Paradise by Pamela Srey #Review #DNF

Posted July 23, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

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

Paradise by Pamela Srey #Review #DNF


Series: #2 Bianca Grey
Genres: New Adult Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on April 1, 2015
Pages: 322
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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DNF at p. 192 (52%)

I was enthusiastic to pick up this second book in the Bianca Grey series because of how the first book drew me. It jumped in right where the first one left off. Enough time had passed since I read the first book that I had some emotional distance and was ready to see what happens now that Bianca has gone searching for her birth mom and is attending college in Hawaii.

This book builds strongly on book one so I don’t think it should standalone.

As I said, this story begins with Bianca parting from Pete breaking his heart, but determined to make her way alone in Hawaii both for college and for her search to find her birth family. She settles in easily finding a job, making friends, getting out and experiencing Hawaii and its art along with making a few guy encounters.

The story includes side stories narrated by Shawn, Riley, Gaby, and a few others in Bianca’s sphere.

This was the point where I called it quits.

Most of the time when I DNF a book, I feel rather strongly about the elements that made me put it aside. In this case, that is not the case except for one thing. In fact, it was because I couldn’t feel that strongly about this story that I set it aside.

The story meandered along without much of interest happening. I felt like I was getting a play by play of Bianca’s daily life and then added to her was the daily doings of her friends. It is told first person which should have made me feel close to the action, but instead I felt distant from the characters and the story.

More than a third of the way in, there was barely any mention of the search for her birth mom which was the whole reason she ran off to Hawaii and broke Pete’s heart. Any mention of Pete is her spending her time working to forget him. She kept people at arm’s length still even if she thought of them as friends so she isn’t growing past her hang-ups from the past. Then the one thing that didn’t sit well with me was when she used a nice guy to scratch an itch before reminding him that they were just friends.

Almost 200 pages in, I felt not much was going on and I guess I got bored waiting for something to happen (I went to work. I went to class. I went to a party. I did my art project. I miss Pete. Etc). I would assume that eventually she does make progress on the search for her mom and maybe even gets past denying her feelings for Pete (or maybe not). I don’t know.

Like I said, this story isn’t awful and the details of Hawaii and the interrelationships were alright. I just couldn’t get into it. Those who enjoy YA transitioned to NA Contemporary might want to give this a go since the author has a unique writing voice and set up a strong story in the first book that carries over a little into this one.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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6 years ago

Uh..oh. Sorry this one didn’t work out. I’ve been reading suspense and thrillers lately, but if a book takes longer than 2 chapters to capture my attention, I’m outta there. Based on your review, it sadly doesn’t sound as if the character had a plan, though surely that was the author’s intent when she wrote this continuation. Perhaps the next one will be a little better. Hugs…Ro

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  RO

Yeah, ruh roh is right, Ro!

I did give it until well past 50% so I don’t feel guilty.

Good suspenses and thrillers do need to have a ‘grab you’ scene for sure.

6 years ago

What a shame, and yeah if you aren’t feeling it by 50% you probably never will.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

Sad, but true. Next time…

Keionda Hearts Books
6 years ago

It’s a shame you and this book didn’t get along too much. And I know you had to be super excited seeing as you loved the first book by this author so much. I feel bad when DNF a book but if you didn’t like it by the 50%mark…you probably weren’t. Sorry this one didn’t do it for you.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

I was sad about not liking it since the first one was so captivating for me. But yeah, I figure if it didn’t happen by half way, then it wouldn’t.

Mary Kirkland
6 years ago

It happens. We aren’t always going to like the books we pick up.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

So true, Mary! I wanted to, but not this time.

Lindy Gomez
Lindy Gomez
6 years ago

It is disappointing when you love a first book in a series, and then the second one falls flat. I wonder why the author didn’t point a focus on the main character searching for her birth mom, when that was the whole reason that she went to Hawaii. I can see why you DNF’d this story. If I’m bored, can’t connect, and feel distant, I feel like I’m being tortured to finish a book, and then reading becomes a chore. Thanks for explaining so thoroughly why this book did not work for you.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Lindy Gomez

That bit about waiting until the half-way point to get on the quest had me baffled too.

You are exactly right. I stopped when it became a chore.

I’m always a little nervous about explaining a DNF book b/c I want the explanation there without getting ranty.

Braine TS
6 years ago

That bad huh. You’re more tolerant, patient, and generous than I am so you DNFing this must mean it’s bad. I hate it when this happens, I love Angie Sandro’s NA PNR, loved book 1 then book 2 just went south so i had to quit the series.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Braine TS

Yeah, it was no fun and I was disappointed b/c I wanted to like it the way I did the first book.

6 years ago

I am sorry to hear you DNF’d this one and it didn’t grap you as strongly as the first one. I can definitely see how feeling too little can be a reason for a DNF, especially with later books in a series or by an author you already know. That doesn’t sound fun how this book felt distant even with a first person point of view. Good explanation of why you DNF’d this one! I hope your enxt book will be better.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Thanks, Lola! I always feel struggle to set a book aside b/c I feel I must finish when I start one, but with no connection and not seeing progress on the plot, I was barely paying attention.