DNF Roundup: The Secret Diamond Sisters and Sing Sweet Nightingale

***These are very mini reviews to books I DNFed recently.***

The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters, #1)Rating: DNF
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: February 25th 2014
Publishing House: Harlequin Teen
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Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.


**Thank you to Harlequin Teen for this review copy!

The first reason which I wanted to read this one was because I wanted to try something by Michelle Meadow. Second, I found that cover to be utterly adorable. 

The synopsis sounded pretty generic, but I still wanted to give it a shot. I mean, there could be some pretty awesome twists here and there! Plus I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. This didn’t really seem like my type of book, so I wanted to branch out a little.

In this novel, we have three heroines: Savannah, Courtney and Peyton, with alternating chapters. After reading the first chapter, I realized that the writing wasn’t my style. Still, I read on, reading at least two chapters per heroine to try and get into the feel of the story. Sadly, I just couldn’t connect with any of them.

Another reason I marked this one as DNF was because of how odd and unrealistic the novel began. In the first few chapters, the girls are told that their father’s a stinkin’ rich guy and that they’re moving in with him. Sure, they felt like their dad was an ass and protested a little, but after a while they just went with the flow and enjoyed their lives as rich kids.

Maybe things got better and the characters became a bit more interesting, but I really could not get into it and don’t plan to try again. I DNFed this one 10% in.

Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga, #1)Rating: DNF
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Release Date: March 4th 2014
Publishing House: Spencer Hill Press
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Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.


**Thank you to Spencer Hill Press for this review copy!

Sing Sweet Nightingale started off strongly–we are witnesses to the death of Hudson’s little brother. It was an interesting start to the story and was a vividly described scene. I expected to be intrigued with the rest of the novel just as much, but I wasn’t.

We are then introduced to another main character, Calease. While I liked the world she was in, I found her character to be very bland and boring to read about. I basically wanted to chuck a bucket of ice to her face so she would wake up and be more lively.

And then there’s another chapter with Hudson and I wasn’t as invested in his character as when I started reading the novel. Believe me, I nearly fell asleep reading!

I would recommend this one to people who are patient and love darkly imagined worlds. I think that if the characters were a bit happier and the writing less plain, I would’ve enjoyed the world and the rest of the novel. Sadly, I stopped reading and nearly fell asleep almost 20% in.

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Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.

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  1. says

    “This didn’t really seem like my type of book, so I wanted to branch out a little.” This can sometimes be the best thing, but I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. Yeah, when writing and characters don’t really pull you in then there’s nothing much left. Seems like either of the book had such great characters to suit your reading taste. Eh, too bad. I hope that whatever you’re reading right now is worth your time and effort:)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: In Honor by Jessi KirbyMy Profile

    • Aimee says

      I don’t get to read from other genres, so I don’t really expect a lot when branching out. But this one was just really boring and, like you said, there isn’t much more to read if the characters aren’t interesting. I’ve read a streak of good books lately, which is great! <3

  2. says

    I got The Secret Diamond Sisters as well, but I completely put off reading it after the reviews started to come in. A lot of people mentioned not being able to connect with either of the characters, so I didn’t want to read it. For me, it’s super important to be able to connect with the characters, especially in a contemporary novel.

    That second book doesn’t sound like my kind of read either. It’s such a shame when the characters are bland.

    I’m sorry neither of these worked for you, Christie. Thanks for the honest reviews though!
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  3. says

    Bland, boring characters are the worst. I was just visiting another blog where she said the same thing about the MC and I think boring characters are even worse than ones you hate.

    Two DNFs in close proximity, huh? Sorry about that Christie, hope you have better luck with your reads this week!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Murder of Crows: reviewMy Profile

    • Aimee says

      Yes! At least if you hate them, they still give you feels even if they’re negative. I hate not feeling anything towards characters.

      I’ve been on a streak of good books after these two, Wendy! Thank you! :)

  4. says

    I like the blurb for Sing Sweet Nightingale, too bad the characters just didn’t work out for you. Sometimes I would take interesting characters anyday over An out of the box plot. Great characters make the stories original, no matter how unoriginal the plot maybe.
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    • Aimee says

      The blurb was very interesting, Amir. Same here! Usually, if the characters are enjoyable, I don’t give that much of a damn to the plot (unless it’s really cliche). Definitely agree. <3

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing your honest DNF views Christie! So many people don’t even bother to review DNFs and I think that it’s important that we find out why people didn’t enjoy it. I’ve heard similar things about Secret Diamond Sisters kind of being unrealistic, so I can see why you didn’t end up finishing. Bland boring characters kind of remind you that you should be reading something else too. Great reviews!
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  6. says

    Jenni also DNFed The Secret Diamond Sisters and it makes me sad bc I really enjoyed her very first novel, but it sounds like these characters are very hard to like bc I’ve heard it mentioned more than once. I may still give it a try though since I know more what to expect maybe I’ll be ok. I haven’t heard much about Sing Sweet Nightingale but it sounded like something I would like for the dark vibe from it, but I’m SO not a patient person and if I can’t connect to a character that’s pretty much it for me. We’ have a DNF round up on Friday as well! :) Mine are from late 2013 though I have not yet DNfed one this year. Let’s hope my luck holds!
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    • says

      She wrote Remembrance, right? It’s still on my TBR, though. :) I hope you like The Secret Diamond Sisters more than Jenni and I did–I also read her review and have to agree with most of the things she said. Gah–lucky you! I haven’t even given a 5-star review this year yet, and I’m starting to get worried. >_<
      Christie recently posted…Discussions & Confessions: Being the Black SheepMy Profile

  7. says

    Ugh, I had to DNF The Secret Diamond Sisters also. I made it a little further than you but I don’t think it matters as there was still 0 plot development going on. The characters didn’t interest me at all, in fact they repelled me. I think Payton was the worst out of all them. She truly was the epitome of immature and her “badass” attitude was not badass in the least and actually just petty.

    I haven’t read Sing Sweet Nightingale but from what you said about it, I just don’t see myself enjoying it.

    I hope your next books are better for you <33
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  8. says

    Aw, that sucks that you didn’t like Swing Sweet Nightingale more! I’ve been thinking of getting it (I still might), but I really don’t like reading a boring book. If it’s boring, it’s hard to like many of the really good parts of the story. As for The Secret Diamond Sisters . . . I don’t think I’ve ever been really interesting in reading that one. Your DNF review doesn’t surprise me too much–I wasn’t expecting much of that book.

    Great reviews!
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