Friday, March 14, 2014

DNF Reviews: This Is What Happy Looks Like, The Queen's Choice, and The Long Way

This is What Happy Looks Like

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.
Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? -Goodreads
2 Stars
If I were to summarize the main reason why I DNF'ed this in one word, it would be: immaturity.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a pretty immature/random person myself, but this isn't a case of the pot and the kettle. I'm talking about the shallow-ness of this book; it feels like pure fluff with no real point to it. It's not enjoyable fluff, either; nor can it be possibly categorized as "guilty pleasure". This book is pretty much the reason why I tend to stay away from contemporary fiction altogether. 
Taking a look at the blurb, I was certain that I would not like this at all. The only reason why I still ended up reading the novel was I absolutely loved the author's previous novel, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (she obviously has a thing for long titles...) 

The novel was just... dumb, okay? It was stupid and meandering and, above all, unentertaining. I think only people who are hardcore fans of chick-lit and contemporary fiction would like TiWHLL.
The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior, #1)

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.
Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined. -Goodreads
1.5 Stars
While reading The Queen's Choice, a recurring thought would implant itself in my brain every five seconds: "How was this even published?"

Yes, it was that intolerable. Not to say that the book was necessarily bad, I just cannot imagine someone who is a fan of fantasy enjoying this (i.e. me). There was far too much worldbuilding and little plot development. Up until the point I read, the book seemed like an extended version of traveling scenes in Graceling. In other words, it was needlessly long-winded.

I admit the writing was surprisingly good; however, the rest of the book's aspects just didn't cut it.

The Long Way

Moving from China’s Opium Wars of the mid-19th century to the California gold rush and the taming of the Wild West, this epic historical fantasy follows the quest for an ancient Chinese dragon lost in a strange new world. A neglected orphan, an angry monk, and a sinister Englishman come together in a clash of wills and cultures that could change the future for the better—or for much, much worse. -Goodreads
1.5 Stars
Being the history nerd I am, it's practically unquestionable that I would fly through a book like The Long Way. That wasn't the case. In fact, I'll have to add this to the never-ending list of historical fiction disappointments.

I made it to about 30% in before giving up. In all honesty, I really think the irksome writing encouraged me to stop reading, due to a lack of fluidity. The characters were underdeveloped and the plot left a lot to be desired. To sum this up, The Long Way just wasn't good enough.

Truly, the book needs work in terms of pacing and style.


  1. It's a shame you didn't like This Is What Happy Looks Like. I was able to get it for only $9 so I hope I have a better experience with it.

    1. I really hope you like it more than I did! :))