DNF Digest [2]


I didn’t intended on making “DNF Digest” a regular thing because honestly? I always hope to finish a book! Lately, though, I’ve been more inclined to mark a book as DNF because there are just soooo many books I need to read (you’ve seen my shelves) so I just can’t afford to be pushing through books that I’m really not enjoying. If I’ve read a lot of the book I finish, it’s sort of a policy of mine to try to write a small “review” saying why it didn’t work for me, but today’s collection of DNF round-ups didn’t quite warrant reviews because I didn’t make it as far as I’d hoped.

Title: We Are the Goldens
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Format I was reading: eGalley
Started reading: 4/8/14
Date marked as DNF: 5/14/14
Marked DNF at: 25%
Reason for marking DNF: I just knew this wasn’t a “me” book. I really tried reading as much as I could but I wasn’t into the characters or the plot or even the concept. I think it was a lot less mystery than I thought it was going to be… I was thinking it was a real hardcore mystery and it was more just a secret the one sister was keeping. Not a bad book but I just knew it wasn’t for me. I feel like it’s a better thing for me to stop reading than have myself push through and give it a low rating just because it’s not what I usually enjoy!

Title: The Crown (Queen of Hearts #1)
Author: Colleen Oakes
Format I was reading: eGalley
Started reading: 1/30/14
Date marked as DNF: 5/15/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: I just couldn’t get into this one. Alice in Wonderland isn’t always my favorite fairy tale but it can be a great retelling. I loved TIGER LILY and I’ve never been a fan of Peter Pan, so it really just depends. I picked it up and put it down a few times but nothing was catching me and I could not stand the main character. She was a brat and the story was weird and I just couldn’t keep going with it. It wasn’t that I was bored or knew it wasn’t for me… I was actively turned off.

Title: The Body in the Woods
Author: April Henry
Format I was reading: ARC from Macmillan
Started reading: 5/25/13
Date marked as DNF: 6/29/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) With a tough final decision, I chose not to come back to this book.
I tried a few times to get into it but I really just wasn’t feeling it at any point in time. That really makes me sad because I LOVE YA mysteries and I always want there to me more in the world, but this one just wasn’t working for me.
Ultimately, I think it was the writing. The characters didn’t grab me — and with three POVs, it was really hard to connect with anyone — and everything was so… technical! When the characters are talking to the “professionals”, everything was like step by step, almost textbook descriptions of how murder investigations work. It was very cut and dry and instead of weaving those facts into dialogue or inner thoughts, it just felt like I was reading a textbook.
I tried coming back but it just wasn’t working for me so I decided to DNF rather than force myself to finish and end up with a two star rating.

Title: Graduation Day (The Testing #3)
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Format I was reading: ARC from HMH Kids
Started reading: 6/12/14
Date marked as DNF: 6/29/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) I know, I know. You’re probably asking who in the world reads the first two books, rates them four stars, and then DNFs the LAST book in the trilogy? Answer… I just don’t have the desire to read it. 
    I started and made it about 20% in but I feel like I have zero connection to this series anymore.
I read The Testing and I liked it, but it felt too much like THE HUNGER GAMES for me. And DIVERGENT. Nothing really felt original about it and I was never really impressed by Cia or any of the characters. 
    I read INDEPENDENT STUDY on Christmas last year and I actually enjoyed it… But I realized as I started GRADUATION DAY that I have noooooooo idea what happened in that book and I didn’t really care to go back and find out. I felt like I really was never connected to the series and I really don’t like Cia that much at all… Things were good but the more I sit on it, the more I find myself unmotivated to finish.
I could have worked my way through GRADUATION DAY but honestly? I didn’t really care how it ended and I feel find knowing that I never will know. The world didn’t stick with me enough and just from those 50 pages or so, nothing was sticking much at all and I found myself annoyed.
So sorry to quit on the final leg of the series but… I’m just not into it.

Title: Illusive
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Format I was reading: egalley from Little, Brown
Started reading: 7/3/14
Date marked as DNF: 7/21/14
Marked DNF at: 35%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) This was SUCH a disappointment. I was so excited for Ocean’s 11 meets X-men (or vice versa) and that’s not to say that it wasn’t… It had the heist aspect of Ocean’s 11 BUT it was severely lacking in the humor that I loved so much from that movie. The characters did make jokes, but they were not nearly as witty as my favorite sharp-tongued characters and that whole aspect felt like a let-down. 
    Just nothing about this book grabbed me. I don’t even think it was too much hype in my own head. I just… didn’t enjoy it. I picked it up a few times trying to keep going through since I specifically requested this from the publisher because I was THAT excited and I feel like I’m letting the pub down a bit but I just couldn’t keep going. I made it about 35% of the way through and was really, really pushing myself to keep going. I wasn’t interested in the plot. I wasn’t even entirely sure what the overall plot arc was. I really didn’t like the characters (except for maybe Devon) but one character won’t keep me reading the whole book.
Everything just felt flat and so disconnected. I wonder if the format had anything to do with it? (Written in third person present tense which I don’t think I’ve read before.) It felt like it was trying too hard with the weird tense and was a bit distracting at first but I don’t think it really tripped me up TOO much.
Anyway. I tried to pick it up a few more times and was having just such a hard time with it. I even skipped to the end (which I NEVER do) and found myself not really caring what happened.
A major disappointment for me. Didn’t HATE anything about it but just couldn’t find anything to latch onto to really enjoy.

Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C. Lewis
Format I was reading: egalley from Disney Hyperion
Started reading: (sometime in July… I accidentally deleted my original version of this on GR)
Date marked as DNF: 7/28/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) I tried to pick this one up a few times and… I just couldn’t get back into it. It always felt like a poor man’s Cinder (not to sound harsh, but my brain just made some strong parallels) and even when a “good part” came up, it wasn’t enough to hook me into the story. 
    I didn’t really care for the main character and actively disliked the secondary characters. I wasn’t into the world either. I’m working on not pushing myself to finish books I’m not enjoying since there are SO many amazing books out there to be read so sadly I just put this one down and didn’t have the heart to come back to it.

Well. Those are my latest DNFs. I always feel so terrible walking away from a book, but I just have to tell myself that I can’t like them all and if I didn’t feel a responsibility to review just because I’m blogging, I really wouldn’t have an issue putting them down. Some I waited MONTHS to DNF because I just felt so bad doing it, but I took the time to let them marinate and decided that I still couldn’t make it happen.
Do you have any that you agree with? Any you’re disappointed I didn’t enjoy?

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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15 thoughts on “DNF Digest [2]

  1. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    I’m sad to hear about Stitching Snow. That one looked good. But I can definitely see how I would be comparing it to Cinder as well and well, Marissa Meyer is a boss and nothing is going to compare. I felt the same way about We Are The Goldens. I finished it, but I really didn’t like it. The whole relationship between the sisters just didn’t work for me.

    On Graduation Day. I’m kind of feeling the same way about that series. I wasn’t crazy about the first one for the same reasons you weren’t. Then I recently read Independent Study and liked it. And I have Graduation Day, but… Idk. No motivation. I agree about Cia. I’m not a fan. I think things come way too easily for her and it just annoys the crap out of me. Not sure if I’ll ever finish that series.

  2. Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    I’m a little sad to see Graduation Day on this list but I get it. Too many books, why waste your time on one that you aren’t into. I am also a little sad over Stitching Snow, I was hoping it would be great but Ive seen quite a few people disappointed in this one.

  3. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I usually try to finish most books, especially if they’re short (and I received them to review), but I completely understand not wanting to finish something if you’re not enjoying it. There are waaaay too many books out there. So sad to hear about Graduation Day! I have it but I haven’t started it yet because, like you, I really don’t remember what happened in Independent Study. I thought I would read the last 25% of it just to refresh my memory and hopefully that will help me like it better. Why don’t authors put a recap in the beginning of books? How hard would that be? Just a couple of pages to refresh and I bet a lot more readers would rate their books higher. Oh well! And Stitching Snow, that’s sad to hear too. The synopsis did sound a lot like Cinder, but that was one of the reasons I was excited about it.

  4. Jessica

    I can see what you mean by Illusive. I finished it recently and it took me awhile to get into it. I was also expecting something more exciting and entertaining. I also felt ver disconnected from the characters. I still liked it, but not as much as I hoped.

  5. Heidi

    Girl, I am in 100% agreement that there’s just TOO MUCH out there to read to force your way through bad books. It’s a shame about Stitching Snow though, that cover is GORGEOUS. Hearing poor man’s Cinder though just makes me want to reread Cinder. 😛

  6. Kelsey

    The only one I’m sad that you didn’t finish is Graduation Day. I really loved that series, way more than the hunger games (because the first book was good but didn’t like the rest of the series). But not everyone likes the same things 🙂 I didn’t think it was too similar to HG, especially since there was a much older book where kids had to kill each other to survive before it even came out.
    It sucks about the other books but DNFs happen. I’ve had a few this year so far and most were ones I was hoping I would like.

  7. Jess @myreadingdress

    I think I should just give up on The Testing now and save myself some time. I’ve been “trying” to go at it for months now, but honestly, I’m just dragging out the inevitable. I feel terrible DFNing anything but sometimes it’s got to happen, right?

    1. Brittany Post author

      I think if you’ve spent months trying to get into it, it’s totally okay to call it quits! That’s a long time!!!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Yeah, I think The Crown was just not for me 🙁 I just couldn’t get past how odd it was for me.
      I’m so sad about Stitching Snow!! I just kept thinking of Cinder… and that Cinder was better 🙁

  8. Tizzy Brown

    This was really interesting. There’s a few books on here that look good, it’s a shame that you didn’t enjoy them. I’m the same-I can’t finish something I don’t enjoy. My reading time is precious as it’s normally just before I go to sleep, so if a book isn’t grabbing me I would rather move onto something else.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Agreed! Reading time is precious. It’s hard to DNF — especially books I was really excited about! — but sometimes you just have to do it!

  9. Anne @ booksbakingandblogging

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I totally feel you when it comes to DNFs. It’s just so hard to give up on a book, but I don’t want to waste my time reading something I don’t like either! Question: how do you handle books you’ve received or requested from publishers? You say you didn’t finish Illusive, but felt really bad about it. Do you normally try to push through with these kinds of books? I’m kind of new to the receiving books for review business, and I wonder if there’s any, you know, etiquette about it or something. 🙂

    1. Brittany Post author

      Illusive was approved/sent to me as an egalley so as of right now, I’ve given feedback on Netgalley. Totally the coward’s way out, I know LOL. I really should give feedback to the publishing contact I talked to… But I feel SO guilty! Let’s say I’m working my way up to it lol.


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