Tag Archives: DNF

Top Ten Tuesday: Petty Reasons You’ve DNF’d a Book Or Reduced Its Rating

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The phrase Game Over is written in bright neon lights.

I will not be sharing the names of any authors or titles in this post as I don’t want to make anyone feel bad.

1. They didn’t know the difference between hay and straw. 

Straw is used for animal bedding while hay is used for animal feed. If an author tries to feed nothing but straw to their cows, the poor creatures will not receive the nutrients they need to survive and I will not continue reading that tale!


2. They introduced way too many characters in the first chapter. 

I get overwhelmed by these things. By all means have dozens of characters if needed, but give me some time to take note of who they are before bringing more folks into the fold.


3. There is a terribly judgemental protagonist.

Realistically flawed main characters are so much more interesting to read about than perfect ones, but I quickly lose interest in protagonists in most cases if their main flaw is harshly judging other people. This is true even if I happen to agree that X is generally a good thing to do or that Y is generally not a good thing to do.

I’d rather have more love and acceptance in the world and in fiction.


4. The plot includes a love triangle.

I’m completely burnt out on this trope.


5. Character names are difficult to pronounce due to inconsistent spelling or pronunciation rules

If their names have been spelled or pronounced in ways that do not make sense or vary a lot from one name to the next, that is not the book for me unless the author is doing it on purpose and clearly explains why there are no consistent rules about such things in that universe. This is something that happens most often in the fantasy genre in my experience. I wish it didn’t happen so often.


6. Driving or walking distances are wildly unrealistic

If your character plans to drive from one side of Toronto to the other in a couple of hours, especially during rush hour or a blizzard when traffic is painfully slow and driving time can be much, much longer than that, I will shake my head and decline to read any further. There is no world in which this happens unless you’re writing a Star Trek novel and there’s a transporter involved.

Toronto is huge and full of congestion and construction projects for most of the year. The rest of time, it is almost always snowing, sleeting, or raining heavily. Characters who wish to speedily reach their destination through my city should either travel at two in the morning in January when there is zero precipitation or avoid this part of the world altogether.


7.  Anyone other than an antagonist is rude to someone to the service industry.

There are plenty of other ways to show a character is having a bad day and not being themselves when necessary. Rudeness, especially to folks who are often treated unkindly in real life and who make far too little money for all of their hard work, is not something I want to read about.


8. The pet dies.

Fictional pets should be immortal if you ask me!


9. Too many sex scenes.

It’s totally fine to include them if they’re an integral part of the storyline.

I’d prefer to replace the rest of them with scenes that are funny, dramatic, or propel the plot forward. Alternatively, the book could also be just a little shorter and that would be perfectly okay.


10. Text talk.

Unless there’s an excellent reason for a character to write or speak this way, I’d prefer them to communicate in full sentences or something close to that. They can use as much slang as the author wishes (although that can make a book feel dated pretty fast if you’re not careful), I just want them to speak or write in a way that doesn’t substitute numbers for letters or shorten words for no logical reason.



Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Recent Books I Did Not Finish

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A photo of scrabble tiles against a salmon background. The tiles have been arranged to spell out the words “yes” and “no.”When Jana released the summer topics for Top Ten Tuesday, she suggested we include reasons why we didn’t finish the books in this week’s list if we can do so kindly.

I’m going to take her up on that idea, but please don’t let me stop you from checking these titles out for yourself if you’re interested in them.

My literary pet peeves and dislikes might be exactly what you look for in a story and vice versa. Everyone is different, after all, and all of these books had good bones so to speak. I wouldn’t have included them this week if I thought otherwise!

Book cover for Pageboy by Elliot Page. Image on cover is a photo of Mr. Page wearing a white tank top and a pair of blue jeans. He is sitting in a room with a red wall and staring ahead at the camera with a serious expression on his face.

Pageboy by Elliot Page
Why I Stopped Reading It: While I liked Mr. Page’s writing style and was quite interested in his story, I struggled to adjust to how non-linearly he wrote this memoir and how many details about his sex life were included. It is totally fine for people who enjoy that topic to discuss about it amongst themselves so long as all of their sexual partners have consented to it, by the way! I’m simply bored by such talk and would have much rather read something that was written chronologically and focused on the author’s many professional accomplishments instead.
Book cover for The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed. Image on cover shows a drawing of a grey and white bird that has a green fungus of some sort growing on it’s feathers and body.
Why I Stopped Reading It: I enjoyed the science fiction elements of the first few chapters, but the literary fiction elements of it were too slow and meandering for my tastes. I generally prefer stronger plot and character development than what was featured here, but I can also see how this could be a great introduction to science fiction for people who love more ambiguous writing styles.
Book cover for Wonder Drug: The Secret History of Thalidomide in America and Its Hidden Victims by Jennifer Vanderbes. Image on cover is a black and white photo of a white toddler who is wearing a white dress and placing blocks into the correct holes in a wooden sorting toy. The little girl does not have arms due to prenatal exposure to thalidomide.
Why I Stopped Reading It: There wasn’t much here that I hadn’t already read elsewhere, although it could be a great read for people who aren’t already aware of the tragic, unintended consequences of thalidomide on embryos and fetuses.
Book cover for Such Kindness by Andre Dubus III. Image on cover shows a photo of a bald old man walking gingerly down an otherwise deserted road on a partly cloudy winter day.
Such Kindness by Andre Dubus III
Why I Stopped Reading It: The main character had been in constant, severe pain since a work accident a decade ago that destroyed his health, marriage, finances, ability to work, and more.  One reviewer said the storyline remained dark and depressing for the first hundred pages before it improved. I read a little past that point but then could not take any more of his suffering. It was too much for me.
Book cover for Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Image on cover shows the eyes of a woman who is deeply frightened. There is a red shade to the image that makes it seem even scarier because everything is washed in red, and that made me think of blood.
Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Why I Stopped Reading It: It was too scary. My brain needs calmer stuff at the moment.


Filed under Blog Hops