It’s Not Me, It’s You: 2016 DNF’s

Posted December 14, 2016 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 17 Comments

its-not-me1Back during my first year of blogging, I decided to do a round up of the books that I ended up not finishing, and while I don’t like to dwell on the negative, it’s interesting to have a record of the books that didn’t work out, especially to see if I ever get around to finishing them later on. Like many bloggers, I do feel guilty when I neglect to finish a book, especially when it’s one I’ve received for review or purchased for my personal collection. At the same time, my life is crazy busy and I just don’t have the time and resources to devote to finishing a book out of nothing more than a sense of obligation.

I will say that this year I was very selective with the books I picked up, so many of the ones that are currently in the “DNF” status are ones that I can see myself perhaps making my way back to one day if the mood strikes me. My DNF’s from 2016 have therefore fallen into two categories: “Hard DNF’s,” which are ones that I’m 99% certain I won’t return to, and “On Hold,” which I can see myself possibly picking up again at some point.

hard-dnfs1hard-dnfs1The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone | Though initially I was really interested in the concept (and look at that cover!) I found this one to have a lot of crude, crass humor that really wasn’t my style.

Future Perfect by Jen Larsen | I remember finding the premise of this novel really interesting, as it tackled the issue of weight (which seems to be a featured topic more and more in YA lit) but I found myself not really connecting with or caring about the characters and DNF’d at about 80 pages in.

Losing It by Cora Carmack | All year I’ve said I’ve wanted to get into NA, and this title is one of the more well-known ones. So when I saw it on iBooks for $1.99 I decided to take the plunge and buy it. I had to stop reading it because I was getting secondhand embarassment from how cheesy it was. It was like a less compelling, less mature version of Last Will and Testament.


on-hold1on-hold-collageThe Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye | I was super excited to this book and have heard Evelyn Skye speak and even attended the launch party for this (it was a blast!) I actually have been enjoying the book so far, especially the vivid imagery of Russia, it just hasn’t compelled me to pick it up again from where I last left it off. It’s been sitting on my nightstand for several months, and I’m determined to finish this one at some point.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | When I bought this book I immediately started reading it and read about half the book in one day, and then never picked it up again. I think it’s because I know the super sad/depressing stuff was going to start happening and I wasn’t in the mood to deal with it. This is definitely one I want to finish before I get around to seeing the movie, but my copy is currently on loan so I probably won’t get around to finishing until 2017.

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge | I was so thrilled to win this book in a giveaway, and I’m about 100 pages in. It holds my interest well enough while I’m reading it, but it’s another situation where I have not motivation to pick it up after I set it down for a period of time. I was never a huge fan of the play Romeo and Juliet (nor very familiar with it aside from the major plot points) so perhaps that’s a factor in it?

Let’s Discuss!

What were your DNF books this year? Would you consider going back to any of them? Are any of the above books ones that you’ve finished or recommend I give another shot? Let me know in the comments!



17 responses to “It’s Not Me, It’s You: 2016 DNF’s

  1. I don’t really do DNF, but this year I have been DNF ing a lot of books. I think I just realized how ineffiecient forcing yourself to read books that you won’t enjoy is :/ Some of the books I DNF are Bad Romeo and The Beginning Woods 🙂

    • For me it’s always hard to DNF because I’m always hoping that a book will pick up at some point. I usually try to give it at least 100 pages, because if I’m not engaged by that point I probably won’t ever be. However, it’s a catch-22 because by the time I’ve invested 100 pages into a book I sort of feel like it’s a waste to quit at that point…

  2. I used to have such a hard time making books as DNF, because I felt like I had already put time into starting the book, but this year I let go of that mindset and if I really wasn’t liking something I didn’t use my time to finish it up. I can totally see why you put Me Before You on hold, there are a few books that I’ve heard amazing reviews about, but can’t bring myself to even start because I’m not prepared to be so sad!

    • It’s hard for me to find a “good time” to read an emotionally charged book, even if I think I’ll really enjoy it. I started the Storyteller by Jodi Picoult recently, and it focuses a lot on Holocaust history. While the writing is great and the themes are super important, I’ve found myself having to take breaks from it because it’s a very heavy read.

  3. I used to never DNF but had a record like 10 or 11 this year. There is at least one I will go back to. The audio wasn’t working for me so I will pick up the book next time. Hope you finish Me Before You even if it is super depressing!

  4. I worked really hard this year on DNFing books. I’m one of those people who will stick it through to the end and I realized that A) it isn’t fair to me and B) it isn’t fair to the book either. It’s hard but I’ve managed to do it so much more than before and I’ve had fewer reading slumps so I think it worked!

    My biggest one though was DNFing Glass Sword (Red Queen #2). I LOVED Red Queen and was a firm defender of it but Glass Sword bored me to tears! I got 50% of the way through and haven’t picked it up since.

    Losing It is definitely a different type of NA book; it’s unique compared to others in the genre so don’t let it dampen your NA attempts 😉

    • Yes I totally understand, I have to get over a significant amount of guilt when DNF’ing a book (especially if it’s one that I bought, because then there’s the added guilt that I’ve spent money on it). I wanted to love Red Queen so much because of they hype and bought it even after hearing a lot of mixed reviews, only to have it fall pretty flat to me. Yet I still found myself being drawn to Glass Sword because of the hype and the beautiful cover. It’s so strange how we can gravitate toward books even when we KNOW we may end up DNF’ing them!

      In regards to Losing It, if you happen to have other NA recommendations I’d love to hear them. I really, really, want to break into the genre but the only NA book I’ve really read and liked has been “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover.

      • Hmm recommendations:
        -I highly recommend the Pushing the Limits Series by Katie McGarry. Straddles that line between YA and NA I think.
        -KA Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths Series reads like a Colleen Hoover Story I think.
        -Keep Me Still by Caisey Quinn is a personal favourite of mine.
        -Easy by Tammara Webber deals with some mature topics but handles it beautifully.
        -Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren is just a lot of fun.

        Hopefully you can find something you like in there!

  5. I’m pretty pleased that the ones that you’re returning to are all books that I’ve personally enjoyed. It’s great that you’ll be giving them another shot (and I hope you love them) 😉 I have quite a few DNFs this year, though I can’t remember them off the top of my head…

  6. OMG I DNFed Losing It too! I enjoy a good NA from time to time but that one annoyed me so much. I was also listening to the audiobook, oddly enough, and the narrator made the MC sound like she was 11… so creepy for a book about losing your virginity lol. I did skip to then next companion book in the series and enjoyed it!

    • Ah, good to know that the series is a companion series and not a direct sequel (I feel like this is often the case in NA!) Yeah I just kept cringing and honestly having secondhand embarrassment from some of the dialogue/situations and couldn’t do it anymore!

  7. I actually didn’t DNF any books this year. Instead of setting a book down, I tend to just take FOREVER reading it, drawing it out until I land in a slump. (Which is why I really should’ve just DNFed Glass Sword…) I haven’t heard the best things about the Crown’s Game, so I can’t say I’m too surprised to see it here, but I hope you get around to finishing it!

    • UGH yes I definitely know what you mean about landing in a slump due to trying to power through a book that drags! I’m sort of in a similar situation right now, but since it’s the end of the year I feel like there’s added pressure to finish the books I’m in the middle of rather than DNF so I have a clean slate for 2017!

  8. Joss

    I loved Me Before You. You are right though. Lots of depressing stuff happens and unless you are mentally prepared to read it then I would hold off as well haha. I cried for days after reading that books but I am such a crybaby when it comes to sad books. I haven’t seen the movie yet because I’m not ready to visually see it but hopefully I’ll get around to it soon.

    • Ahhhhh see this is why I put it down halfway. I really enjoyed it but it was like I KNEW I was heading into a spiral of super-sadness and I just really didn’t have the energy to deal with it. I really want to see the movie but I feel like it’s sort of cheating since I haven’t finished the book yet?

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