Tuesday, August 23, 2016

DNF Diaries: Girl In Pieces & And the Trees Crept In

Welcome to another installment of DNF Diaries! It’s been a while since my last post, which I suppose is good for my reading (and man, did I read a ton so far this month), but I’ve recently DNFed two books for very different reasons. So today’s post is a dual DNF Diaries!

Title: Girl In Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: ARC*

I hesitantly gave Girl In Pieces a try after picking it up in the flurry of book acquisition that was BEA. If I had taken the time to read the synopsis, I probably wouldn’t have taken a copy. Girl In Pieces is about Charlotte “Charlie” Davis, who wakes up in a psych ward after a suicide attempt. This book should have “trigger warning” written all over it – the entire story revolves around self-harm, sexual assault, and substance abuse. I’m not triggered by any of those things, but I still usually avoid books with these subjects because they can quickly devolve into torture porn, or otherwise completely mishandle these topics. I thought Girl In Pieces would tackle how the system (healthcare, social services, take your pick) fails people, particularly young people, who are struggling with addiction or mental health disorders. But I honestly couldn’t get far enough into this story to see if any of that is actualized.

I DNFed Girl In Pieces at about 75 pages. Very little happened in those 75 pages – Charlie wakes up, adjusts to life on the ward, and has some flashbacks to certain traumatic experiences. The chapters are very short in the beginning, only a paragraph or a few lines, so realistically there was far less than 75 pages’ worth of content. There was nothing to connect to, nothing to keep me engaged, and through Charlie’s narration and flashbacks, I could tell the story was setting up something I wasn’t interested in following. Ultimately I DNFed this book because I did not want to suffer through hundreds of pages of Charlie suffering. Usually I DNF books for technical issues, or a strong emotional response, but in the case of Girl In Pieces, I simply did not want to read this story.

Title: And the Trees Crept In
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: ARC*

This DNF is much more straightforward: I am a wimp. I don’t like scary movies, I can’t watch creepy TV shows, I think people who say being scared is “fun” are crazy. So when I pulled And the Trees Crept In out of the black hole that was my book suitcase after BEA, I knew how this would end up. Two sisters move in with their aunt, whose house is conveniently the color of blood. The younger sister speaks to a man no one else can see, and the trees surrounding the house apparently begin to close in around them (And the Trees Crept In, get it?). I’ll be totally honest here and admit that I only made it a chapter into this book before I had to give up. I wasn’t immediately drawn in, I knew things were about to get scary and weird, and my anxious little heart wanted none of it. Will this be a great read for some people? Yes, absolutely, but I’m just not one of them. I DNFed And the Trees Crept In at 15 pages and am now highly suspicious of the tree outside my window.

* I received these books from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free & honest review.

What's the last book you DNFed? Do you DNF books? Let me know in the comments!

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