Do You Ever Go Back To The Books You DNF?

by - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Bone Witch Book Review | sprinkledpages

Hi friends!

Today I’m going to be doing a discussion + review based on the discussion for The Bone Witch!

But I gotta start off by asking! Do you ever go back to books you DNF? (That is: do not finish.)

I don’t tend to go back to books I DNFed because I always have SO many books I want to get to that if I didn’t like a book first time round reading it, I wouldn’t bother with it again! I am fairly quick to judge a book, especially when I haven’t heard much about it or I haven’t really been pushed to read it by friends and other bloggers.

With the Bone Witch specifically, I had an eARC of it and I got through about 100 pages before deciding to put it down. At the time, I had lots of other books to read and the beginning just wasn’t very interesting. I did mention when DNFing it that I had wanted to go back to it sometime but by that time, my eARC had expired. 

But I decided all of a sudden after reading some fantastic reviews on it and seeing it around in the book community that I wanted to give it one last chance and, so that’s exactly what I did! 

And BOY am I glad I did!

About the book.

Book: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Pages: 411
Published on: 7 March 2017
SynopsisThe beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.
 
  (source)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Recommended for: Anyone 13+

Thank you to New South Books for providing me a review copy however this is an honest review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My thoughts.

{ writing }

I found the writing of this book to be super captivating and engaging! There were times where it was really slow, as I said before, which is what caused me to DNF the book in the first place, but the second time reading it, I was more patient as I had already expected it to be quite slow and therefore I allowed myself time to adjust and soak in the world created. 

The story is told in two alternating perspectives, the first being that of a Bard – which is basically like a poet or storyteller – who has come to grown-up-Tea (the main character) to learn her story and why she was exiled so he can write it. The other perspective is Tea as a young asha, learning about and coming into her powers and follows her growing up from the age of about 11 or 12 before her exile. (This is another part I found very confusing when reading it the first time because I didn’t understand the two perspectives or what was going on.)

However, I loved the switching perspectives because the future perspective from the Bard foreshadowed what was to happen, which caused greater tension in a book (which I absolutely love!) and there was much more intrigue because of it! 

As you get into it, you begin to appreciate the slower pace and it does require some getting used to. Chupeco’s storytelling is masterful and vivid and as you settle into her world, you grow to appreciate the slow-burn narrative. 


{ idea + plot }

This book is about a dark asha – a witch – who raises her brother from the dead. She finds out she is a ‘bone witch’, one of two remaining in the entire world, and she has the power to raise people from the dead or send daeva – demons who terrorize the land – back to their graves. 

It is a little to grasp at first, but, at the same time, the idea is extremely unique and the blend of Asian influences made it very different from other YA fantasies! I thought it was very well fleshed out and as I mentioned before, due to the slow pacing, the world came together in small pieces.

The Bone Witch Book Review | sprinkledpages

This book is one of those where you literally get to see the character grow up as Tea is a young girl when she is taken under the wing of her mentor, Lady Mykaela, and from there, is shown to grow up in more ways than one. Not only does she have to learn how to control her powers, she has to learn many other skills that all asha have to, and deal with the darkness that seems to be brewing inside her.

I found the middle half of the book to really pick up in terms of plot as suddenly, it got much more layered and complex. However, there isn’t a single plot that follows the entire story as it is over the span of many years, and is made up of tiny little plots that lead to the one big plot at the end. 


{ characters }

The book is mainly centred around Tea however, the secondary characters were fairly well developed in this! 

I really loved Tea! She was really bright, tenacious and caring! I found her to be really relatable at times, especially as she grew from a young, naïve and scared girl to someone who could not only use her powers, but was able to use them to manipulate those around her. I had heard prior to reading this that Tea was considered an ‘anti-hero’, which I was so excited for because I love anti-heroes but I found those elements didn’t really come through until the very end, and even then, it wasn’t as ‘strong’ as I would have liked. 

I loved Fox! He was such a solid and reassuring presence throughout the book and I loved the relationship he and Tea shared. I wish he was a bigger part of the book but at the same time, he was always in the background and as a reader, you knew you could always rely on him to back up Tea when it was needed. 

I wasn’t really a fan of the romance in the book however! There isn’t much of it, which is fine by me because the story was doing well without it – but it feels added in there as a secondary thought mostly because it wasn’t that well developed and felt more like infatuation to me. However, the author could have done this for that purpose and to highlight the almost childishness of Tea and hopefully it is addressed in the next book! 


{ overall }

Overall, I am so glad I gave this a second chance! Other than the very very minor problems I had, I really loved this book and I am so excited for the next book, especially since this one ended on a cliffhanger and I want  need to know what will happen next!

OVERALL RATING:


Have you read The Bone Witch? What did you think? And do you ever go back to the books you DNF?

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37 happy thoughts

  1. I have been hearing lots about this book, so I'm glad you liked it! I really like complex fanatsies, so I should probably read this. Yeah, I came back to Fire, the second book in the Circle trilogy, and it was SO much better than the first book, I loved all the girl power.
    Shanti @Virtually Read

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    1. YES YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! It was so great!

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  2. Like you, I couldn't get into this book the first time around. I am revisiting it via audiobook and I am enjoying it a lot more. I think the slower pacing is very well suited to an oral-storytelling style.

    I still have some issues with this one because I find it borrowed too much from the geisha culture, and I'm not entirely comfortable with turning a revered real-life practice into fantasy as a concept, especially when geisha culture is something that's often appropriated for our enjoyment anyway -- and I can't help but feel
    a bit guilty for enjoying it so much. BUTTT I'm rambling and I will save this spiel for my own review hahaha.

    I am glad you went back to this book and ended up liking it so much, though!

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    1. Aha I actually had no idea geisha culture was a thing! I can totally see what you mean and I can't wait to read your review for more of that! Thanks for letting me know and I hope you enjoy it the second time around like I did!

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  3. No, I have never gone back to a book I DNFed. Same reason as you - there are just too many other books to get to. I did just give up on an audiobook this morning, but I am going to try the print version of the book before I completely give up on it.

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    1. Yeah I've only recently started listening to audios but I find sometimes the print is easier than the audio! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  4. This one sounds so good, plus that cover is BEAUTIFUL. I have a really wierd perspective on reading DNFed books, because I just can't make myself DNF a book. Like, even if I hate a book, I will make myself finish it.
    Wonderful review, Anisha! <3
    Megan @ http://www.wanderingsofabookbird.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. AHA I am not one of those people at all. I don't have any patience and if i'm not enjoying it, I put it down! But good on you for soldiering through!

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  5. I'm so happy you went back to this one! It's a little hard to get into/understand but it's overall a really solid story.
    I generally don't DNF anything so I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask about this xD I haven't gone back to any of the books I've DNF'd though.

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    1. Fair enough! Thanks for reading and commenting Faith! <3

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  6. I'm SO glad you enjoyed this more the second time around, Anisha! I'm hoping to give this a go soon, because I've heard such wonderful things. Bummer that the romance didn't connect with you, though the entire premise and characters sound so interesting. Great review. :)

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Aimal!

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  7. I do go back and read books I DNF - unless like a year has gone by. I'm not one of those readers who find it really hard to put aside a book no much I dislike it. And it haunts me!

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  8. This book sounds awesome! I heard a lot of good things about it. As for going back to books I DNFed, it depends on the reasons why I DNF it. If it's just because I'm not in the mood or something similar, then I most likely will pick it up again. But if it's because I hate the characters or the plot, then I usually don't :D Great review by the way!

    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought

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    1. YES I feel like that totally represents my thoughts on DNFing!

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  9. I guess I sort of go back to my DNF books? I have two different types of DNF haha One list is the books that I ABSOLUTELY will never go back to because UGH (there are only 2 on that list so far) and the other list are books that didn't really interest me but MAYBE I'll like it at a different time in life. I'm a mood reader, so sometimes books just aren't in line with my mood and I put them "on hold". Sometimes I go back to them, sometimes I don't even remember them. >.<

    I'm glad you ended up liking this one when you went back! I haven't read it but I've heard so many great things! Great review :)

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    1. YES I get that! I have two 'lists' for them too! Thanks Molly!

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  10. Ah! This one is on my TBR! I've seen mixed reviews but I wanted to check it out for myself :) and sometimes I go back to DNF books but only if the reason for DNF was lack of motivation or time, too slow pace, etc and not "I hate this" "This is BS" etc... you feel me?

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  11. So, I have only DNFed 4 books EVER, but the reason is the reason you JUST explained here- I do not trust myself! I am the WORST ever when it comes to thinking about DNFing and then continuing, and then ending up liking the book, so now I never DNF. I am glad this one ended up working out for you, though! That's a definite win :)

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  12. I haven't read The Bone Witch yet but I do have an ebook copy of it that I bought while it was on sale on Amazon. I plan on reading it hopefully soon and I'm glad you enjoyed it when you came back to it again. I don't usually go back to books I DNF but reading a lot of good reviews about a book I DNF'd makes me wonder if I'm missing out so I *might* give the book a second chance. I'm a very picky reader though and one of the main reasons I might DNF a book is because of the author's writing style. It's honestly just personal preference and doesn't necessarily mean the author is a bad writer.

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    1. YES! I don't usually DNF because of the author's writing but if it is slow, then I will, if that makes sense!

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  13. Great review, Anisha! I'm intrigued by this one! It sounds like it's really complex and I love that it's a story being told to the Bard, that you know Tea made it to an older woman. I also love that it has Asian influences! Must look out for it!

    I'm afrad I don't generally pick up a book again if I DNF it. Sometimes I put a book down because I'm not in the right mood for it, but I don't consider that a DNF, because I know in a different mood, it will be something I can get into. But if I'm really not enjoying a book and stop, I don't go back to it. It just feels like a waste of time, in my opinion.

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    1. Thank you! And yeah I totally get that! <3

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  14. I don't DNF books, but I have gone back to books I disliked the first time. And I want to reread Six of Crows because the hype has made me feel like I missed something HAHA. My reading opinions are always changing so I try to keep an open mind :)

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    1. YES OMG I do also want to re-read that because it was super hyped up!

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  15. I rarely DNF because I just hate too, I'm pretty choosy when reading books, and like you mentioned/experienced, mood can be such a big factor. I'm so glad you picked this up again and ended up enjoying the diverse and great world in The Bone Witch. I've put down books only to pick them up later and really liking them. I actually felt the same on many points when I read The Bone Witch. :)

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    1. Phew glad I'm not alone in my thoughts about the book!

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  16. I rarely go back to books that I DNF but there are some of them where I know I just need to push through to get to the good stuff because the writing isn't bad but maybe I'm just not in the mood for that story. I'm glad you gave The Bone Witch another chance and that you enjoyed it.

    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Brittany! <3

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  17. I actually DNFed this too when I first read it, so seeing your review makes me want to give it another try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

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  18. I reeeally struggled with this one. *cries* I WANTED to love it and it was so beautifully written...I just struggled with staying invested when nothing really was happening. Too slow for me, sadly. I did finish it though. I'm glad you came back and ended up loving it!! I haven't returned to a DNF yet, mostly because I so rarely DNF! 😂 But there are some books I've rated low and kiiiind of want to try again. I'm tempted to give this a go on audio to see if I like it better!!

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  19. This review makes me excited to read this! The synopsis sounds interesting and I've seen many people love it! I'll be sure to keep in mind to push through though since many seem to have DNFed it the first time round

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  20. I'm glad you went back to this one Anisha! I also almost DNF it, then went back because of blogger friend recommendations. I'm glad I did as well! I really loved the immersive setting and Tea's character progression. Although the slow pace was an issue at first for me, I thought it suited the overall atmosphere of the story. Wonderful review!

    - Aila @ Happy Indulgence

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