I used to really hate DNF-ing books, mainly because I could never decide what I should do with them on Goodreads. I didn’t want to add them as “read”, but I didn’t want to revert them back to “want to read” nor did I want to give them a rating. This year, I finally figured out how to add those sticky shelves on Goodreads, so in addition to “read” and “want to read” and “currently reading” I added a “DNF” shelf. And I also realized that I could actually leave reviews without giving a rating, which is ace!!
Of course, I still don’t enjoy DNF-ing books because I don’t like wasting my time, but I normally DNF books pretty early. I can usually tell within a few chapters if I’m not going to be able to finish a book. (The one exception is Kushiel’s Dart which I read like half of before DNF-ing and it was literally a 1000 pages long so I don’t know what happened there.)
Anyway! Enough preamble, let’s get to the books I DNF’ed in 2018!
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: This was a major disappointment. How could the book with the best first line I’ve ever seen turn out to be a DNF for me? Part of me wants to give it another shot someday, but given that my main issue was the writing, I’m not sure it will work out. I struggled to like the prose here, but I found it too muddly and confusing, like it was trying to hard to be impressive. And I didn’t like the omniscient narration.
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett: I was supposed to buddy read these in January, but I got like 20 pages in and knew I was done for. This is very dense historical fiction taking place in 14th-century Scotland. It’s full of allusions and other literary things that I struggled to comprehend. Alas.
Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer: I barely started reading this before DNF-ing! I’d heard great things about this author’s romance but something about this book didn’t jive with me. I’m not even sure what it was – perhaps the omniscient narration? Perhaps the fact that the plot seemed like it was going to be focused at the 18th-century equivalent of a casino? I’m not sure.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: This was SO BORING. I mean this whole freaking book was 78 pages and I couldn’t finish it. That’s how dull it was. The plot was intriguing but the author somehow found a way to write it in the most boring way imaginable. I just couldn’t keep going. I ended up going to Wikipedia to find out the specifics.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: I didn’t like the voice in this book. The main character is meant to be a teenager but she sounds much younger than that, and I don’t read middle grade for a reason. Add the main character’s immaturity to the incredibly awkward, staccato writing and it was a slog to get through, so I put it down pretty quick.
Have you guys read or DNF’ed any of these books? Are there any you think I should give a second chance? Let me know in the comments!