Angela of Musings of a Literary Wanderer recently posted an awesome discussion post: What Makes You DNF A Book that really got me thinking.
I already have a DNF Policy for myself, though the word “policy” is used rather lightly here.
But what makes me DNF a book? There are MANY things.
What Makes Me DNF A Book?
Repetition drives me insane. This is the #1 reason why I will DNF a book.
In some cases, repetition in books can be a good thing if it makes sense for the story! For example, when you are in the head of the character and they are panicking about something, and keep thinking about the same times.
But unfortunately, many times I find that repetition just bogs down the story.
I have DNFed many books because I found myself rolling my eyes with how much repetition there was. One of my biggest peeves is when the story is recapped time and time again when the reader absolutely didn’t need the recap in the first place.
Too many typos or a serious lack of editing
I read a lot of ARC’s for authors, many of which are uncorrected proofs. I have absolutely no problem sending over a list of edits for them to review in order to to help out. So when I DNF a book because there are too many typos, you know that it is an extreme case.
Latching on to the same phrase
Related to repetition, I cannot stand when an author latches on to a certain phrase and you see it appear time and time again in the book.
Prime example… when an author writes “he/she let out a breath he/she didn’t know they were holding” in six different places of the story.
The element of cheating
Cheating is a trigger for me and I try to avoid it as much as I can.
Sometimes, if it’s only referenced, and not a major plot point, I can push through. But if the plot is centered around it, I have to bail. If there is a very descriptive scene about the cheating, I have to close the book immediately or jump forward and hope that it doesn’t happen again.
Vulgarity & over the top sex scenes
My fuse is quite short when it comes to vulgarity in books. I also don’t enjoy sex scenes that go a bit too far for my personal preference. Ugh, there’s one sex scene from a book I buddy read that, to this day, still makes me nauseous…
Don’t get me wrong! The inclusion of a sex scene isn’t an automatic DNF for me, it just needs to be done in a way that doesn’t stray into erotica or use the same pretty gross phrase, like in the A Court of Mist and Fury.
In print books, if the narrator is rubbing me the wrong way, I’ll bail. Far too often I have found books where the narration really drags the story down rather than being there to support the main events.
In audiobooks, narration is key. I am SO picky about audiobook narrators. The voice of the narrator needs to be easy to listen to, the tone needs to be level, they need to portray the story well, and it needs to be a great quality recording. If the voice is irritating or if I can hear all the little clicks and such from their mouth moving, I stop listening.
I don’t mind if a story-line jumps around a bit, just as long as I can still follow it. If a story-line is organized in a way that is just too jumpy, or if I am confused and can’t follow, I’ll bail.
Too many POV’s
For me to stay engaged in a story with varying POV’s, it needs to be written very well. The character development needs to occur early on so I really have a feel for each of the different characters, and each of the voices for the characters need to be unique so they don’t blend together.
Extremely unlikable characters
I don’t need to enjoy every single character. I don’t even need to like them However, if the main character is one that I absolutely cannot stand, I will bail.
It’s just no fun reading a tale where I cannot connect to the character at all and absolutely hate everything that they do. Girl On The Train… I’m looking at you!
Thanks for reading!
What are some reasons why you may DNF a book?