Top Ten Tuesdays | Books I Wished I DNF

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s prompt is: books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly.

I’m pretty good at determining whether I’m going to enjoy a book, if it’s not interesting by about 50 pages in, I will drop it. I also don’t keep track of books that I DNF and often forget about them. So I *ahem* borrowed the idea from Jo at BookLoversBlog to talk about books I wish I hadn’t finished. These are books that I hoped would get better or had come highly recommended to me or had such lofty reputations that I ploughed on despite not enjoying them.

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Márquez


I had heard such good things about Márquez, I continued with this book. I wrote a long ranty review on the myriad of reasons why I didn’t like it from the depiction of obsessive love as romantic to many problematic depictions of ‘love’.

Read my full review here.

The Left Hand of God – Paul Hoffman

Left Hand of God

This came highly recommended to me and was the first high fantasy book I had read in ages. Both of these reasons compelled me to finish it – I thought that it might just take me a while to get into and that it might get better, but alas this book suffers from clunky dialogue, poor writing and a lack of understanding of who the target audience is.

Imryil’s review of the book here is an excellent breakdown of what was wrong with it.

Under the Pendulum Sun – Jeanette Ng


This book has a gorgeous cover and the fact that it was a Gothic story with scary faeries definitely had me wanting to read it. It was one of the first books I had bought after a year long self-imposed book buying ban so I felt I had to finish it.

Read my full review here.

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife

I love sci-fi, especially time travel but I do not like romantic stories and this was the downfall of this book. I couldn’t enjoy it and IMHO the time travel aspect of the book just wasn’t done well. I also thought the ending was poor.

Fishbowl – Bradley Somer


I read this as part of my 2017 challenge to only ready books I owned and I think what the book was trying to do was interesting so I finished it. The book follows a falling goldfish down a building and looks at the interlinking stories of its residents. It just wasn’t very interesting and didn’t have as much to say.

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Such great reviews, such high expectations but this book was predictable and GRIM. I still don’t understand how it has such a huge fanbase.

The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi

The Buddha of Suburbia

I had to read this book for uni and as we were going to spend a whole term on it, it wasn’t one I could skip. But oh my gosh did I hate the main character, he was incredibly selfish and I was not invested in the book or what happened to him at all.

Before I Die – Jenny Downham

Before I Die

I didn’t enjoy this book at any point but it being quite a short one I continued through it. I didn’t like the protagonist at all. I didn’t like her voice and found her selfish. Disclaimer: I read this as a teen so rereading it now might be a different experience but other reviewers on goodreads have expressed a similar opinion, so maybe not!

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar

I read this as a teenager in the summer in between my GCSEs and A-Levels and it was the first literary text I read unassigned. I didn’t really know what a I was getting myself into for this one and again, might be better with a reread now that I better understand issues of mental health and depression.

The House of Night/Marked Series – P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast



Cheating a little with this one because I did eventually stop reading the series. During the It was the during height of my vampire phase and I found the book’s mythology really cool at the time – moon-shaped vampire marks, elements of witchcraft etc. But I got sick of the repetitive storytelling (literally each book would start with a recap of the previous) and how selfish and hypocritical the MC was.

Which books do you disagree with? Are there any books that you ploughed through despite disliking? Do you have a DNF rule?

15 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesdays | Books I Wished I DNF

  1. I enjoyed The Left Hand of God, although it definitely had its issues. And I’m laughing about the fact someone other than me has read Fishbowl. My daughter attempted to read it after me and said, “Mom, WTH did you give me?” I think that pretty much explains it all.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Left Hand of God is really divisive. My boyfriend said it was the best book he’d read in ages…I was unimpressed haha.
      I think Fishbowl was trying to do something really clever but didn’t quite do it.

      Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out! 🙂


    1. I am slowly finding people out there who also don’t like The Knife of Never Letting Go so I’m glad it’s not just me!


    1. There was much potential with The Time Traveller’s Wife! I may reread The Bell Jar now that I understand the topics a little bit better 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there were quite a few negative reviews on goodreads when I was checking it to add to my list this week, so I know we’re not alone.

      I’ll check out your list!


  2. I didn’t like The Knife of Never Letting Go and it wasn’t even that I had high expectations on it, I just never could get into the story. Also, I entirely agree with you on House of Night series. It was good for a bit but it gets way too repetitive and no matter how many times I told myself that the protagonist is going to change her selfish ways, she always does something to infuriate me. Great list; happy reading!


  3. Yeah I think you often get high society dystopias which I really enjoy because I love SF/speculative fiction but low society dystopias are less interesting to me.
    Ooof, Zooey still annoys me!


  4. Great list. I am so with you on the House of Night series. At some point, it was like, “Is this really necessary?” and I had a moment earlier this year or at the end of last year when I scoffed upon realizing they brought the series back again.


  5. Oh my god, The Left Hand of God! I DNFed that one after about 50 pages or so because I decided I hated it THAT quickly, and I’ve never seen anyone say a bad word against it so it always seemed a bit odd to me. I’ve finally found another person who didn’t think it was revolutionary! 😆


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