Books · Discussion

My thoughts on DNF reviews

Ever since I started book blogging and discovering so many great stories, I’ve started DNF-ing books more. If a book doesn’t pique my interest, why continue reading when there are so many others I would rather be reading?

Everyone has different reasons for not finishing books, the most common one being they just didn’t like the story or the characters or the writing. The fact that someone doesn’t finish a book already tells you that they don’t like it,

Is it fair to review a book you did not finish-

I’ve seen a lot of rant reviews for books on Goodreads from people who DNF’d them and the first few comments are always saying something along the lines of: “but you didn’t finish it! How can you review it without knowing the full story?”

In my opinion, you don’t need to finish a book just to form an opinion about it. Surely, as reviewers, we start judging the book from the first page and not after it’s over. Just because someone doesn’t finish a certain book, doesn’t mean that their thoughts about it till the moment they stopped aren’t valid. If anything, the fact that they didn’t finish it says more about what they thought about the book.

At the same time, I hate when I see reviews from people who stopped reading after only 5 or 10 percent of the story. Though I said we start judging the book from the first page, I think you need to give a book at least a bit of a chance. I don’t think it’s fair to write an 800/900 word hate letter for a book that you barely read.

So in conclusion, I think it’s fine to review books without finishing them as long as you’ve read at least 30 to 40% of it. That gives you enough time to get a feel of both the story and the writing and puts you in a position where you probably have enough matter to write a review on it.

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25 thoughts on “My thoughts on DNF reviews

  1. This is so true!! I hate when people are like “no you can’t have an opinion because you didn’t read the whole thing…..”
    Like “WHAT?!”
    I usually try to push through a book until the end, because I have some hope that a book will get better. So when I literally can’t read a book because it is TOO PAINFUL, I feel like I have a right to share that with the world. Just to kind of say “hey guys, you know I really tried here but this was just awful and don’t waste your time if you have the same tastes as me. Okay thank you. bye.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahaha you said it sister! 😛 It’s fine to not finish books because some books are really not worth it lol, and it should be perfectly fine to tell the world why you didn’t finish it. When reviewers with similar reading tastes DNF books, I am way less likely to read it because why waste the time on it?

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  2. I rarely DNF books , but when I do I never review them. Mentioning them in a wrap-up post is okay, but I feel like you can’t write a full review without having read the entire book. Obviously, each blogger can do as they please, but if I found a DNF review of a book, I wouldn’t trust the reviewer’s opinion, because they obviously didn’t finish the book.

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    1. I don’t understand why some people write DNF reviews after reading barely any of the story but if someone writes a review after stopping reading around the midway mark, I think it’s fine. A lot of great books start off slow and pick up pace in the end which is why I get that DNF reviews may be a bit misleading at times. But yes, mentioning DNF’d books in wrap ups is probably better.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Totally agree. I once reviewed a Random House book on Amazon after reading six pages — at which time I threw the book across the room in disgust, which isn’t normal behavior for me — and of course people complained that I shouldn’t be reviewing a book I hadn’t read. But my review wasn’t about the plot or character development, it was about juvenile writing and terrible editing, and the fact that I quit after six pages said a lot about why I didn’t like the book. Several people left comments coming to my defense. 🙂

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    1. Just six pages?! Must have been really horrible haha. But I understand, some books are terribly edited and make me really unmotivated to continue.

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  4. Sometimes it could be reasonable to review when you barely read it in my opinion. Authors get to see what or how readers view the beginning of the book and what made them not want to read it anymore. It can help the author brush up on their beginnings for any other novel to catch the readers interest more. So you have people who DNF’ed in the beginning, middle, and end. The author has all perspectives on what might be the problem now.

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    1. I’m the same! Though a lot of books start slow and get better progressively, if it’s been more than a certain number of pages and it still isn’t interesting, I don’t see the point. Someone else commented that 100 pages is a good amount to read before deciding to continue or not, which I think is perfect.

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  5. I agree completely! We should be able to DNF books but there are stories you just aren’t in the mood to read and there are books that genuinely don’t hold your interest! I had a teacher once that told me I had to give a book at least 100 pages before deciding that I didn’t like it and that’s the rule I’ve stuck with.

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    1. Yess, I always try to come back and read books I’ve dnf’d because it might just have been that I wasn’t in the right mood to read it. That’s a great rule! 100 pages is definitely enough to decide whether to continue reading or not.

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  6. I completely agree. I don’t DNF myself, but I do like reading DNF reviews. They help give me a better understanding of why it didn’t work for them and why it might not work for me either.

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      1. I have actually used the term “frustrating” to describe how a story is told on a couple occasions but there was a big fricken payoff at the end! So…it was all worth it. But now I can’t talk about what makes the book amazing because otherwise I will spoil it!

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    1. Whenever I read DNF reviews from reviewers who have similar reading tastes, I know whether to pick up a certain book or not. I think dnf reviews are quite helpful that way.

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  7. Agree completely. I actually love reading DNF reviews! Gives me a better idea as to why that book didn’t work for them. And I completely agree that you need to give a book a really good try before stopping. I’m not saying read half, but more than the first few chapters. Some of the best books I’ve read had the slowest start but once it got going I was all in! Thanks for a great post 🙂

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    1. Yes I completely agree! A lot of my favourite books start really slow but pick up midway so I always read at least 10 chapters before deciding to continue or not. Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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