I’m just going to be blunt and honest: this book is a trainwreck. I have no idea where the author was going with this book and what she was trying to do, but it did not land well. Just … yikes.
I was so excited for this book. I really, really was. But once I started reading it, the only thing I could think of was “please stop”. It was tragic.
I originally DNFed (did not finish) The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi last year. I had started reading in February 2019 and gave up after 100 pages in August 2019. The beginning was so slow for me, I just could not get through it. I tried to push through, but it felt like I was going nowhere with this story, like I was moving backwards.
Then, November 2019 I got an ARC of The Silvered Serpents from YALLFest and decided I should give this book another try. And I finally finished it!
I received an ARC of Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t think I’ve ever written a DNF (did not finish) review before, so this is a first. Usually when I DNF a book, it’s not an ARC I’ve been given by the publisher for review, it’s one that I decided to read on my own. After the whole debacle on Sunday regarding an author calling out a reviewer for DNF-ing and posting a “bad” review on Goodreads, I am a little nervous to post my thoughts.
But, the whole point of reviewing books are to review them, good or bad. So I’m gonna talk about why I DNFed this book and what my thoughts are. Surprisingly, they’re not bad at all!
I am shamelessly copying my friend Alexa, Writing the Universe, on this post but I have permission, so it’s fine!
We all have those impulse buys – you know the ones – the cover you can’t resist or your friend told you to buy it. I have several of those and while I may not have those copies anymore (because I got rid of them), I’m going to cover what books I regret buying.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series
I did not read this book at all. I bought an entire hardcover series and The Tales of the Peculiar signed copy and never read them. I eventually ended up selling them. I had heard great things about the first book, but I never got around to reading it, so there was no point in holding onto it. If I decide to read them in the future, I have friends who will willingly give me a copy to borrow or the library. I don’t see a point in owning this series anymore.
A friend gifted me Gemina without checking if I had read the first book, which I didn’t. So I purchased Illuminae and tried to read it. I really tried. The constant switch between formats actually made it harder for me to understand what was going on because I am a person who analyzes everything on a page, so on some pages I would take five minutes looking over anything before moving on. And then forget what happened. Maybe in the future I’ll try to read this monster of a series, especially since everyone raves about it and I loved their other series Aurora Rising, but at this moment, I regret having them. They’re taking up a lot of room on my shelf and collecting dust.
The Hunger Games
I never read The Hunger Games. My friends read it in middle school/high school and always recommended it to me since I was a fellow reader. And it didn’t seem that interesting to me. But with constant persistence, eventually, I caved, and got a cheap/almost free paperback copy to read. I read five chapters and stopped. I hated it. I was bored to tears and honestly didn’t care about the book. So I sold the copy and moved on.
The Gilded Wolves
I got two copies of this book, one from OwlCrate and the other I had preordered not realizing I was getting it in my OwlCrate. I have since sold the OwlCrate edition because I DNFed this book. I got over 100 pages in and I couldn’t get into it. I want to give this book another try because I love Roshani’s other series, The Star-Touched Queen, but this one was boring. I wanted a Six of Crows heist novel and I wasn’t getting that. It was frustrating. My friend Grace, who has a similar taste in books, loves this novel (and she’s the person I sold my OC copy to), so I feel like I need to give it another chance. But as of right now, I definitely regret buying this book.
Three Dark Crowns/One Dark Throne
Before anyone comes for me, I loved these books! So it is less of a, “oh my gosh, I’m so mad I bought these, I hated the books or I never read them!” and more of a, “I don’t have the complete series and part of me wants them as e-books”. I read the first book in college in a day. Like I took it to all of my lectures and read them in that day and LOVED it. Now I have the first two books signed and I don’t own the last two books. And I kinda regret buying the first two instead of just getting a box set or getting them on kindle. I don’t know what to do!
The Mortal Gods
Because I loved Three Dark Crowns so much, when I saw a signed copy of this at BookCon I jumped on it! Only to realize I never purchased the first book and at this point, I probably won’t! Since I’m moving, I need to reduce the number of physical books I have so I most likely will be purchasing more kindle books than physical books for the time being. Except for special editions of course! But that leaves me with a signed copy of book 2 having never read book 1 . . . So that’s a bit frustrating.
Into The Still Blue
I saw this book on BookOutlet and didn’t even think to check the synopsis. I bought it, it arrived, and it’s the third book in a series . . .
I need to be better about purchasing books out of order, cause clearly I can’t trust myself to do the proper research! Yes, I bought the third book in a series by accident and no, I have not purchased book 1 or 2 at this point. I think I still have this book sitting on my shelf and it needs to go. Maybe I’ll get the e-book of Under the Never Sky, but who knows when that’s going to happen?
All in all, I’m grateful I don’t have too many books sitting on my shelf that I’m not going to read. I have either re-homed them or sold them, so I’m not out too much. But I’m sure this won’t be the last experience I have regretting a book I bought. Maybe I can do a series on this if it continues to happen (let’s hope it doesn’t!)
Thanks to Alexa for the idea! What are some books you regret buying?
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I’ve come to the conclusion that there are just some books that are not for you. They’re not mean to be read right now, they’re not aimed at you, or they simply don’t float your boat. DNFing or Did Not Finish is not necessarily a bad thing – it can be when a book is genuinely terrible, but for the most part, it’s part of life. DNFing a book just means you could not connect with it, did not like it, or had trouble getting through it and so, you stopped. You don’t finish it and you move on.
Here are some of the books I DNFed and why!
I have tried reading this book multiple times and every time I have to stop. I can’t seem to get passed the fifth chapter and it’s just not interesting to me. I hear the hype around this series and want to like it, but I can’t. And I’m not sure I ever will. So unfortunately, this book will remain on the DNFed list for forever.
Ace of Shades
For this book, it had nothing to do with interest or plot, it was the grammar. I kept stumbling across spelling and grammar mistakes that were so constant and irritating, I had to stop. Now I’m not perfect. I misspell things and make grammar mistakes all the time; I’m not trying to stand a higher ground at all. The fact that an edited, published piece could have so many of these though – I can’t. I absolutely get that there will be mistakes and things that are missed, but this was a bit much. It was so distracting from the actual plot that I couldn’t get passed it. There were so many mistakes that I was over 100 pages in and had to stop. I might try rereading this in the future, but for now, I’ll pass.
I really wanted to like this book. I really did. Everyone talked about how amazing it was but unfortunately, I couldn’t get into it. My biggest struggle with this book was its unique formatting. Going between text, images, binary code, messages, documents, and everything in between was hard for me to follow. My brain gets distracted easily already, so to go between formats made it hard for me to remember the plot and made me disinterested. I will try to reread it in the future and give it another chance, but for right now, it stays on the shelf.
I genuinely LOVED this plot, the characters, everything about this book – but I can’t keep up. I have a feeling its one of those “not the right time” moments. I’m hoping that later on, when I try to reread it, I’ll be able to get through it. The sad thing is I loved reading this book, it just wasn’t what I wanted to read at the moment and I haven’t found that moment yet. I have a feeling this will be a good summer read, when I can sit and just power through it.
So far, I haven’t encountered a lot of books I can’t finish. I can usually get through books and finish them, even if I don’t like them. For some reason, these four books are an exception. I will try to reread most of these (except Hunger Games) in the future and give them a second chance. Every book deserves one.
What are some books you’ve DNFed?
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