Books I Didn’t Finish: November 2013

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 27, 2013 | 16 Comments

764347Unwind by Neil Shusterman 
Series: Unwind #1 
Genre: DystopianScience FictionYoung Adult 
Published by Simon & Schuster (11.6.2007) 
Hardcover, 335 pages
Source: Library 
Add to Goodreads 

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

I had been hearing from practically everyone how amazing this book was. I feel like I read a completely different book! 
First of all, the prose was horribly sophomoric. It was boring and had no feeling. And sure, the idea was original, but it wasn’t convincing to me at all because it could never, ever happen. To please the pro-lifers as well as the pro-choicers, abortion has become illegal. Instead, the babies are born and after they turn 13 they’re free game to be ‘unwound’ as the parents see fit, which basically means they’re being dismembered and their parts are donated to whoever needs them. And they believe the soul is saved this way, as opposed to abortion. Seriously? If there’s nothing left of the body, how can the soul survive? That’s not any better than abortion. Actually, it’s worse, because it’s giving the poor kid 13 years to live and experience things, only to rip it away. Dismemberment = death. Duh. The idea was preposterous to me, and completely unrealistic.
Also, there’s this thing called ‘storking.’ Which is when they don’t want to raise their baby and leave it on some unsuspecting stranger’s doorstep. And this was happening left and right, to practically every other family. Pretty sure the abortion rates are not THAT high. The world building was very sparse, too. When was the war? What sparked it? Who knows.
Oh, and to prevent racism, people are no longer called white and black. They’re called sienna and umber. Because putting a different name to the color is totally defeating racism. YOU’RE STILL CALLING PEOPLE BY THEIR SKIN COLOR. *eye roll* And at one point one of the characters actually says ‘lily-sienna.’ No joke.
I was bored out of my ever-loving mind and I just couldn’t take the ridiculousness anymore. I managed to get through 185 pages, but the story just wasn’t good enough for me to force myself any farther.
12813630The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black 
Genre: FantasyYoung Adult 
Published by Little Brown (9.3.2013) 
Hardcover, 419 pages
Source: Library 
Add to Goodreads 

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

I had very high hopes for this one. I DNFed White Cat, but I was hoping this would be nothing like it. And, because my book twin loved it, I thought I might too.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. I made it 105 pages before I had to give up. While I liked the idea of it, there was hardly anything happening and I was bored out of my mind.  I couldn’t connect to the story and I didn’t give a crap about any of the characters. The prose was dry, and I feel like things were dragged out far too long. For example, there was about 4 or 5 straight pages of just Tana going into a store, getting clean clothes, and taking a shower. In excruciating detail, including what kind of touristy items the store was selling and what logos were on the t-shirts. 

After a few moments, she forced herself to dry off as much as she could with the small towel and to step into her new clothes, tossing the old ones into the boutique bag. Without a bra, the thin fabric of her new dress showed the outline of her nipples, but she couldn’t bring herself to put on any piece of clothing she’d been wearing for the past thirty-odd hours, no matter how bare she looked.

First of all, I really don’t need to know what her nipples are doing. Second, I don’t need every single detail of mundane crap that has nothing to do with the plot. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t add anything to the story. After that, it went on to talk about what kind of makeup she was going to wear, her combing her hair and brushing her teeth, cleaning her boots, buying food. Who gives a damn?! I don’t care about that crap and I don’t want to read about it. I wanted to rip my hair out of my skull from sheer boredom. 

I may give it another try later on down the road to see if it gets any better, but right now I just can’t force myself through it.

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Book Reviews, Features | Tags:

Subscribe to Novel Heartbeat to get more posts like this!

16 responses to “Books I Didn’t Finish: November 2013

  1. I’m sad you didn’t like either of these books! But I can see where you are coming from. For Unwind, I agree that the premise is unbelievable but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. I still think Neal Shusterman wove a good story. I don’t remember the sienna and umber thing but I agree, that’s ridiculous. For Coldest Girl, I didn’t connect much with this story or these characters either but I Iiked the idea and was still pretty entertained by the whole thing. Your review made my laugh. TMI :)

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  2. Okay, Coldest Girl in Coldtown I think I could handle but Unwind?? I’m pretty sure it would make me sick to my stomach. Having two kids of my own I can’t even fathom the idea that you let them live 13 years and then dismember them. Holy crap. This honestly reminds me of an article I read on Facebook the other day about a woman saying that it’s up to the parents feelings as to whether or not a baby that is born alive and breathing is actually alive and that it is okay to “abort” (their words not mine) a child up to 3 years old. I’m not sure how true the article was but it made me sick nonetheless.

    • Most people liked Coldest Girl, I just have a short attention span haha. You should definitely still try it!
      And yeah, it was pretty ridiculous. I don’t have much of a problem with abortion as long as it’s done early on, but if you’re almost to full term, or the baby has already been born? C’mon. That’s murder!

  3. I’m really surprised that you didn’t like Unwind! I figured that would totally be a Jessi book. I read it when it first came out, which was long, long before I’d read a lot more YA. I’m planning to reread it at some point, and then finish the rest of the series, so I’ll see if the writing wows me as much now that I’ve read a lot more of the genre.

  4. I also had the hardest time believing the world of Unwind but as I got more into I started to like it, I think this may have been because of the audiobook performance. I liked White Cat but Cold Girl just didn’t do it for me either.

    • I’ve found that with some books, the audio makes it better because it makes it more realistic! Especially if the narrator is good enough to bring the story to life and add emotion. Many people hated The Scorpio Races, but the audio was AMAZING. Both the narrators did a superb job!

  5. My first comment about that RIDICULOUS Unwind book: SIENNA ISN’T EVEN WHITE. It’s not even CLOSE to white. (Yeah I know “white” people aren’t white but like… they aren’t freakin sienna for sure.) Stupid author with his stupid pro-life, baby-farming, child-murdering plots can’t even do research to figure out a proper color close to light beige to use as the “non-racist” skin labels. Seriously, if he’s going to be a moron he could have at least consulted a freaking color wheel first. Sienna, even before it’s cooked and becomes “burnt,” has so much yellow undertone to it that it comes nowhere near a “lily-white.” Geez. And umber is nearly freaking olive green unless it’s “burnt” so I don’t know what he was imagining all these characters were looking like. May as well throw in some cerulean and cyan and midnight Avatar people while he’s at it. Why not some violet or indigo people eaters?!

    Okay I’m done ranting about improper color usage! Lol. Not that that even touches that disaster of a book’s other problems. Totally putting that on my “no thank you” list.

    • OMG. This is probably my favorite comment ever!
      Maybe they all had fake tans? Who knows.

      “May as well throw in some cerulean and cyan and midnight Avatar people while he’s at it.”

      BAHAHAAA. Maybe that was in the last half!!

      I love you, just so you know. ;D

  6. That’s exactly what happened with both of those books for me. The writing for both didn’t work and I couldnk’t see what the heck there was to love about the storyies either. *shivers at the memories* WE ACTUALLY AGREE ON A DNF FOR ONCE JESSI. Haha. I am sad we failed to like these ones though. Whatevs. Black Sheep FTW!

    <33 Inky

  7. Oh no, Unwind sounded pretty interesting. I found a cheap bargain ages ago, so I’ll be reading it, but I’ve lowered my expectations. But the whole soul-saving-thing sounds strange indeed. How can someone believe that?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.