By: Melanie | November 22, 2013 | (31) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.


Hey! So this is my official ‘hello’ after going on a short blogging hiatus which ended on Wednesday. I was quite busy and glad I took a break–not sure what I’d be like right now if I didn’t! Damn that English essay on Northanger Abbey…
Anywho, today I am talking about DNFing books. I’m a little not sure what to do at times, and I’m curious to hear what you guys do when you DNF a review copy!

A DNF simply stands for ‘did not finish’. Some books can get excruciatingly painful to read and the only option left is to mark it as not finished, or DNF. This is a commonly used term in the bookish world. 😀

What I normally do when I DNF is I tend to write a mini review on the book–only if it was a review copy though. Books that I bought or borrowed from the library don’t deserve the effort for a review. However, like yesterday when I had originally planned a review of Teardrop by Lauren Kate but I DNFed it pretty much before Chapter 3, due to it’s poor writing and typical premise that started to open up, I did not end up posting because there simply was not much to say. On the other hand, I reviewed The Fall by Claire Merle and had DNFed that around 1/4 way through. So for me, it totally varies to whether I review a DNF book or not.

But I guess the main question is: Do you rate a DNFed book? Personally, I do. And it always tends to be one star. Still, I see some people rate DNFed books 2 or 3 stars even. I find it rather interesting, if you were to DNF a book, why rate it 2 or 3 stars when you clearly could not read on? Is it because it had potential? Or is it because it just wasn’t your thing? However that then just links back to whether you are a mood rater, or a calculator.

So what about you, do you rate and review DNFed ARCs?

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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31 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (15): DNFing books

  1. I rarely, if ever, review a book I DNF-ed. I usually do it because the writing is too terrible to stand or because I fail to connect emotionally or because there are too many tropes that annoy me. In each of these cases, I prefer not to write something because I know I couldn’t help being at least a little bit mean about it, and I want to avoid that at all costs.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Review: Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I try not to be mean in my 1 star/ DNF reviews but I realise I do get a little mean as well. Which is mainly why I refrained writing my review of Teardrop.

  2. Jasprit says:

    My rating of a DNF book depends on how far I get through the book, for example I got up to 30% of Red, but because I couldn’t take it anymore I didn’t rate it at all. I don’t think I give more than 2 stars to a DNF book. I also try to review DNF books, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. Great post Melnanie, I enjoyed learning about how you deal with DNF books!
    Jasprit recently posted…A Kid’s Perspective: Judging a Book By Its Cover #6My Profile

  3. I rate my DNFs one star because if I couldn’t finish the book, then they deserve nothing more. I do notice some people not rating DNFs at all which kinda makes sense since the book wasn’t finished. I actually just stopped reading a book at 35% in. I couldn’t take it anymore. I am going to post the DNF review in a couple days.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Writing & Publishing Tips: Reading and Writing by Connie SmithMy Profile

  4. A DNF book doesn’t get a rating, because I already use 1 star rating for books I finished but didn’t like. When it’s an ARC, I try to write a review about it if I have enough material. I once had a book I DNF after 5 pages, so it’s not possible to say much about it :p I just mailed them saying I didn’t like the writing-style.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 216. Aimee Carter – Pawn.My Profile

  5. Great to see you back Mel, missed your posts! I never used to DNF books but since becoming a book reviewer I think it’s necessary to, especially if the book isn’t holding your interest. And if the author hasn’t captured your interest by halfway through, you know it’s a lost cause. Too many books to read to spend time on books you don’t enjoy!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Giveaway & Author Interview: ECKSDOT by J WashburnMy Profile

  6. Lexa Cain says:

    I’ve been DNF-ing more and more books recently. I don’t write reviews, but I usually rate on GR. Generally I give 2 stars, but this is because the books were professionally written (sometimes from famous authors), but personally, I couldn’t connect with the plot or the characters enough to keep me coming back. Often, they were just too slow for me — I have the attention span of a gnat on crack. lol — and I didn’t want to waste the time when there are so many other things to read, do, or watch.
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate & ChangeMy Profile

  7. Candace says:

    I do not ever review or rate a book I DNF. For many reasons. The big one is that I have had books that I suffered through the first half or more only to find the second half BLEW MY MIND in it’s goodness. I know that if I’m DNF’ing a book, I might be missing out on some serious awesome. And I don’t think it’s fair to rate a book when it’s not actually been completed because like I said, you don’t know if things turned around. Another reason is that a good portion of my books are DNF’d because I’m not in the mood for them so I set them aside and often never get back to them. If it’s a review book I DNF, I just let the author or publisher know that it didn’t work for me so I won’t be reviewing it. I don’t really feel obligated to review it. The only time this is an issue is if it’s for Amazon Vine, because I have to review in order to get more. I haven’t had one of those get DNF’d yet (I’m super picky usually when I pick them out anyway) but I imagine I would review on Amazon only and make it clear where I stopped reading it, right in the very top.

    There are exceptions to this rule of mine and although I haven’t had to do this yet, I figure that if a book is horribly edited, or has some content that is just WRONG in my opinion (something taboo, for instance, that I’m just NOT on board with) then I suppose writing a review would be good so others would be warned.
    Candace recently posted…Young Adult Review: Clan by Realm LovejoyMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Ooh you’re lucky to be with Amazon Vine! They have some epic books for review. It always makes me cringe when sending an email telling the pub that I couldn’t review their book. I read the email gazillion times before sending. Then hide in a hole.

  8. I rarely DNF a book because once I start I want to see it through, I am weird like that. The rare books I do not finish, I don’t rate or write reviews on as I don’t think it is fair to give out stars on a book I didn’t read. Who knows the ending could be super great.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Friday Forecast November 24th-30thMy Profile

  9. I’ve never reviewed a DNF book before, but that doesn’t meant I never would. I think some books just aren’t someone’s “thing” you know? And by sharing what they did not like, even if they did not finish the book, might help someone else find a book they WOULD like. As for rating DNF books, I don’t rate pretty much any of my reviews…but I personally wouldn’t rate a DNF because it’s a book I didn’t finish and I can’t really properly rate it.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: The Cute Girl NetworkMy Profile

  10. I don’t normally rate DNF books unless there were a lot of elements that frustrated me and made me want to throw my book away.
    I do review them though especially if it’s a review copy mentioning what went wrong with it.
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Mini-Review : Torn by Monica MurphyMy Profile

  11. I only began DNFing books when I started blogging. I never review them no matter how far into the book I get. However, I do mark them as DNF and place them on my DNF shelf on Goodreads and I write up a short reason as to why I decided to DNF the book, whether it be the character, writing etc. If the book was for review, then I send publisher an email or write on NG or Edelweiss that I DNF’d and state the reasons why..since this is beneficial to them. Honestly I do not think it is fair to write a review of a book I did not finish, since I can not make a fair assessment or give the reader an indication as to plot etc.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Season for Scandal by Theresa RomainMy Profile

  12. Shelly says:

    I rarely DNF a book but when I do, I don’t review or rate it. I would post a short little summary of it and a small description of why I abandoned the book on a post called “Abandoned Archive” but that’s about it. I just rarely DNF so I don’t see the need to review it. Thanks for sharing and welcome back! 🙂
    Shelly recently posted…End of the Year 2013 Readathon!My Profile

  13. Diamond Dee says:

    I have a DNF shelf on Goodreads. If I read a good portion of it before giving up, I rate it (but it’s always one star if I don’t finish!) after all, if it’d be 2 or 3 stars then that’s good enough to finish! Lol.
    I’ve been having a huge problem with DNF lately for my eARCs. I always write a little explanation. But, lately I just am overwhelmed by the number of books I’ve been DNFing. I feel so guilty, are they really all bad? I mean…ugh. I guess I’m just in a reading slump. 🙁
    Welcome back from your hiatus! I missed ya 😉
    Diamond Dee recently posted…The 7 Deadly Sins of Reading (from @Ramblings of a Daydreamer)My Profile

  14. Emily says:

    MEL!!! 😀 So glad to see you back! xD
    Hmmm…. for me, I find that I try my best not to DNF too many books, but I find that I’ve been DNFing quite a bit. So in order to give feedback, I don’t rate the novel, but I just point out the parts that made me want to face-desk or frustrated me. But I don’t really write a review for novels I DNF, but I may or may not post it on Goodreads. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Teardrop by Lauren Kate 🙁 Hopefully something better will come your way! 🙂 Welcome back, hon! And fantastic post!! <33
    Emily recently posted…Review: Just One Year by Gayle FormanMy Profile

  15. Hey Mel,
    I had trouble finishing Teardrop as well. I kept persisting but wish I hadn’t. I’ve had quite a few through Netgalley that were too traumatic to go on with. Out of over 400+ books, my DNF list is only at 32. Not too shabby.
    Kelly @ Diva Booknerd recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #003My Profile

  16. glass says:

    I do that – with review copies and with other books, but I do not rate them or mark them as read books. I will write short review and say why I couldn’t finish it if it’s review copy,but I don’t want to wast my time on the books I didn’t like.
    glass recently posted…(Blog Tour) Lie to Me by Chloe CoxMy Profile

  17. Chantelle says:

    Love this! I was thinking about the exact thing the other day, I DNF books all the time. Unfortunately I’ve been really terrible with review copies and have left them unreviewed (if they’re from netgalley) or otherwise emailed the author personally. I really like your idea of a mini-review, might do that next time! I used to not rate books I’ve DNFed until Nara convinced me to, because otherwise they’d always have high ratings. I am however guilty of rating books 2 or 3 stars sometimes even when I DNF, most of the time it’s because the writing is actually okay, but the plot or the characters were going in a direction that I just wasn’t interested or invested in… mmm going to have to think on this a bit more haha
    Chantelle recently posted…Introducing: The Rainbow Rowell Read-a-Thon!My Profile

  18. When I first started blogging, I tried everything and was a huge DNF’er. Since then, I think I’ve become better at figuring out what books I shouldn’t request at all. I still DNF if a book is really not for me, but I don’t review it. I like other people’s DNF reviews though — it’s very interesting to see what makes a person put a book down forever.
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Extra! Extra! Catching Fire and More!My Profile

  19. Romi says:

    I enjoyed this post! I find had ben wondering if my definition of DNF was different to others, because there seems to have been a bit of a kerfuffle on goodreads about dnf-ing books, which to me doesn’t make all that much sense in this case.
    In the case of writing reviews for books I didn’t finish, I used to but no longer do that- I think, if I got far enough through, I probably would, but often I only get a few chapters in when I know it’s not for me.
    Romi recently posted…The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer…My Profile

  20. Ariella says:

    I pretty much do the same thing as you. But mostly, I DNF books in about one to three chapters. Because once I read through half the book, I have this sort of obligation to finish it. That’s with the books I buy myself though. With review copies, I try my hardest to finish them but if they aren’t working, I stop reading it but still post a mini review stating the reasons why I didn’t like it. Great post, Melanie!
    Ariella recently posted…{Review} Crash into You – Katie McGarryMy Profile

  21. I am a huge believer in DNF books. There are just way too many in my TBR to suffer through books I don’t like or don’t think I would like. It depends on how far I went in if I write a review or not. If I get to 30% of the book or more, then I write a short (sometimes not so short and sometimes ranty) review of why the book didn’t work for me. If I only got 10% in I don’t even bother. I don’t think it’s fair to rate DNF books because I didn’t finish it but some places make you rate them (like Amazon I believe) so I get the 1 star DNF review.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (78) + Weekly Recap!My Profile

  22. I never review DNF books on my blog, but I do sometimes post quick thoughts about why the book sucked (or why I just couldn’t get through it!) on Goodreads. But I tend not to rate… though I did make an exception for Fifty Shades of Grey. O.o
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Mini-Reviews: Cracked by Eliza Crewe & Crash Into You by Katie McGarryMy Profile

  23. I used to rate DNF books, but now I just write short reviews. I don’t understand people who say they never DNF books, how do they do it?
    -Scott Reads It!
    Scott Pilgrim recently posted…Alienated by Melissa LandersMy Profile

  24. TayteH says:

    Usually I DNF a book by saying 1 star or just putting DNF, but it’s rare for me to do that given if I try to read a book that I know I’ll probably DNF, I put it down and say to myself that I’ll go back to it eventually, but probably not.
    TayteH recently posted…A Shell Full of Books: The Missing MonthsMy Profile

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