DNF? On my shelves? More likely than not.


Hi, beautifuls! This isn’t like my other posts because in this one, I’m going to talk a little bit about the books I did not finish.

As a reader, I always believed in giving books a chance. Once, I even left a book on hold for three months but went back and finished it! This however cannot pass in current day Mariam.

Due to great advice from my friend Cam about electronic ARCs, I have decided to unfortunately DNF a couple of books that I just simply could not read. Here’s how it works: you read three chapters. Is it good? Continue. Is it not? Just send the publisher a note and DNF it. I am trying not to feel guilty about this but I can’t force something on myself. To clear my conscience, I am going to try and address each… as far as I’ve read that is. Although I am making this post to explain, none of these books offended or hurt me, I just couldn’t get into them.

To start with: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller.

I was beyond the moon happy to hear about a genderfluid main character in a fantasy setting! I was even more thrilled when I got the electronic arc! All this came crashing down when I just simply could not finish the book. I started it mid July, I believe, and I simply could not get through the plot. I was often confused at what was happening. As many have read, Sal, the main character, is one of the only survivors of their own… country… town… I don’t know. Not to dig at Miller, but the world building didn’t make sense and I felt quite stupid reading the description and not managing to get anything in my head. I thought it was just me but some of my friends also had this problem. The characters also didn’t appeal to me, not because they were awful, but because I couldn’t get attached to any of them. Besides Sal, we know only two other people by name, the rest are either referred to by numbers (those are other auditioners for the role of Opal) or were the queens’ right hand assassins. The assassins seemed nice but I honestly could not differentiate between their characters. Sal themself was not clear to me since I could not understand their backstory very well. I cannot comment on the genderfluid aspect of it, they seemed to be well-received by people when they mentioned their preferred way of being referred to, pronouns wise. Everyone was civil about that, thank god. However, I just could not get into the book. Maybe one day after it’s published, I’ll pick it up again and it’ll be the best thing I’ve ever read. But for now: I’ll mark it down as DNF.
For a great review: click here

Second is: More Than This by Patrick Ness
This book saddens me even more since I actually bought a physical copy (everything else was an earc) because someone on my TL loves it so much… but I just could not get into it. I read a good 100 pages but I just couldn’t like anything. It was very mysterious and I even forgot the main character’s name… and he was the only one around. This says a lot about how much I couldn’t get into the book.

Third is: House of Fate by Barbara Ann Wright

I started this on a good nice cheerful morning and I quite liked how much I was reading… until it got very Sci-fi focused and my mind just blurred and my eyes got really tired. I have nothing against Sci-fi except that it isn’t for me. I admit I requested the book on Netgalley knowing it was SFF but that’s my fault. As far as I read, it had a nice array of characters who I’d love to know more about. Just not now. Not during a month where I’m stressed out about reading.

Fourth is: Broken Mirror by Cody Sisco

This one is tricky since I only requested it because it was shelved as LGBT+ on Netgalley. I read some reviews that kind of discouraged me about it and I found out it’s very dystopian. Again, my own fault for not properly researching something before I request it. I can’t tell you much about it because I didn’t read any of it.

Last is: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan

I was quite excited for this one because it had asexual rep but last night, I was checking Goodreads and I saw one of my friends’ review of this book. I just can’t see myself reading this as I’m not prepared to weave my way through a book that could possibly harm me. If you need to read a better review, click here.

I promise you all that I’m not going to make a habit of not finishing books but I seriously have so little concentration span and reading through books I’ve got no interest in isn’t something I’m excited about at all. I hope some of you are interested in these. I’ve linked to the Goodreads page of each other. Just click the title! Little disclaimer: These arcs were available for download on Netgalley.

Discussion time:

Do you DNF books? If yes, what are some reasons you DNF books?

If you request books on netgalley, have you ever requested something then changed your mind about it after getting approved?


16 thoughts on “DNF? On my shelves? More likely than not.

  1. Sophie Li says:

    Hi Mariam! I think it makes complete sense to DNF a book that you can’t get into. My experience is that if the beginning portion of the book doesn’t appeal to me, then I will very likely not like the rest of the book as well. Life is too short to read book that don’t interest us πŸ™‚
    I haven’t gotten into requesting arcs yet, but I can imagine that they pile up over time. If it were me, I would also DNF arcs that I can’t get into.
    I also find that everyone’s tastes in books are different! I hear great things about some books and I get very excited to read them, but they end up disappointing me. I’m sure the reverse happens as well, when I like certain books while others don’t. I guess my point is that whether a book should be DNFed is personal πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mariam's Yummy Books says:

      Hello Sophie! Thank you for reading and taking the time to reply.

      It’s literally my blog’s purpose to review books I’ve enjoyed so I wanted to get these books off of my conscience.

      I have never gotten through the beginning of a book that I didn’t like and ended up liking the whole thing so I relate to you on that point.

      I agree. Personal reasons differ in our tastes in books.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Darque Dreamer Reads says:

    I DNF’d one book so far this year because it was so muddled as far as the plot went and it had unnecessary graphic sex involving minors. I don’t think DNF’ing is anything to feel bad about but it is nice to provide our reasons why since we are so open about things we enjoy. Great post and don’t feel guilty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mariam's Yummy Books says:

      Me too! I literally cannot get into heavily intricate universes sometimes because of the lack of information. I need to know so much to understand. I want to say that I might go back to it and read it again in the future but who knows! Thank you so much for reading my post ❀


  3. Bookworm Wanders says:

    This is great advice, I usually force myself to read a book even when I know I’m not into it and 80% in I’m more skimming than anything and wondering why I did that to myself

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mariam's Yummy Books says:

      I literally have never loved a book that I had to force myself into finishing but there are a couple of exceptions. In the end, I get so resentful because “I SPENT MONEY ON YOU AND YOU CAN’T EVEN ENTERTAIN ME” some of my fav authors’ books did this to me. I was so sad. But! I got over it and got onto the next book. IT’S SO CUTE TO SEE YOU ON MY BLOG MAF HI HOPE THIS WAS NICE ❀


  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    Hi Mariam!
    This is a great topic!! i could not get into More Than This by Patrick Ness and I read 100 pages too! It is on my DNF list!! I say that if you are in the weeds especially and can’t see finishing as helping your rating then I’d say better to DNF. I do like to formulate just where the book lost me so the author/publisher has feedback.

    I try not to DNF too much especially with ARCs because you really should only ask for books you should like and if the blurb is in your wheel house then you should be able to finish even if the story doesn’t quite work. That’s the theory anyway!! On Netgalley especially we are exposed to all sorts of genres and I know I think, oh yeah I could like this only to think later, what was I thinking! I’ve only DNFed 2 books on Netgalley so far so I’m doing good but I don’t feel guilty about them at all! My time is valuable after all and I’m sure yours is too! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mariam's Yummy Books says:

      Hello, Dani! Thank you for reading this post. This topic is one of the biggest ordeals to me as a reader because I hate not finishing a story but as you said, our time is valuable and I often feel so suffocated by not having enough time to read everything that’s out there.

      On Netgalley, I’ve decided to actually pay attention to what I request hence why I stopped requesting until I’ve read all of my arcs for 2017 (I don’t have any that are coming out in 2018 so that’s a relief).

      What’s good is that readers aren’t a rarity, I’m sure reviewers who’d enjoy books I can’t get into are out there and they’ll pick up what I can’t. It eases the guilt of DNF-ing books.

      Liked by 1 person

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