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Mabuhay, friends! 

I hope you’ve had a wonderful start to the week! Today, I am going to list my recent DNFs and why they didn’t work for me. In the past few months, it has been difficult to find a book that captivates me. Books I thought I would enjoy had to be kept aside because I just haven’t been in the right mindset.

Now, although I am quick to abandon books that don’t work for me, I don’t like talking much about them because I believe in second chances. For books, at the very least! So, I have hope for some of the books I’ve listed! 

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 of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda Hall 

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I really wanted to enjoy this especially because of its critique of colonialism and class inequality. Sadly, I couldn’t get past the writing as I found it to be choppy. This, in turn, made the romance feel forced. I had to eventually put down the book but I am definitely interested in trying Maggie’s future releases.

Ruthless by Jacqueline Pawl

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While I really enjoyed the books I’ve read in Pawl’s assassin series, in retrospect, I find that the plot had some problematic issues. Though I haven’t changed my ratings on Goodreads, I’ve been chewing on this series, going back and forth between reading the next book or dropping it completely. Its narrative on elf slavery fell very flat for me especially when a community of elves try to fight back or as the blurb says, “the Cirisians will stop at nothing to make the humans pay for the mistreatment of their ancestors,” I didn’t like how it ended with the Cirisians losing the war and nothing being done to alleviate the slavery of the elves. Maybe I’ll need to read the next book?


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

40524312. sy475 Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James 

I’m not the one to accurately review this and this is in no way an own voices review. I had to DNF Black Leopard, Red Wolf in spite of it being one of my most anticipated reads. I, honestly, could have pushed through the writing style but the sex references especially were too much for me. Maybe, I’ll give it another try in the future but that’s a hard maybe. 


7815The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion 

When I picked up Magical Thinking, I had done so hoping it would help me get through my grief but the writing hit too close to home. So I had to set it aside and plan on picking it up when I feel a bit better.



🌺 Which books have you recently DNFed?

🌺 What makes you DNF a book?

🌺 Do you believe in giving books a second chance?

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  1. Cielo @ bellerosereads says:

    Sometimes to dnf a book it’s the best way to keep a healthy lifestyle as a reader. I didn’t use to do it but this year I’ve been doing it more. I’ve dnf I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver, A Poised Nuisance by Iris Rivers and Great Goddesses by Nikkita Gill, mostly because I struggled at continuing to read them and wasn’t enjoying them at all 😕


  2. Hazel @ Places and Peonies says:

    Mabuhay! Kamusta Ka!

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    I don’t want to say I “DNF” it but I just can’t bring myself to finish The Cruel Prince no matter how hard I try or The Red Queen. One I recently DID DNF was The Girl The Sea Gave Back. It had SUCH a strong opening that was creepy and mysterious… then I was just thrown into confusion and I just couldn’t keep up. It was like info super dump way too early.

    I’m pretty much a mood reader but lately it’s been if the book doesn’t have me constantly turning pages or wondering about the characters when I set the book down I usually don’t pick it up again. Which is tragic! There have been some books like that in past for me that I stuck with and they ended up being my favorite reads by the end!


  3. devouringbooks2017 says:

    I totally give books second chances and with all the stress of coronavirus I have been DNFing more than ever and I’ve been having a really hard time getting excited about books. I havent found a 5 star in a long time but honestly I’m just happy when I can find a book that actually grabs my attention right now.


  4. evelynreads1 says:

    I also DNF’ed Black Leopard, Red wolf.. I just could not connect with the writing!
    Sad to hear you DNF’ed The mermaid, the witch and the sea, that one sounds good!

    My post!


  5. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Shame The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea was so choppy! I do believe in second chances as well, but it also helps me to give things up a bit more now, cos I’ve been having trouble focusing on books right now too.


  6. Louise @ Monstrumology says:

    I haven’t DNF’d any books recently because I’m more likely to put them down to come back to later. But, the last book that I gave a definite DNF was The Cruel Prince, which sucked because there is so much hype surrounding that series.


  7. Maria and The Magic says:

    I think I’ve never DNF a book! I know shocking! I don’t know why, I like reading people’s opinions about books and why they didn’t read them until the end but then, I don’t know, I like to give every story a chance and I guess that’s why I always read the whole thing.


  8. Krysta says:

    I’m reading The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea right now! So now I’m feeling a bit nervous. I don’t want to DNF quite yet, but I admit I don’t feel really captured by the story. I have started reading Spider-Gwen instead.

    I am also in the middle of My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant. The title really spoke to me. Who doesn’t love croissants? But the narrative voice is kind of annoying and the narrator herself makes fun of everyone, which I don’t like. It’s supposed to be “body positive” and “feminist” but I’m not sure why yet. The main character keeps saying she loves being “fat” (her term) and eats healthy, but she also talks about junk food all the time and how fat she is, so it comes across so far like she’s in denial about her eating habits and secretly jealous of her skinny sister, and I don’t think that’s the meaning of “body positivity.”


  9. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    I definitely think it’s good to put aside a book that is just not working for you! Frankly, I wish I could do it more often, because it really is the right choice more often than not. The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea is sadness, it sounded good in theory, but when it isn’t working, it isn’t working!


  10. Charis @ Charis Rae says:

    One of my resolutions for this year (and the rest of my life hopefully) is to not make myself finish books I’m not enjoying. I think it’s so important to read the books we love and enjoy and not waste time on the ones we don’t! 🤍


  11. Chana @ Paper Procrastinators says:

    I DNF’d Black Leopard Red Wolf too! I really wanted to like it, and the writing was really great but I was pretty confused with the parts I read, and the amount of casual random sex was a bit too much for me 😅

    I was meaning to pick up The Mermaid the Witch and the Sea but since it came out I’ve seen several negative reviews, so I think I’m going to put it off for now. Great post!!


  12. BookerTalk says:

    I used to struggle on even when I wasn’t keen on the book but now I’ve decided that there are too many other good books to read to waste my time on something that just isn’t grabbing me.

    Liked by 1 person

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