Discussion: Why do we DNF books? What books were not worth picking up?

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I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while. It’s actually painful for me to write, because some of these books were just SO TERRIBLE that it hurts my soul.

In this post, I’m going to be talking about why I DNF books, and about some books that I have DNFed.

It’s important for me to say, before I start this post, that I honestly gave these books everything I had. I hate giving up on books, and usually force myself through them in hopes of them getting better. That is stupid of me. So I’m also going to give you a list of books I definitely should have DNFed and didn’t because I’m stubborn and sometimes an idiot.

What does it mean to DNF?

DNF, or “did not finish” refers to a book that you never finished.

It literally just means that you didn’t finish the book.

Why do I DNF?

There are a lot of reasons people might not finish a book. But, usually, it’s because 1) the book is so bad that it is painful to read, 2) the book is super boring and you lose interest and can’t bring yourself to pick it up again, or 3) the book has some kind of offensive or harmful content.

I personally have DNFed for all of those reasons at some point or another.

What books have I DNFed?

I decided to write this post because I DNFed 2 books in the month of July. TWO!!! Here they are:


29868610Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick was given to me by my librarian to try out. I usually like memoirs (even if I don’t read a whole bunch of them) but I just could not get on board with Kendrick’s writing. I’ve never really liked Anna Kendrick, but I don’t dislike her either, so I thought that this might be a fun book to read. But I found myself cringing at how she wrote. Everything about this book just annoyed me, and I got antsy every time I picked it up and tried to read a little more of it. Finally, after two weeks of trying, I DNFed at about 50%


28220701I’ve had an ARC of The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle sitting in my room for about a year (I know, I know, that’s way too long, also thank you to the published and authors for getting this to me), and I finally got myself to read it. I was immediately confused, and found both the writing style and the plot cringey. I kept thinking that the book was going to sort itself out and get exciting at some point, but no matter how hard I tried, I did not enjoy any of it. The characters seemed forced and I didn’t like them at all. The plot was trying too hard and full of annoying clichés. Honestly I think this book could have used a few more drafts. I DNFed at about 30%.


Besides those two books, I can only remember DNFing two others… both over a year ago.


22510983If you couldn’t tell by my recent Hate-Haiku, I really REALLY didn’t like this book. At. All. I wrote a review for it a long time ago, right after I read/DNFed it (you can read that here if you so desire), and honestly this is one of the worst books I have ever laid eyes on (which is painful to say considering how beautiful the book looks). It’s hard to talk about this book without getting mad. I had such high hopes for this one and the premise was super amazing and the FLOP. So. Painful. Everything. About. This. Book. Was. Terrible. I can’t remember exactly how far into it I was when I DNFed, but it was before the 50% mark… and I’m honestly surprised I made it that far.


6186357I’m pretty sure that I watched the movie before I tried the book. Yeah, that’s kind of a no-no, but I’m kind of a rebel (haha I wish) so I do it anyway sometimes….

But I didn’t really like the movie. So then I picked up the book, thinking “well, the movie wasn’t so bad… I’ll probably like the book more.” I WAS WRONG. I tried to read this for so long and I actually made it to around 90% when I just couldn’t anymore. It was too bad… too painful. But I should have known. If Dylan O’Brian can’t make it good, no one and nothing can.


Books I definitely should have DNFed.

For every book that I DNFed, there are 10 books that I should have DNFed. Why didn’t I DNF these? Because some silly part of me kept whispering “it will get better… just hang in there.”

Whoever said to listen to your gut obviously hasn’t met my gut…

So here are some of the books that I should have DNFed. Consider yourself warned:

I pushed through these books with sheer will power, but I honestly regret reading them. I didn’t really enjoy any, and I certainly didn’t get anything out of them. I think the only one I didn’t review on my blog was Quarantine (because I read it before I started blogging), but you can read my reviews of the other books here:

Fangirl // Unscripted // Fallen // As I Wake // The Love Interest

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so obviously there are people out there who loved the books I couldn’t stand.

I’m not trying to tell you that you have to hate the books that I hate. If you loved any of these books, that’s great! I’m honestly glad that someone was able to find something in these books that I couldn’t.

Talk to me:

What books did you DNF? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Did you like them? What is the last book that you had to DNF?

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40 thoughts on “Discussion: Why do we DNF books? What books were not worth picking up?

    • Yes! Why do we force ourselves to finish books that need to be DNFed? If I didn’t finish all the books that I don’t like half way through I would have so much more time to read stuff that I actually like!

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  1. I DNF’d A Court of Thorns and Roses last year. I don’t think I’ve thrown any into that pile this year (and I hope I won’t have to). However, I should’ve DNF’d The Circle by Dave Eggers. It just dragged on with useless events that weren’t relevant to the plot at all.

    As for watching a movie before reading, I’m guilty of that as well. With quite a few book/movie adaptations, actually. Oops XD

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    • Ahh I’m so sad to hear about A Court!! I’m actually almost done with the (published) Throne of Glass series and it’s all been 5 stars for me, so I’m planning on reading that series next. Hopefully I’ll like it though!

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  2. “fangirl” 💔 but it’s ok, everybody likes different stories! 🤗
    i haven’t like officially officially dnf books. i know i have three books started that i haven’t been reading for a while but i still want to get to. i guess it just wasn’t the right time. but maybe not. who knows! 😂
    but i guess i wouldn’t have a problem with DNFing a book that’s cruel to me and my soul haha 😂

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  3. The first book I ended up DNFing was THE CASUAL VACANCY by J.K. Rowling and it broke my heart how much I hated it. I. Was. So. Bored. And I’m okay with that now, but at the time it was very much: HOW CAN I HATE SOMETHING THIS BRILLIANT WOMAN WROTE?! 😥

    Now I DNF like a crazy person. I DNF’d one a couple weeks ago at 20 pages because I shouldn’t have started reading it in the first place. There are way too many books out there and we can’t read them all. AND THAT’S OKAY. ❤

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    • I’ve never tried The Causal Vacancy, but I’ve kind of promised myself not to read any JK Rowling books outside the HP series because I’ve heard some bad things and I don’t want to ruin her as an author for myself. I’m perfectly happy sticking to the HP books though!
      I need to be more like you!! If I DNFed books that I don’t want to read I would have so much more time for better books! We definitely can’t read them all!

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  4. It’s always the writing style that gets me. Even if the idea of a book is brilliant, if the writing is flat or underdeveloped, I know it’s just not worth it to go through with it, kind of like you were talking about in the books you DNF’d this month!

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    • Yes! If a writing style annoys me, I can’t read it… no matter how good the story might be! It’s kind of frustrating, but I feel like bad writing (or confusing or weird or whatever) really takes away from an amazing story line and plot.

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  5. I DNF so many books – I tell myself I’ll come back to it, but never do. I never finished Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy), or Splintered. I left of Game of Thrones, too, but I reread it a few months ago and enjoyed it. Maybe I was too young to understand it the first time xD

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  6. I think we have very different tastes in books! Which I think is always so fascinating, haha! But I have to agree with the Maze Runner. I did read it but it was SUCH a slog. And the movie was not much better either!
    The last book I DNFed was called It Was Always You and it just did not gel with me at all. The writing kept jumping time frames and the characters all felt really FLAT not to mention some horrible reactions to Depression that made me annoyed.
    I have so many books to read that I just do not think it’s worth reading books that don’t want to keep me reading! But I also try not to review DNF’d books unless I really want to warn people of something!

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    • I always find it so cool when my opinions of books are very different from other people’s!!!
      That book does sound pretty bad though! I hate when the time line is all muddled.
      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  8. I actually liked Fangirl, but some things did bother me about it, so I totally get why other people might not like it. I should have DNFed The Roanoke Girls & A Fine Imitation. Both adult novels, the first is straight up about incest and I hateread it, the second was just so boring!! Hopefully I can get better at just giving up on books and reading what I want.
    Deanna Reads Books

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  9. I struggle so much with DNFing, but I *know* that more often than not I really should just give up when I don’t like a book!!! I can relate so much to this post! Girl Online does have a pretty cover- but I never got beyond the sample :/ and I’m not interested in Anna Kendrick enough to read her bio. I felt the same way about the maze runner movie- I have no intention of ever reading the book- especially since I’ve heard too many bad things to count!! I’ve not heard good things about the love interest or fallen either- so I’m glad I didn’t pick them up!! Awesome topic!!

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  10. The only book I’ve DNFed is The Death Cure as I couldn’t get into it whatsoever. I wish I DNFed books more but there’s been times where a book gets better as you read on and sometimes the start is just bad but you never know when it’s just going to be a bad start or a bad book haha

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  11. Oh this was a lovely discussion! 🙂 I try not to DNF books and I think I’ve been lucky on that front to mostly be reading books I enjoy, but if you truly don’t enjoy the book you’re reading… is it worth spending your time on it? I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy Fangirl though!! ❤

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  13. I also DNF very rarely. Like once a year. Maybe twice (although I can’t remember that)… I always try to give it a full chance. And I don’t regret the really crap books I read to the end, somehow xD but I think you’re right. If I DNFed more I’d probably have more time for good books 🙂

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