Books I successfully DNF’d #2

A few months back I did a post talking about books I successfully DNF’d. What I loved about doing that post is it encouraged me to give up on books I’d have otherwise powered through… So I decided to do another one for the other books I’ve DNF’d this year! I might even make a tradition of it (if I can keep up the DNFing that is). For now, let’s just jump into it:

Devouring Gray– at first, I thought there was no real reason to DNF this, cos I liked the opening and thought it was pretty atmospheric. Still, I hit a roadblock at 43% and couldn’t seem to get passed it. I simply didn’t care where it was headed and I was trying to have more pleasurable reads in the pandemic, so quit while I was ahead, thinking I could try it again at some point. I really wanted to like it, so a month or so later, I picked it up again… only to get stuck again at 15%. That’s when I realised the problem wasn’t in my head. I think there’s a serious pacing and character issue for me here.   

Fix Her Up– this really didn’t work for me as a “fake girlfriend/boyfriend” story. They started getting it on pretty fast- so it doesn’t really qualify. It also didn’t help that I didn’t find the characters very likeable. However, what absolutely killed this book for me was how awkward the descriptions were for the romance- things like rashes are just off-putting and shouldn’t be anywhere near a sex scene. Worst of all, while they’re making out, the male lead thinks she’s looking at him like she’s going to “harvest his organs”- how… sweet?

Hygge Holiday– I borrowed this for my sister, but of course, once it was in my hands, I thought I might give it a try too… I got a few chapters in before deciding “not for me”.

Nine Perfect Strangers– I borrowed this on overdrive, cos I loved Big Little Lies by the same author. Yet, after two weeks of struggling to get into it, I realised it wasn’t going to work. Sadly, the characters remained strangers to me and I just couldn’t connect with any of it. Plus, the reviews weren’t looking too positive, so it didn’t seem worth powering through. 

Angel Mage– this book did nothing for me, unfortunately. I got about 2/3 of the way in before I started skimming. At that point I knew it was only a matter of time before I DNF’d. I think I only had 10% left before I gave up.

The Secret Barrister– I couldn’t stand the longwinded pomposity. I quit after 2 (very long) chapters. I think he was trying to copy Kay’s success with a professional memoir… but this is nothing like This is Going to Hurt. It’s got none of the charm, humour or heart- just plenty of virtue signalling.

The Ragwitch– I just had a completely different view of what this book would be. I thought it was going to be a spooky story, but it was in actuality a slightly MG adventure story. Not a bad thing, but not the kind of thing I wanted to be reading.

Hot Milk– this is my latest (and really recent) DNF. I tried with this one, but I just couldn’t stick out the 200 pages to the end! Unfortunately, after a well-written opening, it just became a bit staid and samey and wasn’t doing anything for me. I’m blaming the morose tone and flat voice- after the year we’ve all had, I just didn’t want to be in this Debbie Downer’s head a moment longer.

Annnnd that’s all I have for now! Not bad for me- but could be better! Especially since there was a real stinker that I DNF’d and picked back up again (which will be mentioned in my most disappointing of the year).

But what I want to know is- did I make a mistake with any of these? If you’ve read them, do you recommend finishing? Or did you get more out of them? Let me know in the comments!

26 thoughts on “Books I successfully DNF’d #2

  1. The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich – The story had everything going for it in its premise. It’s based on the real life of Madeleine Levy, the granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus. She was killed during the Holocaust at Auschwitz. She fought in the French Resistance, saving as many Jewish children as she could, but couldn’t save herself. I didn’t finish reading it because the book, IMO, is staid and boring. It stumbles along with pretentious dialogue and such simply drawn and childish characters, and so many that I could barely keep track of them. I wondered who didn’t do the editing they were charged with. But many people who’ve read this book loved it, praise it, and I would not discourage anyone from reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Angel Mage was one I would have DNFed if it wasn’t for review. It was such a disappointment for me, especially because I love the author! I think that it just fell flat and the characters were a victim to the plot and world building.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like your attitude toward DNF-ing! I always feel ashamed for not finishing a book, and the way you describe a DNF as “successful” makes me smile. I think it’s healthy to know when it’s a good idea to put down a book and not return to it, rather than putting yourself in a bad mood by forcing yourself to read something boring, unpleasant, or just otherwise unsavory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I completely relate! That’s how I viewed dnfing for the longest time- until I saw other people talking about it in positive terms! It’s really helped to change my attitude and get me to quit books I’m just not enjoying (though obvs I still don’t always succeed 😉)

      Liked by 1 person

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