The Not-Quite DNF

As a lot of you may know, I am a very bad DNFer. That doesn’t mean I do it all the time; on the contrary, I do it almost never. Even when I should. Last year, I DNFed one book. I should have at least done it with five. Or twenty. Whatever. My point is, I don’t do it a lot, okay?

But I do put down a book “until later” from time to time. I say “oh yes, I will come back to this one, now is just not the right time”. And then, you know, never pick it up again. The catch? I want to! I want to see if it will work for me. Something about it seems promising enough that I would like to continue, but I don’t want to waste my time either.

A conundrum, folks. And this is where you guys come in!

We’re going to chat about these books. And you can vote on whether I should go ahead and finish them, or just leave them to be permanently unread. 

(Random sidenote: Oddly, almost all of these are ebooks. I wonder if that is a reason? Someone should do a study…)

Book #1:Red Rising by Pierce Brown


How Far I Made it: 10%

Why I Stopped: Sigh, I don’t even remember anymore! I think I was a little bored in the beginning. Some stuff was happening in space, and I think I didn’t care. Plus, it had just been released and I was a newbie blogger with no one to help with this important decisions. Now that everyone loves it… shall I try again? 


What Say You?

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Book #2:Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

18520642How Far I Made It:think around 15%? I don’t really remember and am too lazy to look.

Why I stopped: The characters started making me mad. They seemed super young, and I wanted to hit most of them and tell them to kindly get their act together. And who knows, maybe they do! That’d be nice!

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Book #3:Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

18079872How Far I Made it: Page 59 (Out of 256)

Why I Stopped: This was a hard one to put down, because I won it, and the author was so nice, and it wasn’t that the writing was bad. But the main character is awful. And I know she is supposed to be! But she was making fun of kids with disabilities and such. And after spending almost four years working with (and being super protective of) a kid with autism, it was hard to read.

Then when she was making fun of kids with disfigurements and my little guy was in the midst of his major surgeries… I just wanted to punch her. I think the whole point is that she stops being a jerk, but I don’t know, hence the poll. 

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Book #4:It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

20697586How Far I Made It: Like, 4% or something equally sad. 

Why I stopped: Literally no idea. I was in a reading slump, honestly. It was not grabbing me, not that I gave it time to. I just quit. And then told myself I wasn’t quitting, but “waiting for a better time”. Lies.

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Book #5:Hunger (Gone #2) by Michael Grant

5047880How Far I Made It: 6%

Why I Stopped: Aside from the fugliest cover in all the land? Okay, this book is long612 pages long. Every book in this series could split into its own six book series. It’s like some kind of fungi that can make itself into a whole species of books. I digress. I didn’t not like Gone, but it was also long, and a little tedious at times. 

I have heard this gets better though. And the new covers aren’t as ugly, so if I keep going with the series, I won’t have to see these again. After those 612 pages, I mean. 

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Book #6:Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Francis Brambles

22095753How Far I Made It: I am pretty sure it was 1%. It was definitely only one chapter.

Why I Stopped: I was confused, because it was Hitler, but then it was also vampires? But then the characters were chatting about the beach and stuff, and I just wouldn’t do that if I happened to be involved with Hitler and vampires I guess? 

Also, it was long too. 

What Say You?

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So, have you had this problem with any books lately? Where you have no idea if you do or do not wish to continue? And do you feel like it’s easier to quit an ebook than a physical book like I do?

P.S.- Stay tuned for Part 2 in which I will ask about books that I wanted to read and then heard bad things about and am now afraid of! 


Posted January 8, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion / 101 Comments

101 responses to “Not Quite DNFs: Give Up or Give a Second Chance?

  1. I had this exact same problem with The Night Circus recently. I really want to read it, but I just couldn’t get my head into it. I think I’ll try it again towards the end of this year maybe. I’m not sure if an ebook is easier to quit though as my copy of The Night Circus is a paperback.

  2. Compared to me, you’re a saint with your DNF books. My conservative estimate is that I DNF approx. 35% of books that I start. I’m a really picky reader and now that I spend so much time writing, if I’m not liking it, I more or less don’t have time for it. That being said, if the book is literally driving me to rage … I always finish it. I like a bit of righteous anger to get the blood boiling 😛

    • Wow, 35%! This is impressive! I wish I could DNF more, it just seems like life would be a lot easier. I think it makes sense about the writing part too- because you are so busy focusing on every word YOU are writing, how can you not do the same with other books? Plus, time is HUGE. And I am the exact same with books that make me stabby- I ALWAYS finish because I want to be able to fully review them and tell people WHY I threw it across the room 😉

  3. I don’t DNF either. I mean, if I read like five pages and decide a book is not for me, I don’t consider that DNFing, I consider that not starting, but once I actually start a book, I’m committed. I will slog through it, complaining about everything the whole time if I have to lol, but I will finish! I just won Becoming Darkness in a giveaway though, and I think it sounds interesting! I guess I’ll find out for myself soon enough.

    • Hahhah SAME. I get mad because I can’t have wasted the time I invested in it already so… forward I go! I complain a lot too 😀 And I am looking forward to what you think of Becoming Darkness. I have read some good reviews, so maybe I just need to try a bit more? I hope it works for you!

  4. Oh my gosh, this post. It’s even better than I imagined, I think it’s the poll selections. 😉 I’ve only ever DNFed two books, one was in ’14 (Anatomy of A Misfit, the main character was annoying, I think I made it to like, page 25 or something), the second was City Love. *shakes head* It crushed my hopes. Hope crusher. I’ll never go back.

    Now, for the past couple years, I’ve had a really hard time at finishing some books, probably has something to do with spoilers (Dangerous Girls) or I had to return the book to the library (Althea & Oliver / Even In Paradise). It’s been over a year since I tried reading those three so I’m pretty sure I’ll have to start from the beginning. Unfortunately.

    • PUNS for the win! I think I may do the second part tomorrow. OR I might wait a week. We’ll see how it goes 😉 Awww SAD about those two books. I have heard that Anatomy of a Misfit wasn’t great, and mixed things about City Love. Womp womp.

      Ohh I have Althea and Oliver too, and I want to read it! I read an excerpt of it once, and then won it a few months later, and then had 3764 other books to read so… yeah. And did someone spoil Dangerous Girls for you? Bastards.

      I guess I shouldn’t spoil Mockingjay then, hmm? Well I WILL: So Gale, Peeta and Katniss are in the Capitol, when suddenly, Gale challenges Peeta to a duel. Now, Peeta probably couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn normally, but Gale was intoxicated from too much morphling that he’d recently started taking. Anyway, Peeta, who really wasn’t down to duel, still figured he needed to, for political reasons. So Gale got out his District 12 Special Edition 261 Pistol, and Peeta fashioned a slingshot out of some twigs and a patch of moss. Katniss tried to protest, but she figured this would kind of make her decision a LOT easier, so she really didn’t have her heart in it. They called Haymitch over, who was clearly drunk, but he was fine with being the umm duelmaster. (Which is apparently a word, who knew?) So Haymitch slurs for them to take the requisite amount of steps, and then….

      Well, sorry, you’ll just have to read the book.

  5. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a certain read and I’ll start it and give up and never go back. But sometimes it just takes a shift in mood to get me to go back.

  6. I’ve learned the art of DNFing! I completely understand those who don’t though. I’m just incapable of reading a book that I know I’m not enjoying.
    I haven’t read any of these books above so I can’t vote! I do want to read Red Rising though.

  7. I have begun more DNFing just because I have so many books I want to get to. I think Summer on the Short Bus gets better. And I think the girl being so horrible only leads to her “epiphany” being that much better. I haven’t read the first one, but I want to. Good luck with whatever you decide to go on with!

  8. I put down a book and just, let it laying there almost all the time, well not that often, but you know, frequently. But I never consider it DNF, is it? Because I always thought I would pick it up someday, maybe not in a few days or even weeks, maybe I need months, but I consider those books interesting, so maybe there is something with my moods or my situation that made me not enjoy it at the time. Although I do have DNFed books, The Death Cure by James Dashner and The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (I think). Both are because they’re boring and I didn’t get the story. *shrug*

    Anyway, I haven’t read any of these books you’re asking so I didn’t join in the vote, but if I were you, I’d probably continue read Red Rising, the story seems promising.

    • I think Red Rising is one I will DEFINITELY give another shot to! Because it has gotten such amazing reviews, plus a lot of people said that the beginning is slow, so I should give it another chance. And I am just like you! I don’t ever DNF, but I DO put books aside… but I hate having the “unfinished business” hahah. I want to either read them or move on. Also, sad about The Madman’s Daughter, that one looked good. BUT good call on The Death Cure. That series just got worse and worse- kind of wish I had DNFed it too 😉

  9. I get this problem sometimes and usually force myself through it. I have to admit that I almost DNF Red Rising too, I even mention that in my review. I was just really bored in the beginning and struggled quite a bit. But I pushed on and it ended up getting so much better and became one of my top reads of the year when I read it. I’d definitely push yourself through that one, it does get a ton better.

    • I will definitely push myself through that one! I have had so many people telling me- in this post alone!- that it gets a lot better, so I think it is worth it! I usually power through too, but for some reason, I couldn’t with this group!

  10. I never say that I DNF. I just put them down. I feel like I have commitment issues sometimes and read like 10 books at a time and then 9 of them go to the wayside. I haven’t started or read any of these, but Red Rising and Becoming Darkness both look good!

  11. I’m probably not going to be helpful because I only DNFed 2 books last year. A book has to be pretty much unreadable for me to DNF it. I should have DNFed more. Life’s too short to read bad books. I think if you put these books down once, you shouldn’t pick them up again. There are probably other books that you’d enjoy more.

    • Same! I only DNFed one last year, and 2 in 2014. I am like you too- I wish I could do it more too. I like your way of thinking! I think for some of them, you are probably VERY right. Red Rising will probably get another chance, and maybe the one that I only read like, 3 pages of haha because that isn’t being very fair 😉

  12. My blog is a curious little place, because I NEVER DNF books (well, I’m the same as you – one last year, and it should have been more like eight), and my co-blogger DNFs EVERYTHING. So, you know, we have both sides of that coin covered. Now we need to figure out how to get it to stand on its side. She needs to DNF less, I need to DNF more. You and I can partner up and encourage each other! It’ll be a mantra: “DNF IS A-OKAY. DNF IS A-OKAY.” I HAVE caught myself doing the same as you in the past year, though – putting books back into my TBR and promising I’d get to them eventually. So perhaps we just need to let our inner DNFer out. I just… aaagh. I just need to be forced into it. (They really should have a support group for this.)

    • Hahha I LOVE that you are two opposite sides of the spectrum! I bet that makes things entertaining 😉 We SHOULD encourage each other- pop in to say “put DOWN the crappy book” bwhahaha. And I think the support group is a great idea- maybe we need the peer pressure to finally just say “I am NOT finishing this book!” and then we’d feel SO much better!

  13. I recently read It’s a Wonderful Death and ended up enjoying it! It felt kind of surface-level – like it never got too deep into characterization, but the premise was super interesting. I ended up being glad I read it.

  14. I can’t remember the last book I DNF. There are a few that I should have probably given up on, but I always hope they will get better, and I don’t like having wasted my time. It just really slows down my reading because I’m not excited to pick the book up, but I can’t seem to bring myself to not finish a book!

  15. The only one that I’ve read in this group is Proof of Forever. And though I don’t remember it very well, I do know what you mean about youngish, annoying characters. They do all grow and learn throughout the book, so that’s good… but I’m not sure if you would enjoy it as much as you’d like to or not. I believe I gave it 3.5 stars. I’m a hardcore DNF’er that always encourages others… so if you’re not feeling these books, I’d say just move on. You can’t love them all. 🙂

    • Oh that IS good that they grow. Because man were they pissing me off at the start! I REALLY wanted to like that one which is why I think I didn’t just outright DNF it. Maybe I will put it on my phone. I like to have a book or two on my phone for boredom emergencies 😉 I am GLAD that you will push me to DNF- I need it!

  16. I love this post so much. Unfortunately, I can’t really give you an honest answer as I’ve not read any of these books. I DNF a lot. For me though putting a book down and picking it up again at a later date is different than DNFing. DNFing is when I want to rip out the pages of the book/burn it/throw it out the window/punch all the characters and poke them in the eyes. I rarely put down a book, but it happens when the story is too overwhelming. As for DNFing, it comes easily to me. If I don’t like a book, then no matter when my dislike of the book/story/characters happen, I just stop reading. Like others have said before me, if the experience of reading a book isn’t pleasant, then stop reading the book and don’t feel guilty for it.

  17. Oh my god, the PUNs! I die. Um…I haven’t read a lot of these but I voted anyway. Some because I want to know your opinion (like Red Rising) and others because I don’t think you should torture yourself with it (short bus one). However, I have a real opinion on Hunger, stop the madness now! I read, I think three of the Gone series and disliked each one more than the last. I’ve heard they’re so good but I was so not into them.

    Recently…I DNFed The Love That Split The World after about 60 pages. I DON”T KNOW WHY??? Everyone says it’s supposed to be SO GOOD but I couldn’t get into it and I never wanted to pick it up and urgh. I don’t KNOW. I think it might have just been because I wasn’t in the mood for it?

    Anyway, do this more often, you must! It’s so much FUN. =) Oh and it’s definitely easier to quit an ebook because it won’t mock you from your shelf.!

    • Right?! I wish I had made them all puns. Next time, I promise 😀

      Oh NO this is GOOD information about the Gone series! I mean, not good because I own them all and am mad at myself, but good because I am not going to race to re-start it- if I ever do (which honestly, it isn’t looking good).

      OMG. HEART PALPITATIONS, RESTART TLTSTW! Restart it NOWWWWWWWW. It is hands down one of my favorite books of last year- but the beginning IS slow. You must. YOU MUST. (Did I yell and flail enough for you?)

      BWAHAH YES, that is it- the ebook does not mock! You just “remove from home screen” and bye bye crappy book! On your shelf, it taunts! And I think I will do another one of these next week , thanks so much!! 😀

  18. It’s a terrible habit, but sometimes when a book isn’t grabbing me I skip to the end and read the last page. Sometimes it helps me get interested because I want to know how the story got there. I too tried to read Red Rising, I borrowed it from the library, I barely made it 20% Before I threw in the towel. I just got really bored and there were things that weren’t really explained all that well, terms and stuff like that, the guy’s wife, and her “sacrifice”, just lost all importance very quickly.
    I think for me, it was just so hyped and 90% of the people that read it kept going on about how it was so much better than Red Queen and comparing the two when those books have only one thing in common, one word in the title. I didn’t really care for the MC either. He was kind of a Gary-Stu.

    • Hahhaha I kind of love that! With the books I DNFed I did the same thing- or asked a friend in one case. I didn’t love the MC either while reading Red Rising! I really hope he stops sucking… and the book stops being boring. I feel like so many people say I should read it that I probably will give it one more (and only one more!) chance. It gets until like, 30%, and either I like it or I call it a day 😉

  19. The only one of these I read was It’s a Wonderful Death, and I absolutely loved that book. It was so original and entertaining, in a Mean Girls kind of way. I would say give it another go if you’re up for it! I haven’t read the others…but I have heard mixed things about Proof of Forever.

    • Oh yay! I definitely DO want to give that one a chance, I was SO excited for it, so I am glad that you can vouch for it 😉 I have heard mixed things about Proof of Forever too. So… that one could end up staying unfinished- or being skimmed 😉

  20. Ooookay so I gotta be honest, I think Red Rising is a tough one because it’s VERY intensely sci-fi and gruesome and bloody. but when I read it, I saw it as like a more intense Hunger Games? WITHOUT ripping-off THG?!?!? So I feel like you should stick it out. ;D And I lovelovelove Michael Grant’s writing, but the middle Gone books are NOT spectacular. He tends to pull in all these random POVs I cared 0% about. Which was annoying. -_- But the end book is aldjfkadls adorably wonderfully heartbreakingly perfect. *happy sigh* *tears of a thousand nations* SO IDEK. I would say yes to those two? Hehe, but it’s also okay to just abandon ship when they’re not working for you! LIFE IS SHORT.

    • Hmm see, I am okay with intense and gruesome. I mean, by all means, kill each other! And let’s be real, you had be a “Hunger Games” and “without ripping off”. Can I ummm just skip to the last Gone book then? Do I need all the random POVs? Because I can just pretend I read all of them!

  21. I am stubborn when it comes to finishing books so I rarely DNF them. Occasionally I might set one aside for the time being because I’m just not in the mood to read the genre or something like that but I always go back and read them.
    When it comes to the list, I admit I’ve only read Red Rising and I would recommend picking it up again. Admittedly I do find it to be a book you have be in the mood to read because it is intense and very brutal. If it helps the sequel, Golden Son is even better so I’d definitely say it’s worth the read. 😀

    • I am the same way- SO stubborn. But apparently not as committed, because I don’t always return 😀 I think I will give Red Rising a retry- especially because I have heard so many good things about the sequel. OR maybe I will wait until Morning Star, because if it is awful, everyone else can save me the trouble 😉

  22. I’ve only read Proof of Forever from this bunch, but I’m definitely dying for you to pick it back up! I’m in-between about it, honestly. I love it and hate it. The characters are really so intolerable. I gave it a 2-star, but there’s the occasional cute moment. I’d seriously love to see you finish it, though, just to see your opinion. Also, I’m obsessed with that GIF. 😀

  23. I have gotten a lot better about DNFs since I started getting ARCs/more books! I agree it was hard at first but now I don’t hesitate. However, sometimes I really do just try to set something down only to try for it later — it usually doesn’t work. It’s A Wonderful Death is also on my “give it a sec” list — I’ll try it again but not sure how soon! Great post!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I SHOULD have gotten better… in theory 😉 I am almost afraid that if I start letting myself DNF, I will just DNF anything that doesn’t feel like a 5 star right off the bat. BUt knowing me… I will just never DNF hahah.

  24. I LOVE this idea. Unfortunately, I can’t help you out with any of these books. I have read a lot of reviews for Red Rising and they say it really picks up around 30%. I am still not voting though.

  25. This post is such a great idea, Shannon! I have only read Hunger and It’s a Wonderful Death from this so I’m afraid I’m not much help. Hunger was okay. I haven’t advanced into the series any more because, like you said, they’re so LONG! And It’s a Wonderful Death is quite cliched so it’s hard to try and recommend it. I wasn’t a massive fan myself, but I think it’s one of those books that some readers will love and others won’t. Good luck with these rereads. Hopefully at least one of them will be a pleasant surprise…

  26. The only one I’ve read from your list is “It’s a Wonderful Death”. I actually really liked all the snarky humor. The end surprised me, but made me laugh once I got over the surprise. So I voted that you read the rest. When you have time… *laughs*

    I’ve gotten a lot better about DNFing books. Mostly because my TBR shelf is so full I don’t know if it can hold any more books without falling down. If I try reading a book and it takes me a week or more to get 80pages in (and not because I’m super busy or anything like that), then I pick a new book and move on. I’m a fast reader, so if it takes me that long to get only that far, then I don’t want to waste any more time on it.

    On the other hand, I have a few books that I know I’ll like. Either because I love the author, or I really like the characters from other books, that I have picked up and then put back on my TBR shelf for later. I figured the fact I couldn’t get into them was based on mood, but if I pick the book up again and I still can’t get into it, then it’s over and will be DNF’d. But since I love the author or characters, they get a 2nd chance whereas I don’t usually bother with 2nd chances since I have so many books waiting to be read.

    • Ohhh I like snarky humor! Maybe I can do that one after all! My TBR is such a mess, so I feel you. I have a book like the latter you mentioned- by an author I know I liked- that I had to put back. ::whispers:: It is Passenger and I am sad. But hopefully I can get into it- I have heard it starts off slow. I need to stop giving second (and twenty-second) chances on ALL the books 😉

  27. The only book I’ve read in this pile is Becoming Darkness and it’s good, but the plot is drawn and I honestly don’t really know if it’s worth trudging through 500+ pages for a book with a great premise, but a jilted execution.

      • I didn’t realize this was going to be a series. I figured it would be because of it’s ending, but I don’t think it’s really worth it, to be honest. Thank you for the kind comment on my blog! It’s definitely not a book I’m suggesting to rush towards, but if you ever feel the urge for a vampire or alternate history novel I recommend it.

  28. Oh, what a great post! Looking at Goodreads, I see I have DNF’ed 36 books and put 5 aside for later. I quit on ten books in the last year, which is about 5% of my total. Seven of them I just didn’t like, and three were fine, but not for me–two were children’s books and one was nonfiction. I have no real qualms about quitting a book, but usually want to know how it will work out.

    I gave up on the Gone series because it got really icky. I gave the first book four stars, but DNFed the second book. They were eating worms, as I recall, and it was described in loving detail.

    I’m excited for part 2 of this post!

    • Aw thanks! And WOW, that is a good number- not TOO many, but enough that you know you weren’t reading junk that you didn’t want to read! BWAHHAHA dying at the worms thing! Is it bad that I now WANT to read it more because of the worms?? 😉

  29. I also have a hard time dnf-ing a book! I keep reading, hoping it would get better, but in most cases, they don’t 🙁 Even when I do dnf, I usually will come back for those books in a year or two, do a re-read, and torture myself allover again. Idk why I do that though.

  30. I only voted on two of them, because man did they sound no bueno. I understand you though Shannon! I’m not a good DNF-er either. Typically I’ll sludge through, which maybe isn’t the best idea because I won’t pick up another book until it’s done and then I’ll just end up in a reading funk because the book was so bad. So, I really need to start doing it more.

    I do want to read Pierce Brown’s series at some point though. I also have It’s a Wonderful Death to read, so who knows, maybe it’ll end up working?

    Whatever you decide, if it starts becoming a chore, definitely give it the boot!

  31. I am a terrible DNF-er for the exact same reason.
    With Becoming Darkness, I think you really should pick it up again. The beginning was a little slow but it got awesome farther in. I really enjoyed it. If you would like to read my review, here it is.
    Thanks for sharing!

  32. I haven’t read any of these but I just recently allowed myself to DNF. It kills me to do it because even if I hate a book I need to know what happens lol

    But I like that you’re doing this because some books start out awful but then pick up and maybe another reader can add insight as to why it’s worth picking back up.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  33. I think I only read one or two chapters in Red Rising before doing exactly what you do and say I’ll come back to it (I haven’t yet). It was more that I knew it would take a while to get into and I had other things I wanted to read so I put it down. But everyone I know has loved it and I’m curious to see what is so amazing so that is one I will (hopefully) one day pick up again 🙂

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  34. I have no problem with DNF. I read at least 50 pages. If I can’t continue, I add it to my DNF list. No shame or regret.

    Nine times out of ten I don’t review those unless there’s a big, big problem that I feel other people should know about. For example, I really wanted to read Lora Leigh because I had heard so many good things about her. I pushed myself through almost 3/4ths of the first book, but I finally got so angry I threw the book across the room. I just can’t stand female characters who allow themselves to be raped and then go, “Oh, I guess I wanted that” or “Oh, that was awesome.” (not literally, but you know what I mean) The book had me so upset I HAD to blog about it.

    There are a few that I just lost interest in but don’t consider DNF. I keep telling myself I’ll get back to them eventually. Or, I put a book down because I’ve got another one to do for a tour or something, and I never go back to the one I was reading. I actually have a bunch of those to finish. I think I’m a bit ADD when it comes to reading. I can’t read just one book at a time. Sometimes I have ten different ones I’m reading.

    • Oh wow, that book sounds AWFUL! I would have to review that too, no question! But I agree, if I was just kind of bored, it isn’t really worth posting about. I think I did eventually give one of the books I DNFed a mini-review, because I read more than 50%. I feel like I would get So confused if I read a bunch of different ones, but who knows!

  35. This is such a clever idea for a post Shannon! It’s always great to get a second opinion about whether or not to pick up a book again. I personally didn’t like Proof of Forever at all, so if you tried a little of it and didn’t like it you should just keep it unfinished.

  36. I’ve read literally none of these, BUT I completely understand your problem. I suck at DNF’ing, skimming and reading books out of order. I can’t do it. I soooort of got better at DNF’ing when I really, REALLY don’t see a book working out, but more often I do the same thing and just set it down “for later” yet later never comes. I’ve done that with Mortal Heart, Let’s Get Lost, The Princess of Thorns, Northern Lights and others I can’t think of right now.

  37. If you weren’t huge on GONE, then the rest of the series probably isn’t for you (all of the books are similarly long, and the storytelling style doesn’t change much). I don’t know if would impact your impression at all, they did change the gross covers!

      • Well, at least you didn’t pay full price for them, I suppose? I borrowed them from the library, but I don’t think I ever completely finished the series (I stopped at the fourth or fifth, I think?)

  38. The only one I have read in this one was Hunger. I adored the entire Gone series. I would recommend giving it another chance. (Yeah, I read them with the ridiculous covers and I hated them too). Hopefully that means you will love it too. Or maybe this will fall into the 1% of books that we actually don’t have the same opinion about?? I guess it’s possible, right?

  39. Alexina

    Cool post! Most of these, in my opinion, sound like the sort of book that gets better as it goes on and you hate the characters less. I would keep reading these but I’m a master at not finishing books so I shouldn’t really tell you what to do.

  40. I think if you have a TRUE problem with a book (not that you were in a reading slump or anything), I think you should try it again. Like that book where the character makes fun of disabled people? I don’t think I could read that either. I know it’s not the point, but if it is bothering you, then I don’t think you should read it. On the other hand, please continue with Red Rising, and then read Golden Son. THANKS

  41. The Hunger cover is awful, the UK one is much better, the entire series has the title against a black background looks so much cooler, anyway have just started Hunger after enjoying Gone, is ok so far!

    Red Rising I loved but I DNF’d the follow up Golden Son, I tried but failed with it but I think that is because I had a big gap between books.

    • The US ones have gotten a MUCH needed facelift too- but sadly, I have those insanely eye-offensive covers for all but two of the books :/ You’ll hhave to let me know if Hunger stays good! Oh NO! I have heard that Golden Son was better, so this is extra sad. 🙁

  42. I love this post because this is exactly how I am with DNF-ing books. I don’t decide never to read them again, I just decide to come back to it later. Sometimes it works out really well for me because I am a mood reader and sometimes I’ve brushed aside really good books because they weren’t fitting my mood. It’s difficult to decide which books are books that just aren’t for you ever and which aren’t books for you at that time but will work for you later. There is no definitive way of working that out, it’s just something you learn as you go along I think. You are the only person who can know what to label a book as DNF. It’s something I am trying to get better at doing because there are books I’ve had for over 2 years that I either need to read or giveaway because eventually you’ve got to realise you’ve sadly gotten a book which doesn’t work for you.

    • Aww thanks! I agree, it HAS worked for me in the past, which is why I allow myself to keep doing it 😉 I think that’s a good point too- when you’re ready to give it away, then you know you are ready to DNF! (Which is why I wish more of these were physical books, actually!)

  43. Wait, WHAT?! So many people voted off Hunger? DD: How could they? It makes me shed a tear just thinking about it. When it comes to the Gone series, every single book gets better. I’ve never read a series where in six book it just IMPROVES so much with every single one. By the time I finished the finale I was doing the all out fangirling tears streaming from my eyes thing. Oh, and they get creepy… As for those covers, they are absolutely horrendous. I’ve got all black covers where the wording is neon and the pages are tipped. When they did this change (I think these are the US covers?) I was like: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

  44. As a writer I always feel guilty about not finishing a book since I know only too well how much work goes into getting a novel to print. It’s not just the writing (which is actually the easy part), but all the stuff that comes after that. Acquiring an agent is extremely difficult, and even if you’re fortunate enough to have one deign to take you on as a client, he or she is likely to want you to make changes to your book. This can take months or even years. Then you have the waiting as your agent peddles your book to various publishers. And when a publisher buys it, there’s the long process of editing, waiting, more editing, more waiting, going through the proofs, even more waiting, cover design, still more waiting, ARC release, suffering through the anxiety of reviews, yet more insufferable waiting, and then finally the official release.

    It took me years to get my book published. Even after the publisher (Switch Press) bought it, there was a two year period between the signing of the contract and the actual release of the book. So you can probably understand that after all the hard work of writing it, and the long process of getting it published, I am somewhat dismayed when people DNF it — particularly if they do so after only a few pages (since the opening of the book is actually meant to lull you into thinking the story is one thing and then turn the tables on you and show you something else entirely).

    Having said all this, as a reader I completely understand giving up on a book. I don’t think it’s wise to do so after only a few pages, but I think if you’ve made your way through 30% or 40% of a novel and it isn’t working for you, then it’s fair to ditch it — especially if you’ve got plenty of others to read. But there are times when a novel may not seem to pay off for a long way into it and then have such a bang-up resolution that it makes you feel all that came before was worth slogging your way through. That was the case for me with a book called “Atonement”, which at several stages throughout the course of reading it I almost threw in the towel. But in the end I finished it and I was glad I had, because the ending actually made me appreciate much of the rest of the book and what the author was shooting for.

    On the other hand, I just plowed my way through a YA novel based on a popular comic character and the only reason I finished it was so I could discuss it with my niece. Unfortunately, the book was a one out of five for me. The writing did nothing for me: flat characters, a romance that wasn’t really necessary to the plot (of which there was little), action that dragged, science that showed a decided lack of the true understanding of the physics the book was referencing…well, I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

    As a writer you have to accept that not everyone is going to like the book you’ve written; and as a reader you have to live with the fact that not every book will be for you. The happiest times are when both writer and reader seem on the same wavelength and all that the writer was trying to achieve in his/her story is understood by the reader. The one thing both writers and readers want is emotional impact and perhaps some sort of illumination and reward. The writer wants to move the reader and leave the reader feeling as if he/she has gained something by reading the writer’s words; the reader wants to be moved by the writer and come out of the experience with more than what he/she went into it with. When this synergy happens, it is golden.

    My book is among your DNFs — which (I cannot lie ) disappoints me. I hope you’ll give it a second shot, but I fully understand that it just may not be for you. You might want to check out my website to get more of a handle on what the book is about. There’s lots of information there about the world in which the novel is set, about the genesis of the book, the writing process, and so much more.

    Anyway, thanks for this. I’d vote, but I think you know what I’d vote for. 😉

    Just in closing: Although there is a sequel written, I wrote BECOMING DARKNESS to be as much of a standalone a possible. There are seeds for the second book sewn into the narrative, but the major plot element of the novel is resolved at the end. It’s a sad reality of publishing that just because you succeed in getting one book published, it doesn’t necessarily follow that this will continue to happen. Publishing is a business and your book has to make money. If it doesn’t, then it’s on to the next thing. I’m hoping BECOMING DARKNESS will be successful enough to warrant the publication of the second and third books, but there are no guarantees. Marketing a book these days is extremely difficult and demands a lot of time and effort and money out of an author’s own pocket. And for all that, it is still enormously difficult to garner public awareness. The myths that all writers get six and seven figure advances and are toured around the country by the publisher are just that: myths. Most writers struggle to scratch out a living — and, in fact, few can actually live off their writing. Which brings me to yet another reason why I always feel a bit guilty when I DNF.

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