Sadly, every now and then I start a book I think I'm gonna love only to have it end up as one of the DNFs....the dreaded "Did Not Finish." There were two of these recently, and while I didn't finish them, I did read enough of each to feel justified in giving my opinion. First on the chopping block...
Undead and Unwed
By: Mary Janice Davidson
Publication date: March2, 2004
Published by: Berkley Sensation
I bought this book
Betsy Taylor--former model, newly unemployed secretary, 30, and still single--wakes up after being flattened by a small SUV in a tacky coffin wearing cheap knock-off shoes. Her mother is glad she is back, albeit as a vampire, but her stepmother is enraged that Betsy has reclaimed her designer-shoe collection. With a wealthy best friend and a newly acquired doctor pal who is not susceptible to her formidable allure, she sets out to right wrongs but is abducted by Nostro, a tacky 500-year-old vampire who rules the undead roost. It seems that Betsy is an anomaly: a vampire who doesn't burn in sunlight, can fight the urge to feed, and is not repulsed by religious articles, all of which may make her the prophesied Queen of the Vampires. Teaming up with gorgeous vampire Eric Sinclair, who is in her opinion a major pervert, she takes on Nostro and his minions. Sexy, steamy, and laugh-out-loud funny, Davidson's chick-lit foray into the paranormal is delightful.
Why I picked it up: Having recently enjoyed the hell out of Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler, a humor filled paranormal, I thought I would give another funny one a shot.
Why I put it down: I almost finished this one, I only had about 20 pages to go when I just couldn't take it anymore and realized that I didn't like anyone in the book enough to care what happened at the end. Betsy was, for me, an immensely unlikeable character. EVERYTHING that came out of her mouth was sarcastic and the heavy handed nonstop "witty" banter was enough to make me wanna throw this one against the wall. If I knew a Betsy in real life, I would do everything in my power to make sure we were never EVER in the same room together. I wouldn't want to go to jail. I'm sure there are many people who will find this one funny, but literally every bit of dialogue was filled with over-the-top snarkiness. Not to mention the fact that this is the first book I've read in which I couldn't stand the vamps. I have to like at least one person in whatever I'm reading and I can't say there was anyone I cared for in this one.
(Which is the same problem I had with the next book.)
By: Joan Francis Turner
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Published by: Ace Hardcover
ARC received from the publisher for review
Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.
Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.
Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.
Now, she’s not.
After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.
But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…
Why I picked it up: I first heard about this one from a free chapter handout I received at Comic Con and c'mon...I thought it sounded awesome and unlike anything I've come across before!
Why I put it down: This pretty much proved it. Zombies just aren't meant to be sympathetic characters. I'll take 'em scary, I'll take 'em funny. But I can't take 'em as the heroes.
The book was non-stop violence, which, as a fan of horror, I don't really have a problem with. However these were the characters we're supposed to become emotionally invested in and I just couldn't get there. They were constantly hitting each other (CONSTANTLY) and pulling off each other's limbs. Kind of senseless violence, especially since it was just the zombie gang members constantly beating each other up. The author made the choice for this gang to be "vegetarians"...they hunt and eat only animals for the main part, not human brains and while I think that was supposed to make us sympathetic towards them, their otherwise violent behavior left me cold.
One other complaint...the two main male characters are named Joe and Jim. Too similar for me to really be able to keep them apart in my mind and half the time I couldn't keep track of who was was who. Minor, yet annoying nonetheless.
Anyway, yeah, 170 some pages in, I realized I didn't like or care enough about any of these characters to finish the book. From now on I'll take my zombies as the bad guys!
So....talk to me...any books fall into your DNF pile lately? Got any recommendations for funny paranormals or zombie books with zombies I can care about? I'm open to suggestions =)