All tagged DNF

Mini-Reviews: Two Historical-ish Novels That Didn't Work

​I used to gobble up historical fiction, especially a million years ago when I was a teenager. History piqued my interest from a young age and I loved reading books with these settings. However, as an adult, I've found historical fiction a tougher nut to crack, with it being my most "did-not-finish" genre by a long mile. 

I suspect my lack of engagement with historical fiction has to do with my having read a lot of excellent historical narrative non-fiction in college, graduate school and later. Top-notch works from that genre just grab me in a way that fiction often falters. It may sound snotty, but it's true. 

However, I keep revisiting historical fiction because I want to revisit that love I once had--it used to thrill me to visit a time period other than my own and feel immersed in the experiences inherent to that time. Recently, I tried out a couple more historical novels, both YA, one a realistic novel set in 1938 Los Angeles, the other a historical with fantasy elements set in the pre-Civil War American South. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish either, but on the bright side, I think they both have audiences who will adore them.

Mini Reviews: Three DNFs from Rebeca

I used to be a die-hard, must-finish reader. If I started a book, by God, I would finish it--even if it made my eyes bleed.

These days I’m much more relaxed; if a book doesn’t speak to me I don’t force myself to finish it. Since I started school again full-time I’ve had less reading time and even more DNFs to my name. These are a few of the books that I’ve abandoned over the last few months.

(Keep in mind this may say more about my own reading habits than about the quality of the books themselves.)

Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

I love fairy tales and re-imagined stories of all kinds.

Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Princes Trilogy, a series of historical romances with fables woven into them, is right up my alley and I’ve become a fan of her work. While I haven’t enjoyed her Maiden Lane series quite as much I was still excited to read the fourth installment, Thief of Shadows.

This book follows Winter Makepeace, headmaster of a home for foundling children who is also secretly a Batman-style vigilante named the Ghost of St. Giles. When he is rescued by Lady Elizabeth Beckinhall after another close brush with death he struggles to protect his identity from the lonely society widow.

I have recently embraced the DNF (did not finish). I used to slog through books I hated simply because I, in some weird way, felt like I owed it to the book to finish it. 

I now realize this is a ridiculous perspective. 

If a book’s not working for me, despite that everyone else seemingly loves it, I drop it. These books go into one of two piles:

  1. DNF; or
  2. On hiatus.

 On hiatus books are those I plan on revisiting—maybe I’m not in the mood for the genre, but I suspect I’ll enjoy it later. Or, perhaps it’s really long, but I care about what happens, but need to take a break from spending so much time within the space of that book. DNF’s are those I drop like a hot potato.