Thursday, February 13, 2020

DNF Audiobook Review: Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Title: Dark and Deepest Red
Auhor: Anna-Marie McLemore
Publication: January 17th 2020 by Recorded Books Audio, Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: DNF

With Anna-Marie McLemore's signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.
I had only about four hours left on this audiobook but I just wasn't enjoying it as much as I would've liked and in my opinion there's no sense in continuing a book when you're reluctant to pick it up so I decided to DNF it.

There were quite a few things I didn't like about this book but I wanna start with the possitive because it wasn't all bad. I liked that the story was based on the dancing plague of 1518 in Strasbourg that actually really occurred. It's one of those events in history that I've always been super fascinated by. It's also a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Red Shoes. I also really liked that there was a trans boy character in the book. He also happened to be my favorite character as far as I got to in the book.

Now the not-so-good things. There were three different points of view and usually I like multiple povs and I don't know if it's because I listened to it in audiobook but it was a bit hard to follow all and other than that I had a hard time connecting with the characters or really caring about them. I liked the chapters set in Strasbourg the most because they were set in 1518 and I'm a big history nerd so those were my favorites but the others I just didn't care for. 

And because of all this it became harder and harder to continue listening because I kept thinking I'd better give my attention to other books that I would potentionally enjoy more. To be honest, I would've enjoyed it a whole lot more if the story was only set in the past in Strasbourg and was mainly about the dancing plague. I really did enjoy those chapters and from what I could tell from those, the author's writing was really good. The story in general just didn't capture my attention well enough.

About the author:
Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by their family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. They are the author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a finalist for the 2016 William C. Morris Debut Award; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature; WILD BEAUTY, a Kirkus Best Book of 2017; and BLANCA & ROJA, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. DARK AND DEEPEST RED, a reimagining of The Red Shoes based on true medieval events, is forthcoming in January 2020.
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  1. All good reasons to DNF a book! I actually just took this one off my TBR.

  2. I've read a couple of books by this author and loved them, so it could be the format just didn't work for you. I've been disappointed too when stories jump around and don't stick with the time period I love.

  3. Yeah! I'm definitely not ruling out that reading it as a physical book or ebook that I might enjoy it more.

  4. You might enjoy it though, you never know!

  5. Awe sorry this one didn't work out but I agree, there are so many good books out there, that we need to let go of the ones that are not working for us sooner rather than later!

    Chanzie @ Free To Be Me

  6. That's too bad! I am really intrigued by the concept of this story. It sounds like a really interesting historical and I love the Red Shoes connection. I find that for an audiobook to work, those narrators can make or break it for me. I would probably end up DNFing this one, too. ;)

  7. The narrators definitely weren't my fave. But for example the narrators of A Heart So Fierce and Broken were really great so yeah it depends.

  8. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this but there is indeed no sense in continuing something you don't enjoy. The dancing plague part sounds great, though. I haven't read any books about that before but it has always interested me.

    Have a wonderful week!

  9. It sucks this didn't work out, because it's quite an interesting blurb. But IA there are better books for you out there.

  10. It just goes to show how important connecting to the main characters is and I am sorry you couldn't enjoy this one as much as you were hoping to!

  11. I'm sorry this didn't work for you, but it's indeed better to DNF if you're not enjoying it. I've never read any books by this author, but I've always wanted to pick one up as they do sound super intriguing, just like this one with the dancing plague. Maybe I'll pick it up some day and hopefully I'll still enjoy it.


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