The DNF collective: Why I bail on some books

Posted April 28, 2018 in Discussion Tags:

So, it doesn’t happen often, but there are some books out there that sound like I would love them, yet they crash and burn for me. If I finish a book, I think it deserves at least 3 stars. I am not afraid to DNF something so really, I pretty much rate books either DNF or 3-5 stars. Wanna know what makes me DNF? Here are some recent books that seemed like a good idea that turned out to be a bad decision.

Bad Boy SEAL by Lilly Holden

Why I thought it was totally gonna work for me: Military man and a virgin heroine! Y’all know I love me some virgin heroines!

Why it crashed and burned: Forcing a virgin to be with you for a week against her will in order to save her cousin? Then want her to partake in his kink? I don’t mind insta-love at all. But I like my characters to show genuine interest in getting to know each other, not just forcing them to be who you want them to be.

Leveled by Cathryn Fox

Why I thought it was totally gonna work for me: Opposites attract and a fun family dynamic

Why it crashed and burned: Meh. I just don’t care about either of these characters enough to keep reading. Poor little rich girl and bad boy. Its trite.

Ignite by Karen Erickson

Why I thought it was totally gonna work for me: So many of my reader friends loved this book and the series. Second chance romance, small town, and local hotties made it seem like a perfect pick!

Why it crashed and burned: West is pretty self centered. He doesn’t care that his leaving town hurt his family. He only cares about moving up the ladder and becoming a big wig in the fire fighter world. Harper is lost. She doesn’t have a place to live after breaking up with her boyfriend, and since he was also her boss, she doesn’t have a job until she starts working for her grandmother. I wanted to like Harper because she is sweet and kind, but she is kind of a doormat. I expected this to be an enemies to lovers but Harper keeps going back to him every time he says or does something stupid! It was maddening.

What makes me DNF?

There are a few themes that seem to make me more likely to DNF a book. Here are my “most likely to make me DNF”:

  1. Cheating. If either character even shows interest in someone else, I typically cannot get into the story enough to want to finish.
  2. “Daddy” kink. Seriously, if a girl calls the guy ‘daddy’ at any point, I’m out. Ewwwwwwww. There is a KA book I had to DNF for this reason. Even mega popular authors aren’t immune to my DNF.
  3. Unnecessary angst. When angst is just created for the sake of creating angst, I get irritated. When a simple conversation could have cleared up the problem 100 pages ago, I have no patience to suffer the fools involved.
  4. Snails pace. I’m not saying the sexy times have to happen quickly (because they don’t!) but if NOTHING has happened by 40% (no action, no danger, no drama at all!) then I am questioning why I am reading. This is why those REALLY slow burn books tend not to work for me. Nothing is happening. The tension is suppose to come from the slow burn, but I just find it all boring.
  5. Annoying writing, over use of cutesy nick names, or abuse of dialect. When writing a book with southern characters, I don’t want to read EVERYTHING in an overdone accent. Its rude and annoying. If you are a good author, you find other ways to subtly reinforce the setting or background of your character. I’m all for cute nicknames, but if it becomes overdone, it just gets kind of cringe worthy. And if an author keeps repeating phrases or descriptions constantly, I start rolling my eyes and screaming “Yes. We know. You told us that 10 times!”. All these things lead to me giving up on a book pretty quick.
  6. Repeated grammatical mistakes. Don’t get me wrong-I know every book has some errors that slip past editing. I’m talking about the authors who misuse your/you’re, there/they’re/their, affect/effect. When used consistently incorrectly in a book, its not an editing slip, its a profound misunderstanding of the rules of grammar. I cannot stand it!!! If you can’t hire an editor, make sure you understand the rules of English before you write and publish.

So, those are my DNF thoughts! Do you agree? Do you have something that makes you ragey enough to DNF or do you always power though? Share with me!

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5 responses to “The DNF collective: Why I bail on some books

  1. Nice post. It took me a while to get comfortable to DNF a book. I don’t know why it’s so hard to DNF; especially if things aren’t working out for you, the reader, but it sure is hard. Now it’s easier for me, but I still ended up reading a few to the end.

  2. If I can’t feel any kind of connection with the characters, I will definitely DNF. I don’t have to like them, but they kind of have to feel ‘real’. And I’m with you with the grammar mistakes. There are some that could be blamed on autocorrect – but that’s what re-reading and editing is for!
    Great list of reasons, Samantha 🙂

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted: Weekend Wrap-up #235 – Warm, busy, and tiring
  3. I think I am pretty good at knowing what I like, but when I think my last few DNFs, one kept being political, when it wasn’t a political book. I am exhausted by all the politics and hatred being thrown around. I can let a comment or two side, but when the author just kept hammering on and on, I had to DNF. If the book is too boring, I will let it go too. I give a book 20 – 30% before I DNF. If it cannot capture my interest in that many pages, I cannot imagine how long I will have to wait.

    Sam@WLABB recently posted: Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post
  4. Interesting reasons to DNF, for me usually it’s bad writing and if I’m not interested in a book pretty early on otherwise I can push through and just not rate it high but since you mentioned KA, I cannot get into her biker books, they are obnoxious and annoying and I just can’t unlike her paranormal ones which I love!

  5. Pam Nelson

    I haven’t had many DNF, but I agree with a lot of what your said the Daddy kink isn’t for me either but I did finish the Knight book by KA. But any other one its a DNF for sure.
    I am not a fan of drama for the sake of drama either. I would rather the author fill the book with a good storyline that fill it with crap.
    Slow burns are ok but if its like 80% and still nothing is happening I can’t I am done don’t care if I have 100 or 20 pages left I just can’t.
    Now there are some storyline I don’t like sure but they don’t always mean a DNF. like virgins or insta-love but if you add in any of the other storyline don’ts for me then its a DNF for sure.

    And sometimes if I DNF I will even go back and re-try them because it could have just been my mood at the time. And I can actually say 3 of my DNF ended up being some of my favorites in the end.

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