Top Ten DNFs of 2020

Another band wagon for me!

I DNFed a fair number of books this year. These are the ones I remember best.

Space Opera

by Catherynne M. Valente

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente: In space, everyone can hear you sing.

I thought this book was trying too hard to be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

It also made way more gender jokes than I felt comfortable with.

You can be fun and wacky without shitting on trans people, I promise.

Reign of the Fallen

by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I had this book recommended to me by literally everyone, including A CHARACTER IN ANOTHER BOOK. (The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls, if you were curious.)

“Aw man, I love bisexuals!” I thought. “This’ll be great!”


I picked this book up at the beginning of quarantine right after I’d been furloughed, so that might have contributed to my dislike of this book.

All I know is I did not have a good time.

Public Relations

by Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini

Public Relations: A Novel by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini: He's the sexy rock star you love. She's the reason why.

One of my favorite authors co-wrote a 1D-inspired romance novel and I…

…hated it?

I couldn’t get more than a few pages into this novel.

Looks like I’ll be rereading Dear, Emma for the foreseeable future.

Belle Révolte

by Linsey Miller

Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

Once again, the pandemic may have colored my opinion of this book.

It took me months to read more than 50 pages of this novel and that whole time I didn’t absorb a single word.

I kept losing track of the plot and I found I just didn’t care.

This book has aspec, trans, and I believe bi rep, so don’t let my experience stop you from reading it.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Teacher Got Wrong

by James Loewen

National Bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen, Author of Lies Across America

*Completely revised and updated

I have never been more annoyed by the use of the word “nadir.”

I couldn’t stand this book’s writing style.

Sure, I was learning about history…but at what cost?

There Will Come a Darkness

by Katy Rose Pool

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

I was really feeling this book until I wasn’t.

First the prince got on my nerves, then my OTP turned into a NOTP…

This book wasn’t what I wanted, so I bailed.

The Shadow Between Us

by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

I found Levenseller’s pirate duology impossible to put down.

I felt less compelled by The Shadows Between Us’ court intrigue.


Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart

(CW: rape)

Shuggie Bain: A Novel by Douglas Stuart

My track record with literary fiction is iffy at best.

It’s even iffier during a global pandemic.

There are multiple accounts of rape and implied assault in this book. After the third or fourth one, I was done.

This book was basically tragedy porn and I didn’t have the energy.

A Deadly Education

by Naomi Novik

A Deadly Education: Lesson One of The Scholomance: A novel by Naomi Novik, New York Times Bestselling Author of Uprooted

I paid full-price for the hardcover version of this book, something I RARELY do, because it was pretty and everyone I know loves Naomi Novik. Also, magic school??? Sign me up!

Even the bookseller who rang me up was excited for me to read it.

I didn’t click with this book at all.

It’s enemies-to-lovers, set in a magic school, with an ambitious heroine…and I STILL didn’t like it.

I think it was supposed to be funny but the humor didn’t land for me.

I hit the halfway point and told myself sadly, “Well…only 180 pages left, I guess.”

At that point I decided to stop torturing myself.

The Tenth Girl

by Sara Faring

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

I checked this out because ALLEGEDLY there is a TWIST readers will NEVER SEE COMING.

I felt very misled when a second POV appeared OUT OF NOWHERE.

I’m positive that was part of the BIG TWIST (which, by the way, readers REFUSE to spoil for me) but I couldn’t be bothered to figure out what was going on.

Please spoonfeed me. I don’t have the energy to puzzle things out.

Those were my 2020 DNFs.

I DNFed a few other books that I’d like to give a second chance.

For instance, I was not in the right headspace to absorb The City We Became. What I read, though, I really enjoyed!

I also DNFed Girl, Woman, Other earlier in the year, waited a few months, then was able to finish it (and loved it!)

I guess my point is DNFing isn’t a bad thing?

Perhaps I don’t have a point.

Happy holidays.

2 thoughts on “Top Ten DNFs of 2020”

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