Dec 31, 2011

Books Left Unfinished in 2011

There are four books that I started, but couldn't finish in 2011. I kept track of them because I knew I wanted to do a sort of mini review of a few points I may have liked in each book, and maybe a few things I didn't. I felt they needed to be noticed, even if I couldn't finish them for whatever reason during this time. Just because they didn't work for me, doesn't mean other people may not fall in love with them. So without further delay, here they are! 
Red Riding Hood, by Sarah Blakley-Cartright
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 25, 2011
How far did I get before putting it down? About 50 pages if I remember correctly.
The blacksmith would marry her.
The woodcutter would run away with her.
The werewolf would turn her into one of its own.

Valerie's sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister's violent death, Valerie's world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them--it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes...or everyone she loves will die.

Based on a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson.
First off, I just want to say that I absolutely LOVE the movie. It's one of my favorites. I watched the movie before starting the book because I heard that is what you need to do. Normally, there is a book before a movie. But in this case the screenplay was written before the book.  I heard that the writer, Sarah Blakley-Cartright, only had so much time to write the whole book and have it ready for the editors before the movie came out. So that probably had a lot to do with some people not liking this book. The book was based on the screenplay. Not the other way around.
Things I liked: 
  •  Some of the descriptions were great. It really made me feel as though I was there in the village. 
  • The storyline is great. A really refreshing take on the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood. 
Why I didn't finish:
  • There was a lot of telling what was happening, but not  a lot of showing. Showing goes a long way.
  • It was a bit slow, and I couldn't get into it. I think it took me about a week to finally drop it. I wanted to love it so much that I just kept trying to read it. 
 I will probably try and pick this book up at another time. I love the movie so much that I want to love the book just as much. I have also heard that towards the middle of the book, it gets really good and you learn a bit more than you do in the movie. Just a little bit more back story. I really want to read about that.
(Deviants, #1)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: Janaury 25, 2011
How far did I get before putting it down? Almost to 200 pages. 
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.
The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?
As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

What I liked: 
  • The unique story line.
  • Emily seemed to be a pretty bad-ass character after her "change".
  • I liked how there was little add-ins for Emily being in some sort of facility being interrogated. And then the actual story being her telling the guy about everything.
Why I didn't finish:
  • It was kind of confusing at some parts, if I remember correctly. 
  • I didn't fully connect with any of the characters. 
  • It seemed really slow at some parts and I felt like I couldn't remember what just happened. 
  • I was stuck on it for about 2 weeks before giving up. 
I will definitely be trying to read this sometime soon. I've been hearing a lot of great things about it and I want to try it again. I think the reason why I couldn't fully get into it and finish it was because I was in sort of a reading slump at the time. Which isn't fair! So I'll try this book again soon. Maybe in the new year. =D
The Secret Life of Prince Charming, by Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: April 7, 2009
How far did I get before putting it down? About 70 pages. 
Maybe it was wrong, or maybe impossible, but I wanted the truth to be one thing. One solid thing.
Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist -- after all, she's the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men.
It doesn't help that she's gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her formerly absent father. He's a little bit of a lot of things: charming, selfish, eccentric, lazy...but he's her dad, and Quinn's just happy to have him around again. Until she realizes how horribly he's treated the many women in his life, how he's stolen more than just their hearts. Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half sister she's never met and the little sister she'll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father's wrongs...and in doing so, begin to uncover what they're really looking for: the truth.
What I liked:
  •  It really seemed to be leading up to an important message. 
  • The summary sounded really good. 
  • Quinn seemed to be a strong character. 
Why I didn't finish:
  • Everything seemed to drag on and on and on.  
I just want to say that I read her book Stay this year and I absolutely loved it. Stay was my first book by her and I really want to read more of her books so I picked this one up. I couldn't fully get into this. I may go back and try it again another time, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm still kind of iffy about it.
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: February 1, 2009
How far did I get before I put it down? I don't remember. Maybe about 20 pages? 
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.
What I liked: 

  • The summary sounded AMAZING!
  • The main character was a bit funny at some points.
Why I didn't finish:
  • I couldn't get into it. Had to move on to something else.
  • I kept having to go back because I didn't remember what I read. 
I have heard great things about this book, but I just couldn't get into it. It sounds amazing. I might go back another time and try it again, but I couldn't spend anymore time trying to get into it. 


  1. I agree, showing DOES go along way! All of us book bloggers have those books we couldn't finish, and it's always interesting to compare! I haven't tried any of these, but Vesper is on my reading list. I wonder if I'll feel similarly...

  2. I love you idea of a couldn't finish list. It was interesting to read why you couldn't finish these books.

  3. I read Red Riding Hood and hated the ending of my version (they left out the final chapter and made you look it up online), so I feel you on that one. It's odd to have a book written from a screenplay and it didn't work out, in my opinion.

    The other three books are ones I haven't read yet either. Fun idea, thanks for sharing!

  4. I always try to finish a book but sometimes there just seems to be no way to get into it. The only book I didn't finish last year was a kind of horror novel for teens and I only started it because it was sent to me by the publisher.


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