The Sweet Freedom of DNFing

Though I’ve written at least one discussion post on DNFing in the past, it feels like time for a new one, largely because I’m so fully embracing it once again. In fact, I’m DNFing more than ever before. For the last couple of years, I’ve been DNFing about a third as many books as I’ve ended up finishing, but right now I’ve DNFed 40 and read 60, and many of those DNFs are in the last month.

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Book Talk: Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Puddin’ by Julie MurphyPuddin' by Julie Murphy
Series: Dumplin' #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 8, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

Before reading Puddin’, I decided to go back and reread Dumplin‘. Yes, I knew it was a companion not a direct sequel, but I didn’t remember anything about Dumplin‘ outside of the romance and the fact that there was a pageant. And, since this is about supporting characters, I thought it would be much more impactful if I knew who the hell they were. I’m not sure how necessary that is, but I think it is helpful. Also, I loved Dumplin’ like five times more the second time, so that was an amazing life choice any way you shake it.

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Book Talk: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa BashardoustGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Published by Flatiron Books on September 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Retelling
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Around the time Girls Made of Snow and Glass came out, I saw a lot of mixed reviews. Though it’s unfortunate I’m getting to this book so late, there’s also something nice about coming in after the hype has died down. Generally, when there are mixed reviews, I sort of expect I’ll end up on the lower end of the spectrum, but it’s always lovely when I’m wrong about that, as I was in this case. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a lovely feminist retelling of Snow White all about found family and the strength of women.

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The Freedom of Not Having Ratings on My Reviews Anymore

As part of my changes this year, I mad enough changes to my reviews that I’m actually labeling them “Book Talks.” There’s not really a need for the change because “review” can encompass a whole lot of things, and these are still reviews without a doubt. However, I like to categorize things and because they’re conceptually different to me, I wanted to change the label for my own comfort. That said, for ease of discussion, I’m going to call them reviews in this post.

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Book Talk: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

Book Talk: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne BrontëThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
Published by Penguin Classics on April 16, 1996
Genres: Classics, Romance
Pages: 542
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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This is the story of a woman's struggle for independence. Helen "Graham" has returned to Wildfell Hall in flight from a disastrous marriage. Exiled to the desolate moorland mansion, she adopts an assumed name and earns her living as a painter.

Do you ever feel like more of a jerk than when you don’t like the book someone not only recommended you but actually gifted you? I mean, okay, probably. BUT I do always feel like such a shit friend when I don’t like (or even worse) hate a book that a friend thought I would love as much as they do. Like, I don’t really even put it on the friend; it’s more like I’ve failed them. Still, it happens sometimes, as is the case with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

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