulaic style themes in YA are becoming dangerously close to the precipice of trashy fiction.

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Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter








Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Regrettably, the original review for this novel mysteriously disappeared – after someone forgot to save it – and since Microsoft sucks old, sweaty socks, I’ve been forced to retype and remake the entire review…



So, I apologize for this even suckier review than normal, I didn’t have a whole bunch of time to redo this, but I had to do it. You know the saying,

“If you can’t do it right, do it anyway”

(is that not right?)

Disclaimer: My rating of a 3.5 (B+) is graded on a curve because this was the debut novel of Mr. Ritter

Jackaby is a fun novel. Throughout, we follow the partnership of Abigail and Jackaby. She’s a rebellious runaway following her dreams of adventure and fulfillment, whereas Jackaby is an eccentric, witty, sometimes charming sometimes rude, supernatural (consulting) detective. She sees the normal and he sees the unnormal unusual, because he’s like a seer or something.

The best thing about Jackaby has to be the unorthodox fantasy theme Ritter gives us. It’s very original because it’s focused around folklore (which I love) that Jackaby attempts to pass off as science. Jackaby would also have to be a positive point of the novel because I was definitely getting Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who vibes, however, he was lacking in many areas and just didn’t capture the true essence of the aforementioned characters. Another positive point would be the lack of real romance and the extremely platonic partnership between Abigail and Jackaby. Abigail does have a budding love with a certain young detective (cop?), but it’s occurring in the shadows, besides he’s got his own secrets.

The worst things about Jackaby was the lack proper action. The book is short – appx. 299 pages – so, having to read half of the novel for anything exciting to happen (or really anything at all) was quite boring. This also accounts for the fact that Abigail isn’t a great narrator, with her stale observations and dull chatter. Don’t get me wrong, she had her moments where I enjoyed her narration, but mostly I wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, the story is interesting and it’s fun to read about them finding the supernatural murderer…which Jackaby should have figured out much sooner than he did.

This is a series so I expected book 2 to advance above this novel…I’ve read book 2 but I didn’t get that…you’ll just have to wait for that review……

I know this review isn’t great, but I suggest you check out this one —> Jackaby


WWW Wednesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On A World Of Words (SamAnnElizabeth) where we answer the three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What are you planning on reading next?

What are you currently reading?

What did you just finish reading?

The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness – So amazingly good! A+

Full Circle (Full Circle #1) by Blake Haugen – It was good! B

Crossroads (Full Circle #2) by Blake Haugen – It was good, again! B

Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder – Disappointing! D

What are you planning on reading next?

New Releases | The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2)


Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.

Expected publication: October 4th, 2016 by Disney Hyperion Books

I haven’t read book 1 yet, but I intend to because I love mythology and the Percy Jackson series.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review



The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes

Illuminae has a massive overload of reviews, so my input won’t be something that someone hasn’t already stated, but I read it so why not review it.

  • Format – The format of Illuminae while ambitious and entertaining, didn’t leave a considerable amount of potential to build an attachment to the characters or storyline. Since the entire novel is broken up into IM’s, articles, transcribed audio and video footage, data records, and recorded codes and information from A.I.D.A.N. While the storyline wasn’t difficult to follow, it just felt weird at times.
  • Characters – This can be reflected back to the format. Because of the way Illuminae is formatted it’s hard to be connected to the characters. Kady and Ezra were funny and their love was fun and heartfelt, but I just wasn’t invested in them.


Continue reading

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1





Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.



The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.




It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience.

Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

October 11, 2016

WWW Wednesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On A World Of Words (SamAnnElizabeth) where we answer the three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What are you planning on reading next?

What are you currently reading?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass – 35%
The Picture of Dorian Gray by – 11%
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela – 2%
The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness – 5%

What did you just finish reading?

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – ★ ★ ★ ★ (fantasy, YA, dystopian)
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – DNF (retelling, mystery, YA)
American Bad Boy by Eddie Cleveland – ★ ★ 1/2 (IR/Multicultural, military, romance)
Jackaby by William Ritter – ★ ★ ★ (YA, mystery, fantasy)
Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) – ★ ★  (YA, mystery, fantasy)

What are you planning on reading next?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling – This is a library book and in high demand, so if I’m gonna read it, the sooner the better.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – I’ve been promising to read this novel for the entire year! I finally have it so I’m not gonna waste any time – let the adventure commence.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman – After finally reading my first Patrick Ness novel, I’m excited to read another author people have been recommending to me. Neil Gaiman happens to be one of them – highly recommended.


A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro | Review



The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

The omission of a rating for this novel wasn’t an error, but a tactical decision based upon the fact that I gave up pretty early on, therefore, I didn’t rate it out of ‘farness’.
A Study in Charlotte should have captivated me! I’m a die hard Sherlock Holmes fan and I also enjoy retellings of famous stories and, or, themes, so it’s only natural that a revamped version of Sherlock Holmes featuring a female “Sherlock” and an American setting would be like literary heaven, right?


Since I didn’t make it far, I’ll keep this short.

The biggest turnoff about this book was the tainted partnership of Holmes and Watson. One of my favorite things about the partnership between Holmes and Watson is that it’s purely platonic. I know the original is super old, so a gay kinda romance wouldn’t have spawned from their partnership (writers back then weren’t that risqué), however, even the updated, televised versions of Sherlock Holmes never waver from that basic foundation.

For some odd reason YA always has to include some kind of romance, regardless of its usefulness. In this novel all the signs pointed toward a future romance between the two and a complicated on-again off-again love. Very few YA novels exclude romance (A Darker Shade of Magic is a rarity) but sometimes it’s just not necessary. Why couldn’t this have just been a mystery (mediocre, but still a plain mystery)?

Another reason I didn’t feel compelled to finish the novel was that I could tell it wasn’t going to be different. Charlotte read like the original Sherlock (watered down, of course) and Jamie is no different than John (again, watered down severely). Then the idea of Holmes being a drug addict and living in the US was not terribly original….

Lastly, there’s the bland voice of Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes’ unlikable nature. There’s this amazing quality to Sherlock Holmes that allows you to LOVE him. It’s quite interesting how someone so blatantly arrogant and blissfully ignorant to others emotions (or just overall inconsiderate nature) can be so magnetic, however, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was able to do that. In this case, Charlotte lacks that.

I was bored and I’m pretty busy so I didn’t feel a need to continue. Perhaps someone who had time to truly try, could extract some great qualities to this novel, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

WWW Wednesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On A World Of Words (SamAnnElizabeth) where we answer the three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you just finish reading?
  • What are you planning on reading next?

This is a day late, I’m so sorry!

What are you currently reading?

Down with the Shine – Kate Karyus Quinn = Boring

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde = Slow, Long-winded

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo = TBD

What did you just finish reading?

East of West, Vol. 1 by Johnathan Hickman – ★ ★ ★ ★ (apocalyptic, dystopia, GN)

East of West, Vol 2. Johnathan Hickman – ★ ★ ★ ★ (apocalyptic, dystopia, GN)

Harmony by Sienna Mynx – ★ ★ ★ (IR, Multicultural, 20’s, historical, crime)

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig – ★ ★ ★ (time travel, YA, fantasy)

Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older – ★ ★ ★ ★ (YA, fantasy)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (YA, dystopia)

The Revenany by Michael Punke – ★ ★ ★ ★ (historical, adventure)

What are you planning on reading next?

I have a massive overload of library books…soo…it’d probably be one of these

And a whole lot more….