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Search tags: why-did-I-finish-it?
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review 2018-03-20 17:10
DNF at 30% mark.
The Girls in the Picture: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin

I think I should have just read a biography of either or both of these women, because they led extremely interesting lives which the book managed to make fairly dull. I wanted way more about actually making movies, and less angsting about boys, and a lot of the writing felt overwrought and melodramatic. It kept skipping over actually making the movies and what that was like into other issues.


The author backed herself into this weird smarm corner of saying the main character was completely fine with gay people, and then immediately insisting that she didn't get lesbians at all because who doesn't like cock, amirite? By the way, the character really likes cock, and isn't gay at all. Look, I don't mind stories about two women having a friendship rather than a romance, but the notgaynotgaynotgay(but not homophobic!) dance got old a long time ago. I felt like I'd fallen into Xena gen fic from the '90s. At the same time, the author had the same characters not blinking at the racism in the industry in general and Birth of a Nation in particular. So I'm not sure why period-typical racism was okay, but period-typical homophobia was not?


I did like some of the discussion about being a woman in a male-dominated field, which mostly managed to stick to period language and not sounding like it was cut from modern day. But so much of it was telling not showing, as we very rarely see the dynamics on set, or the sets at all, just hear about them after the fact. I looked at some reviews to see if it picked up, but apparently the middle is even more draggy and about boys, so I bailed.

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review 2018-03-12 00:11
To the Book Gods You Go!
The People We Hate at the Wedding: A Novel - Grant Ginder

This is a terrible book. Don't read it. DNF at 38 percent. Back to the library you go. I swear you can have books with terrible characters doing awful things. But you can't have terrible characters, writing, and a ridiculous plot. At this point the half sister could be eating kids on the side, and she wouldn't suck as much as the mother (Donna), son (Paul) and (Alice) daughter in this book.

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review 2018-03-05 00:07
Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones


DNF at 68%

I can't keep reading this; Liesl has gotten on my nerves almost since first page with her contempt for her younger sister. More accurately for her younger sister's... developed body. I hate crap like this.
Then there's the fact that Liesl suffers from "I'm different from everyone else"plot , which could result, if the character wasn't so obnoxious.
As for the romance, ye gods, that's what finally killed it for me: Liesl has gotten into her thick head of hers that she will only be validated as a person, if she can get the Goblin King to desire her.
See? I just can't keep reading this; it is really getting on my nerves.
Too bad, because the writing _ the beautiful writing _ is right up my alley.

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review 2018-03-01 19:55
Could Not Get Into Narrative Style-DNF at 50 Percent
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

I have been getting yelled at to read this book for years. I tried, really, but I just could not get into this. I finally decided to throw in the white towel and call it a DNF.


I was told that the book gets better, but I am not in the mood to suffer through trying to get to better. At 50 percent my major issues were that the world-building was not working for me, I could not get into the characters, and the writing was causing me keep mumbling to myself "what?!" and not in a good way.


I think the fact that the book is told through two separate POV/timelines is what through me off the most. I started having flashbacks to "The Girl Before" and am going to just beg authors to stop doing this mess. It's a gimmick that most often does not play out very well unless the two people have really distinct separate voices. For me the of Breq was not doing enough for me to care one way or the other. 


The writing was hard to get past for me:


"I turned to look at her, to study her face. She was taller than most Nilters, but fat and pale as any of them."

What the hell is a Nilters. Why does this book keep introducing things and act like I should already know what it is?


"She out-bulked me, but I was taller, and I was also considerably stronger than I looked. She didn’t realize what she was playing with. She was probably male, to judge from the angular mazelike patterns quilting her shirt."


"She’d taken kef, I guessed. Most people will tell you that kef suppresses emotion, which it does, but that’s not all it does. There was a time when I could have explained exactly what kef does, and how, but I’m not what I once was. As far as I knew, people took kef so they could stop feeling something. Or because they believed that, emotions out of the way, supreme rationality would result, utter logic, true enlightenment. But it doesn’t work that way."


I swear most of this book reminds me of the time my friends and I went drinking in the woods and were having huge thoughts about space, stars, and aliens. And of course I was sober the next day and realized we were all talking out of our ass.


The flow was awful. It took me forever it felt like to just get up to 10 pages. I had to keep re-reading so much of the paragraphs before I would end up with 10 different questions when I would finish one sentence. 


There are two other books in this series, and obviously based on this review I am not going to go forward with reading them.  

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review 2018-02-28 03:56
The advantages of reading blurbs:
Jade City (The Green Bone Saga) - Fonda Lee

You'll know it's not your genre before you start! Had I read it, I'd have run into the phrase " an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kungfu."  As it was, I went off a bunch of people reccing it, and just jumped right in, not wanting to be spoiled.


I was squiffy on this book because the first female character didn't show up for fifty pages (and was a mistress who was there entirely for a sex scene), and then I was squiffy on it because only one of five of the PoV characters was a woman, and it seemed like the length of the Bible between her scenes (while meanwhile all the male characters made free with gendered slurs), but that was picking up a tiny bit by the half way mark.


What finally finished me off was realising that I really just wanted all of the major characters to murder each other in the cleanest way possible, and the government to have to actually, you know, govern. Instead of handing everything everything off to wirefu maniacs and their gang wars. This realisation hit about when I figured out that this reminded me of nothing so much as The Hoods (made into a movie as Once Upon a Time in America). So it turns out that I don't like mafia stories? And setting them in a secondary world 1980s South East Asia doesn't make me like them more. Also, I didn't find that adding a very small amount of magic (basically making wirefu real) and then changing nothing else was the most innovative world building I'd ever run into.


DNF at the 50% mark.


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