My post title probably has no correlation nor does it really sound fitting for the actual topic that I am going to discuss about; however, I just liked the sound of it so I used it. Please excuse my randomness. Today’s post I’m actually going to talk about the books that I was unable to finish because of “reasons”–simply put DNF.
I personally don’t like leaving a book unfinished because I have already invested time in reading it and I have this desire to like every book I pick up, but to my regret it happens. I like to use the excuse that “if you don’t find yourself entertained nor eager to read the next page, there is really no point…you’re just torturing yourself…Time to move on…” There are just books that failed to entertain me and eventually had to give up on because honestly when you think about it, there are other books that will probably be worth more of your time. However, before I share what books I did not finish I will provide reasons as to what may cause me to give up on a book.
I know everyone has different preferences when it comes to writing style so what you may like, I may not or vice versa. Therefore, it can be difficult to distinguish what great writing and bad writing is. For me, bad writing is the author’s inability to tell a good story. I’ve noticed in some books that I read authors just tell and not show. Another would be bad characterization, bland dialogues, and whatever cliches that an author throws at you…..
Feeling Disconnected with the Characters
I absolutely detest it when I can’t connect or empathize with the characters I am reading about. I need to establish an emotional connection with a character especially with the main hero/heroine. They don’t have to possess the most likeable character traits, but if you are compelling then it’s good enough for me to be invested in the story and follow you through your journey. It makes it impossible to be invested in the story if you can’t even feel an ounce of empathy towards the main character.
Definitely the most obvious. If I’m one hundred page in–I’m being nice here (the funny thing is some books are probably around 200 pages) and you fail to keep me enticed then there is something wrong. When the plot is getting nowhere (or even a nonexistent one) and it takes you forever to establish the conflict or whatever the point of the story is, then it’s au revoir for me. A book is a form entertainment so, please dear author entertain me!
You Lost Me Somewhere in the Middle
Generally there is that one book that somewhat starts out really bad but as you continue to read it gets better. However there are also those rare occasions (from personal experience) when you read a book that starts out great, but as you continue to read it, everything just went bad. As a result you start to contemplate whether or not to continue or just give up. It may not have happened to you, but it did to me.
So these are my “reasons” for a DNF. Without further ado here are some of the books that I unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to flip through the last page with the exception of maybe one.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Just because a book is a classic it does not mean it’s going to be great. There I said it. I think I even deserve a pat on the back for even attempting to read this book four times. Your eyes are not deceiving you…Indeed, I have tried reading this book four times, but to no avail. I don’t know if I was torturing myself, but I really wanted to like this book because everyone seemed to have loved it and I wanted to share similar feelings to a classic book. Unfortunately, I am one of the ones who did not. I was not fan of the writing nor the story. I believe that the book was suppose to be funny as well, but clearly I was not amused.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
That’s right another classic. As great of a writer William Faulkner may be (according to “people”) I could not stand his writing style. This book had somewhat of an interesting premise, but when you have more questions than answers and the book is really not making any sense to you in terms of the plot, then it’s just time to let go. Oh it’s also best to just give up when you feel like the author is mocking you (When A Book Makes You Feel Dumb)
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
This is probably one of those books that I would have definitely enjoyed as a thirteen year old because of the whole teenage romance thing; and I am must shamefully admit this but I’m a sucker for the whole pretend boyfriend-girlfriend thing which we all know will eventually turns into something real. As cute as the blurb for this book sounded I couldn’t even get past chapter one because I already hated the main character. I am aware that at some point in this book, she’ll go through some character development or whatever the author comes up with for us to sympathize with her, but I absolutely could not stand her. The moment she opened her mouth and spoke, I wanted to slap her. In the span of one chapter we meet a shallow, self-absorbed, and ungrateful main character.
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
As interesting as the premise sounded to me–our main character Violet can sense the location of murder victims, the story fell flat. I think that Ms. Derting had great ideas but the execution went downhill. It started out great, but as I kept reading, I ended up getting bored. I will admit this was a case of telling and not showing type of book as well. And as much as I adore the best friends to lovers (my favorite kind of romance), hoping it would be this book’s saving grace, I ended up being indifferent towards it. Just like how I describe Cassia and Ky’s romance from Matched-–-uninspiring.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
A true crime novel…Sounds great, right? God this book was so slow paced and so boring. I read past thirty pages before I called it quits.
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
One of the books that I am disappointed/shameful to say I even bothered trying to read. There is absolutely nothing to like about the two main characters: one for being self-absorbed and selfish while the other for being so spineless and whiny–she’s so spineless, that the action of her sleeping with her friend’s fiancé was not even a credible one. I actually hated her more than the self-absorbed one. This book I actually was really close to finishing (don’t know how I was able to handle it and made myself get that far) until I called it quits and just read the last page…This is the overall message I got from this book: As long as your best friend is self-absorbed, it’s okay to sleep with her fiance.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I may be in the minority here but this book just didn’t click with me. I had real issues with the writing style. I wasn’t too fond of the short, choppy sentences. Sorry Ms. Lockhart but the only author that I am able to tolerate with his short and concise sentences is Hemingway.