My first DNF of 2016

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Zero Day

Jan Gangsei

Publication: 1/12/16

Source: Netgalley e-ARC

*no rating*

I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?


I’m going to be honest. This DNF is a direct result of a book slump.  Even though I know I shouldn’t have, I tried and forced myself to continue reading when I was simply not in the mood and I have taken it out on the book. There are a bunch of glowing reviews on Goodreads but this was not the right time for me to read this.  I might go back to it when I am not so bitter at my lack of desire to read.

I made it 41% and I’m just not feeling it. I’m bored and I honestly don’t care what Addie is hiding. There are multiple POV and random ones at that.  I mean I don’t care about the police officer whose car was attacked by Cerberus.  It’s just a weak way to create suspense. I always feel like random POV shifts are cop outs for bad storytelling unless you find a really interesting way to do so. And Addie and Darrow are supposed to be the MCs and I swear by 41% of the book, it seems to focus way more on these random POVs.

Also so far the hackers have shown that yes they are able to hack into a bunch of shit but they haven’t actually harmed anyone so I’m not sure why everyone is freaking out.  Well no. I get why everyone is freaking out I just think they are a really lame “Big Bad” so far.  Not that I want them to be killing people, but murder does always up the suspense!!   Whether Addie is a part of this or not should be like a burning question but I just don’t care.

And Addie. I mean she was kidnapped. She was kept from her family for 8 years. She is possibly involved with the domestic terrorists.  And she is extremely blah.  She has no personality.  She is an unreliable narrator and she LOVES to point it out to us.

“You know, like Adele, the singer.”

“Oh. I don’t know her,” Addie said even as “Rolling in the Deep” started looping through her mind.

I would have loved to have more focus on the fact that SHE WAS KIDNAPPED and she is possibly suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or she has been completely turned evil by her captors. But I don’t care because she has absolutely no personality. Where is her suffering? Where is her turmoil over being reunited with her family and the fact that she is possibly trying to bring down her father’s administration?

And Darrow is just as boring.  Yeah he was the last person to see Addie before she was kidnapped, but is really realistic that he is basically in love with her when they meet again at 16?  Both of them have this weird insta-love thing going on, all based on the fact that they were friends when they were 8.  Also, his secrets the government agent is threatening to expose?  As far as I got into the book, they were pretty weak secrets and would not be that big of a deal if it got out.

Honestly, at this point Addie’s sister Elinor is my favorite character and she isn’t even actually in the book yet because she is away at rehab.

I just don’t have the patience to finish this book at the moment.  I wish I had waited to read it but now I’m just annoyed.  I will admit that it does provide one of the most accurate descriptions of DC, which is always appreciated.

ETA: I survived the book slump!  I am almost back in full swing with my reading (of course it took reading a “just for fun” type book.  I did go back and try to read this again.  I got up to 54% and I still wasn’t feeling it.  It’s just not all that interesting and there are way more exciting ARCs/books I already own I could be reading.  I still might go back to it eventually. 

Sanctuary Bay by Melinda Metz and Laura J Burns

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Sanctuary Bay

Laura J, Burns & Melinda Metz

Publication: 1/19/16

Source: Netgalley e-ARC

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Goodreads | Amazon |The Book Depository

*I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.*



This was my WOW post a few weeks ago. I love boarding school stories and I was really hoping for a creepy, atmospheric read.   While it wasn’t exactly creepy, I think the authors did a great job at bringing the setting to life.

Sanctuary Bay Academy is the most elite prep school in the country. Located on an island off the coast of Maine, once you arrive, there is no leaving. Total immersion is how the school describes the situation. There is no contact with the outside world until you graduate. But when you graduate you are almost guaranteed a spot, and probably a scholarship, to your pick of Ivy League colleges. And for Sarah Merson, a foster kid who has been tossed around the system, the school is a godsend. It is her best shot at securing a better life for herself. So she goes all in and decides there is nothing she wouldn’t do to better the chance of achieving that future. But she soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. There are secrets within the walls of Sanctuary Bay and it is up to Sarah to find out the truth.

For the most part, I liked Sarah. She’s bi-racial, half black and half white. In fact, a lot of the characters in the novel are POC, which is a nice change. They didn’t seem to be tokenized either. Sarah’s had a rough upbringing. Thanks to her eidetic memory she is able to remember in full detail her parent’s brutal murder and sometimes suffers from flashbacks where she is totally immersed in memories from the past. There are brief mentions of sexual abuse at the hands of foster families, although it’s brushed over pretty quickly. I said for the most part I liked her, because her poor-me attitude did get a bit tiresome. She of course has every right to be angry with her lot in life, but she has a hard time recognizing that other students, even the rich, more privileged ones could have hard upbringings too.

There was a little bit of romance, and even a possible love-square situation, but it’s not really focused on that much. In fact, around 30% through the book things get weird and any real romance is set aside.

It’s hard for me to talk about the other characters without giving away plot details, but I will say that I did like Ethan, her roommate’s boyfriend. Yeah he comes off as an ass, but sometimes those are my favorite types. Plus, he’s not really as jerky as he seems.

It’s a “psychological thriller” but it’s also a lot more than that. There were many different turns in this story. It started off as one thing and ended up somewhere completely different. Towards the end I kind of guessed where it was headed, but if you had told me within the first 20% of the book I probably would have been shocked.

The writing style kept me engaged throughout all of it. I gave it 3 stars, so I did enjoy reading it, but there was a lot that felt off. There were a lot of questions I had that were kind of answered, but also not really at the same time. And the ending is definitely set up for a sequel. In fact, if there isn’t a sequel, and I haven’t seen anything to suggest that there will be, I would totally move this down to a 2 star rating. If there ends up being a sequel I would probably feel better about that nagging feeling.