Books I Didn’t Finish: January 2015

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on January 30, 2015 | 7 Comments

Review: Zodiac by Romina RussellZodiac by Romina Russell
Series: Zodiac #1
Genre: High FantasyScience FictionYoung Adult
Published by Razorbill (12.9.2014)
Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Library





At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

My thoughts

Oh, man. I struggled through the first 62 pages of this book, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. Those 62 pages felt like 200! I really, really wanted to like this one – 1) it’s about ASTROLOGY (I love astrology!), 2) the cover is freaking gorgeous, and 3) book twin Alyssa liked it. But I just can’t bring myself to suffer through any more of this horrendous book.

The main issue was that I was bored to tears. I was so bored and fed up with the book that I wanted to spoon my eyes out within a mere 62 pages. The writing is very dry and unfeeling and I couldn’t conjure up even a spark of emotion for the story or the characters. The characters were flat as cardboard, too. There was ZERO description of the side characters (except for the fact that Nishi is “exotic” – gag) and they all acted/sounded exactly the same to me, so I couldn’t tell one from another. The main character had little to no personality to speak of. I couldn’t connect to her at all!

The world building was another main issue for me. I had NO clue what the hell anything was – it was so confusing! I couldn’t grasp the world at all, and trying to gave me a headache. It was extremely overwhelming. I didn’t understand the structure of the Zodai, or the Psy, or how the Astralator works. There were way too many terms and proper nouns being tossed in my face – individually, they’re not that hard to understand. It was the structure as a whole that I couldn’t grasp. It just wasn’t believable. I mean, I definitely have to give kudos for the originality (which was the only saving grace of this book), but the delivery was too much of a cluster. I really think there should have been a glossary, or history lesson, or something. Some piece to refer to when you’re trying to remember how everything works. I couldn’t get on board with any of it. Even their greeting seemed silly and nonsensical to me – instead of shaking hands, they bumped fists. Seriously.

The next issue (and this may just be me being old-fashioned here): Rho was 16. The love interest, Mathias, was 22. Are you shitting me with this? This is just not okay in my book. If she was 18, I wouldn’t have cared about a 6 year difference quite as much. I wouldn’t have liked it, but it wouldn’t have been fucking disgusting like a 16-year-old and a 22-year-old. (Rho was supposedly about to turn 17, but that didn’t make it any better because she’s STILL a fucking minor!) Every time Rho made a comment about his age, I wanted to gag. THAT IS NOT OKAY!!! This problem may not bother some people, but it really, really bugged me. I can’t do it, dude. I just can’t.

Things I did like:

  • Astrology!
  • It’s unique
  • Rho is a Cancer, like me!
  • The Wave – basically a holographic cell phone. Cool concept

Um…yeah. That’s it, sadly. [This book got me to say the F word twice in one paragraph and I don’t usually use it in reviews at all. That’s pretty impressive.]




shutterShutter by Courtney Alameda
Genre: Horror, Young Adult
Published by Feiwel & Friends (2.3.2015)
eARC, 384 pages
Source: NetGalley

try again later



Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

My thoughts

After 100 pages, I had to put this one down. I was bored out of my mind, and struggling.

I had a hard time grasping the world. There were a lot of migraine-inducing info dumps, and even still things were left unexplained. There was too much pointless dialogue and description of mundane, everyday occurrences, that I was so bored by the time action happened that I couldn’t bring myself to care. It didn’t creep me out, and I didn’t feel the intensity when I should have. I wasn’t invested.

I might try again in the future, this might just be a mood thing for me. Who knows…


Jessi (Geo)

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7 responses to “Books I Didn’t Finish: January 2015

  1. EXOTIC? *snaps a pencil* Let’s just say that book will be in my NEVER list [seriously, I’m actually goodreads shelving it there]

    Anyway, YOU DNF-ED SHUTTER?! CRAPPPPPPP. I want to read that so bad. I read Meredith and Nikki’s STUNNING reviews of it and the MC seems like me. DAMN. I’m probably going to end up reading it anyway, but if I don’t like it, I’m going to explode your DM with all the rant >:)

    • *snickers*

      I know :( I only heard good things from friends who read it, so maybe you’ll still enjoy it? (And you are definitely welcome to ranting. Always that.)


  2. I definitely wasn’t planning on reading Zodiac – I’ve been hearing mostly negative things anyway.
    Shutter I started but then ended up putting it down almost immediately – I knew it wasn’t going to be my type of story.

    Sorry these didn’t work for you, but sometimes DNF is the best way to go!

    • Yeahhh…it had some REALLY horrible reviews on Goodreads, but sometimes those kind of books surprise me so I was hoping I’d like it anyway. Definitely not, lol. Yep, there was just something about the feel of the prose that didn’t click with me. I usually love horror :(

  3. That Zodiac books sounds HORRIBLE. Won’t be picking that one up. And I’m surprised to see your thoughts on Shutter as it was so anticipated by so many people. I will wait for further reviews to come in first!

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