DNF: Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

Looking-for-meDNF at 50%

Because I so loved the author’s debut novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, I picked up Looking For Me (Penguin, 2013) by Beth Hoffman on my Kindle.

Looking For Me was a different story and writing style than CeeCee. The narrator, Teddie Overman, is an adult woman (as opposed to the adolescent CeeCee), and the first half of the story fluctuates between her current life as a single antique furniture refurbisher in Charleston and her childhood memories of growing up on a farm in Kentucky. In particular, Teddie is trying to piece together what happened to her brother, Josh, who mysteriously disappeared many years ago.

While the writing is cozy, safe and sweet, the stories – both past and present – meander along for hundreds of pages without any sense of urgency, direction, or plot. At about halfway in, when nothing more seemed to be happening outside Teddie’s furniture business, I skipped ahead to see if she’d make any progress, solve the mystery of her missing brother, or experience any interesting revelations otherwise. Nothing more unfolds or is determined, other than an eventual love interest, who is fairly unrelated to the rest of the story and isn’t prevalent enough to deem the novel a romance.

Because the story in general lacked plot and direction, and a resolution was missing from the ending, I was not invested enough to go back and read the remaining 50%. The writing, however, is good. This title may appeal to readers of southern lit and fans of Fannie Flagg, or anyone seeking a story featuring a mature narrator with slow, easy pacing and real-life settings.

DNF: The Grift of the Magi (A Heist Society Novella) by Ally Carter

DNF at 75%

The Grift of the Magi is a holiday-themed Heist Society novella eBook, written and published by Ally Carter via NLA Digital LLC in 2016.

Our series’ heroine, Kat Bishop, has established herself as a thief who re-steals valuable artwork and returns it to its rightful owners. The latest item she must steal back is a rare Faberge egg for a charity in London.

I read 75% of this novella, enough to get a firm grasp on the story as a whole, but admittedly lost interest in the mystery, and especially in the new cast of characters, once they’re snowed in at a British mansion. Kat’s insecurity around her boyfriend, Hale – namely, comparing herself to the wealthier girls who are also interested in him – was redundant from the previous book, and I didn’t like that Hale never seemed to reassure her.

If you can’t get enough Heist Society and are looking for a short read for the holidays, this story gives you more of the characters you love, but isn’t altogether necessary to the series.