DNF Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

December 9, 2017 Review 12 DNF

DNF Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Amulet
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 432
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Genres: Love & Romance, Paranormal, Retelling, Young Adult
DNF Stars

Rune, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained at the end of every performance. Convinced creative direction will cure her, her mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts, rumored to have a haunted past.

Shortly after arriving at RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The mystery boy she’s seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn’t have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the 19th century, she realizes that in his presence she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. As their love continues to grow, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the phantom, the only father he’s ever known

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


2017 has been a strange year in that I’ve DNFed two books this year. Normally I’m surprised if I DNF one.

Both books were DNFed for the same reason: boredom. Unlike my last DNF, I didn’t find the characters irritating but I was struggling to get into the plot.

ROSEBLOOD is a Phantom of the Opera retelling and I feel like that was lost on me. I am not familiar with the original story. I was oblivious to all the references and little connections that Phantom fans would probably love this book for. But for me, a person who knows nothing, it was quite boring and sometimes strange, and meant I didn’t care all that much for it.

Not knowing the origin tale really does make it difficult to get into the plot if there isn’t much else drawing you in. The writing wasn’t fast paced enough to really keep my attention either. The descriptions were quite long and made everything sound gorgeous, but I didn’t care enough to appreciate it all fully. The characters weren’t annoying (thank god) but they also weren’t all that interesting despite their detailed background.

The other thing thing that bothered me was the stalkerish and manipulative behaviour of Thorn. I know it’s part of whatever Erik’s plan (he otherwise seemed like a decent person), but it bothered me that Thorn is a love interest who is probably going to end up with Rune in the end. The fact that he’s the likely end game love interest is what makes the behaviour super creepy.

Even though I was bored, it was a hard decision for me to DNF because there were some things that intrigued me. Namely, the atmosphere was super gothic and creepy, I wanted to know what type of paranormal creature Thorn, Erik View Spoiler » are, and I wanted to discover what Erik’s plan was. They kept teasing their abilities, saying “one of us”, talking about the auras and effects, but they never outright told us what they were (which was incredibly frustrating. My guess is some variety of succubus) or what they were planning View Spoiler ».


While I decided to put ROSEBLOOD down, I think I might eventually pick it up again in the future, if only for the sake of answers. But in the immediate future I don’t want to waste my time on a book that bores me.

What are your thoughts on RoseBlood?
Do you think I should push on with it?

12 Responses to “DNF Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard”

  1. Tasya

    I love A.G Howard’s previous books (Splintered) and the original Phantom of the Opera, so naturally I was excited for this! I’m sorry this one doesn’t work for you, but the stalking love interest seems going to turn me off too…. I hope your next read will be better, Bec!
    Tasya recently posted…Screen Rambles: November 2017

    • Bec

      I really enjoyed Splintered too! But haven’t had the chance to continue the series.

      I hope that if you decide to read this one you have a better time with it.

  2. Briana @ Pages Unbound

    I didn’t love this one either, which was disappointing because I’ve heard so many good things about the author. In the end, it seemed like a very standard YA romance to me and nothing very special. I also don’t know that the Phantom of the Opera element was necessarily as well used as it could have been.
    Briana @ Pages Unbound recently posted…YA/Classic Match-Up (1)

    • Bec

      The other book I’ve read by AG Howard, Splintered, was good! I’m hoping this is just a one time miss. It could have been done so much better

    • Bec

      It definitely would have been a bit better if I understood all the connections and references I think. Though who knows, it has been such a mixed book.

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