I’m trying to do a lot less DNFing, but sometimes, I’m just not feeling a book. Here are the books I couldn’t push through in December 2019.
- The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston
I didn’t know anything about this book before downloading the audio book via my library’s Overdrive collection. Honestly, the only reason I picked this book was because it was one of the VERY few fantasy books available. I feel like every time I go into Overdrive for an audio book, I end up getting something I didn’t actually want to read. I only play audiobooks while I’m cleaning, dying my hair, or eating my lunch at my desk at work. So, I guess maybe that’s the reason why I don’t plan ahead and ever put anything on hold. But I digress, this was the audiobook I ended up with.
The narrator was awful. Her accent was irritating. The voice of the male love interest sounded like my grandfather. She made him sound so old and crotchety.
Then there was the content itself. It was a mixture of boring and confusing. I didn’t care for the switching between first and third person. That’s some avant-garde fantsy-pants shit that I’m just not about.
The main character was obnoxious and unlikeable. I do enjoy a flawed character, maybe even a character I disagree with, but a character that is straight-up obnoxious doesn’t really fit that bill. She was very r/notliketheothergirls. Nothing she did made sense.
Her being mute is treated like a personality trait. It isn’t. Brackston used this as a cop-out to not write an actual character. And the guy likes Morgana because she is mute…..Ew…There are some very icky implications there.
I DNF’d 50% of the way through.
I also want to mention that the book has a very low average rating on goodreads, so it doesn’t look like I’m the only one who feels this way.
2) The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
This book is a DNF for now. I’ll go back to it one day. But for now, I just can’t get through it. I’m not a fan of complex worldbuilding. I prefer easy to understand worlds and soft magic systems. Of course, the obvious question is must be; then why in the fuck did you pick up a Brandon Sanderson novel? Your preferences are the exact opposite of what he’s known for.
I know, I know. This is a me problem. I guess I want to get more into Epic Fantasy, but everything in my preferences as a fantasy reader is rebelling against it. This is a series that is super hyped. Some of my favorite booktubers wax poetic on it, and my husband is reading it, so I thought we could enjoy it together like we’re currently doing with the Wheel of Time series. My husband is actually enjoying this book a lot. Me, I’m struggling, but one day I’ll buckle down and push through it.
The characters are cool and the storms that break the world are neat. Maybe that will be enough to salvage the read for me.
I DNFed at 15% of the way through this 1,000 page monster.
3) Promises From the Past by Victoria Bruce
I picked this up in a used bookstore, because the cover is gorgeous and it’s a time travel romance! I love time travel romance. Hands down, my favorite romance sub-genre. Second favorite sub-genre is historical (which overlaps with the time travel subgenre;)
I got a little over sixty pages in before I gave up. Not sure if I’ll ever attempt to read it again. The tone was weird and not at all what I was expecting in a romance. It read as a lot more of a mystery with Southern gothic vibes. The imagery and tone are very dark.
In the very first chapter, there’s this dilapidated farm with this creepy old woman who wants to serve the MC and her husband (yes, husband, I’m hella confused) a starving goat.
The heat is sweltering and adds to the general tone of Southern creepiness. There’s a scene where the MC enters a potions/voodoo-esque shop and sees a jar full of leeches, before fainting.
Really, I’m just at a loss as to what the fuck this book IS. That cover screams romance, but I’ve had nothing but mystery so far and I didn’t sign up for a mystery. I knew from the back blurb that mystery would be part of it, but so far it’s been all of it.
This one was DNF’d at around 15%.
4) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
This is another audiobook I got through Overdrive, mostly because it was one of the only classics available. I remember I first tried to read it when I was eight. There was a big illustrated version that I got from my school library.
Despite my love of nautical books, pirates, and anything to do with the sea (some of my favorite books ever are ‘The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle’ and ‘The Cay’) both when I was eight, and trying to read again at 31, I couldn’t get into this beloved classic. Everything was very boring and I couldn’t get invested in the characters. I just don’t care if they find the treasure or not. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but this book didn’t hook me and listening to it was a chore.
I DNF’d at 15%.
5) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
There was a lot I liked about this book and I don’t have any major criticisms of it. I will go back and finish it eventually. The thing is, I knew this book wouldn’t be completely my speed. I don’t like humor in fiction. I don’t like books that try to be funny. That’s just not what I go for in books, so I knew this might not be to my taste.
I actually ended up enjoying it far more than I thought I would, but at the end of the day, this isn’t a book that super appeals to me, and there are other books I’d rather be reading.
I have nothing negative to say about the book. It’s not my taste. I do want to read it because it’s such a popular book in the fantasy genre, but I highly doubt this will become one of my favorites. At best, the rest of the book will go like the first part I read; I’ll enjoy it a little more than I thought I would, with no major complaints, but not loving it either.
I DNF’d at 30%.
What about you? What books did you DNF in December? What are you reading now?
Happy New Year!