This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) Too Quickly. For a long time (aka most of my reading life), I would never give up on a book. Even if I hated it or was bored to tears, I would keep reading until I reached the end. But more recently, I’ve decided life is short and there are a ton of books (aka too many) on my TBR list. So last year, I started giving up on books. At first, I would give myself 50-100 pages before giving up, but more recently, I’ll only read a chapter or two, maybe check Goodreads for reviews, and decide if a book is worth my time or not. Still, there are probably some books I could have tolerated until the end but gave up too soon. Here are ten.
Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood: This is one I recently marked as DNF. I’ll admit part of it was because when it came in at the library it made me think of a self-published book and I was a little hesitant to read it. (Hey look, I did judge a book by it’s cover and design and size and weight and… you get it.) The book was about an airplane wingwalker and I read about two chapters before I became annoyed with the main character and the cliche descriptions. Did I give up too soon?
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo: When I put this book on hold from the library, it sounded absolutely amazing! A dark retelling of The Little Mermaid? Sirens that steal the hearts of princes? Whoa, baby! Instead, I read 153 pages and nothing was happening. Paired with my prediction that it would be cliche and boring (and the romance would overwhelm everything else), I decided to give this one up. Also, the inside cover synopsis did not match the story at all, and I was confused. (But dang, it made for great bookstagram pictures.)
American Panda by Gloria Chao: After adoring the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han, I was looking forward to another cute YA contemporary about an Asian-American protagonist. Instead, this book felt cliche and stereotypical and not cute at all. From the 99 pages I read, the love interest felt forced, the main character and her family were obnoxious, and the plot was non-existent. I gave it up because I didn’t want to be disappointed.
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: I was told this book was “Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider set in space” and while I love the concept, the first 92 pages were so boring. The narrators switched back and forth, but I couldn’t tell them apart, despite that one was a girl and one was a boy. Plus, there was so much telling and so many random backstory tangents that I was cringing was a I read. Still, the story… so cool.
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Multiple Authors: Every once and a while, I’m in the mood for a collection of short stories. Unfortunately, I didn’t get far into this one because the stories didn’t interest me like previous ones had. I might pick it up again in the future when I’m in the mood, though.
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: I read most of Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, and while there were parts that I hated, the story line was intriguing and delightful. Thus, I was excited for her new series Defy the Stars, especially with how gorgeous that cover is. Unfortunately, I didn’t get far before giving it up. I was bored and couldn’t connect to the characters. I might try reading it again in the future, but for now, I’m letting it go.
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: Okay, okay, I’m not sure why I even bothered to read this one after loathing the Divergent trilogy. But it’s a science-fiction book, not dystopian, and I thought maybe, just maybe, she found a better genre to write. I was wrong. So wrong. After reading 116, picking out way too many Star Wars rip-offs, and talking to a fellow reader who got farther than me, I gave it up. But dang, that cover. Dang that synopsis. Dang it, Roth! I might have to listen to the audiobook someday like I did with Divergent. That was at least tolerable.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: Honestly, I read probably about 95% of this book for an English class in high school. I should have just finished the dang book and been done with it, but nope, I never read the last couple chapters. At this point, is it even worth it?
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: I bet if I tried to read this now, I would get more out of it. But when I received this book for review, it was just not my cup of tea. For one, it was non-fiction/self-help/whatever, and second, the first half (or chapters?) were about the authors experience at some weirdo convention to make an Introvert into an Extrovert (???). I just couldn’t sift through the important parts during all her random stories. But I’ve heard good things about this book.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman: I don’t remember how old I was when I picked this up to read. I think it was recommended to me because it’s children’s fantasy. But something about it put me off and I sent it back to the library in a hurry. Now, I think if I read it I would probably either enjoy it more or at least appreciate it.