A Thought For The Day..

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DNF Titles & Reviews/Ratings

Something occurred this past week that prompted me to update my review guidelines. I am not going to posts any names, although I would love to give the author big kudos for being so relatable! I found myself unable to complete a review copy. Now, I have only failed to complete 2 other books in my life. I have this odd compulsive trait that makes it impossible not to see something through (actually not always a bad quality).

But here I was. I had made 3 generous attempts and failed. I believe it was a combination of several factors, but all aside I was not able to finish. I knew that if I pushed myself through, I would be miserable. The end review would be harsh, and no one was winning. So therein lied my next dilemma..

Like the rest of the book community, I pride myself in honest reviews. No matter how difficult, the truth is the truth. But I do not (this is a personal choice) believe in writing a review about a title I did not complete. I could most certainly mention the book and that it was a DNF. But I had also made a commitment to the author who sent me the book. What to do..what to do?

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In the end, I realized that maybe I should update my policies to reflect that I do not review titles I do not finish. So I did. I feel confident in this decision. Then I decided it was time to reach out to the author. I sent an email trying to politely explain the situation and express that I understood I had promised a review in exchange for a copy. So I left it in the author’s hands. A). I can force myself to finish and proceed with an honest review or B). I could email some feedback directly to the author and we could accept it for what it was. I was not prepared for what followed.

I received a very nice email in return. The author explained that he learned long ago that life was too short and there are too many books. He stated that he normally gives a book 50 pages. He then suggested that I try the same and just move on if I still did not connect. He thanked me for trying! I am not sure what I expected, but this was not it.  Ok.. fast forward to the middle of my week.

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I think we have all read posts regarding when to DNF, etc. I saw several comments on various forums stating that you do not have to complete a title to review it. This left me scratching my head. Now please keep in mind that the following is my own opinion and in no way meant to be judgemental. As mentioned above, I cannot review titles I have not complete. Why? For several reasons:

  • How do you know when you have read enough of a title to provide honest feedback and thorough review?
  • For me, an ending can change everything. So if I haven’t seen it through, I just do not know.
  • I feel dishonest writing a full review (not talking about a post on why it was a DNF) if I have not read a book in its entirety.

I understand a write-up providing feedback and why you are unable to complete a title, but I have seen anywhere from 2 to 4 stars on DNF’s. I think I might be missing something. A single star is the most I would ever be able to provide. This is acknowledgement of an attempt. So let’s talk about it.

  • Do you have a set amount of pages you will try to read (or a percentage) before you will DNF a title? I always aim to push past 20%.
  • Do you rate and provide full reviews for titles you do not complete? I would love to know your thoughts as bloggers on this.
  • Do you send feedback on DNF titles?
  • How do you handle a review copy that you DNF?

Again, just picking brains as I am still fairly new to reviewing as a blogger. I have discovered over the last few months that there are many situations that can arise now when reviewing that I had never actually anticipated. I want to know how everyone else in the community is handling this situation or those similar. I am always looking to discuss so that I can possibly improve going forward. Sometimes a new perspective is all it requires.

Thoughts?

Danielle ❤

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99 thoughts on “A Thought For The Day..

  1. Like you, if I cannot FINISH a book – I will not review it. I am reading one now and on my Kindle it says I am 16% through and this is after a week of trying. I am about to sit down and try to get to 30% and if I can’t get into by then, I will toss the towel in and get into the next book I am highly anticipating rather than waste any more time on this.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So as you know, I don’t review books. Nonetheless, your post still provided for an interesting read. I think it’s commendable that you are determined to finish books you have started. Casual readers have every right to put the book down after 50 pages (as do you, of course!) but since you devour books like nobody’s business and review them, I think it’s appropriate that you read them through in order to review them. You handled this situation professionally and I think your conduct is proper. I used to review movies a long while back. I couldn’t imagine reviewing a movie without seeing it through to its end. Right on, Danielle! Great post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! I was very determined to see this one through, but after a week and hitting 20% at best, we were not connecting. I knew it was time to reach out and provide some fair feedback. But I would have also pushed on and provided an honest review if this is what the author wished. I did make that commitment. Tough choices when we read with obligations 😉 I am thrilled to see you paid me a visit! Hope all is well!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. We are so kindred… I cannot DNF. I may have DNF’d 2 books, I can’t really recall because I make sure to power through for an honest review. I don’t think I could review it without reading the whole thing. You never know how that ending is going to go…. I would do what you did and just email the author/publisher and let them know the circumstances. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That author sounds so understanding and professional! Krysta and I stopped taking books directly from authors a while ago, partially because we’re busy and get a lot of requests and few we actually want to take on. But, for my part at least, it was also because I found it very stressful dealing directly with authors. Even when they’re nice about it, it’s hard to tell someone to their face (or, er, by email) that you didn’t like their book.

    I only write reviews for books I DNFed if I read a significant portion of it, but I always clearly state it’s a DNF review and not a review of the whole book. (Let’s say, about 50% of the book, though I DNF rarely anyway and don’t get bogged down in the details when I do.] On one hand, I do think an ending can make a large difference. But, in reality, saying “This book was so [dry, badly written, whatever] that I couldn’t finish it,” IS a review. This is also the way MANY people read. Literary agents won’t read a whole manuscript if they don’t like it. Neither will editors. Neither will lots of readers. I think saying that it’s impossible to have an opinion on a book you haven’t fully read just isn’t completely fair or practical. I get that it probably stings if you’re an author and you think you haven’t been given a fair chance, but if someone has read 30% of your book and hates it, I think you did have a chance. They just don’t love your book. I shouldn’t have to wait until page 200 to become engaged.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Briana, you bring up some very positive points! Thank you. It is definitely a review in a sense if you are discussing why you were unable to finish a title. I love the idea of referring to it as a DNF review!

      I haven’t really ran into much that has swayed me from working directly with authors (of course I have been so fortunate and it is early haha) but with the points you make, and a few recent incidents I have witnessed, I can understand why you might chose not to take those requests.

      Thank you for some serious food for thought! This is what I am looking for haha. Need to keep the wheels turning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve actually changed my opinion on DNF reviews after blogging for awhile. I used to be very opposed to the idea you could fairly review anything you hadn’t finished, but now I do think that “I couldn’t finish this for X reasons” is a valid topic for discussion. Especially when someone has read a large chunk of the book. Even if the last 50% is great, it’s a problem if the 50% is boring, and it’s not like I’m going to give the book 5 stars anyway.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. How can someone give 4 stars for a DNF?!? Weird as 4 stars must mean it was great so why not finish the book?🤔

    I haven’t DNF’d a book since I started blogging, ploughed through a couple of tough ones though, the last book I DNF was before blogging and it broke one of the only rules I have and something I disagree with and so couldn’t read anymore.

    I think if I did DNF I wouldn’t write a review as such more a musing on my issues and why I DNF the book. But it’s a tough one as you see people DNF a book after 10 pages and write a scathing review likewise you see people read upto 85% and DNF the book and write reviews, I guess that if you read a lot of the book then you can write an actual review but if you only read a small amount you’d be best of just musing on it. How could someone write a review for a fantasy book if they only read 15 pages before giving up? Nothing would have happened!😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Drew! These are some of the similar questions I was asking myself. How can you even give more than 1 star and write an full blown, thorough review! What is even considered a good percent?

      Briana made a good point about being specific that it is a DNF review as do you. It is most certainly okay to write up a detailed reason for your decision to DNF and what did not work, but giving higher ratings or posting a 1000 word essay on a title you made it less than halfway through is at the very least, questionable.

      I recently saw several authors in a forum tell readers that they could go ahead and rate and review their books without reading them (I believe for retail purposes).. well you could.. but should you? I couldn’t agree with that at all! I see these high ratings and wonder if it is to bump rankings, but why if you did not even read the material? What is the point?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, definitely agree with Brianna, if you’re classing it as a review then you need to make sure people know it’s a DNF review and not one for the finished book

        No, I disagree with rating and reviewing books without reading them, yes you could give something 5 stars for how much you’re looking forward to it but the end book may not reflect that after you’ve read it and I wouldn’t trust the opinion of a review that hadn’t actually read the book! 😂

        The question is though, if someone rated a book 4 stars but DNF it, why didn’t they finish it and why did they rate it so high?

        Agree though that the amount you write has to coincide with the amount you read, if you got 75% into a book and DNF it then you’d be able to write quite a lot and give valid reasons but if you only read 30 pages of a 600 page book surely it’d be hard to form a valid opinion as you need to give the book a chance.🤔

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly to all of this! I was pretty frustrated when I found readers being encouraged to rate anticipated reads (I believe to boost rankings). It just feels so dishonest.

          Everything else makes complete sense. Just like that I would have chosen to write a small summary of why this book was not working. But I chose not to because I was only hitting the 20% mark each time and had little constructive to say aside than that I was not connecting.

          Again, as seems to be the trend, I find myself agreeing with you 😛

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Totally agree with what you have decided. I think it’s unfair to write a review on a book you dnf as well as you can’t give a fair review in my opinion. I used to finish books I wasn’t enjoying in the hope they may get better or because I felt guilty if it was an ARC. I now think life is too short and given the size of my tbr pile I will now dnf (although I still feel guilty!). I think most authors are understanding. Great post Danielle xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I sometimes review books I don’t finish. It depends on how much I read of it and why I didn’t finish, or maybe the book is part of a challenge, like my Classics Club list. If I hate a book for a specific reason (for example, the way it talks about women or maybe racism) then I’m not going to spend time reading the whole thing, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to write a review letting other people know why I objected to it. But if a book just doesn’t grab my interest, I’m unlikely to bother either finishing or reviewing it. I always give feedback on books I’ve taken for review whether I finish them or review them or not, and if that means saying I think a book is awful, well, so be it – if people ask me for feedback then they must expect me to be honest. But, you know, we all do this for fun, so I reckon we should each do what feels right for us – what makes us feel most comfortable – and not allow other people to lay down rules about what we should or shouldn’t do… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! In this case I had not completed enough to feel confident or justified in a review or discussion. I would have simply been stating I could not connect at all. I think you are right, that if there had been some serious issues with the title for me, I could have made provided a solid post on why it didn’t work and share some thoughts.

      I can definitely appreciate addressing the issues that did not work for you though 🙂 Feedback is something that should never be undervalued. And you are also 100% correct that we must each do what feels right for us. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Usually I try to get to 100 pages– 50 minimum. If I’m on Kindle I either do the math to figure out the percentage or try to get 25-30%. Now, I have DNF’d a lot sooner… 15% I think. Sometimes, a book and I just won’t click and with all the other books I have to review or even just want to read, forcing myself to read something does not seem right. Reviewing is not a job, it is a hobby or something we do to help out others (or our future selves).

    I used to feel bad about not finishing books, but I get over it easier now. I try not to give up easily or often. As for reviews, usually 1 or 2 stars if DNF status is given. 2 is if I can see it might be good or other people might like it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
    My reviews are generally shorter with reasons I stopped, but I do still try to give some positives and in the case of the 2 star who I think might like it better than I.

    The review is a way to talk to other people in a way and let them see your take, but also something to look back on if you need to remember the book or are contemplating re-reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said! And you just opened my eyes to how it might makes sense to give a DNF a 2 star rating! Thank you 🙂

      My mark on the Kindle is normally between 25 and 30% as well. Well this is what I consider a solid effort. Again, I am just now learning to accept that sometimes it is ok to DNF. Although with some novels I would be inclined to give more or less depending on genre and what my expectations were with the content.

      I do like seeing posts when an explanation as to why something did not connect with the reader. It is still beneficial information that is worth considering when deciding on a title.

      Thanks again 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I won’t review any book I didn’t finish, I just don’t think that’s fair to the author. I won’t even review a book I finished and ended up hating, mainly because I enjoy writing reviews and I need to have something constructive to say even if I didn’t like a book but I’d have nothing constructive to say about a 1 star read. What I do instead is still give it a rating on goodreads as long as I actually finished it. Then I have a goodreads shelf of DNF’s in case people are interested. I have only said yes to one review request since I started blogging but I’ve said no to many. It’s been working for me to ask the author to send me a sample or the first couple chapters and I can usually judge from that whether I’m going to like the writing if it’s in one of my preferred genres. I’m such a mood reader that I prefer to read my own TBR rather than review copies actually. Awesome post idea!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh my gosh Renee! I love it. I have seriously never thought of requesting a few chapters in advance. I am also a fan of the DNF shelf on GR. I am not sure why I haven’t done this (well probably because it has only happened twice).

      I am in the same agreeance regarding very negative reviews or DNF titles. I will personally choose to send feedback. If I cannot find enough positive to feel that I am writing something more than a bashing, I am not going to necessarily want to post a review.

      Thank you so much ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I used to finish every book I’ve read, but these days (after the discovery of Goodreads) my TBR is off the charts, and that makes it easier to let go of a book I’m not feeling.

    I don’t review a book I DNF either. I have it in my review policy that if I DNF I won’t be reviewing. If I’m contacted by an author, I don’t always contact them to provide feedback on a DNF unless they’ve asked me to. But, I also stated in my review policy that my goal is to review every book I accept, but that my acceptance is not a guarantee of review. Things may happen, such as a DNF, that means that there won’t be a review. I just wanted to be realistic, and honest, in my policy to cover all the ‘just in cases’ that may come up. That way the author can choose not to request a review from me if they didn’t want to.

    As far as when to DNF… I usually try to make it to 20% before I decide it’s an actual DNF. If I’m 8% in, or 10%, and I’m still not hooked, then I usually just assume that I’m not in the mood and I reshelve it to come back to later.

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  11. I think I’ve only ever DNF’d one book before and it was before I started blogging so I’ve never thought about what I would do if it came to a review book I couldn’t finish. I’m especially stubborn when it comes to finishing review books. I mean almost DNF’d a recent one twice but made myself power through it. 🙈
    You make a great point about not being able to review a book you didn’t finish though. I don’t think I would be able to write a full review. I would probably go for writing a short post about why I DNF’d just to put some feedback out there but only for a review book. For anything else I think I would go with your not reviewing at all route.
    Interesting thing to think about for those of us who rarely DNF. I might have to go add something about it in my review policy as well because I’m not sure if I addressed it. Great post, Danielle! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Melissa. Yes this only recently came up for me since I also never typically DNF. And then coincidentally I noticed some other incidents regarding DNF and “have never read” ratings, etc. It definitely forced me to look at my policy and think about how I might handle this. I agree a post about why you did not finish seems to be the consensus a good way to possibly go 🙂 In this case though, I just could not connect. Not much of a stimulating topic there haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!
        I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of DNF reviews with higher ratings but I have definitely seen a lot of “have never read” ratings on GoodReads. Which I always find odd lol.
        I’ll definitely have to look through mine and add something before I reopen my requests. 😊
        Maybe not lol. But it is great that the author understood. I would have been so nervous to contact them.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post! It’s a situation I’m sure every book blogger struggles with from time to time.

    I read 20% of he last book I DNF’d, and it was a review copy. I felt horrible about it because I had communicated quite a lot with the author, but I finally had to admit to myself that the book wasn’t for me. I let the author know, and explained my reasons for not being able to finish reading it. I dreaded reading the reply, but the author appreciated my honesty about it and was very understanding about the situation.

    That situation made me change up my review request policy. Now, I’m asking authors to include a chapter one sample of their book in the request form. I’m hoping this will help me figure out which requests I should and shouldn’t accept. And I still note in my review policy that when I accept, it’s on a “review consideration basis” because I will only review books I’ve read completely. Time will tell how well it works.

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  13. Amazing discussion Danielle! I’m personally a notorious DNF-er. I believe life is too short to read bad books so whenever I feel like this book and me don’t connect (usually it’s at least 40-50%) in) than I’ll just call it quit. However, the case is different if it’s an ARC or review copy, ESPECIALLY if it’s an ARC *I* request myself. I feel like I have an obligation and I’ll try my best to push through, even if I usually end up skimming hahaha. I recently DNF-ed a book I requested from netgalley. It was just so bad and I saw a lot of other reviewers had the same thought. I knew it wasn’t gonna get better so I sent my feedback along with my reason why I DNF-ed it. But I didn’t rate the book because I don’t think it’s fair to rate the book without giving it a fair chance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think your response was very appropriate. Feedback (at least in my opinion) is the best route. And yes, you cannot truly, honestly rate a title you do not feel you have given enough to. This was the first time I encountered this with a review copy (I am not a DNF person-as mentioned I have hang-ups haha). Thank you so much for the feedback ❤

      Like

  14. Great topic for discussion. I think it was mighty nice of the author to respond to you in such a nice manner. I try to pick up books that I like. I try to read nearly 50pct before giving up. I dont think I have completely given up on a book yet. I try to read the end chapter and know the story. I think I must learn to give up faster

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that the author was fantastic! During our initial contact, I expressed my concern that this was not a normal genre for me. I think he was very understanding of that. I had found the blurb to be very promising, but think it is now safe to safe that I will avoid making that decision in the future. I am so thankful for the kind response. 50% is definitely a more than fair effort. I am not sure I could push that far if I were not connecting. My hat is off to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I haven’t read any really bad review copies yet so I’m still not sure what I’m going to do if that happens, review or not. I do have a history of struggling through a book and I think I only have a history of 2, 3 DNF and I gave up the last 30, 40 pages from the end because I simply wasn’t interested enough to see how it ended and I knew nothing would be coming that would change my mind anymore. I do sometimes feel that it’s not really my thing after the first chapter and then I pick up another book, thinking I’ll pick it up again later (Perfume, The Girl with No Gifts) but they always get sent down my readlist. This author’s attitude is something many can learn something from! Very courageous from you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Inge! I agree. The author was so personable and down to Earth. I truly appreciated his thoughts and response. I was pretty nervous about the initial email I sent.

      I also do not normally DNF so this was not something I had really thought of enough. Lesson learned. I will be tweaking my policies to help cover this area, no matter how slim the chances are ❤

      Like

      1. I don’t have any policies, lol. I can do whatever I want :-). Maybe I should think about it? I don’t know.. that would be encouraging authors to send me e-mails for reviewing and I’m not really looking for more mails. Just out of curiosity, did he get other good ratings or are they all rather low? Come on, I’m sure you’re keeping your eye on Goodreads ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha Inge. I did check. Several times actually. I wanted to know if other readers were struggling. The Average rating was around 3.5. It seems to have went both ways. I think it was a subgenre so to speak that I do not normally read. I made the effort, and now I know why I do not read it. But I was honest before agreeing to accept a copy about that. Lesson learned and some good experience gained 🙂

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  16. For the longest time I was not able to DNF not just books, but whole series. I’ve since changed my ways – I usually try to give it 25% before I DNF (and I may put a little more effort into it if it’s a review copy). I don’t do a full, proper review for DNFs, I usually just write a paragraph or so on how far I got into it and why it wasn’t working for me. I don’t give them star ratings, either, as that seems unfair to me since I didn’t finish the book and it’s possible it could get way better after I quit it.

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  17. I also have a very hard time DNFing a book. I can count on one hand the books I haven’t finished. That being said, I am currently contemplating one of my current reads lol For me, I think if you receive a book for review, you owe it to the publisher/author to give the book a fair shot. I’d say 20% in would be a good shot. At that point, you could either submit your reasons for DNFing the book straight to the publisher/author, or you could write a “DNF review” where you state the reasons why you are DNFing the book… you can’t review the book, but you can review what you’ve read and give the reasons you are choosing to stop reading the book.

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    1. Everything you say is so true and it appears we agree ❤ Shocker huh 😉 I thought about a DNF review, but had nothing constructive to write. It was a pure case of not the right one for me. So I opted to contact the author.

      Luckily it all worked out and was a great learning experience! 20% is what I deem fair also.

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  18. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable giving a book I DNF more than one star, because I too have a very hard time DNFing books, and if there is the rare case that I do put a book down, it’s because it’s *severely* uninteresting to me. And if I don’t finish it, I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving it a full review- what if something amazing happens at the end?? I may underestimate it without the full story, and I just wouldn’t feel fair doing it. But I might write a little blurb on Goodreads or whatnot because I think it can be helpful for other potential readers to know why I didn’t want to finish it. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving it a full fledged review when I don’t understand a book in its entirety. But like I said, I too have trouble not finishing books, so I don’t run into this too problem often! I sometimes wish I was better at DNFing, because it can take me AGES to finish books I don’t like, which only drags the torture out longer. But I’m always like…what if the ending is worth it?? (Often it’s not, but at least the book is over!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you agree about the ending! Endings can sometimes, unexpectedly change everything for me with a book. You just never know!

      I think a small blurb on GR is a great idea. At least you are still acknowledging the book and providing others with a small amount of insight through your own experience. I would only give one star to acknowledge the title at best. Like you, it would never be more.

      Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I agree with you on not reviewing a book if it’s a DNF…mentioning it and saying that you DNFed it, giving a reason why it was DNFed is completely fine by me. (I’ve done this in my wrap ups before) but I don’t agree with giving in depth review of a book that was not read in its entirety. I understand that it can be tricky when you made a promise to review a book. I think DNFing is more personal, however I also feel like sometimes the community likes to deem rules and regulations on certain things (DNFing being one of them). Umm within my personal experience of DNFing, I try to read as much as possible but if 1) I’m falling into a reading slump, then I DNF 2) if a book has something triggering for me, I DNF 3) if the writing and/or plot is giving me a very hard time to get through, then I DNF. I agree with what the author said, there are way too many books to read. Why try to read something you’re not enjoying at the moment, when you can read something that will make up for that time? I think you emailing the author was super uber professional and I’m happy it all worked out. Sorry if I got a little repetitive lol. Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be sorry! I loved this response ❤ Thank you for sharing the reasons you will DNF. You are so right. In the end it is personal. I like to reach out for feedback and trade thoughts, but I have to decide what I want to do and how I want to handle it. I just wasn't expecting this to happen since I am so bad about giving up haha.

      I will definitely be keeping your 3 very valid reasons in mind. I had a feeling you agree about the review part 😉 I think a mention in a wrap-up is a great idea.

      Thanks love ❤

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  20. Part of whether a book is “good” or not is if it keeps you engaged. However, if it is just because it isn’t your cup if tea, as in… the title made you think it was SciFi and it turned out to be Contemporary and you don’t like Contemporary then that is not the book’s fault. I think authors would rather you not review in that case, ha ha. You don’t have to rate books you “review” on Goodreads, so if you feel weird not reviewing it, just say that in the review box in GR and don’t put a rating. I have done that several times when books have been really good, but did’t fit their classification, or genre. I only dnf for bad writing and if the writung is so bad I can’t finish it, it is a bad book = bad rating. This is why I get asked to review outside my “reading zone” because I rate based on writing. I don’t like Contemp Romance, but if I say I will review one as a favor I rate it based on the writing, not, with my dislike of romance in mind

    When I decide to dnf a book I usually hop, jump, skim read the rest and read the last chapter just to make sure it didn’t pick up somewhere along the line. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks ❤ I had not honestly thought about the fact that you do not have to provide a rating on GR haha. Silly me. Do you think that providing a brief write up on there with no stars affects their average rating? Curious..

      This was a case of simply trying something new and learning I could not connect with it. Trial and error sometimes. I was stuck at 20% for several weeks. I really could not say the writing was bad. I did not feel I could provide and constructive feedback, so I feel confident in the choice to not write anything.

      You make some great points as always ❤

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  21. This is such a tough subject. I always feel guilty even just thinking about DNFing a book. I took the decision to give a story 100 pages to convince me. For an ARC I can go up to the half mark, but if the magic doesn’t happen, I don’t push any further. There’s no point in forcing you. I don’t review books I DNF, but I do try to write a little thing about the reasons why it did not work. I cannot possibly rate a book I haven’t finished, I don’t think it’s fair to the book or the author.

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    1. I think you are a better woman than me. While I agree with every single thing you have said, sometimes 100 pages or the halfway mark could be so difficult (says the blogger who has only DNF’ d twice). I try to make sure to send appropriate feedback so that I can at least be fair on all fronts ❤

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  22. In the past, there have been a couple of DNF titles and what I usually end up doing is giving an honest reason as to why I couldn’t finish the book. I don’t assign ratings or even a full review like other books, like you I feel it’s unfair to give a book a full review when I don’t know the whole story. A mini review or reason as to why it’s a DNF feels better in my opinion. As for how many pages I read before giving up, it depends but I’ve noticed that if I’m not interested within 50 to 100 I give up. The tell tale sign that it really is a DNF book is if the reading becomes more of a chore than pleasure, that’s when I really give up on a book (*cough cough* A Series of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin). I hope that helps a bt

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  23. This is a marvelous discussion post, Danielle. I’ve read most of these comments, and I think there are some great points. Personally, I DNF books if I am still not interested at the 30% mark. The only times I push past that is for book clubs, because I want to articulate my feelings as accurately as possible. That said, I only write DNF reviews if I feel there is something important to say, or if I agreed to read the book for the author/publisher. For example, I reviewed The Girl With All The Gifts as a DNF. It just got too graphically violent for me. But I know it’s a GREAT book, and I wanted to tell others.

    I have DNF’d a few NetGalley reads, but I didn’t publish those on my blog. Goodreads, Amazon, and NetGalley? Yes. Perhaps in the future, I’ll publish a DNF from NetGalley? Also yes. I want to tell a story on my blog. This isn’t a space for me to complain, but a space for me to critically review literature. If I DNF a hyped book, you *know* I’ll publish that review on my blog. Because we need to make the book blogger community safe for all opinions. It’s not my job to love your book. But it is my job to provide feedback. My blog is a space for me to share my personal reflections and lead a discussion with my peers. And I can do what I want there.
    (That said, my review policy reinforces that I will never attack an author. That’s really important)

    Again, I love this post. You do you, Danielle. and whatever it is, I’ll support it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh Jackie ❤ This! You are so spot on! I want to tell you how much I agree with all of it, but I want to acknowledge your comment about hyped books and making the community safe. There is so much to be had in those two lines. These are definitely things to keep in mind ❤

      I recently dealt with an author who chose to attack another blogger because he was unhappy with the review. He then decided to harass me through a series of emails because ultimately he was mad I shared her review.

      So we need to feel safe on several fronts. We need to be able to publish the honest reviews we promise without backlash from the community and the writers and publishers!

      And honest, against the grain, opinions can sometimes lead to the very best discussions 😉

      Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Danielle– I’m soooo sorry someone felt it was appropriate to attack you because you *shared* an opinion. We have every right to feel safe and protected. And, honestly, I feel safe and protected in the community. I love my book blogger friends. They are ALL amazing. But, there will always be anomalies.
        If we don’t publish 1-star, 2-star, or DNF reviews, we are setting ourselves up for that safety to be broken, in my opinion. I will continue to support low-star and DNF reviews to set the expectation that this is acceptable.
        And, like you said, these reviews often lead to some of the best discussions. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Jackie. My security within this community is exactly what made it easy to promptly inform the author of how out of line he was. I made it very clear that I would not tolerate or accept that form of behavior towards others or myself. In the end, it was a learning experience. Are not they all haha.

          I am in favor of DNF reviews that are just that. As long as I am reading a review that is discussing why the title was not completed and understand how much was read, I think it is excellent food for thought and feedback 🙂 It is the ones I have stumbled upon that seem to tear the whole book apart only to find at the end, they only read like 20% or so. It has happened haha. I feel like that is a bit preemptive and maybe unfair 😉

          I feel every reviewer must be comfortable giving low rating reviews. We cannot refrain from honesty out of fear of lashback. That is exactly why I remind every author or contact that my review will be my own and honest.

          I love how much I agree with you sometimes ❤

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  24. I would agree with you. I don’t review books that I DNF, it just doesn’t seem right to me because maybe 50 pages later it changes and would have been amazing. I try to give a book 50-100 pages, but if I hit the 1/3 mark I will usually try and push through. I find for the most part it is easy enough to get a feel for the book right off the bat and it doesn’t always take 100 pages. Then again sometimes I read the beginning and think…This is a book I should be liking, and I decide to come back when I’m in a different mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually need to learn to DNF more haha. I never thought I would say that. But there it is. I think 50 to 100 given the title is pretty fair. I expect slower starts with some books and will tough it out if I am warned the beginning is slow. But sometimes it just isn’t going to happen no matter how hard we try. And that is ok. The next reader may fall in love with the same book 🙂

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      1. Not every book is going to work for every person we all have different tastes and life experiences that we draw from. Oh well to each their own I guess. One day I just decided I am not in school anymore I’ not forcing myself to read and it sort of stuck.

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  25. A dilemma that sure does appear for a lot of bloggers after a certain time! Personally, I too see through anything I begin. It’s just part of my personality. I have yet to ever DNF a book… This is probably due to the fact that I’ve dealt with so many scientific articles that were ABSOLUTELY horrible and tedious in the past. I must have been trained to reach the end because of that hahahha. I totally understand your unwillingness to review a book that you haven’t completed. I wouldn’t have reviewed it myself. Contacting the author was DEFINITELY the wisest decision, and I’m glad that the author was actually a very nice person who gave you a very awesome response. If I had read a book by an author to whom I vowed to review his book and ended up feeling that it was worth nothing more than a 1 star, I would definitely have contacted the author and offered the options available (a negative review that could affect their book’s rating, personal feedback without making it public, etc.). Thanks for sharing your concerns with the community! I’m sure plenty of people can learn a lot from the way you dealt with your particular situation! 🙂

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate this. I had actually sat on my decision for several days before making contact with him. Of course I want to maintain my honesty always with titles and reviews. It is one of my core values, but sometimes we have to look at all parties and determine what might be best. Since, I was not able to complete the book and read hardly enough to present and real constructive write-up, the decision to reach out worked for me. It has definitely made me aware of my own policies and how I want to handle my reviews going forward. While I tough situation momentarily, it has been great food for thought 😉 I use that phrase too much haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. This is actually a great topic to discuss, Danielle. There are so many different opinions when it comes to this. See… I used to feel exactly the same as you. I felt this need to push through a book, no matter how much I wasn’t enjoying it, and finish it… no matter what! But when I started blogging, I realized that there are so many books out there, and not enough time in the day, so why waste precious reading time trying to push through something I’m not enjoying? So I finally decided to start DNF’ing books (only if absolutely necessary). For a while, I had it set in my mind that I would not review nor rate a book that I DNF’ed. But later changed my mind. Now, I will review a DNF’ed book, but I will not RATE it. The review will basically just tell people WHY I decided to DNF the book. But I feel that if I don’t finish a book, I can’t give it a proper and accurate rating, so I don’t rate them. But I do like to explain why I wasn’t enjoying the book and why I had to end up putting it down. I like to try to make it through 35-40%… if it doesn’t pick up by then, I’m out of there! That’s just my preference, though. I think however a person wishes to handle their DNF’s is totally up to them and totally ok either way. Great post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said as always Megan ❤ I think the main consensus seems to be that it is great to discuss a DNF but maybe refrain from rating it. It seems like a fair way to provide feedback to other readers and followers (as well as the author) yet not necessarily lowering their average on retail sites. Because it is always possible that another chapter might have been a turning point 😉 Although I think we have both read enough to know that sometimes there just is no saving it haha ❤

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  27. It’s a couple years ago that I decided to just give up on books I wasn’t enjoying and don’t want to bother with. I don’t often request books to review and of the few I have requested, I have only DNF’D 1 but I reviewed it because I’d read a chunk of it and had formed an opinion about it. The author was okay with that because I was honest about why I stopped and such. If I’ve formed an opinion on any parts of the book’s story/subject, I will post a review even if I DNF’D the book. But I think it best to be honest in the review that I didn’t finish and that the story might change in in the pages I didn’t read. So far this year I DNF’D 2 books that I won’t review because I didn’t get a handle on what they are about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that is a very fair and honest approach. I would normally address my own issues in a post, but as you mentioned, this was a title I did not have a firm enough grasp on. I would not be able to provided any solid input. I was unable to make it far enough. I hope this doesn’t happen too often for me. I truly struggle with it 🙂

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