Discussion Post: DNF Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday

I have quite a few thoughts on DNF reviews and I’ve seen a lot of other people’s opinions on them as well so I figured “Hey let’s see what everyone else thinks of DNF reviews!” So here we are. This is going to be a little short for a discussion post (I apologize!) but I really want to hear some opinions on it!

Most of you might already know but for those of you who don’t here’s a little explanation. A DNF Review is a review for a book that you Did Not Finish, pretty simple.

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So what’s the positive side to writing a DNF Review?

Β When a reviewer can’t finish a book they should be able to DNF it and write a quick review explaining why they did so. I feel that an opinion on why someone couldn’t finish the book is just as valid as their opinion of the book if they had finished.

If a book is that bad a reviewer should have every right to stop reading it, what’s the point of pushing onward and tormenting yourself right?

So on the positive side: some people find DNF reviews to be just as informative as normal book reviews.

So what’s the down side to writing a DNF Review?

Some people feel that you shouldn’t write DNF reviews because you didn’t actually finish the book and it feels unfair for you to rate it without reading the entire thing. I understand this side as well because it’s true with a DNF review that you didn’t finish the book and who’s to say it doesn’t get better at the end? Why judge a book by it’s first few chapters?

However, is it really fair to be mad at someone for writing a review for a book they didn’t finish because they weren’t enjoying it?

So on the negative side: some people don’t think DNF reviews are fair since you aren’t sharing an opinion on the entirety of the book.

My Opinion

I actually really like DNF reviews and I enjoy them just the same as normal book reviews. I personally don’t DNF many books (and I try not to) therefore I don’t write many DNF reviews. When I do though I feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to write a review for a DNF’d book and explain why I wasn’t enjoying it.

So say the book gets better at the end, I don’t really care. If it was so hard to push through half the book then honestly the ending wouldn’t be worth it for me.

I also really appreciate anyone who does write a DNF review because you’re taking the time to review a book you didn’t finish to tell us why you didn’t like it. People don’t have to write a review for reading half (or less) of a book, but they still do and I (as a reader and blogger) really do appreciate it!

So in my opinion, don’t force your way through a book if you don’t want to! DNF reviews are perfectly acceptable!

My DNF Reviews

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

The only reason I wanted to read this was because I wanted to go see the movie but honestly you couldn’t pay me to read through this. I have zero interest in reading the original “Pride and Prejudice” and this book was what I imagine the original was like with very little zombie action. All I wanted was all the badass zombie killing I was shown in the movie trailer!

“Once Upon A Dream” by Liz Braswell

Everything about this was….bad. The writing, the narrative style, the characters, and the plot were all unfathomably boring. There was nothing redeemable about this book.

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Come Join The Discussion!

What is your opinion on DNF Reviews?

Do you believe in DNF-ing books?

Do you think it’s unfair to write a review for a book you didn’t finish?

Do you think it’s okay to write a review explaining why you couldn’t finish the book?

Do you appreciate bloggers who write DNF reviews?

Do you find DNF reviews just as informative as normal book reviews?

The Sassy


18 thoughts on “Discussion Post: DNF Reviews

  1. Katherine @ Fabled Haven May 16, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    I personally enjoy reading DNF reviews, and think it’s fine to DNF a book that you really don’t enjoy! I actually have yet to DNF a book, but it’s just a personal thing – I just personally can’t stand the idea of not finishing a book once I start it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 1:55 pm

      You’re pretty lucky if you haven’t DNFed a book before, haha. I was the same way about not finishing books until I started swamping myself with TBR books and now I’m more open to DNFing because I feel it’s a waste of my time to read a book I don’t like when I could be reading one I will. Usually they have to be pretty bad though. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily | RoseRead May 16, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    I agree that DNFs are interesting to read and just as valid as regular reviews. But at the same time, I myself probably wouldn’t write one because I wouldn’t feel I could write about a book I DNFed. Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:01 pm

      Thank you! I actually really love your comment here because it shows both opinions on this really well, that you like reading DNF reviews but wouldn’t write one yourself. I wish I could put a flashing sign by this and say “See everyone? You can be both!” haha thanks for sharing Emily! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. amortalreader1 May 16, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    Great discussion post, I like DNF reviews because I like reading honest reviews, so if you didn’t like a book. I would like to see why then it allows me to truly weigh up if I would enjoy it or not.
    I do have to say though sometimes I do not like DNF reviews because I have seen a few where they aren’t constructive or they don’t tell me the actual points in the book they didn’t like and I’ve sadly even seen some write abuse about the authors themselves calling them ‘stupid’ for writing such things or ‘how did this even get published’ .Other than that, I am all for them and luckily it’s only a select few that go as far as writing mean comments about authors πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:05 pm

      Thank you!
      I agree 100% with you on this, I like DNF reviews if they actually provide information because like you said if they didn’t like certain things and those are things I don’t like then that helps me decide on reading the book or not.
      I don’t like seeing DNF reviews that trash the author or book in that manner either, it’s not professional. In which case DNF review or normal review people shouldn’t be writing things like that.
      It’s definitely a good thing that those reviews are quite few and the majority of reviewers remain professional with their reviews. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. tiareleine May 17, 2016 / 12:34 am

    I’ve finally been allowing myself to DNF books, and when I do I try to write a DNF review. I never stop reading a book without good reason, and I hope that by explaining that reasoning I might be able to either help someone avoid a book they wouldn’t like or make someone else feel that they aren’t alone in disliking a book. Other people’s DNF reviews often do one of those things for me!

    As far as the whole “Can you review a book you didn’t read?” thing goes, I think reviewers should make it clear when a review is for a book they didn’t finish–that way people who don’t agree with the concept can disregard those reviews–but I think it’s important to know why someone just couldn’t finish a book.

    Great post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you!
      I think you just put all of my thoughts into your comment as well, haha. I recently started letting myself DNF too because my reading time is precious to me and I don’t want to waste it reading something I really am not enjoying. So just like you said when I write a DNF review I try to provide as much info as possible about why I didn’t like it so others that may agree can see if it’s something they really want to read or not.
      I definitely agree that if you write a review for something you DNF-ed then you should make sure everyone’s aware of that because then that’s where you may get some negative comments and like you said people who don’t like DNF reviews can skip it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews May 17, 2016 / 6:54 am

    Great discussion!

    I’ve never DNF’d a book (yet, haha) but I fully support people DNF-ing books. I’m just extremely stubborn and need to see things through to the end. I haven’t read that many books compared to a lot of people though so who knows what could happen, haha.

    I love reading DNF reviews when they’re constructed correctly. I think they’re so interesting. I think as long as the review isn’t being irrationally unfair or tearing down the author or people who like the book that there’s nothing wrong with them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Thanks Lauren! πŸ™‚
      You’re doing good with your books if you haven’t had to DNF one yet! I used to be 100% against quitting a book just because I was stubborn like that too but sometimes I would put a book down with the “promise” of returning. I haven’t returned to some yet, haha. So DNF-ing really helps me out now, I tell everyone why I couldn’t continue and move on to a book that’s (hopefully) worth my time.
      I love this other point you brought up and I agree with you that DNF reviews should be constructed properly, I want lots of info to be provided and not just stuff like: “This book sucks, how did it ever get published?” Because that isn’t a review that’s just trash-talking and it’s not professional.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Donna May 17, 2016 / 8:44 am

    I try my best not to DNF a book but reading should never be painful so if it becomes too much to bear, it’s okay to put it down. I do enjoy DNF reviews as I am always curious to know what did not work for a reader. I only wrote one DNF review (a very bad one as I was starting the whole review process and was a baby blogger!) and I think it’s important to share your point, which is as valid as those of the people who actually read it til the end. But the review should be constructed and explain why someone did not finish the book, not just say “it sucks and the author should hide far away”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:19 pm

      I agree with 100% of your comment Donna! Everyone should be able to DNF a book if it’s not something they’re enjoying and explaining what wasn’t enjoyable in a review can definitely help others to determine if it’s a book they want to read or not. Same as a normal review. You’re right though that it should be an actual constructed review and not just trash-talk because that’s not professional and it’s not helping anyone. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donna May 18, 2016 / 8:36 am

        I have seen some bad reviews that made me think about the role of a reviewer. We have a responsibility to stay respectful, and anyone who forgets that undermines the work of the reviewers doing their work the right way. Thankfully, it’s only a handful of reviewers who do not care about the material, the authors or their fellow reviewers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek May 19, 2016 / 2:18 am

        Yes, I agree 100% with you! Reviewers who write bad reviews like that don’t do anything for respectful reviewers, they pretty much give the rest of us a bad name by acting so unprofessional.
        But yes thankfully they are few and far between because for the most part every reviewer I’ve met/seen is polite and professional! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Nika May 17, 2016 / 11:26 am

    In the past, I continued with reading a book even of I didn’t enjoy it. But then I figured out that it’s pointless. There are so many books that I want to read and are good, why wasting my time with one that I don’t enjoy? Now, I don’t have a problem with not finishing it. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t try.
    I like dnf reviews because in that way I can understand different opinions about a book. But… I don’t like when people are rating books they didn’t finish. Because I think that you can only rate a book you read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:26 pm

      I was the same way and then I realized the same thing you did: what’s the point of forcing my way through something I don’t like?
      I like that you added that you try to finish it before giving up because I do that as well, I don’t like people DNFing a book if they didn’t really try to read it first.
      I’ve also seen a lot of people rate DNF books and I’ve seen people not rate DNF books but still write a review, so that’s something I don’t really have an opinion on because to me both are fine but I see your point! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Emily Witt May 17, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    I am all for DNF reviews. I think knowing why someone couldn’t finish a book is just as valuable as knowing why someone enjoyed it. I don’t post DNF reviews on my blog because they’re often just a few lines and my own policy is not to rate books I didn’t finish on GoodReads but I totally respect that different reviewers have different policies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 17, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      Yes, yes, yes! I agree with you on all these points. I’ve seen plenty of people rate DNF books and plenty of people who don’t rate them but provide a review, it’s definitely a matter of personal opinion. You nailed it,everyone has different policies. πŸ™‚


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