Books I DNF’d (Books I Didn’t Finish) and Don’t Plan to

I have a confession.

I DNF books. A lot.

It is extremely rare that I force myself to finish a book if I’m not enjoying the first 20-25% of it. I’m not one to hate read, because why would I want to be angry the entire time I’m reading?

Also, and probably more importantly, I have way too many books on my TBR to waste time on books that don’t suck me in.

To be fair, I have gone back and read books after putting them down initially, particularly books that I knew I’d like if I were in a different mindset – and I’m glad I have in most cases. A recent example is The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan. I started that one a few times and put it down, but when I was finally in the right place for it, I really enjoyed it.

The books below, however, I knew almost immediately that they weren’t for me. The key part of that sentence being “for me.” If any of these books are your favorites, I’m so sorry! I know how disappointing it can be to see a low rating or DNF on books I love!

Because I DNF books so frequently, that also means that I very rarely rate books 1,2, or even 3 stars. I’ve gotten really good about anticipating the books I’m going to love, and I don’t even finish (or rate) the books that I don’t. Therefore… a lot of high ratings from me!

Books I Did Not Finish (And Don’t Plan To)

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The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Honestly? I only downloaded this because it was on my Libby library app and it was available. It was also super boring and I had no idea what was going on… and also absolutely no interest. I gave up pretty early on this one.

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.

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Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1) by L.J. Shen

The hero was immediately the worst and I did not see how he could possibly redeem himself.

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.

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Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell

The premise of this one was promising, however, it just wasn’t well executed. It felt amateurish compared to the other amazing sports romances I’ve read. Also? The instalove/lust without chemistry annoyed me.

A funny, naughty, dirty *standalone* sports romance…

At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Sweet. Safe. HEA. This is a comedy that gets very dirty, so be advised. Other tasters’ notes: Hints of honey and champagne. And a feisty little dog named Frankie Knuckles.

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Midnight Blue by L.J. Shen

I’m kind of thinking LJ Shen just doesn’t write likable heroes, in my opinion. I actually got pretty far in this novel and just had to give up because I had no idea why the main character had any interest in Alex. He just seemed kind of gross and eyeroll-worthy to me.

Come to think of it… I don’t think I’ve ever been able to finish anything by LJ Shen. Should I keep trying?

From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new, standalone, contemporary romance.

It should have been easy.
I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.
Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”
Guess what? I didn’t listen.
I signed the contract.
World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.
My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.
Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.
Then he took my heart.
Then he took my all.

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Groupie (Texas Mutiny #2) by M.E. Carter

I actually kind of feel like if a book like this was done right, it’d be really good. I’m all about role reversals and anti-slut-shaming, but this one just was not well executed.

Groupie
/ˈɡro͞opē/
a person, especially a young woman, who regularly follows a celebrity in the hope of meeting or getting to know them.

See example Tiffany Wendel:

Whore. Slut. Cleat Chaser. I’m used to the names so they don’t bother me. These are my boys. My friends. So what if I like to have dirty sex with them? My body is no one’s business but mine.

Why is Rowen Flanigan making me re-think how I live my life? Making me question my choices? He’s only a rookie.

rook·ie
/ˈro͝okē/
a member of an athletic team in his first full season in that sport.

See example Rowen Flanigan:

Player. Son of a legend. Rookie.
Sure, I’d heard the stories of the groupies before. Who hasn’t? I’ve just been more sheltered than my teammates. So what? I didn’t expect her to be smart. Witty. Kind. She brings me to my knees in every way – except one.

That part? I’m saving until the time is right.

So how in the hell did I end up falling for a Groupie like Tiffany? And how in the hell is this going to work when everyone at my job has had a piece of the one thing I haven’t?

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Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas

OMG I freaking pushed myself through the first book in this series, just waiting for it to redeem itself like so many have claimed it would. I pushed myself up until the first part of this book and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was so not OK with how Fallon was treated, the immaturity, the ridiculousness. And I LOVED Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. However, this series? That’s a big NO from me, friends.

From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….

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King (King #1) by T.M. Frazier

A love interest who sexually assaults the main character will never redeem himself. Sorry.

Homeless. Hungry. Desperate.

Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from.

A notorious career criminal just released from prison, King is someone you don’t want to cross unless you’re prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, pu$$y or a combination of all three.

King’s future hangs in the balance. Doe’s is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.

Warning: This book contains graphic violence, consensual and nonconsensual sex, drug use, abuse, and other taboo subjects and adult subject matter. Although originally slated to be a standalone, KING is now a two part series.

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The Mister by E.L. James

This book had all of the trash that I disliked in Fifty Shades and none of the addictive trash that kept me reading that entire series.

The passionate new romance from E L James, author of the phenomenal #1 bestselling Fifty Shades Trilogy

London, 2019. Life has been easy for Maxim Trevelyan. With his good looks, aristocratic connections, and money, he’s never had to work and he’s rarely slept alone. But all that changes when tragedy strikes and Maxim inherits his family’s noble title, wealth, and estates, and all the responsibility that entails. It’s a role he’s not prepared for and one that he struggles to face.

But his biggest challenge is fighting his desire for an unexpected, enigmatic young woman who’s recently arrived in England, possessing little more than a dangerous and troublesome past. Reticent, beautiful, and musically gifted, she’s an alluring mystery, and Maxim’s longing for her deepens into a passion that he’s never experienced and dares not name. Just who is Alessia Demachi? Can Maxim protect her from the malevolence that threatens her? And what will she do when she learns that he’s been hiding secrets of his own?

From the heart of London through wild, rural Cornwall to the bleak, forbidding beauty of the Balkans, The Mister is a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the very last page.

Books I Didn’t Finish (May 2018)

With so many books in my TBR pile, many of which I already own, I can be pretty picky.

If a novel doesn’t grab my attention by the first 50 or so pages, I set it aside and start a new book.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that at some point I won’t go back to it and try again. Sometimes it’s simply timing and my mood. I’m a total mood reader and since reading is strictly something I do for pleasure, I never force myself to read a book that doesn’t interest me.

This month, in particular, I was pretty moody. I kept starting and stopping books just because I couldn’t get into them. In this post I’ll be listing all the books that I moved to my DNF list.

 

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Decemeber/January DNFs: Books I Couldn’t Finish

I would like to preface this post by saying that the books that get put into my DNF (Did Not Finish) pile are not always going to be books I disliked.

A lot of times, for me anyway, reading a book and enjoying it has a lot to do with timing and what I’m in the mood to read. Sometimes I’m just not feeling a fantasy book, so if I find I am struggling to get through a book, I’ll put it down and pick it back up again when I’m more in the mood.

Other times, I just can’t stand the book and refuse to spend any more precious reading time on it when I have so many books on my TBR calling to me.

It can go either way. LOL!

Typically, I like to give a book at least a few chapters or around 20% at minimum before I give up completely.

Anywho, here are the books I didn’t finish in the months of December and January.

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J Maas


Quick overview:
This is a prequel to SJM’s Throne of glass series which tells the story of Aelin’s past.

Format: Audiobook

Why I didn’t finish:
Every single book in this series has always started off slow for me. It always takes me awhile to get into it and I swear, if I hadn’t read SJM’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series and died from loving it so hard, I probably wouldn’t have given this series a chance at all. But I trust SJM to pull through for me eventually. For some reason, though, this book seemed to be taking a lot longer for me to get through.

Will I try again?
I just finished Tower of Dawn and there are references to things that happen in this book, so now I’m feeling motivated to read it again!

Goodreads | Amazon

 

Hail Mary by by Nicola Rendell

Quick Overview:
Mary is a literal kickass boxer who knocks out football star, Jimmy, and they instantly fall in love and both think every part of one another’s anatomy is sexy.

Format: Audiobook

Why I didn’t finish:
There were two huge pet peeves happening in this one for me: an instalove I wasn’t invested in and inner monologues that were overwrought with how hot and sexy the other person was. I literally found myself yelling, “OK! I GET IT! HE’S HOT! CAN WE MOVE ON?”

Legit, this is my update on Goodreads at 10%:

Omg. Ok, I get it. The main characters are sexy. Can we not label every single body part some variation of the word throughout the entire book? Literally… thumbs, throats, eyelashes…

I ended up giving up at about 20% because I just couldn’t anymore. I was very sad about it since it had such a great premise, but I couldn’t connect to either of the characters and was just getting annoyed by everything.

Will I try again?
No, this one is firmly in the DNF pile, unfortunately. I’ve read so many great sports romances (Please see Pucked and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me) and a few instalove romances done right (Please see: Captain and Ball Peen Hammer), this just wasn’t one of them for me.

Goodreads | Amazon

 

Co-Wrecker by Meghan Quinn

Quick Overview:
Andrew is a nerdy, yet super charismatic and hot guy who lands a job at an ice cream parlor where he meets the girl who is forced to train him, Sadie, thus beginning a cat and mouse chase in which Andrew is a mouse trying to chase the bitchy cat, Sadie.

Format: Paperback

Why I didn’t finish:
I just couldn’t get past Sadie. Here Andrew is, super sweet, charming, funny, hot, and completely infatuated with a girl for no real reason considering how mean she is to him.

Granted, I only made it through about 20% of the book, so I’m sure she redeems herself at some point, but I just wasn’t on board with the romance between these two.

I felt like Andrew’s character was a little too perfect. I guess I was kind of hoping he’d be a bit more dorky. Like, legit dorky, not just smart, but a little socially awkward, too. Yes, he is a little goofy, but he comes off more as charismatic than awkward, which didn’t make him so much dorky to me as a really smart, charming guy who is falling for a grumpy girl just because she’s hot… I dunno.

Will I try again?
Not likely. I will probably give this author another chance (I want to read My Best Friend’s Ex), but I wasn’t 100% sold on the writing style either, unfortunately. We shall see, though! You can’t win them all!

Goodreads | Amazon

 

Did you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Are there any books you haven’t been able to finish lately?