Ten Books I Have DNF’ed

I tend to stay away from potentially “negative” bookish lists (like “books I will never read”) because I think there is so much negativity on the internet that I don’t want to drag my favourite thing (reading) into it. I decided to do today’s Top Ten Tuesday after all, by virtue of not all my reasons being entirely negative. And ALSO, you get to vote on which one I should try again! So for Ten Bookish Things I Have Quit: here are ten books I “Did Not Finish”.

DNF books

1. Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

The first book I remember DNF’ing. I was eight years old and on a Roald Dahl TRIP, devouring every thing of his that I could find. I found Boy, and it took me a while to figure out that this was not your usual Roald Dahl book. I don’t think I had the intelligence or desire at the time to read someone’s memoir, so I hastily returned it to the library (thank God I didn’t find one of his adult anthologies, eh). I recently bought the audiobook for my dad, and he loved it. So I’ll definitely be trying this (therefore, you don’t get to vote on this one :P).

Via FeatherAndSixpence Etsy Store (click)

2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – I listened to the audiobook during my daily commute earlier this year. It made me physically sick (although, it was at the same time that I had an IOD, so maybe it was the ARVs). At any rate, I found it horrifying. I live in South Africa and I’m a medical doctor so I see and hear of horrifying events all the time, but for some reason this was so visceral and awful. Also, the narrator REALLY annoyed the crap out of me. If I were to try this again, I would read it the old-fashioned way.

3. Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China by John Pomfret

I read this shortly before embarking on Semester at Sea and the only reason I did not finish it was because the time came to travel onward, so I had to return it to the local library. Boo. I’ve been meaning to check it out again, but you know how it goes.

4. By the King’s Design by Christine Trent

I feel half bad about this one because I won it in a giveaway. This book just did not grip me at all. I guess regency novels just aren’t for me. I really tried to stick it out, but gave up the good fight by page 100.

5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant is written in two points-of-view: Tris (as in Divergent/Insurgent) but also Four’s. Something about it turned me off and I felt the writing was really subpar compared to the first two. I also accidentally stumbled upon a (THE?) major spoiler, so now I just really don’t want to pick it up again. I will watch the film, though.

6. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

I liked this book up to the point where it became a romance and Marie became a simpering girl. Could it not just be about a strong, powerful businesswoman? Does the story really need a love-interest to make it worth it? I don’t have anything against a good romance, although I don’t often read them; but I wanted to read a cool story about MADAME TUSSAUD, not her boyfriend.

7. Heist Society by Ally Carter

The biggest thing that turned me off about this book was that the dialogue felt very childish.


8. The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

For one, The Way We Fall felt to me like it did not really need a sequel. I was happy wondering. Secondly, I could not really gel with the writing style in this one. It felt very whiny and all over the place. I missed the journal style of the first book – it worked well. Also, Kaelyn is another one of those characters who becomes very weak in the presence of a boyfriend and it does not sit well with me.

9. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Don’t shoot! I know this book has a massive following. I don’t know if I was just going through a reading slump but I was not gripped by the story. I really wanted something thrilling and I waited too long for the thrill so I gave up.

10. By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

I’m not particularly sensitive, and mental health is very important to me, but I was not so sure about all these excerpts about ways to successfully off oneself and… I just felt like it was a bit insensitive, really. And I’m not convinced that ingesting ammonia will result in muteness given the fact that the larynx is in the respiratory tract and not the digestive tract. I looked online for case studies but was fairly unsuccessful.

Now it’s your turn to tell me which book you think I should try again! Boy is not included in this poll because I’ve already decided to listen to it!


  1. eseals18 says:

    Great list. I read The Lovely Bones years ago and can see why it would be unsettling. I haven’t read past Divergent, but I hate when books throw in a new narrator!


  2. I’ve read Allegiant even though I also run into a certain spoiler… I didn’t like it. For me it just didn’t fit the other books. Setting was completely different, everything was totally messed up. But it did complete the series, so I kind of had to finish it.

  3. rosemawrites says:

    The Lovely Bones is one of my best reads this year. I hope you read it in a traditional way next time. 🙂 I agree, though, that Allegiant is really disappointing. I hoped I just stopped reading the series after I read Divergent.

    By the way here’s mine: http://wp.me/p4ZhSl-hJ. 🙂

  4. Nihaad says:

    I am not a fan of the Divergent series. I love the movies and cannot get enough of it, but the books did nothing for me. I have to say though that Allegiant was in my opinion the best out of all – but that is just because of the twist! Even so, I think it ties up all the loose ends nicely. Then again, I think the movie could probably do that too.

    I have not read any of these books on this list, even though some of them have been on my list for a while!

    Nihaad – the little blog of STUFF

  5. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I haaad to vote for Dangerous Girl because the reveal really is absolutely SPECTACULAR at the end. But it’s like riiiight at the end. So I can understand how that’d be annoying. I was confused that Boy wasn’t the average Roald Dahl book too, hehe, but I did love it! And omg, I can’t even imagine wanting to read Allegiant knowing the spoiler. *wails* It’s the kind of book that NEEDS to not be spoiled I reckon.

  6. readerbuzz says:

    Not sure why I didn’t go this way in the prompt. I like the idea of listing books I did not finish!

    Here’s my list!

  7. LHauser27 says:

    Hi! Like this idea! I DNF Catch-22. I remember trying and trying, but I always eventually put it down. I hate the feeling of a DNF 😦
    My TTT

  8. I agree about Allegiant! I trudged through, but I found it hard to differentiate between Tris and Four’s perspectives. And I honestly didn’t think the spoiler was that surprising or life changing. Kudos on DNFing.. for whatever reason I can’t do it!

  9. Paula says:

    I had the exact reaction to Allegiant. Once I read the spoliers I lost interest in it. Though I do want to read it someday just to finish the series.

  10. J.P. MacDonald says:

    Megz thanks for posting this, it helped me feel less guilty about books I haven’t finished! But really, is there a point in soldiering-on through something that’s really not enjoyable? Like you reading is a favourite pastime of mine, and I don’t want to spend my free time engaged in something that I’m not enjoying 🙂 Great post!

  11. I have Allegiant but I keep putting it off because I read the big spoiler as well and I have found myself really not motivated to read it. I think you should definitely try Dangerous Girls again, the ending will blow your mind!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/top-ten-tuesday-25/

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