Never-Contented Things – A DNF Review

Never-Contented Things – A DNF Review

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries―until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Never-Contented Things

Author: Sarah Porter
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Page Count: 368
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Fae
Cover Artist: -
My Rating: DNF - no star rating given

Never-Contented ThingsNever-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

DNFing at 10%

It’s not often that I dole out DNF’s. Most of the time, it’s for the reason that I’m just not the right reader for the context, or concept of a book. I feel it more fair that someone of the same stock give their honest opinion, than me swinging and missing on a field where I don’t belong. I’ve only DNF’d a few books out of sheer boredom (these are few and far between.) Even then, I try to read to at least 40% of the book before calling it “quits.” (I just couldn’t continue further in this instance.) In general, I’m an optimistic person. I try to find the good in the bad, even if it’s a tiny sliver. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt that everything is on the side of good–hoping to encourage people towards positivism and growth, and not depravity and decay.

Then, there is the other, small fraction of why I deem a book a DNF–it’s deleterious, degrading, deficient, and dangerous material. Get ready, I may rant some here, but I pray it’s still put tastefully and respectfully… I just want to clarify here that I am not attacking the author or saying anything bad about her personally. It is with this book where my issue lies.

The synopsis of this book doesn’t really give a good reflection to what this book is truly about. Faeries may be a part, but they are clearly not the main focus. A few lines into this Young Adult read, I come across;
Mitch and Emma had said, to our faces, that our relationship had an unhealthy intensity.

I knew this wasn’t going to go well. Within the first chapter, there was a lot of talk of drug use, incestuous behavior, sexual promiscuity, and other disturbing content. The two main characters are Ksenia and Josh, foster children who become adopted siblings. They quite clearly, from a young age (which I don’t even know how twelve-year-olds can feel that they unconditionally romantically love one another) love one another. Even though they aren’t blood related, they are now legal siblings and immediately family.

I know that not everyone has a picture-perfect (whatever that even means) life. Some people go through very difficult upbringings. Scratch that. Let’s be real, here. We ALL go through something in our lives that’s difficult. Each and every one of us. However, I want to point out that each person has the ability to make a decision, to consciously choose to act on what they do. So, just because these two characters have a difficult upbringing, they should be excused for incest? No. It’s never OK. It is never OK to entertain these thoughts, or act on them! Sexual promiscuity? Especially at such a tender age? I don’t think I need to dig into this too deep to uncover that there are numerous ramifications to come from these choices. Drug use? No. It’s never OK, despite what “popular society” may try to make it’s youth think. It’s illegal for a reason. These very things are major deficits to our society today. Even if this book ends up having some sort of redeeming or positive ending (which I don’t see how other than Ksenia and Josh realize their desire for one another is completely wrong, or something along those lines), I think it is far too dangerous of material to be soliciting to the Young Adult community.

I’m just going to add in this passage, for your perusal. Mind you, it’s disturbing. (Again, this quote is taken from an ARC and may not match final publication!)
”You think I had sex with my brother?” I asked, indignant. “Officer, that’s a disgusting thing to say. And it would totally be incest, anyway. Family isn’t just who you’re blood-related to.”
He looked perplexed. Waved his folder. “That’s not what his friends told me. They said he said that you two were in love. Going to be together forever.”
Maybe he did. And it wasn’t Lexis who’d repeated it, I knew that much; somebody else had blabbed.
“Then his friends are liars,” I said.
Because I knew where this would go. Josh was always sleeping around, and that hurt you, didn’t it, Ksenia? You couldn’t take it anymore, could you” So you did what you had to do, to make the pain go away.
He left the room, probably to discuss what next to try on me. And the trust wasn’t what he thought, but it also wasn’t what I’d said.
The trust was deep nights, a lot more than once, when Mitch and Emma were fast asleep and Josh came crawling into my bed and nuzzled close and tried to get started with me. And I’d say, No, baby, it would be wrong. You’re younger. I’d feel like I was taking advantage of you.
But you literally can’t take advantage of me, Kezzer! Because it’s my choice if I love you, and I do. Oh, why do you have to be the only one who worries about that?
Besides, I’d say, we’re basically brother and sister. Incest is frowned upon.
What about when I’m eighteen? He’d ask. When we’re together for real and it’s just you and me? Then there won’t be anybody to be all frowning-upon anything we do. They won’t even know how we grew up together.
Maybe when you’re twenty-one, I’d finally told him. Just a week ago, and it was the first time I’d given in. If you still feel this way, then.
And that was a tactical error, because he’d bounced like a maniac all over my bed and then thrown himself across me, wrapping my face in his arms and peering down. Oho! So you’re saying it won’t be incest anymore, once I’m twenty-one?
It won’t be incest anymore, once you don’t need me to take care of you.

I passionately feel that a book like this is no good for any reader of this genre. I think this touches on subjects that should be carefully and deeply discussed with persons of this age range rather than thrown all together in a plot, dashed it with some faeries, and call it “fantasy.”

Since this is a DNF read, I will not be assigning a star-review.

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One thought on “Never-Contented Things – A DNF Review

  1. That writing is atrocious, I mean, I understand where you’re coming from about the matter at hand probably not being done or done more tactfully and not for such a wide age range of an audience, but I can honestly say pushing that aside, I was horrified by the quote. Just such ridiculous writing about such a serious subject, good for you on stopping at 10% it doesn’t sound like it was executed all that well.

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