I used to never DNF (did not finish) a book. I used to force myself to finish if I got a certain of the way through. If I quit just a few pages in, I didn’t consider that a DNF, I just thought of it as a Not For Me kind of book. But if I got several chapters in, I was dedicated.
That means I used to read a lot of bad books, ya’ll. And you don’t get that time back, nor the emotional damage of reading crappy stories. Sigh.
In past years, I’ve made an effort to treat my reading time with more care. I love books, and there are so many amazing stories out there that I just don’t want to miss out on. I’m not always good at it- sometimes I’ll Hate Read a book until the bitter end just because maybe there is something that hooks me- a mystery to solve, a feeling like this ending had better pay off! Some books are slow burns, so my usual 50 page test doesn’t always work with those reads. Sometimes I can’t even get through 15% of the book before calling it quits.
Here are some recent Book BreakUps:
My Pet Serial Killer by Michael Seidlinger
This is an eArc I got from Edelweiss. It sounded completely up my alley- a woman who keeps a serial killer as a pet?! Dark, disturbing, completely twisted? Yes, yes, and yes please!
Why We Broke Up: I just couldn’t get into the writing style. I was bored. I thought about skimming until I got to the good parts… but I just thought it was best to end things before I started Hate Reading. On a break up scale, this was a painful one. We could have had something. I’m sure the writing style will work for other readers, it just wasn’t for me. Maybe the audiobook could tempt me back…
Murder of a Bookstore Babe (A Scumble River Mystery #13) by Denise Swanson
I got this one at the library while I was searching for #BloggersDressedInBlood reads (despite the fact that I have all the books I could ever possibly read in 2 months or 2 years already on my shelves). The title totally appealed to me, so even though it wasn’t the first in a series, I didn’t care. I often don’t love first books in cozy mysteries anyway, and to be honest, I didn’t know how far along this book series was until I looked it up for this post. Twelve previous books explains a lot.
Why We Broke Up: I had misgivings early on. There was woman on woman hate/judgement from the get go, and I’m not into that. Sometimes I don’t dig on cozy mysteries because the women who are often in their 30s and 40s act too much like teenagers. But still, it’s got a bookstore in it! So I kept going… only to find the plot way outdated. The townspeople, especially an English teacher, against a bookstore just because it’s going to sell romance? And while this book was published in 2011, the author had teen characters using some terribly dated slang. I just didn’t like the main character, and the plot wasn’t what I thought it would be. So, I walked away and I feel only a vague sense of sadness over it. Obviously there’s an audience for this series, but I needed more.
Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth
I not only got the physical arc, but Libro.fm included it in our monthly listener’s copies (for bookstore peeps). Even though I couldn’t get beyond the first page (the weird names, ya’ll, it’s what usually prevents me from leaping into the sci-fi genre wholeheartedly).
Why We Broke Up: Despite the pretty cover (it really gleams and shimmers, and that is my jam), I couldn’t get into this… not even on audio! Not even at 3x speed (which I tried to just see if it improved, or if I could listen long enough to get hooked)! I just found it boring, and I’ve just come to the realization that Divergent was a one off for me, and that otherwise Roth’s books probably aren’t for me. Still a lovely cover, and I’m sure some people will like it. Although, the book has it’s detractors based on Roth’s handling of ablelism and racism, but I couldn’t even drum up enough energy to get upset over those aspects because I was just so bored… and because I dnfed fairly early on. It would take a lot for me to waste any more time on Roth’s books.