Back 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.
Last year I noted how I had been pretty picky with the books I chose to pick up and didn’t have too many DNFs, and that trend continued in 2017 and I have even less DNF’d books than I did last year (this year my mindset was just to read whatever I want whenever I want and it was fantastic and led to a lot of great choices). I’ll also note that my criteria for what constitutes as a DNF is a book that I’ve read at least a few chapters from- reading 3 pages and calling and deciding it doesn’t catch my interest doesn’t count as a DNF for me personally. I also don’t count DNF books toward my total books read for the year- if I don’t 100% finish a book it just personally feels like cheating to me to count it toward my Goodreads total.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Literally heartbroken over this one, guys. I was PUMPED for it along with everyone else. The cover! The synopsis! Magical realism! Diversity! I pre-ordered it and almost cried real tears when I found out I had a work conflict and couldn’t go to Maggie’s signings near me. But this book was. so. boring. I tried, I really did- I gave it 150 pages and it was putting me in a MAJOR slump and I had to force myself to keep turning the page and I’d fantasize about the other unread books on my TBR. Finally I just couldn’t take it anymore and called it quits rather than risk my reading slump getting worse. I think this book big deviation from Maggie’s other novels and it just got too bizzare for me to handle (I will admit, I was always treading that line with the Raven Boys so others will probably have better luck than me with this one).
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Guys, I think 2017 was just the year I was not here for the weird books, because like with All the Crooked Saints, I just could not with all of the bizarre stuff that was going on in this ARC. I was pretty excited for it because the cover is mesmerizing and holographic and the idea that it genre jumps was really innovative and intriguing. But it honestly could not capture my attention- once Jane got to the island I feel like I had fallen down the rabbit hole as a reader and there were so many characters and they were all so moody and weird and I was just exhausted reading it so I DNF’d around 80 pages in (which makes me sad because I really did want to see how the parallel storylines were going to work).
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
Another one I was super sad about, because I am always so excited to read books with Latina protagonists. I downloaded this one from the library via Overdrive and think I DNF’d around 50 or so pages in because Margot was SUCH a spoiled brat. Now I know that’s sort of the point of the story (she gets in trouble for blowing a ton of money on her parent’s credit card on new clothes or something to that effect and then is punished by having to spend her summer working in her parent’s store) but the level of entitlement that was going on was too over the top for even me to believe, as someone who was once a 15 year old girl navigating the shark filled waters of high school. Margot’ attitude legitimately made me so angry that I could not continue on.
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!
I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t finish Jane, Unlimited. I’ve read Kristin Cashore’s Graceling series (which I love to pieces) so while I haven’t read Jane yet, I have high hopes. I’m like you, though, where I’ll have a couple months every year where I just get so annoyed with warped plot lines and extended metaphors and all I want to read is a straightforward contemporary.
I’ve heard good things about the Graceling series! Honestly I think Jane, Unlimited is SO out there that I don’t think it would be a reflection of how I would feel about her other books, honestly. But sometimes I just lose patience with a book- I like literary fiction, magical realism, fantasy, etc. as much as the next person, but if I cannot keep anyone straight 100 pages in I start to get annoyed lol
I haven’t read any of these books, but I DNF a lot of books this year, which is surprising even for me. Upside Down, the Gold Son, the Feminine Mystique, Aurabel… the list just keeps going xD
Life is too short to read a book you’re not enjoying! I actually didn’t DNF as many as I thought I did, but I’ve also been much more intentional about the books I’ve picked out to read!
I DNF’d 18 books this year which is a lot! I’ve really worked on being more comfortable DNFing books and I feel like I succeeded this year. I had only one major reading slump this year and I read more books that I wanted to instead of feeling obligated to.
It does suck because most of those books I had bought in the past for my eReader and now they will remain there forever untouched. About 5 were review copies that I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. I always struggle with those the most but I’ve been asked to give an honest review and so that’s what I do.
Wow, 18 books! And I was proud of myself for DNFing 3 lol. I’m just like as a full time working adult I Do not have time to read a book I’m not enjoying! I still try REALLY hard to not DNF a review copy, however- I actually have one I put down few months ago I really need to finish before the end of the year. However, I agree there’s nothing worse than DNFing a book you bought a LONG time ago because it’s just not your taste anymore! I have SO many physical books that I think this is going to be the case for me so I’ve been avoiding looking at them lol
I didn’t know that Kristin Cashore released a new book! Sad to hear that it wasn’t her best. Kudos to you for DNFing books you don’t wholeheartedly enjoy– I have such a problem giving up on books even though it makes the most sense to not waste time reading something I don’t 100% love.
I’ve gotten better at it, but it’s still really hard for me! Especially because I’ve already invested time in reading it so it’s tempting to just plow on ahead…
Oh no! All the Crooked Saints! I have it on my shelf and have heard such great things… I think I’ll still give it a try. I haven’t read any of Maggie’s books, but I have a feeling I’ll enjoy them.
I’ve loved all of the other Maggie books I’ve tried, so All the Crooked Saints was rally a fluke for me. However I’m likely a black sheep because I know others who have really enjoyed it 🙂
DNFs are hard and they’re harder when they’re books you’ve been looking forward to so I’m sad for you the All The Crooked Saints was a DNF. Sometimes a book just doesn’t work for you and it’s the best decision to quit before a book slump consumes you. I had a similar experience where I was reading a book and daydreaming about all the other books on my shelf and eventually, I put it down. I’m not quite ready to DNF but next time I pick it up I’m hoping I will be more into it otherwise it’s bye-bye book. You’re not the only blogger i know who struggled with Jane, Unlimited. It put me right off the book an I was so excited for a Cashore book so I’m not sure if I should go and give it a shot now.
I felt SO BAD about All the Crooked Saints. I love Maggie and loved what she was trying to achieve with the novel but I was just so bored and couldn’t finish it. I haven’t read anything by Kristin Cashore so I would love to give her another try! I hear once you get over the initial weirdness it’s actually pretty interesting with the diverging storylines, it just unfortunately wasn’t for me!
[…] start off my 2017 wrap-ups on a more negative note, to get it out of the way first. I saw Cristina @GirlInthePages do a list of her 2017 DNFs and it inspired me to share mine as well. Make sure you go check out her […]