Thursday, November 6, 2014

10 Reasons Why I DNF'd Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Lailah (The Styclar Saga, # 1)

By: Nikki Kelly

Published: October 7th 2014 by Feiwel and Friends

352 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Angels

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

I made it about 30% into Lailah before DNFing it. I don’t DNF often, but I’m trying to get better at it. Not because I want to DNF more, but truly because I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read, and so I really want to focus on books that are bringing out all the good feels for me and not the frustrating ones. Let me preface this review by saying that my sister-in-law read and reviewed Lailah and really enjoyed it. She gave it 4 Stars. Here’s a link to her review if you’re interested in seeing a different opinion. That being said…here are 10 reasons why I did not finish Lailah:

  1. The beginning was very confusing. It’s not that I have to have things figured out all the time, but during the action sequences in the beginning of the book, I kept feeling like the author was leaving out information. Like how a character makes it from point A to point B. I didn’t highlight any of these in my kindle so I don’t have any specific examples, but there were several times that I had to stop and go “wait, what just happened?”.
  2. I was very confused about Lailah’s connection to Gabriel. I didn’t make it far enough into the book to find out what their actual connection stems from, but I did ask my sister-in-law. The prologue really threw me off and had me thinking some really far off ideas about Gabriel that was giving me the creeps. Even after my sister-in-law told me it WASN’T what I was thinking I still found that I couldn’t really find it in me to root for these two.
  3. There’s at least somewhat of a love triangle. Now I will say that love triangles in and of themselves do not bother me…IF they’re done well. But like I said I couldn’t root for Lailah and Gabriel, I didn’t feel like I could root for Lailah and Jonah at this point either. The idea of a love triangle in this book was bringing about some major sighing from me.
  4. Then there’s the fact that Lailah herself is WAY overly dramatic. (See what I did there?) She’s a bit whiny. You guys know the difference between drama and melodrama, right? Well Lailah fell onto the side of melodrama for me. Just her reactions to everything seemed over the top.
  5. The name dropping—iPhone, Chanel, Dior, Mini Cooper, etc—was driving me bonkers. Anytime an author uses brand names, current popular television shows or movies, popular bands, etc…the book is automatically zoned for a specific time period and generation. And readers outside of this time period/generation will have trouble relating. Books like this will never be considered classics.
  6. PLUS inconsistencies. There’s the fact that Gabriel gives Lailah an iPhone. She says (I’m paraphrasing) “You’re giving me an iPhone…that’s like the most extravagant gift anyone’s ever given me. I love it!” and then the very next moment he tries to give her his credit card for emergencies. Well now she’s all “I can’t accept that. I HAVE to pay my own way. Or at least pay you back.” And I’m like “Oh so you can accept the $600 iPhone, but not take the credit card?” Seriously?
  7. Character stupidity. There are at least two pureblood vampires after Lailah and yet she’s like “I can’t stay here at your safehouse. I have to go back to work.” Because tending bar is so much more important than her life??? Oh wait…she has to pay her way. Maybe that’s why her job is so important.
  8. More stupidity/inconsistencies. Gabriel and his group of reformed vampires live in a “safe house” yet Brooke has a PINK MINI COOPER? Because that’s inconspicuous. (I wish you guys could see my face right now.)
  9. Plus there’s the “female” that keeps popping in to save Lailah. I want to read about characters learning to save themselves in the moment. Having some invisible or shadowed force or being constantly swooping in to save her from danger is just not that appealing. She, also, conveniently keeps forgetting to mention this female to Gabriel.
  10. The writing in general. So this isn’t the worst writing ever. It’s not like epically bad or anything like that. The writing just lacks maturity. Nikki Kelly throws in a few too many adjectives and adverbs. Each sentence is packed with them. Instead of pulling me in, hooking me, and creating a desire to devour this book, I ended up getting pulled out of the story by the writing, feeling apathetic when I wasn’t drowning in frustration, and wanting to put this book down. I found myself highlighting passages in my kindle every page or so and making notes like “ugh” over and over.

And that’s that. It wasn’t awful, but Lailah definitely frustrated me. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t a win for me. There are others who have enjoyed it, so I probably just wasn’t the right person for this book. Have you read Lailah? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. Holly @ Words Fueled by LoveNovember 8, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Thanks for including my review in your post. That's a good idea to soften the blow of a DNF or low rating. I don't completely disagree with some of these (confusing beginning; the name dropping). I hate you didn't enjoy it.

  2. Haha...well I did want people to know that other people did have a different reaction to the book than I did.

  3. I actually enjoyed this book, though some of your bullet points made me laugh and I had to agree with them. #9 is actually really interesting, but I can't tell you why without spoiling the book for others who actually want to read it ... hmmm ... maybe I'll have to email you. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. Couldn't find your email address, but if you're curious what I was going to say you can email me - nicole (at) feedyourfictionaddiction (dot) com

  5. Yeah my sister-in-law explained that to me latter. Felt a little bit HP3 to me when she explained it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Nicole!