Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DNF Book Review: Never Fade, by Alexandra Bracken

I've never had this happen before. I really LOVED The Darkest Minds - gave it a 4.5/5 rating. But I just could not finish Never Fade.

I really had trouble following the story. I thought there were pieces that were implied, but I just didn't get. I even went back and re-read the beginning, because I thought I must have  missed something. Ruby is on a mission with her team to rescue Prisoner 27. When she is the one who finally rescues him, she is surprised about who it is. She says things like "he's thinner" and stuff like that. Then after we go forward a bit, they keep referring to a character that was unfamiliar. Finally, after re-reading, I figured out that this was Prisoner 27.  How was I supposed to figure that out? What did I miss?

Later, one of the kids gets killed on a mission. Another one says it's his fault and they watch some surveillance tapes. And Ruby says, "Don't say anything to anyone." I just didn't understand what was going on. What did the kid do? Why was it his fault? I could not make sense of this scene and that's when I quit.

Alban is the leader of the Children's League. Ruby is so frightened of him. I didn't find him that scary. There were a lot of new characters, and I had trouble remembering all of the old ones. Since it's been a while since I read The Darkest Minds, it would have been nice to have a little background rather than jumping right into the action, and then flash back suddenly without warning but not far enough back to give me a sense of familiarity. I had trouble following it, like I said.

I read very little on Saturday, and today, Sunday, I only just decided to pick up my book in the evening. When I find myself not wanting to read, there's a reason. It's this book. I'm just not interested, and I decided to move onto something else. I made it through 15% (about 75 pages) so I really feel I did give it a chance. But I kept feeling like I missed something and I needed to go back and re-read. This is such an unusual feeling for me.

I can't wait to read more reviews of Never Fade. Is it just me? Is it my reading mood? Am I having a "senior moment?"  I'm honestly baffled....

Published by Disney Hyperion, October 15, 2013
eARC obtained from NetGalley
512 pages (I read 75)

Rating: DNF

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  1. Aw, poor girl!! No, I've had that happen, too. Recently, in fact. And I do wonder if it's a senior moment or if it's all just implied or I read too fast. I haven't started this one yet, though I did read and really like Darkest Minds (though, for the life of me, I couldn't tell you what it's about at the moment) so I'm now really wondering about Never Fade. Huh. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

  2. Oh no! So disappointing to hear this was hard to follow and that there's very little recap of Darkest Minds characters/plot threads. It's been over a year since I read it, so I'm going to be in the same boat as you. Kudos to you for DNFing something that just wasn't going to click with you. That's so hard for me to do, so I applaud you for saving your time and avoiding more frustration. :-)

  3. wow what a bummer. I loved The Darkest Minds and was so very excited about this one. Of course I will still read it and hope I have a different experience. Maybe listening to it will change it for me.

  4. Will you buy a copy of the book for your library? I hate it when kids love the first book of a series, so I buy the second and third and then find out that no one is interested in reading on.

    1. Darkest Minds hasn't circulated very much, so I'll wait and see. I console myself with the fact that we have excellent inter-library loan, so if I don't have the entire series, I can always get it for my students in a couple of days.


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