Feature & Follow: Why I Write & Publish DNF Reviews

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | |

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. This week's prompt is....
What is your take on DNF books. Do you review them? Choose not to review them?

I ABSOLUTELY review books I did not finish. Why?

Because I did read it. I do have an opinion on it. I find DNF reviews useful.

I am an completionist and don’t give up easily so when I DNF its usually substantially into the book. I try. I put it down and come back to it. I try to reward myself for getting further. But you know what?

Sometimes it’s just not happening.

After torturing myself to continue books that I didn’t want to, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack. It’s not good for my mental health. My time and energy are worth more than this. Making my hobby, my passion, my escape, my release a trial is doing no one any favors. So I’ll be pickier about persevering and more forgiving towards myself.

Giving up isn’t failure. I tried. It’s not for me. I’m moving on. And that’s okay in itself.

But why do I write these reviews and make them public?

Part of it personal. It’s cathartic. My brain will continue to think about reviewing it no matter what. It allows me to release all the thoughts tumbling in my head and let it go. And once I write it, I have to post it. Otherwise I feel fake for hiding it.

Plus, reviewing is hard damn it. I want credit for what I do.

I don’t think it’s a waste of time or focusing on the negative. Processing what I felt and why helps refine my writing and reading choices.

All reviews are helpful. I purposefully seek out reviews on each part of the scale to make decisions. And even if the review is naysaying, that doesn’t mean it won’t have positive effects.

In the end, I ask myself why wouldn’t I write and post these reviews?

I can't come up with a single compelling reason not to. I'm just being my authentic self.

My DNF Reviews From Goodreads:

Brooke's bookshelf: dnf

Black City
did not like it
Twilight meets Romero & Juliet in Nazi Germany. They were completely obvious about it too. They did the same salute & everything. It's a miracle I made it to pg. 165. Gave up to save my sanity.
found-in-giveaways, insta-love, paranormal, regrets, young-adult, r...
The Casual Vacancy
did not like it
For the record: Yes, I read the blurb and everything. I knew what I was getting into. I wasn't expecting magic but there was no spark either, it's just dull following around small petty people for no apparent reason.

Yes, I knew these ...
dnf, adult, contemporary, and regrets
Fang Girl
did not like it
DNF: Made it to page 52.

I didn't find it funny at all. It was just too ridiculous, obvious, and on the nose for me. Oh well.
dnf, paranormal, vamps, urban, young-adult, and funny
did not like it
I won this ARC in a First Reads Giveaway. It was supposed to include the first book, Glitch but I received two copies of Override instead. Since my attempts to correct this went no where, it had to wait until I got around to getting Glit...
first-reads, young-adult, written-reviews, series, romance, regrets...
did not like it
DNF: Made it to pg. 90.
There were parts I enjoyed, like how Rook came across at first and called out that controlling ordering food for her red flag.
But she melted. Because of a “hot” creeper guy. She waffled. Her issues were no long...
dnf, new-adult, romance, regrets, trigger-warning, and written-reviews
The First Pillar
did not like it
Sorry, I really tried. I picked up and put down several times since I won it several years ago but couldn't make it past page 88.

It's just so...bland. The characters, the descriptions, there's no feeling and it's so convenient how Owe...
dnf, fantasy, young-adult, written-reviews, and won
The Other Boleyn Girl
did not like it
I tried reading this years ago when it blew up. I couldn't be bothered to care. I found it really dull and couldn't keep the players straight. Probably because I couldn't careless about it. I'd forgotten all about it until I read and rev...
adult, dnf, historical, romance, regrets, and written-reviews
To Walk the Night

Made to Chapter 14, pg. 104.

I don't know why. There wasn't anything really wrong with it. It was just another standard urban paranormal. Kat's a female Blade with her own wicked sword and a tech geek sidekick. The weres submitte...
dnf, vamps, weres, urban, paranormal, and adult
Demon Song
did not like it
After two books that wavered between "Meh, could've been better" and **disappointed sigh**, I only started reading Demon Song because it was the book I had on hand.

Work was dead and I finished everything with half and hour left of my ...
adult, dnf, written-reviews, weres, vamps, romance, paranormal, and...


Do you find DNF reviews helpful?


  1. I also DNF books, if I give them a good try and I am just not into it I don't force myself. :)

    Old bloglovin follow but new email follower.
    Friday Memes

  2. It’s so hard for me to DNF books. It makes me feel like a quitter. I’ll only review a DNF book if I make it past 50%. I’m a new Bloglovin’ follower. I love the design of your blog!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I completely agree with, well, basically everything you said. I rarely DNF books but if I do they get a review because, as a reader, I find the "negative" reviews just as helpful if not more so than the positive ones. It also bugs me if I don't say at least SOMETHING, even a sentence or two (which turns into a paragraph or more of why I stopped reading). I understand why some choose not to review DNFs but not a policy I share.

    Have a good weekend and happy reading! :)

    Austine @ NovelKnight

  4. Sometimes I am painfully pushing on to try and finish a book. I'd say 95% of the time I do. I've only DNFed 4 books since I started blogging. I won't DNF a book until I reach at least the 40% mark. I try to soldier on, but if I just can't, I do write a review. I try to give both elements of what I liked and what made me DNF for other readers similar to me.

  5. I feel guilty if it is an ARC that I have promised a review for so I really push to finish those. Otherwise, if I don't like something and I've given it a fair chance, I just move on to something I enjoy more.
    Following on Twitter!
    My Feature and Follow

  6. I am a completist too so I get it. Most the time I dfn because of my mood or add so I usually go back to it. I have never reviewed or rated a true dfn book though. I hate writing reviews for books I don't like. I am just no good at it and feel bad. I am a softy. I appreciate those who do though. It helps me out on what I choose to read and maybe that is why i don't dfn books so much. :) new follower.

  7. I usually don't review books I've DNF since I've always felt that it wouldn't be fair to review a book that you haven't finished.

    Here’s my FF

    Old Follower

  8. I DNF Books as well. I choose not to do reviews, usually, sometimes I make an exception.

    1. I am following on Twitter and Bloglovin

  9. still posting review because it affected me in some ways. I want people to know how I felt reading the book because it might help them justify their take on the book (if it was similar to mine). Happy Friday! new follower!


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