DNF Review: The Recipient by Dean Mayes



Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant – and a rare second chance to begin again.

Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping. When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. ​In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realizes her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare.


DNF @ 17%

I was really excited to read this one because the reviews were positive and I had a few comments on my Goodreads update that said I’d enjoy it, but alas!

Starting off with something nice to say, I really did enjoy the opening paragraph of this novel. It gripped me straight away and I was eager to know where the story was going and what would happen after Casey’s surgery. But from there, it all went downhill.

One of the first issues I came across with this book was that it’s one of those novels that explains everything! Descriptions are good ‘n’ all, but we don’t always need every single detail about every single thing, it gets so tedious! For example, all the speech was followed by “she said”, “he suggested”, “she asked” etc, which gets super irritating when there’s a big conversation happening!

The next thing that lost my interest rapidly was the fact that this is a perfect example of the meme about a male author writing a female character. Casey was always naked (I enjoy being in the nudey occasionally but not as a permanent state!!) and the number of times her “perfect, taut body” was described got really weird and uncomfortable. I also hate the cliche of a sexy & exercised woman who’s into super techy stuff. Whoa!!! A woman that’s hot and nerdy, so unheard of!!! It’s so unoriginal and cringey!

The story for this novel sounds absolutely ace and I wish I could have got further into it to see where Mayes was taking it, but those initial annoyances wouldn’t leave me be. I had hoped that I could pick it up again at a later date, but I haven’t bothered trying since February so I thought it was about time I DNF’d it. Nevermind!

Thanks to Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for giving me this opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. Sorry I didn’t like it!

Note: I am on holiday for 2 weeks! I have access to WiFi but I probably won’t be checking my blog or social media too often, so please excuse my late responses to your comments!

22 Replies to “DNF Review: The Recipient by Dean Mayes”

  1. Yep, you had me at being spoon fed. This is a huge pet peeve of mine in books and writing and will instantly turn me away. If a writer cannot trust the readers enough to allow them to explore and discover a bit on their own or come to their own conclusions, they are not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man, what a shame you didn’t enjoy this one! It sounds like such an interesting premise but I don’t think I’ll bother picking it up if the execution is as poor as you say.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The story sounds potentially interesting but yikes, those are some big drawbacks. Especially how he wrote about a female character, I hate that so much. I’ve been DNFing like crazy this year but it’s been such a crazy relief!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds like an interesting premise, but I agree that I’m sick of the hot nerdy girl stereotype. Also, IMO the best part of going starkers isn’t the state of my body but not having to wear a bra. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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