The DNF Report #15 – February 2023

Posted February 27, 2023 by Lisa Mandina in Review, The DNF Report / 8 Comments

So I am starting this monthly post. I started pretty early with one. Only had two really this month. So that’s good. And one I actually haven’t read this month, but I just finally decided to stop on it.

Daughter of Oduma by Moses Ose Utomi

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The DNF Report #15 – February 2023Daughters of Oduma by Moses Ose Utomi
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on February 7, 2023
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 368
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: DNF

An elite female fighter must reenter the competition to protect her found family of younger sisters in this scintillating young adult fantasy inspired by West African culture, perfect for fans of The Gilded Ones and Creed.
Eat. Dance. Fight.
This is the life of the girls who compete in the Isle’s elite, all-female fighting sport of Bowing. But it isn’t really Dirt’s life anymore. At sixteen, she is old and has retired from competition. Instead, she spends her days coaching the younger sisters of the Mud Fam and dreading her fast-approaching birthday, when she’ll have to leave her sisters to fulfill whatever destiny the Gods choose for her.
Dirt’s young sisters are coming along nicely, and the Mud Fam is sure to win the upcoming South God Bow tournament, which is crucial: the tiny Fam needs the new recruits that come with victory. Then an attack from a powerful rival leaves the Mud without their top Bower, and Dirt is the only one who can compete in the tournament. But Dirt is old, out of shape, and afraid. She has never wanted to be a leader. Victory seems impossible—yet defeat would mean the end of her beloved Fam. And no way is Dirt going to let that happen.

My thoughts:

I tried, really hard. Got to almost 100 pages. But I just could not get into this. As often with fantasy, a made up language or different nonsensical words thrown in threw me off as I tried to read. But it was more than that. I didn’t know enough about these characters or background or anything since this was a fantasy world, so I just couldn’t find myself really caring that much. And the whole bowing thing was weird and made no sense for me either. Anyway, it didn’t work for me, but maybe it will for you.

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan
The DNF Report #15 – February 2023Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by HarperAudio on August 2, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 11:16
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: DNF

From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel.
For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger.
On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her.
As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.
If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

My Review:

I love Julie Whelan’s narrating. And there were things I enjoyed about what I listened to in her book, the stuff about authors and narrators and book conventions. And the part about her Blah-blah was sad/emotional. But I just couldn’t keep my attention with it. I might try to some day go back and read a physical copy of the book instead of listening, because everyone loves this so much. But for me it wasn’t worth listening to since my mind kept wandering and I wasn’t excited to get back in the car to continue listening, and never wanted to stay in the car when I got somewhere to keep listening.

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8 responses to “The DNF Report #15 – February 2023

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m thinking maybe if I try reading it instead of listening, I might be able to skim through parts that kind of bored me when I was listening. We’ll see if I get to that some day!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I know everyone else has loved it! And I do love her audiobook narration, so that wasn’t the problem. I think it might just be a story I’d have to read the book. It wasn’t as rom-com as I was thinking, a bit more women’s fiction.

  1. I can relate to reading a fantasy book and struggling to understand the world-building. It is a real commitment to get to 100 pages and still not grasp the story.

    I am so disappointed to hear about the Julia Whalen book! I have really enjoyed her as a narrator and this book is one that I am excited to try. I still might give it a go, but maybe skip the audio as you have mentioned above. 🙂

    The Candid Cover recently posted: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    • Lisa Mandina

      Well don’t take my opinion on the Julia Whalen book as the end-all, because everyone else loved it. You might love it too! I do love her narration, always excited to hear her voice, it just was a story I might like to read more than listen to. But sometimes I’m weird like that, lol.

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