Lola’s Ramblings: Books I DNF’d in 2015

Posted December 22, 2015 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings / 24 Comments


Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

I never share my reviews for the books I DNF on my blog and for a long time I’ve considered changing this up, but I am still not sure if I want to do that. As I don’t DNF a lot of books each year I thought it would make for an interesting end of the year post. I list which books I DNF’d this year, with their blurb, cover and reason why I DNF’d them. In total I DNF’d 4 books this year, which means one book every 3 months, which isn’t too bad.

The Girl In Between (The Girl in Between series #1)
by Laekan Zea Kemp

The Girl In Between

Bryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.

But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.

Why I DNF’d this book:
I DNF’d this book at 30%. While this book has an interesting premise, it just didn’t work for me. The dream world was weird and confusing. The waking world wasn’t interesting enough and the focus on her disease made me feel uneasy. In the end I simply didn’t care enough about anything to continue reading.

Read my whole DNF review on Goodreads

Cutlass (Cutlass #1)
by Ashley Nixon


Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

Why I DNF’d this book:
DNF’d this at 32%. Just didn’t work for me, the pace felt slow and the story or characters didn’t capture my atention. I also kept thinking that they were adults as for some reason it seemed more logical that they were adults, I mean Barren was only 18 and the captain of a ship. Also not a fan of the whole revenge plot line. And how suddenly everyone turned out to be a pirate.
The descriptions where well done and I really felt like I was there on the ship. Just not a book for me, but I would recomend it if you like highish fantasy and pirates.

Read my whole DNF review on Goodreads

The Rogue You Know (Covent Garden Cubs #2)
by Shana Galen

The Rogue You Know

She’s beyond his reach…
Gideon Harrow has spent his life in London’s dark underworld-and he wants out. A thief and a con, he plans one last heist to finally win his freedom. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself at the tender mercies of one of Society’s most untouchable women-Lady Susanna Derring.

…and out of her depth.
Susanna has spent her life in London’s glittering ton, under the thumb of a domineering mother-and she wants out. When a wickedly charming rogue lands at her feet, she jumps at the chance to experience life before it’s too late. But as she descends into London’s underworld, she finds that nothing- not even Gideon-is as it seems. As excitement turns to danger, Susanna must decide what price she’s willing to pay…for the love of a reformed thief.

Why I DNF’d this book:
DNF at 38%. This book just wasn’t for me. At first I felt a bit confused, not having read the first book in the series didn’t work as well for me as I felt like I missed a part of what happened before. The story was just a tad too unbelievable for me and I couldn’t get into the story. It just didn’t hold my attention. The writing didn’t captivate me and I couldn’t connect to the characters. Parts felt fast and slow at the same time, they were going to gardens, but it felt like they never would get there.

Read my whole DNF review on Goodreads

The Mark of Noba (The Sterling Wayfairer Series #1)
by G.L. Tomas

The Mark of Noba Cover

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.

But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.

Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.

If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.

Why I DNF’d this book:
I DNF’d this book at 57%. The story couldn’t hold my attention and it felt like the pace was very slow. I kept hoping for things to happen and more fantasy elements, but if that will happen it is in the later half of the book. There were just so many questions and things that remained unclear. It just wasn’t the book for me, even though there were some interesting parts it couldn’t hold my attention.

Read my whole DNF review on Goodreads

Which books have you DNF’d this year and why?


24 responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: Books I DNF’d in 2015

  1. I’ve never heard of these, but Cutlass and The Mark of Noba have such pretty covers xD A shame you didn’t like them. I actually finished all the books I started this year (I haven’t read many though, only 30 or so sadly!), but the one I really wanted to DNF was Uprooted by Naomi Novik – the only reason I kept reading was because of all the glowing reviews I’d read… I ended up resenting the book even more! Haha. Great post, Lola! 🙂
    Anissa recently posted…Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh BardugoMy Profile

    • I agree the covers for Cutlass and The Mark of Noba are stunning and they soudned really good too. That’s great you finished all the books you started! Beside these I’ve had a few more books that I considered DNF’ing, but finished and two that I sorta DNF’d, but want to give another chance. Sometimes it’s better to DNF a book than to force through it.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Books I DNF’d in 2015My Profile

  2. I’m reading the Girl in Between whole series lol. I liked the first book, and then the second one got super emotional for a while which I liked even more, but the third starting turning into a pile of confusion :-/ But if the last one gets it back under control and clears things up, I’ll be happy with the series. I think her illness was supposed to make you feel uneasy, but everyone reads for different reasons, so I understand why you would stop if that’s not something you were enjoying. (Btw, spoiler alert to anyone else who might read it, it turns out she doesn’t have an illness but rather some paranormal thing.)

    I’ve read some books this year that I struggled and had to force myself to finish because I just wanted them to be done already at like 20%, but I just don’t really DNF. Once I commit, I stay with it. It would bother me not to know how the book ends. And, on a couple occasions, the books have actually gotten better as they went on.
    Kristen Burns recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This YearMy Profile

    • I am glad to hear you’re enjoying the series. I just couldn’t get through the first book. Illnesses in books make me very uneasy, actually in real life too. So I prefer to avoid that in books, especially when it’s a mayor part of the book. And I agree it was probably meant that way. I alreayd suspected it was somethign paranormal, but wans’t sure.

      I also have had a few books where I struggled to finish them ad then ended up with a 2 star rating and I wished I had DNF’d those. I does bother me not to know how a book end,s but if I force myself to read a book and don’t like it, I just find excuses not to read and I dislike that, so sometimes it’s better to DNF when it’s not for me. I’ve also had some boosk that started bad and I considered DNFíng and then they got better and I am happy I stayed with them.

    • I don’t DNf books often either, but it does happen now and then. And it can definitely be informative to see why people DNF’d a book as things that don’t work for one person might work for another.

  3. It’s too bad the first book didn’t work for you, because the premise could have made a really good book. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the only Shana Galen book I’ve read; I think she must be one of those authors who appeals to some readers but not to others.

    I will DNF a book if it’s just not working for me, so I’m glad to know I’m not the only one!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Ten Books I’d Love to Find Under the TreeMy Profile

    • I sometimes push myself to conitnue a book even when I don’t like it, but I am getting better at DNF’ing books when they don’t work for me. I liked the premise of the first book, but it just didn’t work for me.

      I could’ve finished the Shana Galen book, but I got so bored with it, I decided it was better to put it down. I got another one of her books for free when it was on sale, so I might give that a try once to see if I like that better. And else she probably isn’t an author for me.

  4. Haha! I didn’t realize you DNF’d books since you didn’t put up reviews earlier. I have had to learn to let a book go when it’s not interesting me or it’s making me upset. This was my first year of doing it and it was one of my book resolutions to give myself permission to set books down if they are not for me.
    I like how you explained what didn’t work for you. That is helpful for me to know if the book is something I want to pursue or if I’ll probably have the same issues. 🙂 You had a pretty good reading year since there are only four DNFs.

    Well, to answer your question, I had 6 DNFs this year. Mostly it was because I didn’t like the heroine or the book didn’t interest me after I reached a certain point. I probably should have DNF’d quite a few more b/c I wasn’t happy with them even after finishing them. I had a few that made a turn around and I liked them so it is that slight possibility that kept me reading others that didn’t turn around for the good.
    I think I need to continue working to lay aside books that don’t work for me. I tend to push to finish more if it’s a review book b/c I feel that I’m letting an author down if I don’t try hard to finish and still owe them a review. I’d be curious how authors feel about that- do they want a person to DNF or would they rather the low rated review with a finish? Maybe someday authors can weigh in on a question like that.

    • I always had the policy not to review DNF’d books, maybe that will change or maybe I’ll just keep doing this yearly recap posts for DNF books. I am pretty bad at DNF’ing books and often force myself to keep reading for too long, but I am getting a bit better at DNF’ing books.

      I agree that explainign why a book doesn’t work for you can be valuable for other possible readers, so that’s why I did want to share about my DNF’s. And yes it was a good year with only 4 DNF’s. I do put two books down that might join the DNf list, but I wnated to give another try and also had a few books where I pushed through and finished them and ended with a 2 star rating.

      6 DNF’s a year is pretty neat too. I have had a few of thsoe books too where I was hoping thigns got better and then they didn’t. It’s hard to determine when to put a book down as DNF or when to keep reading. Sometiems books do get better, other times not.

      I do need to keep working of putting books aside when they don’t work for me, just like you I tend to push myself and try and read more. Like that one book where I got to 50%, I just kept convincing myself it would get better and in the end I still DNF’d it and only got a few more frustrating reading evenings out of it. I also wonder about that if a 2 star review or DNF is better from an author their point of view.

  5. I normally liked Shana Galen’s books–I’ve devoured just about every book she’s wrote–although I DNF’d both of the Covent Garden Cubs series. I just couldn’t get into them. The writing felt sluggish and I couldn’t really connect with it.

    I’ve DNF’d several this year. Some the characters put me off, others I couldn’t get into the plot or find the world believable.
    Angela @Simply Angela recently posted…A Cold Creek Christmas & Christmas in Cold Creek by ReaAnne ThayneMy Profile

    • I got the first Convent Graden Club book for free when it was discounted, so I might still give that a try, but not sure if i will like that either. The second book just didn’t work for me. Sluggish is a good way to describe it, I couldn’t connect with the story. I have two books that might join the DNF pile, but I wasn’t sure yet and wanted to give them another try. It’s a shame when books don’t work for you, but it’s better sometimes to DNf them than struggle through it.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: Books I DNF’d in 2015My Profile

  6. Not bad! Only 4 books is definitely not bad! I DNFed one (The Witch Hunter) for good, and then quasi-DNFed Proof of Forever, but I may go back to it. And I stopped reading Passenger, but I will also go back to it, I think it was just a rough time for me. Proof of Forever was just getting on my nerves. But I was so bored with The Witch Hunter that I could not. I just simply could not. So I sent it to a new home 😉
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Dear Santa, Leave the Books. Take the Cannoli.My Profile

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