The 8 Books I DNF In 2018

Find out which books didn’t make the cut..

For any who are unsure DNF stands for Did Not Finish. Not in the sense that I didn’t have time or just haven’t gotten around to picking it back up yet. DNF is a conscious decision to put that sucker down and walk away forever!

In my life I’ve only done this to a grand total of 21 books- that I can recall. I’ve got pretty good staying power when it comes to reading, probably because I find it difficult to concentrate on a story until I’ve had closure on my previous read.
Yep, I’m one of those one book at a time readers- audio books excepted. I can read one story and listen to another without confusing myself.. but not simultaneously of course, I’m no wizard!
It can be annoying to read this way, if I’m not enjoying my current read as much as I’d like I slide into a slump pretty easily.
As I mentioned in my first DNF post last year The Page of Shame I’ve relaxed my reading rules just a smidge and now allow myself to quit a book whenever the time feels right.
Last year I gave up on 8 books at different stages of completion for various reasons.

Read on to find out what they were…



Woodcutter – Kate Danley: 24%

Okay this author is just cutting haphazard chunks out of fairytales and throwing them on paper. This feels childlike but without any of the endearing wonder.

the last policeman

The Last Policeman – Ben H Winters: 53%

At 53% I really could finish this I suppose, but time is valuable, and there are so many other books waiting for me. Do I even want to know how this ends? Not really. If I’m halfway in and STILL not invested I highly doubt the ending will change my opinion. Let’s move on.


84k- Claire North: 5/%

What is this writing style? I’m being kicked out of the storyline by broken sentences and purposely misplaced words. Is this going to stop or is the whole book written this way? You know what, I don’t care. I really wanted to love Claire North though, maybe I should just try another title before I give up on her?


Finch- Jeff Vandermeer: 5%

I just can’t. The punctuation is ruining any mood. Read this sample and see for yourselves…

“Inside, a tall, pale man dressed in black stood halfway down the hall, staring into a doorway. Beyond him, a dark room. A worn bed. White sheets dull in the shadow. Didn’t look like anyone had slept there in months. Dusty floor. Even before he’d started seeing Sintra, his place hadn’t looked this bad.”

Is all of Vandermeer’s writing like this? Someone please tell me it isn’t. I wanted to read Annihilation!


The Invisible Library- Genevieve Cogman: 18%

What’s going on? Where are we? I’m sure I just read lots of world building but I can’t seem to retain any of it. I can’t picture the scene or the characters at all. Oh now we’re somewhere else completely and I have no idea what this woman is trying to do. I’m not sure I care anyway.

the blinds

The Blinds- Adam Sternbergh: 51%

The characters don’t care about each other, themselves, or anything really! They have no past, no future, no appeal at all. The premise is great but the execution is soooo very droll.

ghost virus

Ghost Virus – Graham Masterton: 7%

Is this purposefully offensive white male trash? It’s just distasteful and adds nothing at all to the writing or storyline.

“I don’t know any Paki-speak and even when they’re supposed to be talking English […] they won’t eat with their left hand because they wipe their arse with it and they treat their women like shit.

I’m bloody glad I don’t have to gang-rape the wife’s sister. I wouldn’t climb on her to hang wallpaper. Mind you, she’d probably enjoy it.”

I’m cringing too hard to concentrate. Is all his work like this? I don’t think I’ll ever risk it again.


Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: 8%

I read so so many reviews on this series. Why didn’t any of them tell me about the format? Call me old fashioned but I want to read a book. Not a mash of websites, emails, notes and whatever else I’m trying to stumble sideways over on my kindle app right now. This is not my thing at all!


So there we have it, 8 books I decided not to finish in 2018. Not bad considering I finished 69 books overall. Is it too much to hope I hit 100 this year with no DNFs? I’m certainly going to try!

Did you also dislike any of my choices?

Do you think I should give any a second chance?

Let me know…

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

6 thoughts on “The 8 Books I DNF In 2018”

  1. That sucks that you encountered so many books that you had to put down… but it’s great that you did put them down to find better things! 🙂 I read The Invisible Library all the way through a year or so ago and didn’t really enjoy it… so I’d say your DNF was justified


  2. Awh, too bad about Illuminae! I have to admit the format takes some getting used to. I read a physical copy though; I can imagine what it must be like on an ereader or Kindle to be honest. 😛 I’ve seen people raving about the audiobooks, so maybe that’s something you could try if you’re into that? Personally, I’m not one for audiobooks but I know loads of other people love them. 🙂


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