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sharing the shade; books I have DNF’d recently

welcome back to a literary latte!

Hey besties how are we all!
As promised I am back to posting regularly and today’s post is kind of a shady one, because I’m sharing all of the books that I have DNFd within the last few months or so.

I wrote a discussion post on this way back in 2020 (which you can read here!) but I am an avid book ditcher. If I’m not enjoying a book, I will just stop reading it, simple as that, because life is too short, and my tbr is way too long!

So, with that in mind, I’ve DNF’d a lot of books lately and so I thought that today I would chat through them – what the books were, why I ditched them and whether I’ll ever go back to them.

DNF – did not finish

The Book Blogger Dictionary

book 01 – raybearer by jordan ifueko

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I can hear the collective gasps with this one because it is a HYPED book, and definitely one of the most popular YA reads of 2020. Maybe just an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ situation because at one point I saw this book recommended in every other blog post and everyone seemed to absolutely love it.

This book centres around Tarisai, who is competing to enter the Crown Prince’s Council of 11, whose members will experience the ray, an unbreakable bond. However, Tarisai’s cold and distant mother (The Lady) has placed a curse on Tarisai: “to kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust”, and so the question is whether she’ll be able to resist, or whether she’ll be forced to fulfil The Lady’s plan.

The premise of this did sound so good but I just found it quite confusing and I didn’t really connect with the characters on any level? The world building was just a lot for me and I found it a bit of an info dump. I do find this a lot with fantasy novels though so if the premise sounds up your street then definitely give it a go. I think Raybearer was just personally a little out of my comfort zone.

book 02 – kate in waiting by becky abertalli

Becky Abertalli is an auto buy author for me, with Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda & The Upside of Unrequited being two of my fave books – comfort reads that I reread all of the time. But unfortunately I just wasn’t clicking with this one?

This YA contemporary follows two best friends Kate and Anderson, who both end up having a mutual crush on newbie Matt Olsen, which puts their friendship into question. If I was 13/14 I already know this would have been a new favourite because the premise was exactly what younger teen me would have flown through. Unfortunately though it just felt a little childish for me and I don’t think I am the target age demographic. Another ‘it’s me, not you’ situation because younger me would have adored it; I’ve just lately been used to reading new adult romances and so this felt quite young? Which sucks because I love Becky Abertalli!
The final verdict therefore is that I can’t really see myself reading this in the future, but if I’m ever in the mood for a super light read I could pick it up. & I think I would recommend it to younger teens in the range of 13-15 (based on what I read anyway!)

book 03 – the gilded wolves


This is one that I will 100% be reading in the future because this was a mood DNF. The world building and atmospheric writing was so good and I loved the found family aspect.
The novel follows a found family who are hunting down an ancient artefact in 1889 Paris, with added danger and desire. Such an intriguing premise and something I think I’ll really enjoy so I can’t wait to get to this in the future; I just wasn’t in the mood for it when I picked it up back in April.

book 04 – permanent record by mary h k choi

I added Permanent Record to my tbr a couple of weeks ago (and mentioned it in this book haul so check that out for my initial expectations!) but it ended up being an “I’ll get to you at some point” DNF.
I just wasn’t in the mood for it.
(I actually picked up The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon instead, which I just finished this morning and LOVED)

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The book centres around the lives of pop star Leanna and ‘normal’ health food store worker Pablo, who end up randomly meeting during a snow storm. They end up really clicking but want to make sure that any potential relationship is kept quiet and away from the eyes of the press and the public. However, as with any YA contemporary, their plans don’t quite go to plan.

The premise of this sounds so fun because I am a sucker for the normal person meets celebrity trope. I absolutely adore it, and have done since the Wattpad romance days (The Heartbreak Chronicles by Ali Novak anyone?!). I’ve heard so much about this book and of Mary H.K. Choi’s writing so I am really excited to get to this one, I just wasn’t in the mood for it when I picked it up. It will definitely be one of my next reads though because it sounds so good!!

book 05 – warcross by marie lu

I needed to round it up to 5 so this is one I actually DNF’d last year but I thought I’d include it because I’m not sure whether I want to go back to it! So let me know your thoughts if you’ve read it!


I think the main reason I DNFd it was both because I wasn’t in the mood and also because I just wasn’t that interested? As a non-gamer it just felt a bit confusing and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the concept. I’ve heard so many positive reviews about this one though so I do kind of want to see what it’s about?

For those who don’t already know, especially because this is a real backlist book, being released in 2017, the story follows teen hacker Emika Chen, who essentially tries to prevent cheating in the Warcross game by hunting down those that bet on the game illegally. Whilst trying to make ends meet, Emika accidentally glitches herself into the game, and becomes an overnight sensation. She’s convinced that she’s going to get arrested for her risky hack, but ends up being asked to spy on the tournament players as an insider.

Reading the premise over again on GoodReads does actually sound really promising so I think I might pick this up in the near future – it’s just a shame that I didn’t click with it straight away? I’m not sure though so please do let me know your thoughts!!

So that’s all of the books that I’ve DNF’d recently! It’s actually way less than I thought it was so that’s good, but I’ve just been picking up so many amazing books lately that my expectations have been really high! Because I regularly DNF though it does mean that those I do finish tend to be higher rated because I just can’t be bothered for boring or average books!

Do you DNF books?
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What did you think? Should I pick them up again?


Published by A Literary Latte Blogger & Bookworm

13 thoughts on “sharing the shade; books I have DNF’d recently

  1. This was such an interesting post to read! I still struggle with DNF’ing books, though most often I put books aside temporarily as I’m not in the mood for them. I have kind of given up on Becky Albertalli’s book, as I really only liked Simon VS. I hope you read The Gilded Wolves when you’re feeling more in the mood for it ๐Ÿฅฐ
    Ohhh what did you think about The Ex Talk? ๐Ÿ˜Š


    1. I definitely try and go back to some books that I’ve DNF’d but it depends on whether I’m in the mood for them. Like with Gilded Wolves – I’m sure it will be a 4/5 star read when I do get round to it because the writing was amazing! I just wasn’t in the mood for a fantasy.

      Aw I hate to say it but maybe same?! I love the Simon universe but the last few I’ve read have fallen a little short and been 3/3.5 star reads which sucks! I’d definitely still keep an eye out though and I’ll still be trying any future books from Becky Abertalli just for nostalgia’s sake!

      & I loved The Ex Talk!! Perfect romance to break me out of a bit of a slump and I flew through it. Can’t wait to read more of the authors work!

      Thanks for reading and commenting Caro!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah maybe! I’m not much of a gamer (unless Sims 4 counts haha) so that could be it, but I think I might give it another go and see. The premise does sound really interesting but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood! Thanks for reading & commenting Louise!


    1. Ooh I haven’t heard of that one before but not liking the main character is definitely a reason I’d DNF too. & Being in the right mood too – I’m such a mood reader so I’ll DNF books I know I’ll love in the future just so that I can get the best possible reading experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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