If you are a non book person and somehow manged to find this post, first of all, welcome! Second, DNF stands for “Did Not Finish” and booklovers use it as a verb to indicate they did not finish a book. Simple right? Well people have debated in the book community many aspects of DNFing. When can/should I DNF? Can/Should I DNF a book given to me by a publisher? Some book people do not DNF books and some do it all the time. Honestly my view on all of this is you do you. If you want to DNF go for it. Want to suffer through a book? Do it. Etc. Just don’t shame other readers for doing something that you are not a fan of. Seriously, don’t.
I used to not DNF at all. I read pretty quickly, and I would just power through (skim) through the remainder of the book if I was not enjoying it. However, now I have too many books that I want to read, that I try not to read books I am not enjoying. I still do feel some guilt DNFing books, which I am trying to overcome. I can always come back to the book if I feel the need.
Here are some of the books I DNF’d in 2019
American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton
I tried so hard to like this novel. I won an ARC through a Shelf Awareness giveaway and was so excited to read it. It starts off promisingly, but as it went on there was so much talk about putting a guy before her friends, being dramatic to get her dad’s attention, and just plain boring stuff. Plus, the only think I knew about Alice Roosevelt was this quote by her dad,
“I can do one of two things. I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice Roosevelt. (His 19-year-old daughter.) I cannot possibly do both.”
They used it right in the beginning of the book, before we even knew Alice as a character and as a result had no meaning. I read to page 100 and then stopped. Maybe if I knew more about Alice, I would have enjoyed this more, but it just want not for me.
40 More Years by James Carville
I picked this up at a Library book sale a year ago and decided to read it because I am trying to read more nonfiction this year. I also studied the Clinton campaign in college a lot and was curious what Carville had to say (Carville ran the Clinton campaign). I got maybe 20 pages in. The whole premise is that the election of President Obama will start an era where Democrats will mostly be in control for the next 40 years. Obviously, that is not what happened. I am not saying Carville’s claims are false, perhaps Democrats will have a dynasty and our current president is a blip in that, but the way he presents his ideas is very decisive and sure of himself. I am semi picky with political science books and they usually have to be current for me to enjoy them so I DNFed it. (Please don’t talk politics with me or in the comments. This is a book blog and I’m not here for that.)
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak
I also picked this one up at a library book sale but did not realize it was a short story collection at first and when I did realize it, I forgot for a moment that I usually dislike short story collections. But I bought it and in April decided to get the audiobook from my library while I waited for the actual audiobook I wanted. I was not a fan. The stories and random, weird, and even though they make you think…it was more about the dark side of humanity. I am not a fan of focusing on ideas like this and was a bit shocked by some of the stories. I did like how the stories take place in the same world and reference each other at times and I imagine if I had continued more references would have popped up. This was a case where I probably could have continued to read the physical book but know there are books I would enjoy more than this one.
Her Father’s Secret by Sara Blaedel
I am not sure if it was the translation or just my complete lack of interest in the plot which made me DNF this one. I go into more details on my post detailing my experience reading thrillers for the first time. You can read more of my thoughts here. Also, the author randomly found that thriller post and thanked me for giving it a try…awkward.
From Here to You by Jamie McGuire
This started out okay, there were a flew problematic comments that rubbed me the wrong way, but the plot was decent enough to keep going. But then the plot started dragging and I just could not get myself to care about the characters. The relationship between the two main characters was slow and then suddenly way too fast. There are random side characters who I did not care about at all (I think they are from a previous series?). I got to page 200 (out of 400) and just got too tired and fed up to continue. I might read the last few chapters to see if I was right and predicted everything. Edit: I did not care enough to read the last few chapters and ended up donating the book.
Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
This is one that I did not write up my thoughts right after I finished so I don’t really know why I DNF’d it. I was not a big fan of where the story was going and I also saw a booktuber (whose reviews I tend to agree with) DNF it, right when I was considering DNFing it so I figured I should just call it quits. I am excited for her book coming out next year, it looks promising.
Well Suited by Staci Hart
I am not a fan of the accidental pregnancy trope, but someone whose recommendations I usually trust really enjoyed this one. So, when I saw it at the library I picked it up. I got 20 pages into it. The main character and the writing annoyed me so I stopped. I am kind of picky with my romances novels and can usually tell if I won’t like one early on so I decided to pass on this one.
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
I am literally adding this book an hour before this post goes live because I DNF’d a book last night. I’m honestly sad about this one because I was pretty hyped for it. I made it 50% before I realized that I was basically forcing myself to continue reading it because I got an eARC from the publisher and wanted to like it so bad. I need to start reading the synopsis before I pick up books and not rely on good reviews, cute covers, and comparisons to “The Hating Game”. I could have gotten behind the whole “lovers to enemies to (I’m assuming) lovers if it wasn’t rooted in so much miscommunication and the characters being the worst. If you do not like miscommunication do not read this. There were a few funny moments and things I liked, but I was literally FORCING myself to read this and figured I should just stop.
*Thank you to Edelweiss for an eARC in exchange for an honest review*
Even though this post is sort of negative I like to see the positive in the situation, because I put these books down I was able to read more books that I actually enjoyed. I hope to continue DNFing books that I am not feeling in 2020.
Thanks for reading!