Friday, July 29, 2016

Feature & Follow Friday: 7/29/16

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. Please follow the links to the hosts' websites to: 1) Follow them, if you haven't already; and 2) Check out the rules so you can participate too!

Honestly, I still struggle with this question. Last week, I started two books that eventually ended up on my DNF list. One I was able to get through at least half of it before giving up, the other only a third before I threw in the towel. One of the books I received from a publicist and about quit when I read the introduction alone. The author used "u" instead of "you".

 Still, I decided to trudge on ahead and see if things got better. They didn't, and I only made it through a third of the book before lamenting the fact that I just wasted minutes of my life that I would never get back. Now the question comes up, "Do I post a review anyway, at least letting people know I couldn't finish?" In this case, I wrote a nice, but honest, email to the publicist letting them know all of the things I found wrong with the book (and there were many). It's been at least a week and I haven't heard back. I didn't write up any sort of review, but to get it off my Goodreads "currently reading" list, I marked it as read and simply said, "DNF". To me, it seems like the author was young, possibly not a native English speaker, and this was her first book. I felt like direct feedback, letting her know exactly why I couldn't read it and the problems I saw, would be more beneficial to her than posting a review to a website. Maybe with some guidance and revisions, it can turn into something great. On the other hand, posting reviews to places like Goodreads and Amazon help other people avoid paying for books that are honestly not ready to be seen by human eyes. 

Now the other book I mentioned, the one that I was able to make it through half of before wanting to beat my head against a wall, was a little bit of a different situation. I wrote a similar email to this publicist and received back a prompt, sincere reply. They understood why I didn't finish and thanked me for letting them know so they could improve things on their end, and help the author as well. This kind of correspondence just makes me feel so good, like I'm actually making a difference. So thank you publicist!

Oh crap, I think I'm getting a little off topic. So here's my thoughts on reviewing DNF books: do whatever feels right to you. Personally, if I don't finish the book, I don't write a review. Sometimes I feel like I should; as I said before, I hate to think of people using their hard earned cash on these books that have sentence structure issues, grammar atrocities, etc. I think it's perfectly acceptable to let people know why you didn't like a book, even if you didn't make it to the last page. If I was to review the two books I mentioned previously, I would just be extremely honest, but fair. I would list the things I didn't like, but I always try to find at least one positive thing too, whether it be an interesting character or the overall premise of the story. It helps to know what you're doing wrong, yet it also helps to know what you're doing right.

Sorry for the long-winded, rambling response. Obviously this has been at the forefront of my mind the past week, so it felt good to talk it out. I'm still a little conflicted, but maybe reading others' posts on this topic will help! How do you guys feel about reviewing DNF books? Leave a link to your post or tell me in the comments! You can follow me on the below forums, or you can choose from something different at the top of the page (like Facebook or Google+).


  1. I had a situation similar to your first example and did post a paragraph about why I didn't finish the book. The author contacted me and actually decided to do a major revision of the book after seeing the review and supplied the revised copy (significantly better) for a second review. In that case the author got something out of it as well as any potential readers prior to the revisions. It was an...odd situation but made me realize DNF reviews can be good as well.

    Glad to see you have a system and sticking to it! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog, new Bloglovin' follower.

    Austine @ NovelKnight

  2. I do think it's important to let other readers and customers know why you couldn't finish a book, especially in the first case you gave. It's just like a business. If you have a beyond horrible experience, most people contact the manager and also post a review on Yelp, and worst of worst, contact the BBB. I feel that posting reviews for all books is the same. There are plenty of reviews for books, so this allows potential readers to weed through and make their own decisions before spending their money. That's part of why I review even if I DNF, which means I have to read at least 40% of the book. It takes A LOT to make me stop reading a book, and I've only DNFed 4 since I started blogging (one being a classic I tried to give another chance). Just like a 5 star review, I am honest and fair with DNF reviews. I state the elements that I liked, and those that I didn't.

  3. Gosh I have so much to say about what you wrote, but I will keep it short. I DNF books very rarely. I don't find the need to, I have gotten really good at picking books that work. On the rare occasion that I do DNF a book I let the person know in private. Kind of like what you did. After reading everyones thoughts on it I am thinking of changing my mind. Following on Bloglovin!

  4. I totally understand your conflicted feeling and contacting them in private really is an awesome why as well. But I really like reading DNF honest reviews because it does help me decide if I should give a book a try or not. I don't do it because I will always think it would be unfair for me too rate or review book that I DNF. Thank you for stopping by my #FFF. Old Follower.