#FF & Thoughts on DNF Reviews

POSTED ON July 29, 2016 BY Austine IN Discussion, Weekly/Monthly


What is your take on DNF books. Do you review them? Choose not to review them?


Sometimes I like a book. Sometimes it’s just not for me.


I have a personal policy when it comes to reading. Each book gets 50 pages (less if it’s under 200 pages total). I don’t know where the number 50 came from but usually I can tell if I’ll finish a book or not based on that many pages or less. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a book that I picked to read for pleasure that I DNF-ed, but there are a few received for request.

I almost never DNF a book. Too much of a completionist to leave it unfinished. But when I do, I always write a review and post it. It doesn’t matter how far I got into it. I state how far I read and the reasons why I chose not to continue reading. If it’s a book that I’m just not in the mood for at the time and that’s why I don’t want to read it, I’ll set it aside and come back to it.

This policy comes from a number of reasons, the main one being that if a book has only 4-5 star reviews on Goodreads or Amazon, I’m likely to pick it up (assuming it already got my attention with the cover/synopsis). But what if that book had also received many 1-star/DNF mental ratings that were never posted? Those would certainly bring the average rating down. When I read reviews to decide whether or not to read a book, I read both the positivie and negative reviews. I love gushing thoughts and enthusiastic recommendations but I want to know what’s wrong with the book (if anything) as well. That’s typically how I make a decision.

tl;dr Yes, I review DNF books.


How do you handle DNFs?

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20 responses to “#FF & Thoughts on DNF Reviews

  1. I think you’re right on with this. Like you, there aren’t a whole lot of books I DNF, so as I said in my post I was struggling with figuring out if I should post a review or not. I kept going back and forth on it, but I do think it’s important to give feedback so that potential readers know your experience with the book and can make an educated decision on whether they want to read it or not. Great answer, and very helpful! I was pretty sure I was already following you, but couldn’t figure it out. Followed you just now via Bloglovin’, just in case 😉 Here’s my FF post.

    • I’m glad you found it helpful! 🙂 This was a topic I struggled with when I first started blogging since I was new to the whole “review requests” business and didn’t want to give bad reviews for books I was sent because I thought it was a privilege to receive them. It came to the point that I really didn’t enjoy the book and the whole DNF topic came about. It’s definitely a touchy area but hopefully everyone’s thoughts for this week’s #FF help others figure out how they want to handle DNFs.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. Like you, I almost never DNF a book. I am also too much of a completionist. I have only DNFed 4 books since I started blogging and one was a classic I tried to read again. I feel it is important to give feedback to readers and potential customers about why you liked and didn’t like a book. It’s the same with products and businesses. Most people try to make an informed decision, and will look at both the good and the bad before making a choice. I must read to 40% of the book. Whether I keep forcing myself on and finish or stop at just 40%, I write a review. They are the same as my 5 star reviews: honest and fair, noting what I liked and what I didn’t like. It seems that some people feel DNF reviews are somehow inherently different than reviews for finished and loved books. Even with a 5 star review book, if there was something that I just couldn’t get into or didn’t seem realistic, I put that in my review.

    • I appreciate your thoughtful response. 🙂 It’s true, there seems to be some stigma around DNF reviews yet without them a reader may not get the full picture about a book. But if you’re able to make a decision to DNF a book, you have a reason (or many) as to why you did so and those opinions are no different than what would be included in a review of a book you finished. I don’t think there’s a difference between a review of a DNF and, as you used, a 5-star book.

      Thank you for stopping by and offering your thoughts!

  3. Chelsea B.

    I *try* to give books at least 100 pages. Like you said about 50, I’m not really sure why 100 but it seemed like the right number to me haha. Rarely have I ever DNF a book without at least skimming the rest to see how it ends. But I always state that in my review. I hate that feeling, when you just don’t connect to a book…but eh, you can’t jive with them all I suppose!

    • Must be something about those nice, even numbers lol. And I’m with you. Not every book is for every reader and even the most hyped up book isn’t going to be loved by everyone. It’s the cool thing about individuality. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    • Exactly! And often times, if a book is really good, the higher rating reviews will outnumber the low-star/DNFs so, as a reader, you can see that, read them all, and make an informed decision. Definitely better to have rounded reviews. 🙂

    • I’m glad you rarely have to DNF books 🙂 It’s definitely not the best feeling in the world and can be hard to do sometimes. Thanks for the follow and stopping by!

  4. Most of my DNF books happen within the first chapter or two because that’s when I decide if the book is for me. After that, I don’t usually DNF because even if the book starts to drag, I’ve already invested so much time in the book that I might as well read to the end haha. In the case of something I actually DNF a significant way through, I might leave notes/mini-reviews or just a rating, but the fact that it’s a DNF means that I really don’t want to spend anymore time on it than I already have.

    • That’s a solid policy. 🙂 I get gut feelings about books early on but try to give it a bit of time since a few have gotten better and changed my mind. Happy to hear another take on handling DNFs!

  5. I think that its great that you review DNF books, Not many bloggers would. I am the same way, I ended up reading a book that was three stars average, with both positive and negative reviews. I ended up loving the book. I take positive and negative reviews with a grain of salt. I’m following on Twitter Goodreads, and Bloglovin

    PS. I’m so sorry to hear about your laptop, I hope you get a new one soon!=D

    • I think that’s what’s so great about reviewers. You get a wide range of policies and so many diverse reviews so you can make those decisions. 🙂

      Thanks! I’m hoping to fix this one since it’s still fairly new but worst case definitely need a computer so will have to do some shopping lol

  6. Yes I totally agree with you I really do like reading DNF reviews because it helps me too choose to give a book a try or not. But I don’t rate or reviews books because I will always think and feel that it is unfair to rate and review a book that I didn’t completely finished that’s just how my mind always works. Lol but thank you so much for stopping by my #FFF. Old follower.

    Katiria Rodriguez recently posted: Review: Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana
    • And that’s totally reasonable! Until I started reviewing books I never rated/reviewed DNFs but changed it over time. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I think life is too short to waste on a book that doesn’t thrill me from the off. Life is short and books are many! Why waste your time on one that isn’t love at first sight, when the next you pick up might be the read of a lifetime? That might be an exaggeration….

    Sometimes a novel will take a while to get going, but I agree with you that fifty pages ought to give a reader a pretty decent idea of whether this relationship is going to work. The worst novels are those which you can’t quite decide on, so even though you’re at fifty (or whatever your limit is), you feel somewhat compelled to push on a bit further just in case!

    DNF-ing a novel is a sort of review in itself, but it helps if you explain why you DNF’d it, so I always write a review even if I haven’t finished the novel. I think for (mental) health reasons alone, it’s important to warn people about Books Gone Bad!. We don’t want that kind of thing spreading….

    • It’s true, it helps potential readers to warn them of books they may not enjoy but not every book is for every kind of reader so it works that most books have a combination of both positive and negative reviews to cater to any reading taste.

      Thanks for stopping by!