Showing posts with label DNF (Did Not Finish). Show all posts
Showing posts with label DNF (Did Not Finish). Show all posts

Friday, September 23, 2022

Abandoning Bewitching Mystery Series by Madyln Alt


I'm officially calling it. After attempting to read the second-to-the-final book in Madelyn Alt's bewitching cozy mystery series, I've decided I can not take on the penultimate entry nor the final book. It's sad because I really enjoyed this series after reading the first book in 2008. It was around the time when urban fantasy was still in my reading "system". Though categorically Madelyn Alt's series isn't urban fantasy, it still maintains a witch-of-sorts as the main protagonist as a small-town woman named Maggie O'Neill. Regardless, I distinctly remember loving the first two books, taking years off, revisiting the series, and loving the third book most of all. Then the fourth book made for a decent read a few years ago. Then I revisited the series again back in 2020 with the fifth book. This is when I realized I’d just about changed as a reader, and that the series just wasn’t interesting anymore.

Still, I had two books left to go. And I decided maybe now was the time to clear the series off my lifelong reading TBR. 

Well, A With in Time made for a 60-page BORE. The deal is that our resident witch, Maggie, is supposed to overhear a conversation involving a teenager who was found dead of an apparent drug. Concerns about a possible perpetrator of this action are swirling about the local school and community. Nevertheless, somewhere in all this Maggie is supposed to overhear a conversation on the subject and subsequently get the mystery started. However, instead, for 60 pages we've got nothing but Maggie all nervous about her "hot date" (I freakin’ HATE this term) with the handsome Marcus character. She finally got to his house and a red flag threw me when he pulled her onto his lap. You know, grown women sitting on men's laps just do something to me.

Anyway, Maggie gets a call about her sister, who is at the hospital preparing to have twins. For whatever reason, this call was urgent. Anyway (again), we get to see Maggie’s mother act a fool. Her grandfather in a wheelchair acts like a fool (another pet peeve of mine is the grandmother/father character who is desperately drawn as amusing with his or her obnoxious antics). Maggie’s father is blah. Meanwhile, Marcus is circulating around her family as their new favorite bit of interest.

So what’s happened with the allegedly murdered teen within these 60 pages? Not a damned thing of interest. It was just… BORING! The sad part is that I actually like Maggie’s voice. But, man is she underused as a character stuck in a hospital waiting on her sister to give birth or some mess. Give me the darn mysteryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Anyway, I’m abandoning the series. I won’t get rid of the books. But they are certainly being pushed to the back of the shelf to make room for more books. Which was my intention upon finishing the series anyway.

I just wanted to see if I could actually complete the last two books. Unfortunately, it's a NO. And I'm cool with that. I have to keep it moving. Plus, I'm really enjoying the book I'm reading in its place.


Saturday, September 3, 2022

No Jane For Me

"Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.


Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission—or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own..."


Another urban fantasy is an unfortunate non-continuing. About 65 pages and I was rather done with Jane Yellowrock. Her vibe was… unusual. I could only see hot leather and a motorcycle fantasy. And an extraordinarily beautiful tough woman who easily woos the extraordinarily handsome number of men who breathe near her ecosphere. Everybody was hot and hot to trot and rather over-the-top. And much of this spinning of who can be the most desired and sexiest one in the room was all a distraction from a pretty decent plot involving a rogue vampire who is fighting death by draining the blood of many New Orleans relatives. But… but… if only the story, characters, and Jane could have remained focused on this detail.

Don't get me totally wrong, as I thought Jane had an engaging mystery provided within her backstory. And I did like her ability to shift shapes (though I question the Native American angle the author used to shape this). But, overall, the book read too much like hot girl/bad boy. Leather and night teddy for the girls. Tight white t-shirts (with rolled-up sleeves) and ass-hugging jeans for the boys.

If only. If only.

The author was less compelled to enforce those areas instead of the plot.

Keep the plot/story moving.

Stop getting distracted.

Stop with the desperate, romantic side drama…

Leave it to authenticity.

Or give it time to cultivate.

Then again.

Everybody is super hot in looks, as well as desire.

Oh, and don’t forget the sexy energy behind a motorcycle.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

No Greywalker For Me


 

"Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until a two-bit perp's savage assault left her dead for two minutes. When she comes to in the hospital, she sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.

But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker- able to move between the human world and the mysterious cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift is about to drag her into that strange new realm-whether she likes it or not."

Whew, chile. What and where do I go from here? Listen, I got about 51 pages into FINALLY reading Kat Richardson's Greywalker before I decided to bail. And I mean my reading spirit was absolutely flooded to the brim with disinterest along this 51-page mark. Despite desiring to read the book for years (and owning it for probably longer), things just didn't work.

So where did it all go wrong for me, personally?

  • Harper Blaine is the first-person main protagonist, and had a voice about as gray as the title itself. Some books can have a decent voice but a good premise to work with. Sometimes it's the opposite, but the voice keeps you glued. Here, Ms. Blaine didn't seem to come alive on the page. It's one of those cases where the author sees his or her character's liveliness differently than the reader, for sure. Which is natural, just like the impression of his or her character will not land with all readers. Blaine didn't land with me. I get the hard-boiled outlook, but she wasn't giving me much else. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Lies of Descent Let Down


"The Fallen Gods' War drove the remnants of a victorious army across the ocean in search of a new homeland. A thousand years later, the lifeless continent of Draegora is largely forgotten, a symbol for the regiments that remain. Demons to some. Protectors to others. The power of their god-touched blades has forged a nation, though many resent their absolute control.
 
Riam and Nola are unknowing descendants of the old world. When it’s discovered they carry enough Draegoran blood to serve in the regiments, they are dragged away from their families to begin training. If they survive, they will be expected to enforce the laws of the covenant, to fight the Esharii tribesmen who raid along the border, and to be judge, jury, and executioners for those accused of crimes.
 
For Riam, who welcomes his escape from an abusive father, the power to protect those who cannot defend themselves is alluring. For Nola, who wishes to return home, it is a betrayal by all she holds dear.
 
Neither is given a choice...and neither may ever get the chance to serve."

So let me be clear: THIS BOOK HAD FULL COMMAND OF MY ATTENTION WITHIN THE FIRST 70 PAGES. Unfortunately, by page 136, I could no longer deny the loss of interest. Bad news came in and just never left. So what happened? Well, the worldbuilding portion had gleamings, glimmerings, and gatherings of an indigenous/Native American/tribal nature or coloring to it. Different tribes. Different customs. So forth and so on and a touch icky in all its killing and slaying of each. However, I got tired of trying to keep up with this setting, along with the bloodthristy faction tribes and customs. I got tired of the killing between each tribe, and just the conflict in general. For a moment I found them all villians. Then I began to pick up on what the author was actually obscuring.

Sidebar: There was a scene featuring giant, homicidal wasps that just… did… not… work… for me. As they were attacking, I was thinking to myself “where is this coming from”?

Then there was an issue with the POV. Two young characters carry the overall story. One is named Riam, the other is Nola. While they find themselves together on their journey's start, eventually they are split apart and so goes the adventure I was actually looking forward to reading. Nevertheless, Riam’s narrative grew increasingly boring to me without Nola to bounce off of. His narrative started off really well, as readers got to look into the trauma surrounding his home life. Same applied for Nola, though within a happier context.

However, the more time Riam and the story itself spent away from Nola's perspective, the more my disinterest grew. I suppose I needed a balancing of perspectives to keep the pacing and suspense afloat as a reader watching this world unfold between the two. During the extensive brackets of time spent within Riam’s story, I wish the author took some kind of cue to push in Nola's narrative to keep the interest going. Now it's true I didn't get far enough to witness any changes, but Nola had a breadcrumb moment and from within the pages I've read I was too hungry for more of the loaf. In short, I needed balance to carry me though. And I believe the reversal in perspectives would result in the same feeling, because my issues weren't so much with the characters of Riam and Nola themseleves. As a matter-of-fact, it was the bellicose tribes people who did it in for me. Along with all the cryptic messaging regarding gods and change and evolution and all that jazz.

So, ever inpatient and desperate to find out what the author had in mind for Nola, I did something I hardly ever do. What's that? I peeked at the spoilers. I figured I was done with the story anyway. So why not? Nevertheless, what was Nola’s direction and fate? Well, let’s just say when I found out she was supposed to be a vessel of sorts I immediately was like "forget this, man." The whole women's bodies as obligatory birthing vessels to "usher in a new dawn" just ain’t it for me, personally. I was instantly troubled and sad for Nola.

With this information, I wanted to cry for Nola and the story I was hoping I was getting involving two teens going on a journey together to change the world (ala T. A. Barron or something). But in all the DNF'ing, I realized for those stories I was better left looking into the middle-grade and young adult section. And I'm cool with that.


Monday, August 22, 2022

My 1st Salvatore = A DNF


"When Aoleyn loses her parents, she is left to fend for herself among a tribe of vicious barbarians. Bound by rigid traditions, she dreams of escaping to the world beyond her mountain home.

The only hope for achieving the kind of freedom she searches for is to learn how to wield the mysterious power used by the tribe’s coven known as the Song of Usgar. Thankfully, Aoleyn may be the strongest witch to have ever lived, but magic comes at price. Not only has her abilities caught the eye of the brutish warlord that leads the tribe, but the demon of the mountain hunts all who wield the Coven’s power, and Aoleyn’s talent has made her a beacon in the night."

Here’s a bit of an unfortunate truth: I’ve recently DNF’ed my non-way through my first attempt at reading an R. A. Salvatore book. The book was Child of a Mad God; found in the bargain section of a local bookstore. The cover art drew my attention, as it gave me Horizon Zero Dawn vibes (to a hesitant degree).


Unfortunately, the book didn’t work for me after 65 pages. I couldn’t feel the characters, setting, and premise out! From as much I’d gathered, the story is fairly brutal and dark in its magical “prehistoric” tone. And, yet, the further I read the more I could not connect. The further I read, the more my urgency to bail rose because I could not see myself investing in this 600-something-page story. I think the biggest offender arrived in how the story didn't lead with the main character, Aoleyn. I went in hoping to be driven through the story through the character of Aoleyn, whose name is a little too close to Aloy from the Horizon series. I could have stuck around if she was presented more. Instead, all of the setup, world-building, views, staging, and so on were illustrated and driven through the perspective of a host of side characters. Not that that was a direct issue, but it wasn't what I was hungry for. Child of a Mad God didn't lead with Aoleyn in the center, and I just didn’t feel like waiting page after page for her to stand in the spotlight as the guide to this expansive world/story waiting before me.

With that said, I did not want to abandon this author. So I found one of these recommended classic offerings instead…




Friday, October 4, 2019

When I Buy a New Release That's Not Working...

...THIS HAPPENS...

1. Reputable author (in my eyes) has a new release; a stand-alone from her usual crime fiction series, though still a thriller/mystery


2. About 60 pages in to a vanilla story with a vanilla cast to a vanilla formula to a vanilla (instant) romance


3.  After being burned by another reputable-in-my-eyes author this year


4.  This is WHY I ALWAYS keep my receipt in the back of the book


She's out of here.  I don't care if Tess Gerritsen wrote this book.  I learned my lesson last month reading a stand-alone book from Nevada Barr.  Absolutely NO more stand-alone books from my favorite mystery authors.  From now on, either we're sticking with his or her series or not sticking at all.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Plain Vanilla BORING by Susan Wittig Albert

"China and Ruby Wilcox are presenting their annual 'Not Just Plain Vanilla Workshop,' always a huge hit with customers at Thyme & Seasons Herb Shop. But someone involved with the workshop is driven by a deadly motive, and China soon finds herself teaming up with the very pregnant Pecan Springs police chief Sheila Dawson to solve a vanilla-flavored murder. 
Sheila, happy to get out from behind the chief’s desk, is investigating the death of a botany professor, a prominent researcher specializing in vanilla orchids. China is trying to help a longtime friend: the dead professor’s ex-wife and a prime suspect in his murder.  
However, there’s no shortage of other suspects: a betrayed lover, a disgruntled graduate student, jealous colleagues, and a gang of orchid smugglers. But the lethal roots of this mystery reach back into the dark tropical jungles of Mexico, where the vanilla vine was first cultivated. At stake: a lucrative plant patent, an orchid that is extinct in the wild, and the life of an innocent little girl."
A. Just. Plain. BORING. Book.
As many who frequent my book blog know, I love and adore Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series. My loyalty for the series' is boundless. I love the mysteries, small town setting and herb shop hook. Most of all, I love the business owner/attorney duality of China Bayles' character. This series has gotten me through some hard times, as well as joyous times. So, in essence, I’m pretty tied and committed. Nothing but excitement comes out of reading a new title in this series.
Yet, here I am reading through the 27th latest entry into the series darn near sleep. A Plain Vanilla Murder was a complete and total bore! There's no way around it. I halfway want to believe Albert was trying to get back into plotting a light murder mystery. Because in the previous two books she veered away from doing so. But man, oh man. She veered Vanilla over a ravine and into a compose heap. Straight-up boredom. Still, let me get into what I found aggravating and boring about A Plain Vanilla Murder.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

SNARKY DNF: Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

"Despite the fact that her aunt was an expert knitter, Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked—until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, Kelly is about to learn how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt’s murder... 
Kelly would be the first to admit her life in Washington, D.C., is a little on the dull side. But coming back to Colorado for her beloved aunt’s funeral wasn’t the kind of excitement she was seeking. The police are convinced that her Aunt Helen’s death was the result of a burglary gone bad, but for the accountant in Kelly, things just aren’t adding up. After all, why would her sensible, sixty-eight-year-old aunt borrow $20,000 just days before her death? With the help of the knitting regulars at House of Lambspun, Kelly’s about to get a few lessons in cranking out a sumptuously colored scarf—and in luring a killer out of hiding..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kelly (the main character and somewhat new girl in town). Jennifer (cafe waitress). Lisa (slender blonde with a friendly smile). Mimi (shopkeeper plus mommy aura). Megan (perfect teeth and fair skin). All sitting in a knitting room tittering over knitting, with a potluck combing a taco casserole WITH pizza. All the ladies are as slender and divine in frame and shape. Each are corny as all get out with their jokes–or attempts at humor. All, well, should be at work somewhere making money.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SNARKY DNF: Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

"Actress Dayna Anderson's Deadly New Role: Homicide DetectiveDayna Anderson doesn't set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke actress wants is to help her parents keep their house.

So after witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she pursues the fifteen grand reward. But Dayna soon finds herself doing a full-on investigation, wanting more than just money―she wants justice for the victim.

She chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes, and movie premieres, loving every second of it―until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Granted I had hesitations to begin with, considering the book's Hollywood setting.  You know, all the superficial and stereotypical stuff I would have to get through as a reader.  Still, I wanted to trust this would be different.  That, alongside the mystery, the leading character would be levels above the Hollywood hype.  I got 60 pages before I bailed.  Here's the list as to why...

1.  Opening Topic of Breast Implants?

Now I get it. Dayna is an actress working in Hollywood, where her image is her livelihood. Looks often take precedence to talent. Looks put food on the table. Aesthetics and specific enhancements lead to acting jobs–to receiving gigs. Yet, I would be lying if it didn't cause me to question the author’s course, introducing a lead sporting bazooka breast implants. What it signaled to me was how Dayna was a character willing to follow instead of lead. A character who was comfortable falling right into the pressures of her Hollywood profession, instead of resisting leftward to rely on her brain/talent. I needed a confidence vibe straight out the gate. A self-acceptance and reassuring leader in control feel.

So, from the jump, I couldn't take Dayna seriously. She came across as another shallow, Hollywood sheep. Stereotypical actress fluff who was–sadly in my mind–about to play detective for a day for quirks, shits and giggles.

No, for real. Her exposition delivery on her breast implants in the opening chapter made me cringe. Nothing against it. But as a mystery lover who loves and adores having more black writers filling the genre, I felt disappointed with a realization that this book wasn't going to attempt to soar above the Stephanie Plum-level tone type flouncy silliness. And this topic–stigma or not–set its tone. No disrespect.

2.  Half-Naked Barista? Cute?

Sooooo.  Y'all thought this scene was "cute"?
To make up for her lack of acting-related gigs, Dayna enters the novel applying for a job at a cafĂ©. A cafe where the baristas are semi-nude women serving lattes and such. Now I know this is an actual, real thing. Yet, once again, I couldn’t help but flinch at the author’s course with Dayna. I kept asking myself, “couldn’t she think of anything better than this to–I suppose–humble the character? Why cheapen her to this degree?” And if the author intended to make her character despondent and relatable; it only caused me to question the character’s skills, judgment, and resourcefulness. Dayna seriously contemplated the job and dressed down to "audition" for a position. And I wasn’t feeling the objectivity of this character. It was disappointing how the author could write her in such a situation.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SNARKY DNF: An Uneasy Death by Charlaine Harris

"The beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, the inspiration for HBO’s True Blood, and the Midnight Crossroad trilogy adapted for NBC’s Midnight, Texas, has written a taut new thriller—the first in the Gunnie Rose series—centered on a young gunslinging mercenary, Lizbeth Rose.  
Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life. 
As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

I. Could. Not. Love. Nor. Appreciate. The. Voice. And. Tone. Of. This. Book.

Dry. Static. No flavor. No personality. No salt. No cinnamon. Not even a little gun-toting gristle and marrow–despite its promise of such. Unnecessary rape to heighten an already inert story. And each "gunnie" bullet fired may as well been a sponge cake thrown. I DNF'ed at page 22. Grateful I had the forethought to check it out from the library. You see, I learned from my last investment in a Harris series post Sookie.

THIS BOOK ISN'T ENGAGING ENOUGH!  TAKE IT!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Night Shift Reading Struggles

"At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town. 
 
Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place. 
 
And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be..."
So I’ve been dragging my ass reading Night Shift by Charlaine Harris.  As the third and final book in her Midnight trilogy, I'm kind of not surprised at my paling mood.  While I finished the first book in the series not long after its May 2014 release; a year later, it took me six months to finish the second book.  Why?  Because it was just unexciting.  And now that same bored, languid feeling has arrived in Night Shift.  No matter how many second winds I suck, I just don't think this book is going to happen.
The days kept ticking.  And ticking.  And ticking.  And four days since cracking the book open, I've yet to jump over 93 pages.  The sad part is I like the characters populating the book/town.  I like their individual quirks and supernatural presences (there's psychic, witch, were-tiger, vampire, etc.).  I like how each attempts to serve the mysteries surrounding their small town.  Yet, by God, there just isn’t enough fire and movement in the story to keep me wholly invested.  On second thought, it's as if I'm in love with the idea of the characters, but that's almost the extent of it. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Beverly Hills Housewives vs. Hollywood Husbands

I’ve been reading Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Husbands for two weeks!  Since October 11th to be precise.  And, pitifully speaking, I’m only 330 pages into the 543 given.  And it’s not necessarily a slow read.  
You’d think being in the Did Not Finish (DNF) groove by now (after jumping the ship on Nora Roberts’ Stars of Fortune and Tayari Jones’ Leaving Atlanta) that I’d just let Husbands go.  I am tempted to stuff it into the wells of my bookshelf; out of sight, out of mind.  Yet, I don’t quite want to at the same time.  Maybe I'm enchanted with something about the book.  Because when I try to pick another read in its place, I’m drawn back to finish Husbands off.  I don’t want to cut Collins just yet–hoping this book would be as solid as the previous in the series, Hollywood Wives.  But man is it hard to keep engaged with this slog.
But first, let me do a quick summary…
The book’s primary characters consist of a trio of Hollywood buddies.  Jack Python is a talk show host.  He's married to a cheating actress, though his philandering ways are anything but subtle.  Anyway, Jack Python is slatted as the nobleman of the trio, given that he’s raising his Hollywood diva sister’s estranged child.  He's also the character designed to become the reasonable and pragmatic voice within the group.  Something that's evident by how he complains about being "over" the Hollywood scene.  Then there’s Howard Soloman.  He's a crackhead and movie studio owner with a line of divorces up to his bloodshot eyeballs.  Not one to swallow impulses, he has his eye on a friend’s ex-wife.  While, of course, presently married to an actress.  Without a doubt Howard is his own enemy, and struggles with the pressures of owning a movie studio that needs a good film to stay relevant.  Last there’s Mannon Cable.  He’s the irresistible heartthrob actor in the group.  He's also still hung up on his ex-wife (whom his friend, Howard, secretly covets), while his current wife tootles around pregnant with his child.  However, sadly, Mannon can’t stand the thought of either one.  He just wants a hot movie role and his ex-wife's jealousy over his new relationship.  You know, the one with the pregnant wife that he can't bother to show any love to.
Besides the men there are a host of women players as well.  Silver Anderson is Jack Python’s disunified sister.  Nonetheless, she's rich, famous, commandeering, and–despite her haughty attitude–probably the only likable character.  She does a lot of jacked-up things to her family, but she's a diva you're willing to throw out your moral code to entertain.  As of late, she’s eloped to marry a down-and-out broke-in-the-pockets wanted barman.  Naturally, his allure is that he's risky and thrilling.  He also has a penchant for knocking her “bottom” out just the way she likes.  Or at least enough to keep him around to the chagrin of her "loyal" staff.  Who, of course, are making plans to get him away from your highness to bring order back to the Hollywood castle. 
Let me see who else…
–Errr, well that’s really the only four that matters.  The remaining cast are more or less facilitators of each of principle's story thread.  So they're just sprinkled within to either kiss ass (in some cases literally), be insufferable to the principles, or push a scandal.  However, as far as the 330 pages I've gotten to, I haven’t a clue who’s pulling chains around here yet.  There's dirt to spread, but nobody's spreading it on each other; principle or secondary alike.  What I can say is a few of these secondary players (like the belittled housewife) operate as underdogs ready to bark back at their tormentors.  Which leaves one to continue reading and guessing how.  So the book is not a total slog.
Additionally, there’s an outsider's narrative in between all these story threads.  Taking readers back to a small town in 1974, it's a narrative featuring an abused teen turned arsonist heading for the Hollywood hills to “light” up one (or more) of the principle's life.
So why do I find the book so challenging to continue reading?  Especially when all this crazy, dramatic, and wild stuff is happening?  It's simple: every single character–with or without one–thinks only with their dicks!

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