If you’re unfamiliar with the term “DNF”, it means “Did Not Finish.” It’s a term we book bloggers and Goodreads subscribers use to refer to books that we just didn’t have it in ourselves to finish reading for whatever reason.
I rarely do this. I try everything I can to get to the final page of a book, even if it’s insanely boring and I want to throw it across the room. I’m one of those people that is constantly hoping for the best. I believe in people and I believe that there’s always a chance that an author can redeem their story. Sometimes I get to the end of a book and the author has totally changed my opinion for the better and I’m so glad that I powered through. Other times, I think…I should have given up when I had a chance. Then the cycle repeats and I refuse to give up.
I know some people that have no problem putting a book aside when they lose interest and I totally respect that. I even understand it. It’s just my own personality that is so dang curious and hopeful that I rarely find myself choosing to give up.
These are 5 books that I either almost gave up on, or I completely did.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
At Christmas, my cousin recommended this book to me. Growing up, she was the biggest Dorothy fan. No lie. She even refused to wear anything but dresses, simply because Dorothy wore them. She and I tend to like the same books and TV shows, so I figured I’d give it a try. About halfway through, the storyline was losing my interest. I was losing faith in the characters and having a hard time figuring out just where the story was going. I decided not to finish it. Then I talked myself in to skimming to the end. I’m glad I finished it because the ending wasn’t what I expected, but I’m not interested enough to continue the series.
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
I tried getting into this book MULTIPLE times. I ended up listening to the audiobook as a way to finish the story. But I had to make myself listen to it. I wasn’t really motivated or interested, but I bullied myself. I couldn’t stand Mare and having the whole book from her perspective was killing me. I ended up giving it a rating of 3 stars, but looking back…that was a gift. The character relationships were weird and confusing. The world building lost me. Now I’m genuinely confused about the 3 stars I gave it. I think I need to change that because I can’t remember anything I liked about it, other than meeting new characters with new abilities. I didn’t give up on this book, but I should have. It was more disappointing than I expected by the end.
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins (and others)
I really enjoyed the companion anthology of holiday stories, My True Love Gave to Me. I thought it was a fun mixture of various genres and characters that kept me engaged. This book, however, came up short for me. I think I read the first 2 short stories and was completely uninterested in reading more. Unfortunately, I have the hardback copy of this book and now it’s just sitting on my shelf. I’ll probably never continue it, unless someone tells me a specific story within it that I should read. I think it’s easier for me to DNF a collection of short stories because I’m not invested in any characters or plot development.
Eve by William Paul Young
I know this author also wrote The Shack, and people love it…but I never read that one. My cousin gave me this book for Christmas last year and I was excited to pick it up. I thought it had an interesting premise and would be totally different from anything else I’d read. I read the first chapter and was totally lost. And not the kind of lost where you think…If I keep reading, I feel like I can figure it out. It was the kind of lost where I was so confused that I was just done. I wasn’t invested or even remotely curious, just not interested. I don’t know if that interest will change…I really just think I’m done with it.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
I read this book a few years ago and all I remember was how weird it was. I DID end up finishing it, but I almost didn’t. It was dark and then frilly, then trying to be weirdly sexy? I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s a fairy tale so I stuck it out to the end just in case…and I regretted it. Zero enjoyment happened. I don’t know if I tried to reread it if it would turn out differently years later, but I doubt it.
How do you feel about giving up on books? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy reading! – Caitlyn