Blogging A to Z Day 4: 10 Books I Did Not Finish Reading and Why They Were So Bad

I am a lover of books. I love the way they look, the way they smell, and the way they make me feel. That is why it pains me to say that I DNF’d (did not finish reading) 10 books last year. Yes, you read that correctly. 10 books. Out of all the books I read last year, only 80% were completed. Why did I DNF these books? Let’s look…

Accidental Tryst by Natasha Boyd

I was expecting a Rom-Com. This was not it. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t romantic. I DNF’d this book because it was slow and the characters were unlikeable. I DNF’d this book because it was slow and the characters were unlikeable.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I want to like this. Because everyone likes it. And I can’t get past four chapters before I give up. It’s not that it’s bad. It just bores me.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I was told this was a classic gothic horror story. And yet again, Jane Austen left me feeling like my day was ruined and my disappointment was immeasurable. This is one of those books that people either love or hate. And by people I mean everyone in the English speaking and reading population vs me. I am not a fan. It’s slow and there’s not much to it.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

I really had high hopes for this. I mean, who doesn’t love the story of a man with a split personality? Oh, my red flags are showing again. I’m just saying, seeing the Hoff in Jekyll and Hyde made me a fan. So I gave this a try. And try I did.

For about 100 pages. Then I DNF’d it. It was so slow and uneventful. Stevenson could have cut out a good 50 pages and it would have been better for it.

But that’s just my opinion. What about you? Would you give this one a try or are you like me and will steer clear?

Halloween: The Official Movie Novelization by John Passarella

I am a member of the Gen X generation. I grew up with the slasher films. Halloween is a classic. I love the movies. So, why wouldn’t I love the book? A five-page description of a woman making a ham sandwich. That’s what caused me to close the book and put it in the give it away box for the used book shop.


Did you read it? What were your thoughts?

Pride, Prejudice, and Poison: A Jane Austen Society Mystery by Elizabeth Blake

I’m a huge, cozy mystery fan. Even though this has Jane Austen referenced, I thought I would try it out. I thought twice about two chapters in. I simply can not wrap my head around Jane Austen era mannerisms and language while pulling a cell phone out to order an Uber.


Did you read it? What were your thoughts?

From Blood and Ash: Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I fell into BookTok, and this one was everywhere. BookTok made me buy it. But that was not enough to make me love it, let alone finish it. I realize I’m not the target audience for this, but I have never been so far off on a book before. I heard it was spicy and I like a little spice. But you got to give me something to put that spice on. You can’t just hand me a bottle of Tabasco and say, “Chug!”

I DNF’d this one because I just couldn’t get into it. It was slow and the writing style was not for me. DNF’d at 96% due to lack of interest. The plot wasn’t holding my attention.

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

What the hell did I read? This book was a labyrinth. It was long and winding and really had no point. It was like a lecture in college where the professor was still hungover from the night before and really didn’t feel like teaching. It was so confusing. I don’t even remember what it was about.

DNF’d at 78% due to complete boredom.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

If this book went any slower, even the vampires would have died from old age. Again, I had high hopes for this. Not only did BookTok talk it up, but we got vampires and witches. Enemies to lovers trope. Like this had all the makings for outstanding. And I struggled to even make it halfway.

This book was just so long. And I didn’t feel like the characters were three-dimensional. It was like she was trying too hard to be literary and it just fell flat for me. DNF’d at 52%.

Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley by MC Beaton

Agatha is a staple and favorite character in the cozy mystery community. I can’t stand her. I literally hate her. And I can’t keep reading about a protagonist I don’t care for or about. She is dreadful human and I just want her to wind up the victim permanently.

I’m not alone in this, am I? According to Goodreads, the average reader gives up on a book after only 50 pages. If you think about it, that’s really not that many pages when you consider how long some books are. That being said, there are definitely books that deserve to be DNF’d. Thank you for taking a look at what makes them so undesirable to me. Whether it’s because of slow pacing, uninteresting characters or a lack of action, these are the 10 books I did not finish last year and why. Have you read any of these? What books did you DNF? Let me know in the comments.


15 thoughts on “Blogging A to Z Day 4: 10 Books I Did Not Finish Reading and Why They Were So Bad

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      1. I was a ferocious reader up to that point and a diligent student so it was a bit of a crushing situation. I didn’t give up reading but I did give up finishing everything.


      1. I’m still trying to dissect the reasons I didn’t like her, because, as you know, it’s so built into our sexist societal “norms” for women and their behavior that women can’t be “selfish” or “disrespectful” of others’ feelings, or be solely concerned for their own gratification, desires, and needs, and aren’t allowed to be “unlikeable” so there’s a lot of unpack and potentially jettison in reading this series, and this character, and make sure my own (even though I consider myself a feminist) bias as being part of this society with its sexist double standard for how women are “supposed” to behave in contradiction to how men are allowed, and even encouraged, to behave. A heavy topic for a comment on someone else’s blog, but…that’s why I haven’t unilaterally given up on the Agatha Raisin series. Thoughts?

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  1. The “classics” on your list would have a slower pace than what we are used to with modern books — which is why when I read them (yes I actually finished them), it took a while and much patience. I only have A Discovery of Witches on my TBR from your list and will read it when I get a chance. I’ve DNFed quite a few books last year. I even have a DNF shelf on Goodreads. My Z post for the A-Z challenge will actually have quite a few books that I’ve DNFed…

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: D

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did finish reading The Strange Case and I agree it is slow. I must have reread the first two chapters about four times before I actually read the book. It was assigned to us at school so I had to finish reading it. It was great when I did eventually finish it and it was good. It was so good I almost cried at one point. However it was difficult to get through because of the style the author wrote in and the vocabulary that he used, they were not doing it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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