DNF Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan


Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: April 1st 2014
Publishing House: Greenwillow
Number of pages384
Check out on GOODREADS

Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean. 

This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can’t read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change? 

*An eARC was provided by Greenwillow Books in exchange for an honest review.


How could I have resisted a gorgeous, intriguing cover like that? Of course, the cover had lured me to give this book a shot. I didn’t finish this book. At around 22%, I just about gave up on the book completely.

That doesn’t mean this was a bad book! It just wasn’t a book for me. With its elegant, descriptive and poetic writing, it was no wonder Salvage had not really interested me. I do appreciate and love how authors can write this beautifully, but I much prefer simple writing to get me into the story and the characters. Other people might find this type of writing to be the book’s asset, even.

In addition to this writing, Salvage also had some odd terms and names. They’re not your ordinary, odd-spelled names–they’re practically sentences in themselves. Could you picture yourself naming your child something like Luck Be with Us on This Journey? To sum it up, it was the writing style that led this book to my DNF shelf.

I also find the heroine to be quite immature. She made decisions too quickly and never bothered to think of the consequences. I guess this is also why the romance moved on a bit too fast for my liking.

If you’re a fan of this type of writing, you can go on and find more redeeming qualities from this novel. I don’t think I got far enough to find any of Salvage‘s better aspects. I did like where the plot was going by the time I stopped–things were heating up and were getting exciting–but I just couldn’t go on with this type of writing.

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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 is the second DNF review I’ve seen for this one, so you’re definitely not alone. I like poetic styles of writing, but not sure how it’d work with this kind of storyline. Always makes me wonder if authors are trying to follow in the footsteps of Tahereh Mafi, and there’s only one Mafi. The names alone sound like it’s borrowed aspects of tribal name ceremonies, but it sounds ridiculous. Think I’m gonna give this one a miss. Thanks for the awesomely honest review Aimz :)
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    • Aimee says

      I have actually seen plenty of DNF reviews for this one with mostly the same reasons as mine. :( I’ve heard the story gets better, though. Mafi’s writing was different. It was both poetic and easy to read. Does that make sense? Thanks, Kelly! :)

  2. says

    The cover sure is enticing but the book does not sound like my type. Its sad that u didnt find it to your liking. Hopefully the next book will make it all better ! Happy Reading !!
    Gayatri recently posted…Review: RookMy Profile

  3. Larissa says

    Luck Be with Us on This Journey O.o What kind of name is that??? I couldn’t take those characters or really this book serious with names like that. It just makes everything so disjointed and awkward. Coupled with juvenile characters, ugh. Can’t stand those type of characters, they just end of making such stupid choices and really are totally unrealistic. It also does tend to make the romance seems very contrived and cheesy, which seems to be the case in Salvage.

    Although that cover is very beautiful, I just don’t think that this novel is the one for me. Immature characters, quick romance and annoying writing isn’t my cup of tea.

    Wonderful review Aimee, you summed everything up great. I love reading your reviews <33

  4. says

    Ooh, what is this? Is this a re-design?! EXCITING. I LIKE IT. XD

    I’ve read so many DNF reviews for this book, I just wiped it off my TBR entirely. >_< Besides, isn't it painfully thick?? Not. good. I get really frustrated with books with immature protagonists! (I totally just felt that way in Take Back the Skies.) Maybe they're meant for a younger audience?? But still! It drives me crazy, and I can't get onboard with rooting for a characters who needs a hi-five in the face with a chair. -_-
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  5. says

    Is that example an actual name in the book? Hahaha! I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. I know poetic writing can be difficult sometimes. There are those I’ve enjoyed though so maybe I’ll check this one out if I can. Although I’m not to keen on the protagonist and romance that you described.
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  6. says

    Such a waste of awesome cover :( I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this one, Aimee! Writing style is very crucial since it is what makes the entire book — the plot, the characters — so no wonder if you stopped reading because of it.

    And Luck Be with Us on This Journey?? O_O And here I thought The Selection books have the weirdest names ><

  7. says

    I enjoyed this one, but I can also see that it might not be for everyone. The writing was great, and I loved the feminist themes and the unique setting.
    I enjoy reading all different points of view on books I’ve read, so thanks for sharing what didn’t work for you.
    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Freebie Friday: BEA SwagMy Profile

  8. says

    Yep…I had the exact same problem with this! The writing was gorgeous, but the instalove and absurd names bothered me a lot too. I think you made a good call for stopping at 22% in, because, in my opinion, it only ended up getting worse. :( Thanks for sharing Aimee!
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