Monday, January 7, 2013

DNF Comments: Broken, by A. E. Rought

I don't often publish reviews of books I don't finish, but sometimes I feel I need to make some comments about why. I read about 130 pages (1/3 of the book) before I gave up on Broken.

I must admit that before I quit, I read some other reviews on Goodreads because I was so confused by this book. I don't usually read other reviews while I'm reading a book. But, I thought maybe I could be convinced to continue reading -- but, alas, the other reviews confirmed my suspicions.

The first line of the blurb says, "A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel." I've read 130 pages, and there have been no other deaths besides Daniel's. I thought I was reading about the wrong book!

This is supposed to be a re-telling of Frankenstein, and I've never read it, so I can't say much about that.

So, for 130 pages (and probably more) Emma is devastated by and trying to get over Daniel's death. She's in mourning. But when a new boy shows up at school, she's strangely drawn to him. And the weirdest thing is that he reminds her of Daniel. That's all that has happened. The new guy, Alex, is weird. Emma's parents are worried about her. Emma spends time in the cemetery, and sees visions of Daniel and has bad dreams. SO WHAT? When is something going to happen?

According to several of the other reviews I read, the synopsis of the book pretty much tells the whole story until the last 50 to 80 pages. I don't usually read the synopses, but I had to read this one, again, because I couldn't see a direction for this story in the first 130 pages. Now that I've read the blurb, I know the story for the next 200 pages. And, I'm not willing to stick with it any longer.

I also found some of the sentences to be...convoluted? Or complicated? I got the feeling Rought was trying too hard for "beautiful prose." I had to re-read on several occasions to get the meaning. (Reminder that this is an ARC and some of this could be cleaned up in the final copy.)

If you've read Frankenstein, you might enjoy Broken much more than I did. Because to me, it seems like that's the only thing Broken has going for it. If you know what happens in Frankenstein, I suspect you can see the story unfolding from that perspective. I could not, because I don' t have the background knowledge. Therefore, the story had no discernible direction.

If you've read Broken, please link your reviews. I'd like to know what you thought.

Published by Strange Chemistry, January 8, 2013
eARC obtained from Netgalley
320 pages

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  1. I appreciate your honest review. I wanted an E-ARC of this story, but wasn't one of the lucky few who received this one on NG. I've been seeing sort of mixed reviews, but yours seems to be the most detailed on why the story didn't work for you. I always enjoy reading DNF reviews because it helps give me an idea if the book may still work for me. After reading your review, I'm still undecided. I know for sure I'm not going to pay a premium for it, probably read it when it released at my local library. Thanks Annette. :-)

  2. I've read Frankenstein three times, and I'm having trouble seeing how it's based on it! I haven't read this one, so I can't speak to that, but it really doesn't sound anything like Frankenstein. At all.


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