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Mini-Reviews,  Reviews

The DNF Game | Should You Or Shouldn’t You? & My Recent DNF Mini-Reviews

The DNF Game | Should You Or Shouldn’t You? & My Recent DNF Mini-Reviews

DNF – the acronym that means Did Not Finish.

It’s such a powerful acronym to use in this book community and continues to baffle intellectuals on whether you should actually do it or not…

Can you imagine, reading these cool things called books and currently hating it…what can you do? what should I do?

What’s your next move?

It’s almost become a deadly game. Will it offend someone? The author? – YOU?

Will you maybe actually start liking during the last 10 pages and it’ll totally change your mind on the previous 150,000 words you wasted saying to yourself that you hated this thick piece of bundled (sometimes digital or audible) paper???

Ahem, excuse me – but why, WHY, why should you waste your time reading a book you’re not liking?!

I admit that I used to not do this ever. I just forced myself to keep reading. Currently, I do still try to keep reading a book if I’m not necessarily loving it just because I want to give a book a full go for the author’s sake. Authors spend hours upon hours creating these wonderful things so it seems fair for me to try my best and consume it wholly not just partly.

However, if it’s really not doing well – why keep reading if it’s not fun? (unless it’s a trashy fun kind of book).

Recently, I’ve been DNFing more than I’ve ever before. It came to a point where I couldn’t even skim-read the books because I was hating it that much and I’ve already been in such a slump lately. It was a better use of my time to try out another book I may actually love and binge (which I did – 2 in fact – hurrah!).

I realised then that, unfortunately, I couldn’t review these books though. It wouldn’t be a true and proper review if I haven’t finished the novel or even knew what happens at the end. So instead, I’m just gonna have a smol chat about why I stopped reading these books and therefore why I didn’t like them.


DNF Numero Uno – Losing the Plot by Elizabeth Coleman

43301078. SY475  - The DNF Game | Should You Or Shouldn't You? & My Recent DNF Mini-ReviewsI was so optimistic about this novel. It sounded cute and like the perfect adult fluffy romance to get me out of my slump. Something similar to The Kiss Quotient and the like. Only to start reading it and completely hate it from the first 20 pages. I’m not sure whether it’s me or maybe it was just badly written for my taste, but I couldn’t stand that this book was so goddamn Australian. Mind you, I live in Australia and the way this book’s dialogue, setting and more were just trying so hard to be super Australian. It was making me cringe so bad. I knew this book would be kind of predictable but this one was just WAY too predictable to the point that it was like a soap opera tv show. After 100 pages of cringe, disgustingly bad love triangle setups, soap stereotypes and Australian slang many of us rarely use in everyday life – I called it quits. This was sent to be me by a publisher and I am sad to say I didn’t enjoy it at all, but if you’re into Australian Adult Romance and this book doesn’t make you lose the plot from chapter one then go right ahead.


DNF Number 2 – Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

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I think most readers who are in touch with the online book community would’ve heard about this book. It is pretty cool and a massive congratulations to the popular booktuber Christine (polandbananasbooks) for publishing her debut novel. As someone who knows other authors, I feel proud even though I don’t personally know her. The hype for her book was therefore pretty big as her booktuber friends and such promoted its launch. I, on the other hand, was a little sceptical but also just plain poor and decided to borrow it from my local library to give it a go. Heads up for Australians, this baby is a big hardback for a contemporary YA novel, it was the same size as my Throne of Glass hardbacks! I started the book enthusiastic because who doesn’t love a cute, college romance contemporary to start off your day. From the first few pages though, it became apparent how much the protagonist was basically Christine recreating an amazing overseas experience but with a British college and a boy love interest. I stopped reading this, not because it was bad, but because it felt like it was trying too hard and going for too much. Set in 2011, the difference in what was the character’s supposed knowledge of technologies was strange, the dialogue felt very odd and there were just way too many exclamation marks. The tone of the dialogue felt like forced excitement and a lot of it felt like it was telling me what was going on instead of showing me. The worst thing about it was how much potential this novel had to be less cringeworthy and way more lovable. Again, congrats to Christine though and I’m glad so many people are loving this one.


DNF Number 3 – Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

43611226 - The DNF Game | Should You Or Shouldn't You? & My Recent DNF Mini-ReviewsThis is a book that is yet to come out. I received the eARC of this novel thanks to Netgalley and it is the debut of an Asian-Canadian author (who is super nice and we shared our love of cake on twitter so absolutely no hate to this lovely human being). Can I just how disappointed I was, just so disappointed because I LOVE the concept of this book. Who doesn’t freaking just love elemental magic and royalty and being a super bad-arse, arse-kicking warrior princess who can do elemental stuff like — it sounds perfect to me. Unfortunately, it was the execution that makes me drop this book from the depth of my kindle library. The plot and character introduction were rushed, everything just felt rushed and wasn’t developed out properly. One second a character is your enemy then suddenly they’re your friend and then your love interest and now you get chapters with their point of view – there was no consistency or character development. The plot itself felt like it came out of nowhere, in not a great way either. I just wish I’d gotten so much more, granted that I did only read the first 20% of it, I could see these anomalies from the start but kept trying to get into it. I don’t know how much ARCs get changed before publishing in this instance but from my editing university knowledge, it’s likely not to be much. I honestly think that this book could be absolutely astounding if it got some really good structural editing to really bring out the best in the characters, to give them life, flavour and development and have them on amazing quests to save their world. The author of this book is also hella young at only 19 years old so I look forward to reading her future work cause if that doesn’t scream potential, IDK what does.


And that is my shortlist of recent DNFs. Again, I don’t do this often but I also don’t feel guilty about it if I do now. DNFing is okay and I hope you think so too.


What did you think of these books if you’ve read them, heard of them or just what did you think of my reasons for DNFing them? Let me know in the comments.


Until next time,

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  • thecuriousowlbookreviews

    I’ve been finding that I tend to DNF books more often as well. The only exceptions are books for readathon a where one of the rules is that you CAN’T DNF. Mostly I’m finding my DNFs are for my ARCs that I get from NetGalley.

    • Tracy

      It’s almost kind of sad that most of my DNFs aren’t books I actually buy cause I’m interested as well. Maybe because they’re unsolicited, there’s also more a rush to see how it goes? Not sure but hope you have a great reading week 🙂

  • Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea

    Actually, I haven’t dnfed a book in a long time. Maybe the last time was last year. I think it’s the product of book blogging, because book blogging has made my reading game a lot stronger. it’s also because I think I’m pretty good at reading books that’ll probably be 3 stars or more. If I’m not enjoying a book, I unconsciously start another book or two, finish those books, and then go back to the book I wasn’t enjoying. Yes, I could just dnf it, but that thought just never crosses my mind, and I like to finish every book I read so that I can review it. I’m also really competitive about my Goodreads reading challenge, so I want to mark every book I start as read. I think the last book I dnfed was Illuminae. Unpopular opinion, I know, but I just couldn’t get through it for some reason!

    I’m sorry that Again, But Better and these books didn’t work for you! I haven’t heard of the other two, but I used to be so excited for Christine’s new book. I have followed her writing journey since her first writing video, and she seemed like she had put her heart and soul into writing her debut. Due to everyone’s criticisms though, I know it won’t work for me.

    • Tracy

      That was literally me! Never DNFed books a whole lot and even now I try not to but these 3, when they’re on the 1-2 star tier, it’s too hard when I’m low on time to read already. I still mark my books read on GR if I DNF because as far as I’m concerned I did read some of them and I can review why I DNFed them like I just did in this post. I don’t think you need to read the whole book to review your experience if you didn’t enjoy what you read. And yeah it is pretty sad about Christine’s book but it puts into perspective that every author puts their heart and soul into their novel, just because we see her progress doesn’t mean it’s any less different to any other author. Not all books are for everyone. Thanks for commenting!

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