I’ve talked about getting comfortable with DNF’ing books on this blog before. In that post, I wrote about why it’s hard to DNF books and how to deal with the guilt that comes along with it.
In this post, I want to dig a little deeper. What are my personal dealbreakers when it comes to reading books? When do you I decide it’s time to stop? And most importantly, let me know about your dealbreakers in the comments below!
One of my major dealbreakers when it comes to quitting books is bad writing. Of course, what this actually entails is subjective. I can get real technical about it: inconsistency in terms of verbs, passive voice, paragraphs or dialogue that doesn’t flow and/or that’s unrealistic. I appreciate style, but when I read a book and I constantly get annoyed by the way it’s written, I just quit.
Having trouble understanding a character’s motive
I always preach that I do not need to ‘relate’ to a character – I actually think it’s amazing to read about characters who are vastly different from myself – but I do need to understand a characters motive. WHY do they feel the way they feel, and how did that happen? If the author fails to make that clear, I just stop caring about the story.
Slow moving plots
I admit, I get bored easily. There are a lot of character-focused novels that I enjoy, but I do notice a trend: books with very slow moving plots are not my favorite. When I’m halfway through a book and I still don’t know anything about what’s going on, nor do I feel like the characters have really gotten anywhere, there is a big chance that I will just quit. At that point, it is no longer ‘suspense’ and I just stop caring. This is why I DNF’d The Raven Boys.
Cliched, ‘focus on the romance’ plots
I’m not a big romance reader – usually I’m SUPER on board with it or not at all. There is no in between! This usually has to do with the fact that most (YA) romance books are filled with tropes and plot devices I really don’t like. Lazy insta-love, love-triangles just to build some suspense.. It’s just not my thing. If the book premise promises romance, it’s cool. I’ll probably won’t read it. But if the premise promises action or epic fantasy and the book is filled with romance? Naaaah.
This one is more about series I DNF than just books. I HATE it when books are part of a series but their individual plots aren’t wrapped up properly. So much so, that it often takes away my excitement for the series in general. I like series, but I also believe books should be satisfying by themselves. When I miss that balance, I DNF the series.