By: Melanie | February 5, 2014 | (29) Comments

DNF Review: The Drowned Forest by Kristopher ReiszThe Drowned Forest by Kristopher Reisz
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: February 8, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, YA
Pages: 240
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Losing Holly is the hardest thing Jane has ever had to endure ... until Holly comes back.

Best friends Jane and Holly have jumped off the bluff over their Alabama reservoir hundreds of times. But one day, Holly’s jump goes wrong. Her body never comes up, yet something else does—a sad creature of mud, full of confusion and sorrow. It’s Holly, somehow, trapped and mixed up with the river. And if Jane can’t do something to help, Holly will take everybody down with her—even the people they love the most.

Blending Looking for Alaska’s theme of lost friendship with Stephen King’s sense of small-town horror, The Drowned Forest is a Southern gothic tale of grief, redemption, and the mournful yearning of an anguished soul.

My Review

I don’t even know anymore. Seriously, what the flip was this? The whole time I read this, I was thinking: no No NO NOOOO. A complete disaster? Pretty much, seeing that I DNFed it and cannot think of one major likeable aspect. Not even a minor one. I’ll say you’re wasting your time if you try this. Though please, if you think you’ll be satisfied in the end or are curious, go ahead. But I totally, totally warned you.

My first quibble with The Drowning Forest was the main character. Quite simply put, she’s an idiot who legitimately does not know what to do with her life apart from preach to God. Sure, I have no issue with a book to have that, but every. single. chapter. preach. preach. preach. Girl, is there anything else you can do but complain and pray to God about Holly–your dead friend?

How could I spend hours praying and not sense one glimmer of [God]? Last Tuesday, I decided it must be a test. God couldn’t really leave me; it was a test of faith. I knelt here for hours, Holly, not getting up for a sip of water, praying until my tongue got gummy and stuck to the teeth. Praying while the carpet chewed my knees raw, then offering the pain up as a sign of devotion. Tim was just worried about me, but when he wouldn’t leave me alone, I threatened to push him down the stairs.

As you can see, Jane has pretty much become obsessed with praying. I’m not saying I am against praying–damn I pray as well but this is a novel! I am not reading a diary, I am reading a story. Where is my plot line? I don’t want to be reading about praying for 80% of these 240 pages when I’m supposed to be reading a gothic-like setting along with a creepy tone and full of intrigue story line.

What you can also tell by the above quote, is that Jane likes to talk to her best friend Holly like she’s an alive and living person. Constantly. It put me off and I did not see the point of it. Maybe because I only reached 18% in? Nonetheless, I have no effort left in me to urge through more of this book. Furthermore, that quote also presents of how ungrateful this protagonist is. She’s gonna throw someone down the stairs because they are concerned about her well being. I mean, are you joking? I get it, your friend died but now you want someone else (a family member) to also die/get fatally injured when you throw them down the stairs? What a bitch.

Another reason why I hated Jane’s guts was how so quickly she makes assumptions, gets so opinionated and really short tempered.

“Jane, give me the knife if you’re not going to be careful.”
“I’m being careful! You yell at me to come do this, then you hover over me like I’m six. Let me do it.”
Mom reaches for the knife. “Jane, let me–” I jerk back. The blade skates across the edge of her palm, and Mom’s yelp silences the chatter in my head. Clutching her hand–blood runs and smears–Mom glares at me like she hates me.

Apart from the rat Jane is, I must agree with her on one point. Why is her mom hovering over her like she can’t cut tomatoes when she called Jane down to cut them in the first place? Just not logical at all. So in summary, I was not a fan of ANY of these characters–all were overly opinionated, short tempered and asses. Still wanna read this?

The Drowning Forest was a total disappointment–or should I say disaster. Even though this was a short novel, I couldn’t delve any further even if someone gave me some chocolate ice-cream (hmm…actually I might consider that…).

~Thank you Flux for sending me this copy!~

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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29 Responses to DNF Review: The Drowned Forest by Kristopher Reisz

  1. Wow. Ew. No, no, I don’t think my curiosity needs to be satisfied. I’ll skip. But that cover is remarkably creepy. What I really HATE though, is character inconsistencies. Like that whole tomato-cutting scene you described? Those sorts of things drive me up the wall.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Cress (by Marissa Meyer) Is Beyond Brilliant + GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  2. Oh noooo. I have nothing against religion but when it’s so blatant and preachy like that I can’t stand it, especially in books. This one sounded so good too. I am disappoint.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Bird by Crystal Chan Review – Soaring with grief, sadness and hopeMy Profile

  3. Aimee says:

    The synopsis actually does sound intriguing, but after reading your review… *coughs* No thank you.

    Even being a religious person (or at least I think I am), I’m not too fond of these kinds of books. I mean, a little bit of religious talk would be nice (like in Miranda Kenneally’s novels, for example), but for the book to just go ’round and ’round that topic? I think I’ll pass. Lovely review, Mel!
    Aimee recently posted…“Waiting On” Wednesday: The Winner’s CurseMy Profile

  4. Siiri says:

    What in the world is that cover? You know, Flux’s books don’t usually work for me and I have no idea why. They just don’t so I’m not even going to try this, especially after your review. I’m not big on religion (at all actually) so the fact that it has so much praying in it creeps me out, tbh. Plus, people who make assumptions and don’t wait for the explanation (most times) just really annoy me to no end and honestly? If I want to read gothic, I’ll pick up Michelle Zink or someone else that’s on my shelf waiting for me already and I’m not really interested in getting anything new which I probably wouldn’t enjoy. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, but I understand all the why’s and how’s to your DNF decision.
    Siiri recently posted…January Wrap UpMy Profile

  5. Awesome review, Melanie! The Drowned Forest seems like a nightmare. I’m a Catholic, but even I get turned off with constant preaching! Rashika recently reviewed this and was pretty much saying the same things. Haha. Her rant was beautiful.

    Anyway, I think I’ll avoid this. I’m sorry you had to endure all that 🙁 Hope your next book is better
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: The Drowned Forest by Kristopher ReiszMy Profile

  6. Aww I’m sorry that this one wasn’t for you. Although, I’d definitely be severely bothered by the insane amount of praying and preaching that this book has. I’m not a religious person, and I don’t mind reading about or knowing someone who is, but if it was taken to that level of extreme I’d definitely also have a problem with what was going on. Ugh sorry this one didn’t meet your expectations, but fantastic review nonetheless, Mellybean! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Ten Tiny Breaths by KA TuckerMy Profile

  7. The description sounded so good, and then you’re review came and well, I’ve never gone from wow to oh so quickly in life! It must have been really frustrating to have expected something dark and twisted and gotten moody ass characters, I can’t imagine. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this Mel, it must have sucked if even you couldn’t finish it. Definite avoid.
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…December/January Re-CapMy Profile

  8. I kind of like that cover, even though it’s weird. This just sounds…odd? Is she a mud monster? No thanks!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday! (104)My Profile

  9. This sounds like something that would drive me nuts too. I don’t mind people that pray either, but it can’t be overdone. It becomes too preachy and would put a lot of people off. Not to mention the other aspects of the book you didn’t like. Sorry!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts though.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Tune in Tuesday with Charlene KayeMy Profile

  10. Lily B says:

    Weird…. very weird i guess. Sorry this one was a major fail for you, and i can see why. I pray but i probably wouldn’t want to read about it as much in a book to that amount.

    I don’t know she sounds irresponsible 😛 to tell her mother she has this then accidentally cut her… i don’t know. Reckless?
    Lily B recently posted…Review: Trust in Me (Wait for You #1.5) by J. Lynn, Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

  11. Tanja says:

    Ouch, this doesn’t sound like something I want to read. I mean it’s okay to say No few times while reading the book, but constantly yelling at characters is never a good thing. I’m so sorry that this didn’t work for you dear. I hope you’ll enjoy your next read. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#81)My Profile

  12. Candace says:

    This definitely doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy. The praying and praying and praying might drive me a little nuts. But I am curious to see what others are saying so I might look up more reviews out of curiosity.
    Candace recently posted…Adult Review: Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie GreenMy Profile

  13. Giselle says:

    Oh what in the hell? NO!! I’m so glad I saw the bad ratings on this one on GR and decided to skip it. I had this feeling you know and I guess my instincts were right. If the idiocy wouldn’t turn me off, the excessive preaching would definitely have made this a DNF for me as well. And OMG that 2nd quote O_O
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  14. Megan says:

    Yikes! I;m really not a fan of preachy books. Plus Jane kind of sounds like an idiot. I’ll be skipping this one.
    Megan recently posted…Review: CressMy Profile

  15. Melliane says:

    I confess it would have annoyed me as well, and it’s always sad to DNF a book but it happens. Thanks for your review, now I’m sure I won’t read it.
    Melliane recently posted…Guest review: Twenty-First Century Science Fiction by David G. HartwellMy Profile

  16. Ugh, I hate preachy books. OMG, I am surprised this one is so bad, but by what you mentioned I don’t think I could like this one either. Sucks.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: TAUT: The Ford Book by J.A. Huss (Blog Tour & Giveaway)My Profile

  17. Aw, Mel. But that cover looks so creepy….and the synopsis sounds so promising! Wendy no touch the bookie?

    I know it must have really grated on your nerves if you didn’t even finish it, so I’d better not pick it up either. Sorry you were disappointed.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…The Winner’s Curse: reviewMy Profile

  18. Nara says:

    Dude this sounds so bad. Lack of plotline sounds like the best reason not to go near this book…sounds like a complete trainwreck :/
    Nara recently posted…Review: Bird by Crystal ChanMy Profile

  19. Uh. This sounds like a complete disaster! The synopsis actually sounds pretty interesting but after reading your review there is NO WAY I am reading this! Thanks for the warning!
    Kimi @ Geeky Chiquitas recently posted…BOOK IN REVIEW: The War Inside by M. KircherMy Profile

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