Monday, February 8, 2016

My First DNF of 2016: INTO THE DIM

Monday, February 8, 2016 with 2 comments
Title: Into the Dim
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Series: Into the Dim, book #1
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Not gonna lie: I had some high expectations for this book, especially as it being lauded as the Outlander for the YA set. It definitely did read a lot younger than I'm used to, even for a young adult novel. But Outlander it was not. For one thing, I was almost 40% into the story before the time travelling became an actuality. And it was very much a planned trip, not a matter of accidentally touching a stone at the wrong time.

I was supposed to be buddy reading this novel with my friend Sabrina, but she was reading ahead and I was getting further behind until she texted me to say that she'd just finished and asked if I just wanted her to tell me what happened. To which my reply was, "Oh, gawd, yes!" I had already been contemplating not finishing the book, but that sealed the deal. And I was glad that I hadn't forced myself to read further once she confirmed every one of my suspicions. I don't DNF often because I like to give a story a fleeting chance to recover my attention, but there was just no way that was going to happen with this book.

Into the Dim was just sooo incredibly predictable. The obvious foreshadowing just left nothing to the imagination, and every time one of my theories came to fruition, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the inevitability of it all. I'm just looking back at my emails and texts with Sabrina while we were reading and it's almost unbelievable how much of the story we were able to guess beforehand. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't post snippets here, but we basically called it before we even got to the 40% mark.

The main character was tragically unlikable to me. She was self-deprecating, but not in a snarky, mildly amusing way. Hope was home-schooled and socially awkward and just plain annoying. Her ability seemed to plague her constantly in the beginning but was only mentioned later when it was useful to the story. If that's what it's like to have a photographic memory, I will content myself with just having a really, really good memory.

I didn't really get to see much of the romance before I decided not to finish, but from what I discerned in my reading and from what Sabrina related after I stopped, I definitely feel like a love triangle is on the horizon, even if it didn't rear it's ugly head in this first book. One guy is the doomed love interest while the other is the brooding guy who will inevitably step in when doomed guy appears to be out of the picture. Not a fan, especially once Sabrina relayed that there was a kissing scene that involved one of the characters oozing yellow pus. No. Thank. You.

I find that I enjoy time travel novels with the simplest explanation for how the time travelling is accomplished. This was not one of those. Basically, it's described as a big mistake, stumbling on some ley lines in an underground cavern and using a friend's technology to aid in the process. It's more mystical than anything -- the travelers having no ability to control when and where they travel back to, just a computer program that predicts when they should be able to travel back to a certain time and place. And they can only travel back to a specific time and location ONCE, lest they should run into their previous selves from another trip back in time. I guess in those terms, it does seem rather simple. But maybe that's actually my issue with the time travel aspect: it was boring and I pretty much skimmed the passages about it.

As I said, I only read to about 40%, but up to that point, I found the story to read very young and to be incredibly slow-paced. I'm used to time travel novels being intense and shaking things up, but I was more likely to yawn while reading Into the Dim than be at the edge of my seat. I really, really wanted this novel to be good, but it was just too predictable for me to bother continuing. Especially since I have no plans to read the sequel now.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Janet Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you'll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can't sneeze with your eyes open. For real--try it--it's impossible)

Her debut novel, INTO THE DIM (coming 3/1/2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is about a 16 year old girl who travels through time. Totally on purpose and stuff.

She's a reader/fan first and a writer second. She lives with her fantastic husband, two hilarious sons, and Dorda the diabetic dog who won't win any beauty contests, but has a "nice personality".

Find Janet:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest


  1. Well...hmm...I'm going to have to think twice about this book now.

  2. Aw, that's so disappointing! I love time travel and it's been a long time since I've read a really great one. This one doesn't sound like it's the one for me, though. I also really dislike books that give away so much on the summary, and it sounds like it took almost half/the whole book to get to what even the summary was talking about!


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