Weekend Reads #115 – 2019 1st Quarter DNF Review

Posted April 6, 2019 by Lillian in Reviews / 2 Comments

Happy Saturday y’all! It’s rare for me to write a DNF review. It’s not something I enjoy doing, but I felt that I could on these as I read nearly the whole book before giving up (meaning more than 75% read). With all three of these I did skim to the end to see if I wanted to keep reading. Alas I didn’t. Below I’ll share why I couldn’t finish, but not an entire review of the book. Please keep in mind that just because I didn’t enjoy them that you won’t either 😉


I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Weekend Reads #115 – 2019 1st Quarter DNF ReviewThe Dysasters by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Series: The Dysasters #1
Published by Wednesday Books on 2019-02-26
Length: 320 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2019, 2019 New Release Challenge

Foster Stewart knows she's different. Her life has never been "normal." Talking to plants and controlling cloud formations aren't things most seventeen year olds are into. Tate "Nighthawk" Taylor is perfect. Star quarterback and all around dreamy boy next door he never thought about his "extra" abilities. What quarterback wouldn't want night vision? That's not weird, right? It's cool!

But on the night of their first meeting a deadly tornado brings them together and awakens their true abilities - the power to control the element air. Unbeknown to Tate and Foster, they are the first in a group of teens that were genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements. Which truly sucks for Foster, as she has to face the fact that Dr. Rick Stewart, her beloved scientist father, betrayed her and now wants to use her and the others for his own nefarious world domination plot.

Foster and Tate must stop Dr. Stewart and his minions before he destroys their lives and the world.

I have heard great things about the House of Night series by this author duo, so when I was sent an advanced copy of The Dysasters I jumped on it. X-men like powers, good vs evil….yes please! This sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately the execution was terrible. There were times where I’d sit the book down and think maybe I was just tired of reading at the time and come back to it an hour or so later….nope it really was awful.

As other reviewers have pointed out, The Dysasters was written by adult authors for teenagers. The unfortunate part about this is that it was clearly stereotyped. Yes teens are emotional, dramatic, occasionally curse, and can lash out. But y’all these main characters did these constantly with inappropriate timing. For instance, during their first meeting Foster calls Tate a d-bag and he responds by calling her a B—-. Not cool! And definitely not going to get me to like either character.

The drama was OVER the top. Like way over! In the first few chapters, Foster argues with her mom, tornadoes destroy an entire town and quite literally kill everyone in said town, and Foster and Tate while three people from Foster’s past chase them. Too much!

Personally I think if the story had been set around adults (even 19-20 years old) I would’ve enjoyed the story better….maybe. The whole plot was odd. You have Foster and Tate coming into their powers and trying to figure them out. And then you get the POV of the adults and Foster’s dad who is like an evil scientist who is trying to find Foster and Tate, chase them down, etc. Also don’t get me started on the weird POV that happens midway through the book. After I was finally finding a rhythm reading Tate and Foster’s chapters, the authors threw in not one but two new POV. I think this would have been better served in the next book of the series, maybe focusing on different characters in each book OR introducing them at the beginning with Tate and Foster. It was confusing to say the least.

Overall, The Dysasters was a disaster… in my opinion anyways. I stopped reading around the 80% mark. I just couldn’t keep going. If you enjoy science fiction, superhero type stories, maybe give it a read. You may enjoy it more than me.

About P.C. Cast

#1 New York Times & #1 USA Today bestselling author P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and, after her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Booksellers' Best, and many, many more. Ms. Cast is an experienced teacher and talented speaker who lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses.

About Kristin Cast

Kristin Cast is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who teams with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves going on adventures with her friends, family, and significant other, playing with her dogs (Grace Kelly and Hobbs the Tiny Dragon), and is currently obsessed with her baby.


I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Weekend Reads #115 – 2019 1st Quarter DNF ReviewSea of Strangers by Erica Cameron
Series: The Ryogan Chronicles #2
Published by Entangled: Teen on 2017-12-05
Length: 340 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley

Know your enemy if you want to survive…

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

I really enjoyed Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron, so I was excited to dive into Sea of Strangers. Unfortunately this book suffers from second-book syndrome SO bad. I struggled through a majority of the book, and eventually I put it away after I scanned the ending.

Here’s what I struggled with:

  • Khya and her inability to trust anyone, even Terren. I would have thought that after everything they went through together in the first book that she would trust him with her plans, but nope. She’s back to the independent, do it herself, and betray everyone while she’s doing it character she was at the beginning of book one. So frustrating!
  • There were SO many new characters that a glossary was added to the back of the book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I like a large, diverse, fully fleshed out cast of characters. (Under the Dome people is an example of one I love). However these were not fully fleshed out characters, instead they blended together to be one person at times and I had a hard time keeping everyone straight.
  • Immortality….y’all this was like a quest for the Holy Grail. I struggled with this whole plot point. Yes I understand that it is an important aspect in the creation of the Elders and more specifically Varan as Khya knows them, but it wasn’t really clear on why this was important.
  • The original continent/land/kingdom…Khya and her friends travel to the birthplace of their elders, where they lived before they were cast out to die on the island Khya calls home. I expected to learn a lot about the culture and how it intertwines and differs from Khya’s. But we really don’t get much interaction with them at all. It is mostly told from Khya’s perspective, and she and her friends keep a low profile.
  • Lastly, it was boring. Island of Exiles had a slow pace, but picked up towards the end. Even with the slow pace, I found the plot and characters and world interesting enough to keep reading. Sadly, I didn’t feel this way with Sea of Strangers.

Overall, Sea of Strangers was a disappointment after the excitement I had for Island of Exiles. I was truly hoping for more. Unfortunately I threw in the towel when I hit the 70% mark and skimmed to the end. I just couldn’t keep reading. I tried, y’all I really did. Sadly I won’t be finishing this series.

About Erica Cameron

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, asexual, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance. Riptide's new YA imprint Triton Books will release both books in the Assassins series, Discord and Nemesis, in 2016. The Ryogan Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy set to launch through Entangled Teen, will launch in 2017 with Island of Exiles.


I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Weekend Reads #115 – 2019 1st Quarter DNF ReviewTrue North by L.E. Sterling
Series: True Born Trilogy #2
Published by Entangled: Teen on 2017-04-04
Length: 400 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley

It’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot.

But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Yet another book that suffers from second-book syndrome. Y’all most of the time I can push through this. If the start of a series is intriguing enough for me to keep reading, I’m likely to push through a bad second book to get to the end (Ice Like Fire, anyone?). Unfortunately for True North that wasn’t happening. True Born showed a lot of promise and so I was expecting a lot from its sequel. Maybe too much…

The book opens pretty much where it left off. Lucy has made a deal with Nolan Storm: his protection and help in finding her twin sister Margot for her card into the elite, first-class society world. Basically she is his ward and he parades her around like a showgirl to get into these fancy events and talk to people (that’s really dumbing it down, there’s more to it than that, but you get the picture). However when Storm doesn’t deliver on his end of the deal, Lucy gets impatient. With the help of her new friend Alistair (y’all I may like him more than Jared and that’s saying something), she boards a ship set for Russia to find her sister. Of course her True Born bodyguard Jared is not far behind.

So why did I not finish this book? Y’all, I was bored to tears. It dragged SO much. I need a fast-ish moving plot. It doesn’t have to move at lightning speed or anything, it just needs to move.  Unfortunately, True North doesn’t. It’s extremely slow plot, the kinda love triangle (not really love triangle), and the large sections of info dump was too much for me. I put this book down around the 60% mark and never picked it back up. As a result I won’t be finishing this series. Sadly the only thing I’ll miss is if Lucy picks Jared *shrugs*

About L.E. Sterling

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance, to which she remained faithful through an M.A. in creative writing and a PhD in English literature, where she completed a thesis on magical representation.

She is the author of cult hit YA novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick) and the Urban Fantasy Pluto's Gate. True Born, first in the True Born trilogy, won the 2017 Athena Award® from the Young Adult chapter of the RWA. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van, inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.


What makes you DNF a book? I’ve found for me it is usually a matter of if I’m enjoying it or not. Share below 💋

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