I present three books that EVERYBODY AND THEIR DOG loved that I could not bring myself to finish. I know that I’m not alone, but I am in the minority (on these particular titles). Yes, I am a book quitter (sometimes).
I used to never DNF books. Like ever. I think the very fist book I ever DNFed (back before I even knew what ‘DNF’ meant) was The Host. According to my memory (and my notes on goodreads) I gave up when I got to the part Wanderer started going by Wanda. After the whole train wreck that was the end of the Twilight series (and the awful Renesumeueadsljfasd baby name) I was really upset with S. Meyer and just felt my skin crawl when she changed an AWESOME name to a rather plain name (sorry to any Wanda’s that might be reading this) FOR AN ALIEN IN A SCI-FI NOVEL. Come on. I was also just really bored with the book for the longest time and in a moment of defiance I quit the book.
I think the next time I actively quit a book (or DNFed it) WITHOUT realizing it (I know that I’ve started a bunch of books and then just lost interest and forgot about them… they’re probably all laying around my parents house back in the USA) was when I gave up on trying to read Game of Thrones for the millionth time. I wrote a whole blog post about that, so you can read if you like.
After I got into book blogging and ARC reviewing I felt a lot of pressure to FINISH allllllll the books. I was even told that it’s “not okay” (or very wrong) to DNF ARCs. Well… in my opinion, it’s not. I know that the publisher allowed me to read the book in advanced FOR FREE, buuuuuuut I’m doing that in exchange for an HONEST review. And if I force myself to read a book, a book that I really DON’T want to be reading, am I being honest? No. I feel that it is totally acceptable to take a good stab at a book before honestly quitting it. I’ve DNFed a handful of ARCs (you can see them on my DNF shelf on goodreads) but when I submitted feedback to the publisher I was TOTALLY UPFRONT about it. I didn’t submit a review, I didn’t rate it anywhere. I simply shelved it and wrote an note thanking them and apologizing and giving the reason WHY I quit. This way I’m not contributing to negative feedback while still being honest and letting others know how I felt about it. I feel that this is totally acceptable.
So WHAT makes me stop reading a book? A lot of things. Poor writing, boring characters, confusing plot that seems to be going NOWHERE. Cliches. Subjects that I really cannot stomach. Sometimes I read a YA that is more middle grade than I feel it should be and I can’t connect with it. Other times the characters do really stupid things right away that are just totally unbelievable. If I’m not hooked by 25% I just cannot MAKE myself finish a book. I have way too many other things that I WANT to read.