We’re up to the last couple of days of Blogmas and it is time for the most important book stat posts of the year – the books I DNFed, and my favourite books. I always leave the very best until last so that means it is time for the DNFs.
My reading was very up and down this year so I do have quite a few books I didn’t finish, intentionally or not.
Let’s just dive right in.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
The whole premise of this book sounds like I would enjoy it; mythology, history and fantasy coming together to bring us a story steeped in richness and detail. It is something new as well, influencing me to try branching out into complex and high-fantasy. What I didn’t expect is that it would read like literary fiction, a style and genre I don’t always enjoy, and I certainly didn’t like it here. It created a disconnect between me and the writing which made me put it down. It did annoy me to DNF it but having since looked at reviews, I’m grateful I made that decision as many elements are reported as being rather graphic, questionable and not to my tastes at all, for example, scenes of rape, gang rape, torture, emotional and physical abuse etc. Nope. Just no.
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
Sherwood would have been a contender for one of my most disappointed reads of 2020 had I decided to include books I DNFed. I was liking this book to an extent thanks to Marion and the twisting of the Robin Hood myth, but at the same time, I felt the pacing to be unnecessarily slow and I wasn’t always compelled to pick it back up if I’d set it aside for a bit. I’d left it aside for so long that it simply became a DNF. However it is a book that, if I was in a retelling mood, I would try reading again.
The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
A DNF simply because I was reading it at the wrong time for me. Set during the French Occupation in the Second World War and present day France, emotions are running high, one of our main characters Adalyn is doing her bit for the war effort, working to undermine the Nazis, and some of those repercussions continue to affect the family in the present day. I’m not opposed to high stakes and heavy emotions at all in books, but I need to be in a good mental space for them and I wasn’t when I started reading this, therefore I had to put it down.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Passenger is one of my most recent DNFs and I’m still not entirely sure why I DNFed it. The action kicked in from page one, I was interested enough in Etta to wonder why she is so important and why her legacy was kept from her, and the time travel element was intriguing. I just put it down one night and didn’t pick it up again, and I’m not sure if I actually will. Yes, I liked it but I’m not excited enough to carry on. I think it is the curse of leaving it on the TBR for too long before reading it.
Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy
Following on from my most recent DNF comes the very first DNF I had this year, two days into January – a sci-fi, gender-bent retelling of Merlin and King Arthur. It sounds as if it should be really cool and different, but for me it flopped. I felt as if I was introduced to too many things at once within quick succession and without much explanation, and I was totally lost. I couldn’t enjoy it and as soon as I was able to, I unhauled it.
I probably had a couple of other DNFs too but these are the only ones of note.
If you are someone who DNFs books, are there any books you DNFed this year?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!