Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is: The Last Ten Books I Abandoned (this could be books you DNFed, books you decided you were no longer interested in, etc.) (submitted by Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza)

Fun fact: I have only DNFed eight books in my entire existence. So I figured I’d tell you a few that I have sort of DNFed but haven’t totally committed to shelving as such. You know how it is, sometimes letting go is hard, okay? Covers link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon! 

The DNFed

Melt by Selene Castrovilla Oy look this just was not my jam.The insta love was just too much, it just didn’t make sense to me. And then she was letting some horrible actions slide literally right after they meet, and I just couldn’t. There was a lot of talk about Dunkin Donuts too. I mean, I love DD just as much as the next girl (fine, more than the next girl) but I just didn’t understand why there was so much information on donut flavors but no rhyme or reason to the romance.

Gideon Lee by Lisa Orchard (Apparently this no longer is available to purchase.) I just didn’t connect to it in any way, and I could tell it would be rocky if I kept going. I was bored, and so I called it. As you can see, ’twas only my second DNF ever, so I didn’t decide to quit easily. But alas.

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker  I think this was a probably “it’s me, not the book” DNF. Because a lot of people really enjoyed this series! I personally was bored and didn’t care, but several of my friends on Goodreads seem to love it. And it’s only 99 cents right now, so who am I to say?

Roseblood by A.G. Howard I mean, I tried, but not that hard, because I got bored. And I don’t even really like Phantom or know much about it (sorry) so probably try it for yourself and ignore me if you are interested?

The Grave Keepers by Elizabeth Byrne But. The premise was so good. Le sigh. I made it to 33% before calling it. And, as you well know, this is not a decision I take lightly. But I was just so bored. I could not. Plus, was there really a point in making myself finish, just to give it a bad rating? Nope, there was not. I liked that there was a big focus on family, but I just couldn’t connect to the sisters whose POVs the book alternated between. Also, they were whiny AF. I felt like nothing at all was happening, and then when I read a few reviews, it said that the ending wasn’t great. So, this became the 5th book I ever DNFed.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye The saddest book I ever did DNF, because I loved the author’s debut series. But I just couldn’t. I didn’t care about the magic or the characters. And it felt kind of similar to the author’s first series? Different location and such, but yeah. I could also tell where the romance was headed, the whole “we’re bonded so rules say we can’t be in love” bit, and I find that incredibly frustrating to read, so that didn’t help. So I stopped, rather than hate it and being more sad.

The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields ♦ This one is also on sale! Here’s the thing: I don’t think this one was necessarily bad, I just think try as I might, I could not get into it. And I wanted to, oh how I wanted to! This was one of my most anticipated books of the year. So I am not ruling out trying again? I got to I think 31% before tagging out which is a pretty good go of it. My real issue was that I could not care about Saskia in either world. She was just not compelling to me as a main character, and as such I didn’t really care about what happened to her. And the world-building was lacking for me. I wanted to have some background on where we were, how this magic system worked, etc, and I had a lot of trouble with the plot because I didn’t understand why any of what was happening was happening. It does have quite a few high reviews, so this could be a personal thing, but I gave it several chances and it just didn’t work for me. Sadness.

Reverie by Ryan La Sala I just was kind of bored, and I didn’t really understand the whole reverie system or what the heck was going on so I gave up. Because even I have my limits, and this was it. Again, some people adored it so it isn’t a bad book or anything! Just didn’t work for me.

The Ask Again Laters

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell I have heard that this gets better, and the meanness at the start makes sense because character growth. Honestly, I was just so turned off by how straight up evil these characters are that I couldn’t handle the wait for them to become better people. Between working with neurodiverse kids, and having my own kid have a birth defect, it was too hard.  Maybe one day I will?

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff Put down the pitchforks. I get it, this book is endlessly popular, you no longer trust me, etc etc. I started this during Bookish Games- Nevernight , but I just couldn’t do it. I put it down somewhere around chapter 5, planning to maybe pick it back up. I didn’t hate it! I just didn’t enjoy it enough to be motivated? We’ll see though, maybe one day!

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young ♦ Considering I loved the crap out of Sky in the Deep, this is most disappointing to have here. I found Sky so fresh and new, and loved the characters, and here I was just underwhelmed and did not care. I really do want to give this another shot someday though, so tell me what you thought of it!

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton ♦ So, this is a recent one, and to be fair, I only read like two chapters. And it wasn’t bad! It was just that I had so many other review books, and this one was not one I requested, and since I wasn’t in love, I set it aside. But it honestly sounds so cute and who can tell in a couple chapters, right? So someone tell me if I need to pick it back up!

How about you guys? Do you DNF a lot, or are you hesitant to quit? Do you have a maybe-quitting shelf like me? Let’s talk quitting! 

Posted May 12, 2020 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Top Ten Tuesday / 38 Comments

38 responses to “To All the Books I’ve Quit Before

  1. The Girl The Sea Gave Back *sigh* I just don’t know. I liked Sky in the deep too but this new one just isn’t jumping out at me. the fact that you seem kinda underwhelmed doesn’t help. Hmm…

    You’ve only DNF’d EIGHT? Wow that’s pretty good. And all that Dunkin Donuts talk has me kinda puzzled too. I mean I like food in books, but that would just make me hungry and then grouchy probably because I don’t have a DD by me anymore. Where did DD go?

    • Yeah I got to like maybe 15% before putting it aside? Maybe it gets better but I didn’t have the time to find out! And yes only 8 EVER in the history of my existence. It’s exhausting really. Look, I am WAY more obsessed with DD as the next person (as you now know haha) but wow it was over the top like I want to drink the coffee, not READ about the coffee! It was like, its own character!

  2. Great list! The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly is one I want to try and, while I do want to try Nevernight, I’m in no rush to get to it at the moment after Jay Kristoff criticised a woman of colour for rightly pointing out that there are an awful lot of white people in Charlie Bowater’s book cover illustrations.

  3. Danielle Hammelef

    I used to hate not finishing a book and “giving up” as it’s never been my nature. But Reverie is one of those books I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on. I only finished it because of 1) the hype–it’s got to get better I kept telling myself; and 2) I received an ARC from the publisher and felt obligated to finish. Some books I have given up on because of various reasons, mostly because they just weren’t right for me or right for me at that time.

    • YEP that is how I am too! Ugh I feel that way sometimes about review books too but then it’s like, do they REALLY want me to tell them how much I hated it? At least this way, I am only telling them a couple of bad things 😂 I am actually kind of relieved to know that I didn’t miss much with Reverie! But I felt the same as you did- everyone kept singing its praises but I just couldn’t get into it at all!

  4. I only read one of those, Kit Sweetly, and it was one I thought I would like more. Like you said, it wasn’t bad, but I guess I built it up more in my head.I am surprised by a few of those, but being bored is a very good reason for setting a book aside. And, now I can’t stop hearing Willie Nelson signing in my head.

  5. I am trying to figure out if I’ve read Roseblood or if I paused it or if I was just interested in it and forgot to pick it up. I really cannot remember. I’ve DNF’d around 17 to 18 books in my life. And I have a shelf on Goodreads called to be continued, which are technically DNF’s, too, just hoping to get back to them later and see if it gets better.

  6. i’ve been enjoying seeing what people have quit on. i have a very hard time quitting and even though i know i’ll never read all the books on my tbr i have a hard time deleting them when i own a copy

  7. I have Roseblood somewhere on my TBR but I haven’t planned to pick it up anytime soon because I haven’t read The Phantom of the Opera and I don’t have any interest in the musical. I’m more likely to put books down to try again later than DNF so I usually save DNF for the absolute worst.

  8. Oh bummer about Roseblood! I still need to read that one myself. I did like Howard’s writing so hoping to enjoy that one! Sad Witch Hunter was a dud for you. I enjoyed that one myself. It was a fun duology and I was psyched that I actually got to read them both as ARCs because eep! Lol.

    Oddly enough I also DNF’d Nevernight…might have been one of those that I barely counted as even “reading” because I quit after two chapters or so. It wasn’t holding my interest, but I’m sad that I missed out on bookish book quotes from it! Lol.

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  9. I really enjoyed the Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly. it was quite fun. I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up again. I have no interest in Roseblood. I read one book by this author and it took me 2 months to finish it. never again

  10. Aaaw so sad to see The Bone Charmer didn’t work for you! I really enjoyed the book but I do admit that the world-building was lacking! I did like the magic system though and I do hope the author gives us more info in the sequel.

  11. I have gotten way better at dnfing in recent years! I just don’t have time for bad books I tell myself. I also dnfed roseblood – was so sad to do it because it was one of my highly anticipated that year! I just remember being very bored.

  12. I DNF here and there, but for the most part, I like the book enough to want to finish. It can be tough to make that decision though! I really liked Nevernight – and need to read the other two – but it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. Granted, if it’s the footnotes that get you – you can get away with not reading them.


  13. I can’t DNF…it like plays on my mind and then i end up thinking WAY more about it then I would it if I just rage-read finished and ignored it. 😂 i’m terrible, I know I know. I did DNF Wicked though. Just so so bored. And I would’ve DNf’d a ton fo books recently, Tiger at Midnight so didn’t work for me and Between the Shadows was 😂😂yeah not for me. (I also was disappointed for Circle of Shadows? Which is weird because I also adored her first series.) I’ve got to read Reverie but I’m a bit nervous I’ll be confused!

  14. Glad I’m not the only one who has two types of DNF. A full, never going to try reading again and then the maybe it’ll work better next time I try and read it. I laughed when you said put down the Pitchforks about Nevernight, I fully DNFed that one, it just did not work for me. It felt long and tedious and I was in no way invested. I actually had a signed copy and sold it, someone actually told me I underpriced it as it was an original first edition and I was like I’m not upping the price to make more money when I just want the book off of my shelves.

  15. I have only officially DNFed 10 books! But that’s only because I don’t count it as a DNF if it’s within the first chapter or two. To me that’s me testing out a book, and deciding I don’t like it. I barely even started it, so I’m not going to say I DNFed it. The ones that are official DNFs are ones that I got a fair bit into, usually enough that I would consider placing it on my currently reading shelf on Goodreads. Most of the books I officially DNFed I was so bored that I literally had no idea what was happening about 50-150 pages in.

    But this month alone I had 2 non-DNFs because of triggering material. If I included all my non-DNFs I’d definitely have about 100-200 books on that list!

    And I just bought Kit Sweetly, and I’m hoping to read it next month! If you want to buddy read it with me, let me know! (I won’t mind if you DNF it mid-read.)

  16. Beth W

    Now I’m nervous….3 of those DNFs are on my TBR (and I own them). 😀
    Sometimes its the book, sometimes it’s the mood, but you definitely shouldn’t push yourself to finish a book because then that adds to your dislike of it. Still, even saying that, I’m impressed at how small your DNF list is!

  17. Ahh I can’t recall the last time I DNF-ed a book? I’m just…. I don’t know, committed or just really bothering with myself and want to finish the books for some reason haha. Also I’ve been lucky to pick up books I mostly really enjoyed lately so that’s good 🙂 I’m so sorry you had to DNF Reverie! It sounded like it had so much potential, but I get it, when I just don’t understand a thing, I have to give up hahahah 🙂

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