If you’re an active book worm like myself and use Goodreads often to check for your next read, then you must’ve come across this abbreviation, DNF. If you’re not familiar with it, DNF means did not finish. I tend to stay away from this term as I try my best to finish a book, even if I’ve lost interest, or it didn’t turn out to be what I expected. So, I’ve compiled a list of books I’ve read but forced myself to finish. Maybe in a few years / months there’ll be a part two? Who knows?
TRAILS IN THE DUST BY JOY DETTMAN
One of the major reasons I forced myself to finish a book is when I’ve received the book for free in exchange for an honest review. Hence, I feel obligated to at least finish the book. Trails in the Dust was one of my first non YA book reviews. It was the seventh book in a series, but could be read as a standalone. I think my rating and interest would’ve been different if I read the entire series first. Apart from that, this story didn’t perk my interest for a while. There were minor things that intrigued me I wanted to see play out, but there were too many characters to remember. Again, if I had read the series, I would’ve been familiar with the characters.
LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS BY SAMIRA AHMED
A book I was quite interested to read as it were the early days of discovering YA Muslim characters. However, the longer I read this book, the more I wanted it to stop. As a Muslim reader, the author mixed religion and culture too much. It would’ve been okay if it were once or twice, but often leaves a poor impression for most Muslims to the rest of the world. It’s a common misconception to think all Muslim parents are strict. Believe me, if the world met my parents—it would be a different place. Also, arranged marriages aren’t a religious thing but I understand since the character, Maya was Indian it’s normalized in those sorts of countries and yes—with an older man. However, the book would’ve been fine without religion. Better, in fact. Not only does the main character do things forbidden in Islam, but a few characters. Also, adding a school shooting was so unnecessary because it was the only time Maya wanted to pray or even be a proper Muslim. That scene was totally irrelevant and showed how cliche the plot really was. However, I forced myself to read it because I wanted to see how everything would’ve turned out. I was merely satisfied.
THE SALVATION SEQUENCE BY PETER F. HAMILTON
Another series I couldn’t quite grapple. When you’re sent books, you feel obligated to give a review for it, especially when you requested the book but it didn’t turn out the way you thought it did. I think the primary reason is because I’m not a huge fan of science fiction / space opera. This was quite full on with so many characters, timelines and backstories—it was a challenge to focus. I forced myself to finish the two books in the series because this was quite a popular author. I would’ve felt like I’d let a few people down. I struck through to the end but still felt lost...
INFINITY SON BY ADAM SILVERA
To this day, I am devastated to be adding this book to the list. I can imagine it appearing on future lists. I was eager to read this book because I love Adam Silvera’s work. When I read that he’d be doing an Urban Fantasy YA novel—I had to get it! However, the more I read, the more disappointed I became. I can understand it’s Silvera’s first take on Urban Fantasy, but it wasn’t what I imagined. It felt like he took an overly used cliche trope and tried to do something with it. Everything was so predictable and the characters were two dimensional. It frustrated me so much because I had high hopes and he’s one of my favorite authors. One of many reasons I forced myself to finish it. Also, it was my book club’s book of the month and I bought it. Of course I’d read it!
THE SUMMER I DROWNED BY TAYLOR HALE
I love seeing Wattpad books publish into the world. There are a few I could name that I enjoyed while others were okay. This book had potential as it was right up my alley being a young adult fiction and a thriller. However, the characters ruined it. It’s one of those books where you either like the plot or the characters. By the climax, most of the characters annoyed the heck out of me and I wanted to know the ending. Predictable, but still good enough to keep me on my toes.
Read my review here: The Summer I Drowned
AMNESTY BY ARAVIND ADIGA
Like the first book on this list, I think this Adult Fiction book wasn’t for me. It’s set over twenty-four hours with a few flashbacks to provide more context. However, it’s one of those books where if the character had done something differently in the first place, we wouldn’t have the entire book dragging as long as it did. Yet this book also contained a murder, so I had to know what would’ve happened in the end.
Read my review here: Amnesty
THE SECRET HISTORY OF US BY JESSI KIRBY
Coincidently, this book has a similar plot line to The Summer I Drowned by Taylor Hale. Same main character name and comparisons. I think I shouldn’t have read them too close to each other, then I wouldn’t have put this one on the list. Well, it had a similar reason as to TSID as well! If one character spoke up, then we could’ve avoided all the unnecessary tension and awkwardness the poor main character had to endure. Even though the ending was predictable, I still wanted to see it through to the end.
KOUSH HOLLOW BY LEIGH GOFF
Another book where the characters lowered my rating, yet I pushed through to the end! This one wasn’t bad and almost didn’t make the list. However, after checking my reading session notes (yes, I do that) it reminded of what I went through while reading this book. Sure, it was an interesting concept, but the author tried to include too many things and thus, couldn’t focus on executing them all better. I saw it through the end, which was okay, but I sort of lost interest halfway through the book when it dragged.
Read my review here: Koush Hollow
There you have it, folks! My list of ‘forced’ books, which I hope to not create again now that I think of it. I’m growing as a reader and finding out what I like and don’t like. However, sometimes you can’t tell what’s going to happen once you step into a different world. Are there any books you’ve read on this list that you think don’t deserve to be here? Or any books you’ve forced yourself to finish? Let me know in the comments below!