Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The DNF Files: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Published March 11, 2014 by Harper Teen
Paperback, 336 pages
Borrowed from library

So... what's it about?
Ask Again Later is a bit like those Choose Your Own Adventure books with a twist. Our protagonist, Heart LaCoeur has a predicament. Two different dates for prom. Obviously she can't go with both of them but who should she choose? Each date is explored in this book, with alternating chapters giving us a look at what Heart's night was like with each of her two dates.

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads for more information:

"Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all..."

What initially attracted you to it?
Ask Again Later seemed like just what I wanted at the time! It looked light and cute and I love novels about prom. The premise also sounded really interesting, with the alternating realities so I wanted to give it a shot! And after all the rave reviews, it seemed like Ask Again Later was sure to be a new favourite.

How far did you read until you decided it was over?
112 pages in and I had to stop. (In case you're wondering, that's 35% of the way through).

Why'd you put it down?
I was honestly just incredibly bored the entire time. I tried to get into it but it never happened for me. I thought Czukas' writing was rather dry and didn't really do anything for me. I found Heart to be a bland main character (and also rather annoying sometimes) and all the rest, pretty uninteresting as well. The characters were very overly stereotyped, especially the difference between the jocks and the drama kids. And for some reason, there were just so many characters for me that I could not keep track of them all. I don't think this has anything to do with Czukas' writing but just as a little sidenote! But for the most part, I just found it boring. And I think that this has something to do with how uncertain I was about how the book would go. I didn't really see what the point of the book was. At the end, after seeing both options, was she going to pick one of them? Or what would happen? It was totally indiscernible for me and I think that was why I was so bored. From what I read, it seemed to me like an account of her prom night with two different dates and that wasn't what I was interested in. Sigh, I don't think I'm making myself clear. But basically I was questioning the purpose of this book. Like what is all this leading up to? Why should I continue reading this? To find out what? And for those questions, I could not find a reasonable answer and so I just did not bother.

But on a positive note, was there anything you did like about it?
I don't think I was far enough into this book to really have determined anything more about the book than everything that I've already said. But still I feel so mean for saying this but no, I didn't really find anything I liked? The entire time I was just really bored and not into the book, not paying attention to what I was reading. Perhaps if I read a little further I might've found more enjoyment but of what I read, there wasn't really anything that I liked.

Final Notes

Ask Again Later in one word was a disappointment. I was expecting a really fun novel that would also BLOW ME AWAY, given all the great reviews, but instead I found a book that was dry and bland. The writing didn't work for me, I didn't connect with the characters or the story and there was no excitement. There was nothing that made me perk up, that made me want to continue. It was just an account of Heart's prom night and that honestly wasn't very interesting. Maybe if I read more, it would have become more interesting but by the time I hit page 112, I had had enough. It was time for me to call it quits. I'm still confused as to what happened though. Like there are SO many people who loved it and it seemed like a book MADE for me so I'm still feeling like I'm missing something here.

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