Books I DNFed in 2019

One thing becomes more and more apparent each time I check my To Be Read list on Goodreads (currently including 423 titles): that I simply do not have enough time to read all of the books I want to.

So in 2019 I worked on eliminating my aversion to putting a book down and walking away if we weren’t clicking. It’s so difficult because I always end up wondering, well what if it got better later on? What if I’m just missing something? But can you say a book is truly amazing if the first however-many pages were a chore to get through?

The following are the five books I just couldn’t make myself see to the end. That doesn’t mean they’re bad books though, and if you enjoyed them then I’m really glad! I just feel that my time is better spent on books other than these:

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire


I really wanted to like this book. All of the titles in the series sound so inviting and the covers are really pretty too! For some reason I just could not get over the writing style. It was not my thing on any level, which is so strange because I loved the writing in Into the Drowning Deep, another book by McGuire written under her penname Mira Grant.

I DNFed at 11%

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh


I learned something about myself in 2019: I really cannot stand listening to a narrator drone on about clothing. I guess I should’ve known that I’d have problems with that here because our main character is a former dress-maker but I was hoping that the beginning would be more interesting right out of the gate. It wasn’t. I wasn’t sure when exactly all the fun vampire things would start happening, and I didn’t feel like waiting around to find out.

I feel a bit bad that I tossed this one so early, but I’ve read some middling reviews that lead me to believe I wasn’t missing out on much.

I DNFed at 7%

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig


This one started out really good. I thought the main character had some nice depth to her. The family dynamic was interesting, and the frightening idea that these sisters were all dying one by one really had my attention. But then… it lost me. The story shifts its focus to the romantic suitors, who I found completely bland, and the extravagant clothing that these girls are wearing.

I have since heard that the twists later in this book are phenomenal and genuinely pretty creepy so I might be convinced to give it a second try at some point. But it’s not high on my list of priorities at the moment.

I DNFed at 26%

The Institute by Stephen King


I’ve loved nearly every King book I’ve read, but this one was not doing it for me. It was entirely average for as long as I was reading it, but I realized I was hundreds of pages in and I didn’t feel a connection to the characters or the plot. I know some of King’s books can take a lot of time to get going (Salem’s Lot and Pet Sematary for example) but there’s usually something along the way to keep you invested.

I picked up The Institute thinking it would be similar to It, in that it centers around a group of children experiencing trauma together. Where It had me deeply unsettled, and outright scared at multiple parts, The Institute had me checking my watch because I just wanted to get to the end.

I DNFed at 62%

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White


I read White’s book And I Darken last year and I liked it. I gave it 3.5 stars for having some good characters (two of them), pretty writing, and probably the only love triangle I’ve ever been interested in. My biggest problem with Darken was that there were a lot of stretches of time where characters just walk around rooms and give out exposition. It’s boring and it makes me not want to come back to the story once I’ve put it down for the night.

I had the same issues right away with The Guinevere Deception and I just don’t feel like sitting through 11 hours of audiobook just to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it.

That cover really is attractive though.

I DNFed at 21%

Do you DNF books? If so, how do you decide when to put them down? And if you don’t, why not? Let’s talk about it!

I’m wishing you all a magical day!



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