Tuesday, June 12

Books We Wish We Had DNF-ed



Hello friends! Isn't it positively infuriating when you pick up a book, all excited and hopeful... only to be severely disappointed by it? It is one thing if put it down, mark it did-not-finish, and quickly get on with your life. If you frequently do this? Well, congrats, you're awesome, and I'm hella jealous, because DNF-ing is hard as hell for me. 

Usually, what I do is power through a book, no matter how much I'm hating it, looking for redeeming qualities and hoping it'll get better... I mean, it has to, right? RIGHT? Well, sometimes it doesn't. Today, Clare and I brought you 5-5 novels we badly disliked, and wish we had DNF-ed. 

Yes, this is last week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) topic, but shhh.


                                                    
CLARE:
                                                     



 Obnoxious Writing. You know when someone's writing style just screams that they know they're smarter than you and want you to know it too. There were so many words there for the sake of being impressive and I just didn't get it. 

▪ Boring Characters. Just got nothing from them. Even characters I love from the original story were just blah here.

▪ Basically just the worst retelling I've ever read - it captured nothing of the original.





                                    



 Another retelling. I KNOW. And this is one everyone seems to love too.

 Felt super forced. Too many of the parallels and quotes seemed forced and it just didn't work as much as I wanted it to.

 The movie is amazing. Proof that the concept was good - the book just did not work for me.






                                    

 Problematic Mental Health Rep. The biggest problem for me was this because the book sort of points to mentally ill people as dangerous. Unless they take their medication but even then they're just not good people. Which as someone who is on medication for mental health problems really hurt to read.

 Badly handled sexual assault. Major major trigger warning for rape which I was not warned of. It kind of comes out of nowhere and is used for shock value. And when the male love interest reacts instantly with "you're lying" I got mad.

 Just not that interesting. Aside from the two points above I remember nothing about this plot. It wasn't worth struggling through all the triggers I bumped into.




                                    


 SO BORING. Just. Me and Vera buddy read this and were both bored throughout. And when even buddy reading doesn't make it fun I know I've encountered a bad book.

 All over the place. The story swaps about all over the place and has multiple endings. Which is actually an intriguing idea. But sure didn't work here.

 It was an interesting concept handled really poorly so it was just incredibly disappointing.





                                    


 Disappointing sequels why?? I actually super enjoyed the first book (Spelled) although it had its faults but this just ruined the whole series for me. Not to be too dramatic of course!

 Boring characters. For me it always seems to come back to characters - and these were just forgettable. The first book had a hugely unlikable protagonist and it worked really well at making me like her. Here the character felt like she was meant to be likable but just wasn't.

 Confused world. Too many fictional words and characters jumbled together and they didn't work. It can work. My love of Once Upon a Time is proof of that. It just didn't.


                                                    
VERONIKA:
                                                     

Insufferable characters. Unlikable characters are #goals, but these assholes were simply annoying, immature and dumb as fuck. I was 1000% rooting against all of them.

Where the heck were all the shocking twists? Could not, for the life of me, name one, yes, ONE twist that was truly surprising and unique. That's... kinda tragic when it comes to a thriller. 

▪ So! Much! Pointless! Drama! No explanation needed. 





                                    



▪ Honestly, this wasn't bad, but I expected a lot more than what I've gotten out of it.


 I feel awful complaining because this is a children's book, and that is exactly what I've gotten. BUT, with the hype, I thought this would be one of those books that's magical for adults and children alike. *shrugs*

 With that being said, I fully plan to watch the movie! Unfortunately, Hungarian cinemas never played it - for some reason, the premier was called off - but I'll get the DVD.


                                    

▪ First of all, I liked Wintersong alright - the writing especially was stunning *heart eyes* - but this one was tedious to get through. 

▪ On that note, not even the writing seemed to be as good as it was in the first novel. 

▪ I kinda fell out of love with all the characters - they read as terribly naive and, well, boring as hell. BUT!! at the same time, I really appreciated that S. Jae Jones wrote Liesl as a character dealing with mental health issues, which is so rare in fantasy, unfortunately. 



                                    


The lack of world building was PAINFUL to read, and made me want to throw my copy to the wall.



I didn't ship the romance, not at all. See, to pull of a romance between two a man who's lost his wife, and the wife's best friend would be hard, imo. And I guess, Aguirre tried!? Buuut it really felt so lackluster and with no real chemistry between the characters or a build-up to their romance, I just couldn't care less about them.



 The heroine was so soft and lovely, but also STRONG, she deserved 1000x better guys then the hero, or her ex. I was SO DISAPPOINTED that she had to be "fixed" before anyone would get serious with her.

                                    

 Um, I think someone took out the thriller and mystery parts of my copy of The Good Widow, because all I got was a woman hating on another woman, and acting ridiculously irresponsible. Honey, when your husband cheats on you it is him who 'ruined your life' (her words), NOT the lover. 

 So. Fucking. Easy. To. Figure. Out. The. "Twists."

  I wanted to slap the protagonist, and dropkick her husband, because he was such a fucking dick, but SOMEHOW he was still portrayed positively???




Let's Chat!
Have you read any of these novels? Thoughts? What books have you read that you wish you had DNF-ed? SHARE! 

PS: Don't forget to leave a link to your lists!

23 comments:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time never worked for me as a kid, and I've had no desire as an adult to revisit it.

    The Good Widow does sound like a trainwreck. :)

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    1. I wish I read it as a kid, it might have worked for me then. :|

      That's a great word for The Good Widow. :D

      Delete
  2. I read A Wrinkle in Time as a child and just never connected with it. And never continued the series.

    And I never picked up Shadowsong. I had such high hopes for Wintersong and while I did finish it, I thought is was sooo slow.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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    1. I wish I had seen negative opinions before getting it! Alas, I thought it would be awesome, and it really, really wasn't.

      You made the right choice there - Shadowsong was a lot slower than Wintersong, and even more uneventful. Tbh, it was painful to get through it.

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  3. Yeah, I had the same reaction to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

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    1. Its weird cause I hear so many people say they loved it! And I do love the film - I just couldn't love the book!

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  4. I actually liked 13 Minutes! Shadowsong I couldn't even be bothered trying because I found Wintersong such a slog, so I'm glad to know I'm not missing anything.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/top-ten-tuesday-163/

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    1. I'm glad you did! You made the right decision not picking up Shadowsong, it was MUCH slower than Wintersong, AND totally uneventful. :(

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  5. I have only read one of these books but I don't think I am going to attempt the others thanks to your advice. I fully trust both of your opinions and I would rather save my time for other books. I read A Wrinkle in Time many years ago as a kid and I liked it. However, I don't think that I would love it if I were to re-read it now. In terms of science fiction, I don't think it is the most interesting story out there. It was ground-breaking for its time, but I don't think I would be able to enjoy it the same way now.
    Anyway, I didn't read Shadowsong, but I do kind of wish that I didn't finish Wintersong. The writing was good and I loved all of the musical references, but I could not for the life of me get into the romance. Everything seemed fake and forced. There was just too much romance and too little world-building for my tastes.
    Sorry for the mini rants!
    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

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    1. I really wish I had read it when I was a child! Or that I didn't go into it with such big expectations. The way everyone's been talking about it had me convinced it was the bestest novel ever. :|
      I liiiked Wintersong, but, tbh, I wouldn't have missed out had I never read it. Like you said, the writing was good, and I loved how music took such a central stage, but the romance was very meh. I thought they had chemistry, but definitely didn't feel like they had actually deep feelings for each other. So their desperation to get back to each other in the sequel was laughable. Haha, don't worry, I love rants!

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  6. It's so hard for me to DNF so I skim read until the end but I can't think of any off hand.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I do the same most of the time, tbh. :| I always believe there must be some good thing hiding there.

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  7. I haven't read any of these, but I did just purge Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I guess it's a good thing!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. I would say so yes! I really wish it had been better!

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  8. I DNF whenever I am not feeling a book. I don't believe in pushing through when it comes to reading. I do it for enjoyment. I am happy to report I have NOT read any of these, but I admire your ability to pinpoint what you didn't like. I struggle with that part, whereas, I find it really easy to figure out what I liked.

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    1. That's an ability I should acquire, I'm really-really bad at DNF-ing. :( Haha, I'm the opposite - well, I can figure out both sides, but sometimes it's harder to voice the good than the bad? As in, the good comes out a mess, while I can voice the bad coherently.

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  9. Ugh, I feel your pain! I have such a hard time deciding if I should put a book down, even if it's awful, because WHAT IF IT GETS GOOD SUDDENLY? That hardly ever happens of course, but you never know. Thus, I have struggled through so many books that I really should have put down after the first few chapters.
    I always liked A Wrinkle in Time when I was younger but I reread it recently and was a little disappointed. I still really like the concepts but I wish it had been more fleshed out. I haven't read any of the other books on this list but they sound frustrating. I hate it when characters and plots are boring or when an awful character is portrayed as not all that bad. It drives me crazy.
    Even with all the terrible books out there I still can't bring myself to stop reading once I've started a book. I wish I could just KNOW before starting a book whether I would like it or not. That would make my life so much easier.

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    1. Yes, same, I feel your pain. We should work on our DNF-ing skills. But omg, yes, it would be amazing if we could know ahead of time how much we'll like/dislike a novel. I WANT THAT ABILITY. I'm glad you got to enjoy A Wrinkle in Time at least when you were younger, I really wish I had read it when I was a child. I genuinely thing I would have loved it.

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  10. I should have DNFed A Wrinkle in Time, too. I know it’s a kids book, but it was too weird for me.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Yes, weird AND not explained that well slash under-developed, imo.

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  11. Quote: "You know when someone's writing style just screams that they know they're smarter than you and want you to know it too."
    Haha, no, thank you. I like to learn new, hardly used words, but I don't need someone to step on a pedestal and start teaching!

    Quote: "The biggest problem for me was this because the book sort of points to mentally ill people as dangerous. Unless they take their medication but even then they're just not good people.[...] Major major trigger warning for rape which I was not warned of. It kind of comes out of nowhere and is used for shock value."
    *shudders* Dear authors, this stuff has to go away, thank you and goodnight.

    Quote: "And when even buddy reading doesn't make it fun I know I've encountered a bad book."
    😄😄😄

    Quote: "Um, I think someone took out the thriller and mystery parts of my copy of The Good Widow, because all I got was a woman hating on another woman, and acting ridiculously irresponsible. Honey, when your husband cheats on you it is him who 'ruined your life' (her words), NOT the lover."
    😂😂😂
    If someone gave me a list of mini-rants done right without including their authors' names, I would recognise yours with my eyes close 😂.

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    1. "closed" 🙄.
      Why do I always notice typos only after hitting "Publish"?????

      Delete
    2. I know! Learning new words is great but this just came across as so pretentious like he was saying "if you don't already know this word you don't deserve to read my book" and just NOPE!
      Yes I completely agree! There is enough bad information about mental health and it does not to be added to - particularly not as a shock value side plot!
      Also by the way I totally get what you mean - Vera's mini rants sound so completely like her and recognisable!!

      Delete

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