Books I’ve Recently DNFed

Hi. Today’s post is short and sweet. I have talked about my reasons for DNFing books back at the end of 2019 and I’ve mentioned 12 books I have DNFed since I’ve decided to stop reading books that just don’t agree with me. Although the list only doubled since, I thought I’d mention the few books I’ve DNFed in the last 6 to 12 months. That might not be recently, but somehow the title “Books I’ve DNFed in the last 6 to 12 months” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily.

  • Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver – I’ve heard good things about it and what little I knew about it had me sold. But thanks to that book I’ve realised that I do not like gothic fiction at all. I didn’t find it atmospheric, on the contrary, it was quite dull for me and the pacing was terrible. This is one hundred percent personal preference and I’ll know for the future that the genre is not for me.
  • The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker by Lauren James – This has been one of my most anticipated releases last year and I got the eARC, which makes it extra sad I’ve DNFed it. In theory, the story sounded exactly up my alley. Found family trope, LGBTQA+ rep. I got around 40% in and I just couldn’t do it. I hated the main character, and none of the other characters grabbed me enough to continue with the story. I don’t think the book itself was bad – after all it has a 3.71 rating on Goodreads, which is pretty decent, but once again… it was not for me.
  • The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White – I wanted to love it. In my head, it was THE book that I would absolutely love and rave about. I’ve added the whole damn series to my to-read shelf on Goodreads. All of that after DNFing Slayer by the same author. Turns out, I don’t like Ms White’s writing. I did like it in The Conqueror’s Saga, or I liked it at the time I read it, but I could not get through these 2 from page one purely because of the writing. Will I be picking up anything by her again? Probably not. Am I happy for people who enjoy her books? ABSOLUTELY.
  • Beyond The Shadowed Earth by Joanna Ruth Meyer – I made an oopsie. I picked up a second book in the series without a) knowing it was a series, and b) reading the first book. Needless to say, I was confused. I also didn’t like the writing at all, so I decided to DNF it rather than try book one first.
  • 84K by Claire North – I have learned from my past mistakes. I loved 2 out of 4 Claire North books I’ve read. The End of the Day did not work for me at all, but I pushed through it just to be disappointed. So, this 5th one ended up in my DNF pile, because it simply didn’t work for me. North’s writing style is very specific to her and although I did love 2 books by her I’ve read, she tends to make her stories overly complicated and confusing by throwing in inner monologue and unfinished, choppy sentences, which was the case with 84K. I had to reread paragraphs over and over again to decipher what they meant and it was not enjoyable.
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – this one is my most recent DNF and I honestly can only blame myself for not looking into the genre and reviews of this book. I wanted to read more by Kazuo Ishiguro, because the one book I did read by him, Never Let Me Go, is one of my favourite books of all time. I do not like historical fiction, though, especially when it isn’t mixed with other aspects (historical fantasy is absolutely fine). Yet I picked up this book. I DNFed it pretty early, because I realised what it was and found it boring. I’ll know for the future to check.
  • The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick – yet another highly anticipated book that did not live up to my expectations. I gave it a fair chance to convert me. This one is one that I could rant about, because the heaps and heaps of potential were wasted, but I’ll just say that the pacing didn’t work for me at all and it nearly put me in a reading slump, because I’m choosing positivity today.

That is all for today. Do you DNF books? What is your most recent DNF?

Thank you for reading! Talk soon.

DNFing Books – A Discussion

Hi! Today I thought I’d talk about DNFing books (which stands for did-not-finish, for anyone who doesn’t speak the lingo). I think it’s a polarizing subject – some people DNF books like there’s no tomorrow, others think they need to finish every book they start, to really know if they enjoyed it or not. I was part of the latter group for many years, but I’ve converted.

I used to think I couldn’t have an opinion on a book if I haven’t read it fully. Even if reading a book was a chore for me (what bookworm thinks reading is a chore?! me, apparently), I soldiered through it just to say how much I hated the book in the end. It would take me ages to read it. It would put me in the biggest reading slump ever! But I would finish it. (Yes, Ready Player One, I’m talking about you!)

I don’t take the decision to DNF books lightly. Whenever a book doesn’t sit right with me, for various reasons, I try to give it around 100 pages to prove me wrong. Sometimes it’s the writing, to which I either get used to, or not, other times I just don’t feel the story – it’s either too slow, or too confusing. Sometimes I just dislike the characters and find it hard to relate and care about them. In those cases, I give the book a try to grab me, before I lose interest. I might put it down for a while in case it’s just a right book, wrong time kind of a situation, where I’m not in the mood for that kind of story, hence why I’m struggling to read it. There are books out there I’ve tried to read many times – like All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – they just weren’t for my cup of tea in the end.

But! There are times where I KNOW for a fact the book is not for me, from the get go. How? I am a particular person with a particular taste – and if a book does something unforgivable, I put it down straight away. I don’t keep a list of unforgivable things, because I just know it when I read it. It might be a theme, or… and don’t get angry now, I’m not saying this to insult anyone… the fact that the book is just ridiculous and kind of dumb. I have 2 examples of those – Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and Graces by Laure Eve. Maybe I’m being too harsh with those, but I couldn’t get past 5 pages! It was everything at once – the writing, the characters, the story – I couldn’t stand them. I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing, yet Shiver seems like it was written by a completely different person.

Whenever I DNF a book, I don’t rate it on Goodreads and I don’t review it. I don’t think it’s fair to do either. I am allowed to dislike books, sure, but I still think I can’t have a fully fledged opinion on a piece of writing if I haven’t read it all – there’s no need for me to bash it anywhere without constructive criticism. I do have a designated shelf for all my DNFs on Goodreads, though. Currently there are 12 books on it (like I said, I’m fairly new at the DNFing business). Apart from the ones mentioned above, I’ve also DNFed:

  • Monsters by Sharon Dogar – because I knew the gist of the story (it’s a fictionalised life of Mary Shelley kind of book), but the narration and the characters made it unbearable to read.
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I really wanted to like it, but it kinda fell into the same category as Shiver. Plus, it was just so complicated and didn’t stand the test of time in my opinion.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – me and Sarah J. Maas just don’t work. Also, I hate romance (most of the times at least).
  • The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – I couldn’t get over the way females were written in it. The great idea was lost in the terrible writing.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – once again, the writing killed the story.
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner – just not my cup of tea.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – I thought I was angsty at the time I tried to read it, but apparently not angsty enough for The Bell Jar.
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – again, not my cup of tea. Kind of boring, to be honest.

What’s your stance on DNFing books? How many books have you DNFed? Any of mine? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to know your thoughts!

I will talk to you guys soon! Thanks for reading.