The first question of the Sunday is asked by Sandy . Thank you Sandy for asking us a question.
You won a $10 Dreamspinner Press store credit
Sandy: If you’ve committed to a review, how much further do you make yourself go into a book that you would normally DNF? How obligated do you feel to try harder to finish? And what usually makes you say “that’s it – no more!”?
I try to always finish every book I request to review. Someone has put forth the time and effort to write a book, the least I can do is read it through to the end.
I try really really really hard not to DNF books I’m reviewing. Mostly because I feel that I have an obligation to review the book if I’ve been offered a free copy, and I greatly dislike not being able to review a whole book, instead of whatever section I’ve manged to read. If it gets to the point where I feel that my hate of a book/character reaches a level where I’m actually considering chucking my kindle out the window, I go beg one of the other reviewers to give it a try so that an actual review can get written. I do try to only do that in the most desperate of circumstances though. I will say that there have been books where I’ll be so close to just giving up, but then felt the need to push on, only to have the book surprise me in the end. Sometimes you just have to give a book the chance to change your mind. That being said, I’ve been known to actually reward myself with coffee, chocolate, alcohol (or a mix of all three) for every X number of pages/chapters I get thru, to force myself to get to the end.
When we accept a book for review, we try to never have it end up a DNF. Individual reviewers can, and do, give up books from time to time, but as a blog we try to get them done, since we owe it to the author who spent all the time writing the book, or the publisher who sent us the book. I personally have had to force myself to finish a few books since I joined the blog, one in particular springs to mind that was about 650 pages long. I really didn’t like it, but I knew no one else at the blog would either. The end of the book ended up being quite good. To my knowledge, Love Bytes has never published a DNF review.
I feel that if I have committed to reviewing a book, I will try my absolute hardest to do that. I have occasionally asked another reviewer to take over a book I thought I wanted, usually do to content I don’t care for that I didn’t realize the book contained. I think the only time I have actually DNF’d review books, was for bad editing. It drives me nuts to see typos, missing punctuation, misspelled words, repeated words, inconsistencies in the storyline, things like that. I barely remember my English classes from school, so it’s not the grammar rules and such that I notice, but just the basics. I have DNF’d books a few times that I felt were so badly edited they needed to be pulled and re-edited. That seems to be my hard limit. I’ve also contacted the author, or given feedback to Dani to contact the author to let them know that there were issues with the book, and that I’d be willing to try it again after a little work. I try so hard to finish what I’ve taken though!
I can answer this one. I read one not to long ago that I had to force myself to get halfway through but I couldn’t take anymore. The grammar and the editing made it so hard for me to read. Then the story was a mess. So I had to put it down
Unfortunately, I have several things that will cause me to DNF and they are non negotiable for me. There are too many stories available out there for me to force myself to read something I simply do not enjoy or something poorly written/edited or something I find offensive. If the book is simply slow or boring, I might slog through if I want to know how it ends, but honestly, I find it hard to justify continuing if I am not engaged.
If I took the book from another reviewer, I’ll make myself finish it; usually you know why the original reviewer was having problems and can decide at that point whether you could finish the book or not. On the flip side, if I’ve tried for several days to read a book but can barely get a fourth of it read, I’ll see if someone else wants it. The only thing I’ve found that was a hard breaking point was a rape scene I’d not been prepared for that caught me by surprise as there hadn’t been a single content warning listed.
I don’t think I’ve ever DNFed a review book because it was absolutely horrible. I’ve definitely finished and reviewed a memorable few that, had they not been review books, I would have instantly deleted them from my Kindle. The only times I’ve ever asked if another reviewer was interested in taking over was if there wasn’t actually anything wrong with the book, the story was just way outside my tastes.
The blog does actually have a DNF list, but after this many years, it’s surprisingly short.
If you happen to get a book that is so bad or absolutely not your thing, it’s very hard to keep reading. But you have to try. The thing is, if you do not finish, someone else probably gets stuck with it and you really don’t want to put that on your fellow reviewers. If the writing is good but you just don’t like this particular type of book, it’s easier to ask someone else to take it off your hand, but I still feel I have to try as hard as I can to finish it myself.
For me, I feel that it’s my duty to read the entire story. I said that I’d read it, so I will do my best. However, there have been a few times where I just couldn’t go on and had to say…no more…I can’t even…nothing about this story is drawing my interest or holding my attention. It bothers me to say that about a book…as I’m a HUGE lover of the written word, but sometimes…you just can’t connect or care about the story that’s in front of you and you have to let it go.
What do you think about DNF a book and to post or not post a review on it ?
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