I don’t DNF books very often but when I do, I like to share the reasons why I didn’t continue reading them. Most often times those reasons are just that I wasn’t enjoying it enough to finish. I’m trying to get better at putting aside books I’m not enjoying because there are so many books I do want to read, but it’s taking some time. Here are a few that I did DNF this year, even though most people seem to be enjoying them.
Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
I was so excited about this book. It was one of the first books I started in the new year and the was the beginning to a new fantasy series, which I always love finding! But I could tell as soon as I started that it wasn’t going to go well. The characters were too flat and impossible to care about. I didn’t really understand the reason for a language that only a very few select people could read and the lessons, that made up so much of the beginning, were just boring. There was just too much mundane detail about the lessons and symbols and not enough emotion in the narration and nothing to actually make me feel engaged in the story. Even when things were “happening”, it still lacked tension and excitement. And then when the insta-love hit, I just couldn’t go on. A romance between a prince and a slave has to be done carefully if it’s really going to work and it just didn’t work for me here. I’m sad that I didn’t love this one.
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
This was another book I was really excited for. I loved both Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust. I love Mindy’s writing and how bleak it is. And what better place to experience that than an insane asylum?! Plus, I’m from Ohio and have seen Mindy on tour several times and the last time I saw her she spoke a lot about this book. I’ve been to the place in Ohio that inspired this book and that just added to my excitement! And when I finally started this book, I actually really liked it. The asylum and the reasons Grace Mae is there and the people she meets there, are intense. All of it is intense and dark and enthralling. I read that first part quite quickly. But then something happened and we switch locations. And just like that, the book is completely different. It almost became a completely different book. And I just couldn’t get through the middle part of this book. I stopped caring about the characters as soon as they left the asylum. And I didn’t like her companion in this section nearly as much as those in the asylum. I just really feel like the first part of the book was a complete story, and while I’d like to stick around and see her (hopefully) get revenge on that one certain person from her past, my boredom eventually outgrew that desire and I gave up.
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
This book made me rethink everything I thought I knew about reading. Because seriously, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Everybody is loving this book. Almost every Goodreads friend of mine who has read it, has given it 4 or 5 stars. I saw only one 2 star review among people I follow and even they were able to finish the book! I just don’t know why I couldn’t get into. The beginning really hooked me with the MC entering a shooting contest and her reasons for wanting to win the prize and I loved her disguised as a boy. That was all great. But then things happen and they end up on the run and I just started losing interest as new people came into the picture and I can’t even remember what else was going on. What sticks out in my mind most, after the beginning, were the endless stories that would pop up randomly in order to share information with us. They weren’t that interesting and seemed very info-dumpy to me. It was in the middle of one of these stories that I just gave up. It was taking me a while to get through and I just all of a sudden realized that I didn’t care anymore. And still, I keep wondering if everyone was reading a different book than me. And if maybe, I just don’t really understand books anymore. Why am I not loving books that everyone else is loving as well? What is wrong with me?! I ask these same questions every time I think about this book. I’m pretty sure I just missed something along the way and that’s why I didn’t connect with the book like everyone else. Maybe I’ll give this one another try at some point. But for now, I’m passing on it.
Do you DNF books? What was the last book you DNF’d or thought about DNFing?