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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Book Review- Kanye West Owes Me $300

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Kanye West Owes me $300 & Other True Stories from a White Rapper who Almost Make it Big by Jensen Karp
Published by Crown Archetype on June 7 2016
Genres: Memoir, Rap, Humor
Pages: 300
Goodreads
Amazon

After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was “Hot Karl,” the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.

When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend’s bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as “Hot Karl,” the most famous white rapper you’ve never heard of.

On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that “rap is for black people,” and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.

Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.

I don’t read a lot of memoirs, but when I do, I like them to be just like this. This book was the perfect mix of humor, incredibly entertaining and almost-too-good-to-be-true stories, struggle, and sadness.

Jensen Karp’s journey as “Hot Karl” (don’t look that up on Urban Dictionary) was amazing. It was a wild ride from beginning to end, and the experiences he had during his brief time as a rapper were just out of this world.

I enjoyed the honesty in this book. It felt like Jensen was sitting down with me and telling the story to me, complete with pictures and rap lyrics. It was so cool how even though his rap career was that long, he still worked with a lot of people who are still big today (read: Kanye West, Will.i.am, etc.). By the end of reading this, I was actually really sad that he didn’t blow up like he could have. I wonder if people would go through a “Hot Karl” phase the same way they go through an Eminem phase (which I definitely did).

I ended up listening to a few of Hot Karl’s raps, and they are actually pretty good. Although he is kind of right, there is a definite similarity to Eminem. And it makes me really sad to think that Eminem’s success had anything to do with Hot Karl not having any.

This book shown a light on the music industry that revealed a lot of surprising aspects of the industry. I really enjoyed reading it, even though (despite my Eminem phase) I don’t really know anything or care much about rap or hip-hop music. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a moving memoir that has a great voice and story.

I am going to give Kanye West owes me $300 four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- When Breath Becomes Air

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Published by Random House on January 19, 2016
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Medical
Pages: 208
Amazon
Goodreads

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

When Breath Becomes Air was a very deep and thought provoking book. I was drawn into the narrative from the first page. The language Kalanithi used was absolutely beautiful, and the book was easy and enjoyable to read (which is not something you can say about many books about cancer).

The book was divided into two parts; the first part was about Kalanithi’s life before his cancer diagnosis, and the second part was about his life afterwards. Both were equally as compelling, and both very interesting and emotional.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, just because of how moving of a book it is.

I am going to give When Breath Becomes Air four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥