DNF Regrets – Top 10 Books I Wish I Had Quit Reading

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly (are you questioning your DNF choices on any books? If you have a policy to not DNF, put a spin on the topic to make it fit you.)  

I had to tweak this topic a bit since up until very recently, I was always very hesitant to DNF a book.  Even if I was clearly not enjoying a read, I always had that little nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me to keep going, that surely it would get better, etc.  I don’t even want to think about how many hours I’ve wasted reading books that weren’t for me just because I couldn’t make myself give up on them.

I think since I have started blogging, I’ve finally just become more comfortable with the idea that not every book is for every reader and if I’m not enjoying something and have given it a fair shot, it’s okay to move on and try another book instead.   It has still taken me until about six months ago to really start DNFing books though so my top ten list is a list of books I wish I had made myself quit reading.  There was something about each one of them that didn’t appeal to me at all – a main character I didn’t like, a writing style that didn’t work for me, too much description and not enough action, or maybe I just flat out got bored with the series, etc.  Whatever the reason, I was not enjoying these reads very much but couldn’t make myself quit.  If I had it to do all over again, these would all be DNFs.


DNF Regrets – Top 10 Books I Wish I Had Quit Reading


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1. ALLEGIANT by Victoria Roth

(I enjoyed the first book in the series but was just bored with it by book 3.)


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2. THE BONE WITCH by Ria Chupeco

(I wanted to love this but got bored with too much elaborate description of fashion and classes, but not enough action.)


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3. GLASS SWORD by Victoria Aveyard

(I could kick my own butt for even starting this book, considering how much I wanted to throttle Mare in the first one.  To my credit though, I have NOT continued with the series.)


* * * * *


4. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

(I found the main character to be so annoying.  Everything she did just drove me bonkers.)


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5. FROSTBLOOD by Elly Blake

(I got bored with this story because it just didn’t feel very original.  I ended up liking it by the very end but it took too long to get to that point.)


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6. GILDED CAGE by Vic James

(Like Frostblood, I pushed through even though I was a little bored and was okay with it by the end.  That said, however, I did end up DNFing the next book in the series.)


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7. THE IMMORTALISTS by Chloe Benjamin

(The premise of the book was so interesting but I was bored almost the entire time I was reading and didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters.)


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(The premise was interesting but the pacing was so slow that I kept losing interest and falling asleep.)


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9. SWEETBITTER by Stephanie Danler

(I kept waiting to love this book because it was the must-read book of the summer when I read it.  There’s even a TV show or movie based on it now, but I was just so bored.  It made me hungry but that was about it. And yet I still didn’t DNF it.  *shakes head*)


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(I will say that by the end, I found the journey somewhat worthwhile, but I felt like I had to work too hard to really connect with this book.  It was meaningful yet felt somewhat pretentious.)

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Question:  What about you and your DNF regrets?  Do you have any books that you wish you had given up on?

48 replies
  1. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I am right there with you for Allegiant and Glass Sword. Glass Sword was such a chore to read, and it convinced me not to continue with that series. Allegiant was just a huge let down. All that build up for that?! Thanks VRoth for making me read over 1000 pages for the series to end like that.

  2. Tânia @MyLovelySecret
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret says:

    I always try not to DNF books because I feel that if I do it, I’m being unfair to the book/author (which doesn’t really make sense, I know). It took me such a long time to read Roseblood. Such a great premise, but the plot and writing just didn’t captivate me. I definitely regret not putting it down.

    Happy readings! )
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

  3. RO
    RO says:

    I remember way back in the day for me that I was reading, it was unheard of me no finishing a book, and included the ones I reviewed. Now, I literally have no patience at all, and will DNF if a book hasn’t caught my interest by chapter 3. (lol) I didn’t read The Girl on the Train, but have to admit that the movie fascinated me. I consider that the modern day version of the old school movie Gaslight because of the emotional abuse she was subjected to by the husband. Great topic! Hugs…RO

  4. Zoe O'Farrell
    Zoe O'Farrell says:

    I wish I gave up on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I wanted to kill Van Helsing! Where he could just say yes or not, we spent reading 3 pages of his garble….and then the ending – well disappointing to say the least!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Oh yes! If I hadn’t been reading that one for a college course, I’m pretty sure I would have DNF’ed it too.

  5. Candid Cover
    Candid Cover says:

    Roseblood was a DNF for me. It was such a disappointment because it just sounds like an amazing concept. I see some here that I actually enjoyed! To each their own, right?! 🙂

  6. Angela
    Angela says:

    I have no problem DNFing and actually do it quite often! I totally agree with Glass Sword; that book was painful and I’m definitely not continuing with the series.

  7. Ali
    Ali says:

    I agree with Allegiant and The Bone Witch. I am proud to say I DNF’d Roseblood XD Sometimes we just need to put them aside!

  8. Ash
    Ash says:

    I have RoseBlood and I can’t wait to read it, because I loved the Splintered series, but you are not the first person I’ve heard say it wasn’t very good. Glass Sword was decent, I was annoyed by Mare but my curiosity to finish the series keeps me going.
    For the Bone Witch I have picked that book up like 6 times to read it and can never get into it. I want to so bad, but I just haven’t been able to.

  9. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy says:

    I have a hard time DNFing books as well, I guess I always worry I’ll miss something good. But I like your spin on this topic, I’m sad to hear about Sweetbitter because I have a copy and want to read it😊

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I hope Sweetbitter works better for you than it did for me. I know a lot of people who really enjoyed it so I may just be the outlier.

  10. ShootingStarsMag
    ShootingStarsMag says:

    I’ve definitely learned to just DNF things that really aren’t working for me. I probably try harder with review books, but even those I have to put down sometimes. I never read the Divergent series – not interested. lol I have read The Girl on the Train and while I liked it okay, I thought it was a bit too obvious in terms of the mystery so that lessened my enjoyment a LOT (because honestly, I don’t usually guess things right haha).


  11. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
    Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer says:

    For almost my entire life I refused to DNF a book.. I mean what if it turned around or the ending was amazing. Now if I am not loving it by 25% I am out. Now I have read oodles of YA trilogies where I never finished the final book..lol I just don’t care. Even if I loved the first two. Sad story.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I was the exact same way! It has been a real learning process to just accept that some books just aren’t going to be a good fit for me.

  12. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    Yep, I’m with you on Allegiant. I was spoiled but still read it. And then wished I hadn’t. I wasn’t outraged like some readers, just really disappointed with the direction Roth chose to go.
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Same here. I actually really enjoyed the first book in the series but then it just went downhill from there for me.

  13. Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads
    Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads says:

    I definitely still need to work on my DNF’ing skills 🙂 I wish I had DNF’ed Allegiant. I disliked Glass Sword too but then quite enjoyed King’s Cage so I may finish the series still.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’ve had a few people say that King’s Cage is better. I still eye it every once in a while but so far haven’t tried to read it, lol.

  14. Greg
    Greg says:

    I finished The Girl on the Train but it was kind of… not exactly gripping? Totally average for me. Allegiant totally lost me after I actually enjoyed the first two books.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      The same thing happened to me with Allegiant. I loved the first book, liked the second book, but then it was all downhill with the third.

  15. Jordan Rose
    Jordan Rose says:

    Ooh, I am with you on Allegiant. That was… not worth the time. I never even made it through Red Queen, so I have to give you kudos for making it through the first two! I’ve been interested in The Bone Witch and RoseBlood, but I’ve seen other people mention similar things, so I’m not sure about picking them up.

  16. Joann Downie
    Joann Downie says:

    Well I am happy to say none of these are on my tbr, though some of them are quite popular, but not everyone has to like the same things!!

  17. Amber
    Amber says:

    I honestly don’t blame you for DNFing Allegiant. I should have. I disliked the trilogy after I read that last book. I was so mad. I just had to know how it ended though. DNFing is so hard for me. I always feel bad doing it because I want to support the author but I don’t want to force myself to enjoy something that I’m not.

    Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      That’s the way I was with Allegiant too. So disappointing. It really is hard to DNF. I’m always conflicted about it.

  18. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    Sweetbitter is a book? I’d forgotten about that! The series is out here right now and I have been wondering if I should give it a go, but eh. I think not.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I actually keep wondering about the TV series too. Some of the things I didn’t like about the book might actually work better in a visual format.

  19. Di @ Book Reviews by Di
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    Oops! I wrote a whole comment here but obviously never actually hit send because I see there’s nothing here!!! *face palm*

    I hear you about DNFing – we have to accept that not all books will be for us. I have told myself I will be easier on myself if the book isn’t an ARC so we’ll see how that goes!

    Allegiant – I pushed through to the end, even though I hated the ending!

    Bond Witch is on my TBR

    I didn’t like Glass Sword but I was glad that I managed to get through it because King’s Cage was so much better and I’m going to finish out the series when I get a chance.

    I actually didn’t love Fireblood at all, but now I’m two books down on the series I feel like I need to finish it just to see what happens! Why??????

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Right? It was like I had to know how it was going to end even though I wasn’t really enjoying it much at all. I was so annoyed at myself for wasting my time.

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