Q3 DNFs Wrap Up

This is just a list of some of the books I tried in Q3 that I ended up DNF’ing. If you don’t know, DNF stands for “did not finish.” There’s a variety of reasons I’ll DNF a book and I’ll get into some of them when I talk about why I DNF’ed these books in particular.

Side note: I was planning on making this a yearly thing, but I’ve DNF’ed a lot of books this year so I thought doing it quarterly might make more sense.

Without further ado, here are the books I DNF’ed in Q3 2019, in order of when I picked them up.

A Little Life

#1 A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

[Goodreads Link]

Yup, this is it: the book that caused a month-long reading slump. I really wanted to be someone who liked this book, but it was just… not pulling me in at all. I only ever read like 80-ish pages of it and then every time I thought to myself “I should read” after that, I had exactly 0 desire to pick this book up. I think I would have liked this more if I had read it around the same time as when I read Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which I rated 5 stars at the time I read it, but which I’m hesitant to revisit as I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much now. Something about “literary” fiction just hasn’t been working for me lately, and I’m not going to force myself. I do hope to eventually get back to this one though!

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)

#2 Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

[Goodreads Link]

Some books, I leave the rating blank when I DNF them. Other times, I’ll give them one or two stars. It entirely depends on my reason for DNF’ing the book. I didn’t, for example, give a rating to A Little Life. I did, however, give a rating to Wicked Saints, because it was genuinely bad, and I wanted my thoughts about that to be reflected. I went into detail about why I DNF’ed this book here. If you just want the TL;DR version it’s that the writing was atrocious, nothing was explained, and in the 100+ pages that I managed to read, the author gave me no reason to care about the plot or the characters. Let’s just say I’m glad I got this book from the library because it would have been a waste of money.

Binti (Binti, #1)

#3 Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

[Goodreads Link]

I honestly just wasn’t connecting with this one. Conceptually, I liked the plot and the world and the characters, but I wasn’t feeling much about any of it. I also felt like things were moving too fast and not explained well enough. This book only has 90 or so pages but I just had a hard time getting past the fact that the MC sees a whole ship of people who have become her friends get murdered and then she’s all buddy-buddy with said murderers without question because they didn’t kill her and they actually like her for some reason. I don’t know. I felt like it didn’t make any sense, so I just stopped listening to the audiobook after that. I think, maybe, it was trying to do everything that a full novel would do, but in novella length.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

#4 Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

[Goodreads Link]

Technically I DNF’ed this at the beginning of this month, so it’s not a Q3 DNF, but… semantics. Who cares? Not me. This one is another one that I went into depth about my reasons for DNF’ing over on my Goodreads. If you want the whole list of grievances, you can read about it here. Unfortunately this book was just boring. How can horror be boring? Out of all the genres that shouldn’t be boring, I’d say horror is probably at the top of the list. I’m in the minority about this one, for sure, but it’s convinced me to just not bother with YA horror from now on. The Diviners series is scarier than this book, and I wouldn’t even call that series ‘horror.’ I’m going to stick to adult horror for the foreseeable future, and we can all thank this book for that.

Let me know if there’s any books you’ve DNF’ed recently.

4 thoughts on “Q3 DNFs Wrap Up

  1. I DNF’d Wicked Saints earlier this year for reasons similar to yours, in addition to the fact that it felt kind of like a bad ripoff of the Grishaverse. Some people whose taste I books I tend to agree with really loved it though, so maybe I will have to give it another shot…

    Great list, though!


    1. Haha, yeah I kept seeing that it was clearly just Grishaverse fanfic in other reviews I read after. I’m probably the last person in the world who hasn’t read any of the Grisha books, but they are on my list for the near future… and hopefully they’ll help me get over the disappointment that was Wicked Saints.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure you’ve heard this spiel a billion time, but if you’re going to read them, be warned:
        – Shadow and Bone trilogy is pretty mediocre, but the Six of Crows duology is one of my all-time faves and King of Scars is great as well
        – If I had read the Shadow and Bone books first, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with the Six of Crows duology
        – Shadow and Bone is redeemed by its side characters, who fortunately take center stage in King of Scsrs (alongside one of the main characters from Six of Crows)
        – That said, Shadow and Bone does the most thorough job of explaining the world and setting up the magic system. Six of Crows does enough that you can figure it out (I read them first and was fine) but Shadow and Bone might make for a smoother entry
        – If you have read Shadow and Bone, there are some little Easter eggs in Six of Crows for it (cameos by the aforementioned great side characters, etc.) but it won’t hurt your experience to not know those things
        – To move on to King of Scars, you do have to read both the Shadow and Bone trilogy AND the Six of Crows duology. It kind of fuses the next part of both of their storylines.

        …I think that’s all for major points on the series. Basically, don’t let your opinion on Shadow and Bone dissuade you from trying Six of Crows. Or you can start with Six of Crows, just realize the start might feel slow and confusing because there’s groundwork to lay, but not a gentle intro to the world. Hope you enjoy, when you do get around to them 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for those in-depth tips!

        TBH I’m only planning on reading the Shadow and Bone trilogy to get to the SoC duology, I think I’ll appreciate that story more with all the background info going in. And I’ll probably decide on whether to read King of Scars after reading the others.

        It is a series I’m excited to get into, I tried to read Shadow and Bone back in 2015 or 2016 and can’t remember why I stopped but I only got a chapter or so in if i remember correctly (probably school because I barely had time to read anything during undergrad lol.) I really do want to go back to it and read it through, if only to get to the SoC duology. And it’s always nice to have that plan affirmed by people familiar with the Grishaverse!

        Liked by 1 person

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