Do you ever start a book excited about it’s potential and realize part-way through that it’s just not doing it for you? I always used to push myself to finish it, but lately I’ve had several books that I just wasn’t feeling and I allowed myself to just put down. Some I may go back and read another time, some I have no intention of trying ever again. Here’s my list of recent DNFs (in no particular order):
Longbourn by Jo Baker – I got approximately 200 pages into this one before putting it down one day and not picking it up again. I think it’s been over a year since I started it and I just don’t think I will finish it. Longbourn is the servant’s story from Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and so I had high hopes for this book as I normally like familiar tales with changed perspectives. However, Longbourn is it’s own tale, with passing (and usually derogatory) references to the Pride and Prejudice story line. The servant’s tale did not pique my interest, and I found Sarah (the maid and main character) annoying rather than interesting.
The Map Maker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford – A fantasy tale that I barely started before putting aside, The Mapmaker’s Daughter is about Sharra, a daughter who yearns to follow in her father’s footsteps and join the ranks of the Map Makers despite cultural taboo forbids female cartographers. I only got a chapter or so in before I stopped as I couldn’t get over my unease over Sharra who should have been a strong female character I could get behind but who ended up annoying and unsettling me. Too bad – it has so much potential!
Dangerous by Shannon Hale – I have really enjoyed other books by Shannon Hale (e.g. The Goose Girl and it’s followers) so I was excited to try another by this author. This sci-fi adventure is totally different from her other books, and I started reading it but didn’t really get into it right away and then my library loan expired. I might go back someday – I like the idea of a main character with a physical disability who probably fits the “strong female character” bill (although I didn’t read far enough to find out). If anyone has read this and liked it I would love to know!
All That Glows by Ryan Graudin – This was a book I recently tried out and got a little over halfway through before realizing that I was not feeling it. Emrys is a fiery Fae who is sent to guard the soon-to-be King, Prince Richard. An ancient force begins preying on the monarchy and Emrys must find out who is threatening Richards life. All this while realizing that she’s falling in love with him. I was super annoyed and thought it was super unrealistic that this thousand-something year old Fae falls for a 17-year-old human BOY. The big question becomes whether Emrys will give up her magic to be with Richard. Puh-lease. Put it down as soon as it was clear that the romance was overtaking everything else. There is a sequel (the description of which pretty much gives away how this one ends). I won’t be picking this back up.
Illusionarium by Heather Dixon – I loved Entwined by Heather Dixon (review here) and so I had super high expectations for Illusionarium. It seemed like an excellent steampunk / fantasy adventure, touted as a story that calls to mind The Night Circus. Maybe so, but after reading a few chapters in which Johnathan starts sliding down a slippery moral/ethical slope, I put this one down. Goodreads reviews have not convinced me to pick it back up.
The Cuckoo’s Calling (Corman Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J.K. Rowling) – I started this one and then realized that I was not in the mood for reading a mystery novel, plus I was anxious over the start. Given the postpartum hormonal anxiety that I was swimming in, reading something suspenseful seemed a poor choice at the time. I’d definitely like to return to this one since I’ve heard it’s really good! I just need to wait until the mood to read mystery strikes – and I have the time to devour the book in one sitting!
Do you have any Did Not Finish books of late?