23 Aug 2016

DNF Round Up!

I have been very open and vocal about DNF-ing books, but I don't typically post my DNF reviews on my blog. I find I don't have a need to fill my blog with them since I read so much. But I thought I would showcase my last(ish) 10 DNF reviews for you so you can see what I've been reading and not finishing and to get a bit further understanding of why I DNF books. There are a variety of reasons below but most of my reasons include that I was bored while reading these.

The Mountain of Kept Memory

Author: Rachel Neumeier
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Saga Press
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 23%

This SCREAMS everything that I would love from the description but oh man is that first bit hard to get through. Not only did the story slowly trudge along after an initial burst but the writing was just not good. Paragraphs would be dedicated to saying the same thing over and over in slightly different ways. It was like when you know you need more words for your essay but have nothing else to say. I think maybe the writing was trying to be somewhat Purple Prose-y but it failed completely. I had such a hard time getting to this percentage to be honest so I just am not going to move forward.

The Assassin’s Blade

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Where I Stopped Reading: 12%

This is also the death of me reading the Throne of Glass series. I read both Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight and while I didn't hate them, I definitely wasn't super intrigued by them to continue on with Heir of Fire. I feel like Throne of Glass was pretty cliche and there wasn't much that actually happened. And in Crown of Midnight I thought it got better but it just didn't quite pique my interest. So I put off Heir of Fire.

But I see more and more people starting this series/continuing this series and LOVING it and I keep thinking "what am I missing" so I thought the novellas in here would ease me back into the world. They are only 10 chapters ish each so it really shouldn't have taken me too long.

However, I didn't even make it through the first novella. I almost didn't make it past the first page. I really cannot stand Celaena, who thinks she is the specialist of special snowflakes, and the whole situation is just absurd. I *do* like that she is (supposedly) a badass who also likes to dress up, but she isn't really a badass. She just fakes it tbh. We hear so much about how badass she is, yet we never actually see her do anything. So ???

Anyway that's just my griping. Feel free to love this but I do not.


Spells and Sorcery

Author: S. Usher Evans
Series: Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 22%

I know I typically go to 25% before DNF-ing a book, but even getting to 22% was a bit of a stretch for me. I started having issues at 7% of this one because of characterizations and the way that the magic was being handled. Mostly because I really disliked all the characters tbh.

It seems as though all of the characters are acting the way they do to fill a stereotypical role that we see in Fantasy: Marie is the bitchy older sister, Jeanie is the distant guardian who is strict but informative, Nicole is the fun one that let's them get away with more (Edit: Um Nicole is her sister? Glad that was made super clear to me while reading), Gavon is the mentor who will help Lexie with her magic, and Lexie is just an idiot. While stereotypes are fine -- and I actually enjoy these types of stereotypes and tropes in Fantasy -- I thought that the characters were on course to stay rooted in their roles without much growth, except Lexie who would become less naive (maybe), and I didn't care about any of them.

At the same time, the magic system is awkward. I thought from the initial description of magic that Lexie receives from her elder sister and aunt that the magic powers would be "awoken" at 15, meaning she didn't have any prior to being 15. But just now (~23%), it seems like the "magical" (*sighs* don't even get me started on the fact that people with magic are called "magicals") have magic from birth, they just can't access it until they are 15. Which is a better way of doing it but I was confused why there were two different descriptions of the same thing.

Also the fact that Lexie doesn't feel the need to tell her adult guardians about the fact that a strange male found her, gave her a gift, and then magically disappeared is ALARMING to me. I don't care if he explains everything to her (which is what was happening when I started skimming) because it is weird and creepy. And she brushes it off by saying "well maybe this is what always happens" but like ask that? Don't just assume? Especially since she is (currently) complaining about how no one tells her anything, yet she doesn't ask a question to learn more information. She is just stupid and makes stupid decisions and I don't want to read about them anymore.

I have no interest in finishing this one. I don't care how many Harry Potter references a book makes, if it isn't my cup of tea, I'm not going to finish it.



Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 12%

I know I try to go farther than this with novels but nothing was lining up for this one and I am literally dreading going back to even close it out in my window so that's a sign from my head that this is not working for me. And that makes me sad. Because so many people like it, including people whose opinions I really trust and admire. But here's a little more about why I wasn't loving this:

I liked Mia. Mia is effing ruthless and I loved it. SO MUCH. But I did NOT like how it was written. It was confusing and awkward and it was as though it was written this way just to be something ~different~ and I did not like that. I had a really hard time understanding what was happening in the first opening sequences and even now with the flashbacks/alternate perspective on things I'm just not feeling it. Pair this with the footnotes and I realized that this was not going to work out for me. So while, sure the story seems great! the writing and the formatting just aren't my cup of tea and I am not enjoying it for that reason. Also there is so much effing dialogue that I just cannot handle it.

I hope you read this and enjoy it, I really do. But I am not reading this and I did not enjoy what I did read. So that's it for me.



Author: Kristen Simmons
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 61%

I made it 61% through this one but I am bored to tears right now and don't think I have the energy to muster a cause to push through to the end. I don't even want to skim tbh. This one has such an interesting premise and is something that should be more interesting, but it is dry and dull and I give zero cares about the characters and their lives. There was one burst of life at about 40% that made it seem like this one was going to pick up speed and be more interesting, but then it died down and so did my hopes and dreams of being enthralled with this one. I feel like if it had been more of a historical fiction novel about the actual times this happened, I would have been more interested but as it stands I am basically half asleep reading this one.

Fate of Flames

Author: Sarah Raughley
Series: Effigies #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 35%

I made it farther than my typical 25% before DNF-ing only because I am reviewing it on Books Are My Fandom for one of our BAMF Reviews, but I just couldn't read anymore. Thinking about going back to it is making me want to cry. I was bored and I feel like with a book that has destructo-beasts and girls with superpowers, I should be ENTHRALLED not wondering how Jurassic Park was still made in 1991 when the world had been taken over by beasts in 1865. The world-building was not the greatest in this and I felt like a lot of what happened was Very Convenient™ rather than helping to bring the novel along.

If you want to read a really similar book (at least from the first bit), I would recommend checking out Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. At least I could get through that one. (That makes it sound bad, I really enjoyed Steelheart).



Author: Freedom Matthews
Series: Curses of VIII #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 22%

It is with a heavy heart I am DNF-ing this book. I enjoyed the novella, Into the Forest, well enough and signed up to review Inherited because of it. However, this book is not working for me. The pacing is awkward and it seems as though there are two stories in here that are trying to merge but can't do so seamlessly. The cursed storyline seems like the one that should be followed because, well, it seems more relevant to the summary and the lives of the characters. But instead we are following more of the day-to-day lives of the crew as "pirates." Which is fine, I like pirates, but it feels awkward when there is so much more at stake than just being pirates.

As well, the story starts off really quickly and seems like there will be a lot of action and progress in finding a solution for the curse. But after chapter one it is as though the curse piece is forgotten. And the relationships move so quickly. Lennie is the "tough girl" but then two seconds after meeting Nathaniel, she is crying in front of him and kissing him? It seemed like a complete 180 in minimal time. I feel like that is something that should have taken at least 150-200 pages to do. But what do I know.

Also I had a hard time connecting to Lennie. It seemed like she was trying to be one thing but was another. And this would have been fine if the switch in her personality wasn't sudden and on every other page. It seemed like sometimes she was the tough girl and sometimes she ... wasn't but without warning. I couldn't find a happy-medium there to really hold onto that made me want to read more about her and her story.

The last straw for me was the convenience of the other two heirs being found and being on the "opposite" side but having a "soft spot" for them. It just didn't really fit in with how things had been progressing and I feel like a lot of this book has been convenience rather than natural progression of plot. It was as though there were things that had to happen but instead of getting there in a way that made sense to the plot, we were forced there instead.

Overall this one just wasn't for me. I wanted more focus on the curse breaking and the romance to be more of a build up since it is so taboo (SHOCKINGLY, I wanted more romance. Weird, eh?). But instead I was given a book about quasi-pirates who conveniently were able to find things they were looking for. 


And I Darken

Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 11%

I had such high hopes for this one! BAMF MC, Ottoman Empire, and just general awesome-ness. But I was SO BORED. I started reading this one at the beginning of April as part of ARC April and put it down after the first chapter and then would read bits and pieces in spurts but it's been a month and a half and it's not catching my interest so I'm just done. This one was so slow paced and nothing super exciting was happening so I just am putting it down for good. I really really really wish I had loved it but sadly I am too bored to even remember who was who and what the plot was. 

The Crown’s Game

Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown’s Game #1
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 37%

I tried. I really, really tried. At page 43 I wasn't feeling it, but I had heard such glowing reviews that I continued on. But I just can't. The straw that broke this camel's back was that there was a story within the story and I just couldn't deal with that. Mostly my issue with this one is that there was Too Much™.

I thought the premise of this one was FANTASTIC. A DUEL to become an enchanter and advisor to the Tsar! How fantastic! So there was going to be intrigue and magic and awesomeness! Except ... there wasn't. It started off so blah and I just found myself putting this one down over and over again and feeling no inclination to pick it back up. I thought there could have been a bit more world building to reel me in but I think the main problem was that I couldn't connect to the characters.

I did anticipate that this would be told in alternating POVs between Nikolai and Vika, and MAYBE even Pasha since he is mentioned in the summary pretty heavily. What I was not anticipating was getting every living person in St. Petersburg giving me their opinion on the characters, the setting, the Game, etc. etc. etc. I, and every character in here, knows SO MUCH about the plot that it makes it not fun to read. I don't understand why they all know so much, especially that Nikolai knows so much about the actual game (except the important bits).

And on top of there being a billion people who have opinions on things, the chapters are all basically three pages which means we never really get to connect with any of the characters before we move onto the next. There are just too many characters and opinions. I feel like a dual or even a triple POV book for this would have been more than sufficient because all these characters felt so two-dimensional because the changing POVs didn't give them time to have a personality beyond the basic traits that made them Individuals™.

Overall, this just did not work for me. And I'm sad about it. It was sold to me as The Grisha-esque and that just wasn't here. Except that there is a character named Nikolai. That's about it. Anyway, this wasn't for me so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


The Replacement Crush

Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Publication DateSeptember 6, 2016
Where I Stopped Reading: 85%
First of all, this book is too long. It is 400 pages when it needs to be maybe 200 to cover everything that needs to happen in it. We get way too much telling and info-dumping at the beginning that made it really tough to get into this one. On top of that I thought the premise in the summary sounded better than when it was actually done on paper. But that's not why I DNFed. Because until 85%, I was actually okay with the story. There was a slow burn romance and a lot of cute moments between our MC and her love interest. It was maybe a 2-3 star read depending on how they got together at the end.

But then.

But THEN. THERE IS AN ATTEMPTED RAPE SCENE IN WHICH THE LOVE INTEREST "SAVES" THE MAIN CHARACTER. Look. I am not a fan of rape for shock value, which is  what this was. And I am definitely not a fan of violence of any kind just so the main character can be "saved," which again is what this was. There was absolutely no need for this scene in this book. Now I'm going to "spoil" scenes in this book that "lead up to this" but I want you to understand why this is not okay.

The attacker, Jake, is a bad dude. We are told this repeatedly throughout the novel. Not only does he start off by "dumping" our main character after sneaking out to make out on the beach (and pressuring her into sex, which she says no to repeatedly), he then tells people they had sex and uses that as leverage to get sex from another girl. He writes "slut" on both of these girls lockers when they deny him and confront him. He then also threatens our main character when she calls him out again. His nickname is "Jake the Snake." 

The attempted rape is literally overkill. Honestly, everything past him dumping the main character was overkill. But there was absolutely no need to have him almost rape the main character. What did that add to the story? Nothing. We knew he was a shitty person, we knew he had no respect for these girls, we knew that the main character was never going to forgive him and there was no way we the reader would ever forgive him. So what was the point? To shock the reader? To have the love interest save the main character? None of these reasons are good enough to have an attempted rape scene in this novel. It didn't fit the story and it added unnecessary drama and triggers for people who were anticipating a slow burn romance novel.

I couldn't continue from here. It doesn't matter why the characters got together at the end -- or even if they did -- because it is forever tainted by the fact that he had to "save" her from being attacked. And I am forever angry that this was included.

What is the last book you DNFed?


  1. I don't usually click on these DNF posts, but I'm so glad I did this time! I've really wanted to get a good sense of Nevernight, And I Darken, and The Crown's Game before I decided whether they were worth buying or not. Now I'm certain I've done the right thing by just waiting to find find them at the library, as many of your points on them are valid to me.

    Regarding The Assassin's Blade, I've not tried it but I'm certain I would've done the same thing as you. I hate Celaena's assassin backstory. Personally, I think this series could have started at Heir of Fire. It was brilliant. I loved it so much, but that might have been because I had the lowest of expectations after reading Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight (those two are indeed...crap). So do give Heir of Fire a chance!

    Great post! I rarely DNF, but I loved this format and found it very useful, so thank you! ^_^

  2. Awww, sad you didn’t enjoy these books. Pity too, since so many of them seemed really amazing! Thanks so much for sharing and hope you move onto better books!! Happy reading :D

  3. I think I am reading one now - Belgrave Legacy. I wanted to like this one but the characters are in college but seem to act like preteens at different time and college at other times. It is a weird mix. Plus God and Lucifer's voices are just so off to me.

  4. This post is super helpful in my decisions on what books to bump up or down on my TBR, so thank you for this! I completely agree regarding And I Darken; I ended up finishing it, but I honestly could have DNF-ed it at any point and probably wouldn't have thought about it again. It just never seemed like there was any plot and I couldn't quite understand what the point was of what I was reading

    I'm sad to see you didn't enjoy Nevernight, though! I loved it, but I can completely understand your reasoning for not enjoying it. The formatting and writing definitely did seem like it was trying to be a bit 'different,'
    Really great post!


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