As an addicted, compulsive, die-hard, enthusiastic, and relentless reader, there are books that I did not finish. Today, I’ll focus on why I DNFed them and why that has more to do with me than the book. No two persons read the same book because each individual brings unique life experiences, connections, expectations, and reactions. I do not want to disparage the books in this list because many other readers love them. They just weren’t to my taste or didn’t come to me at the right time.
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I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Most Recent Books I Did Not Finish.
(In no particular order)
The Reading Experience Did Not Meet My Reading Expectations
Many others have loved Lessons in Chemistry! You will find this immensely popular book on many best-of-year lists and I’m a huge outlier. I picked up this book when I was in the mood for a light, humorous read because this is what the book blurb promised. As I came across the rape scene at approximately 7%, I was done. This was not “laugh-out-loud funny” or matching my mood or my expectations. Other readers have suggested that once I get past that part, the rest of the book is lighter and funnier. But once I’m done, I’m done. She lost me at 7%.
Content Doesn’t Match My Reading Taste
Kissing Kosher is the most recent book I DNFed. Although the premise is cute, the story is culturally interesting, and it includes an (invisible) disability, it also promotes recreational drug use. I’m fine with using medical marijuana for chronic illness, but this story appears to embrace and encourage a general lifestyle of drug use. Some readers might have no issues with this, it just isn’t isn’t a part of my lifestyle and not to my taste.
Character-driven stories like the Lincoln Highway can be a struggle for me. I read 50% before I set it aside. The boys were supposed to be going to the west coast, but they ended up going east. I admit that I’m an adrenaline junkie who is always looking for something to happen. At least, I need to fall in love with the characters. I did read the last chapter for closure. Sometimes this will encourage me to pick up the story again, but not this time. I did love A Gentleman in Moscow by the same author.
The Bridge of Clay is probably my most disappointing DNF. I highly anticipated this new release by the author of The Book Thief. Although this is beautifully written literary fiction, it’s overwritten in my opinion. It’s also character-driven and sad. Its target audience is young adult, and I find it difficult to imagine that YA readers would be engaged for 560 pages.
Sad People Living Sad Lives
I’m usually intrigued by complicated family drama. However, Commonwealth was a slow and depressing reading experience for me and filled with unlikable characters. This is a book I set aside numerous times. All the glowing reviews encouraged me to keep picking it up. I skimmed at least 50% of it. It’s a book I should have DNFed, but my DNF muscles were not well developed at the time, and I wasn’t secure as an outlier.
Magical Realism Usually Doesn’t Work For Me
I prefer my fiction realistic. The magical realism in One Italian Summer is an element I’m learning to avoid. In addition, I didn’t appreciate the way the main character treated her husband!
I Need Likable Characters
Carrie Soto is Back is an example of an unlikable character that caused me to DNF this popular book.
It Just Didn’t Work
Nothing about Thank You For Listening worked for me. I’m not sure if it was the characters, the meta vibe (a book about an audio narrator by a popular audio narrator), the false identity trope, or the hype.
Hour of the Witch was a DNF for me because of the content: domestic abuse, physical and emotional abuse, suicidal ideation, revenge, and violence. Often I can deal with difficult content and other times I’d rather not. This is a case of the latter. I abandoned it at 60% but I did read the final chapter for closure.
Well, I’m feeling rather negative after writing this post. I’d rather not dwell in negativity. I need to reinforce the idea that many (most) of these books are very popular and it’s a case of me and not the book. No Two Persons read the same book!
Have you loved one that I DNFed?
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