Weekend Reads #91: Books I DNF’d in 2018

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This week’s topic:

Books I DNF’d in 2018

This weekend I’ll discuss the books I did not finish reading in 2018. Some I have given up on totally, while others I’ll revisit at another time. I did a similar post back in 2018 in which I reviewed two of the books included in this post and discussed my stance on not completing a book yet choosing to review or rate them (so I won’t go into all that here). I have quite a few books to mention, so I will give a brief synopsis and quick thoughts on them.

The reason for doing this is that this blog is a record of what I’ve read and I hardly ever mention the books I don’t finish on here, so here are all the ones from 2018.


The books:

The Accidental Quarterback by Charles Curtis

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Pubbed:

2017

Quick summary:

The Accidental Quarterback is the first novel in the Weirdo Academy series that mixes sports with fantasy. It’s about a boy named Alexander Graham Ptuiac, who’s the son of an inventor. Alex dreams of playing football for his school’s team, but he lacks the athleticism to do so. But one day he’s surprised when he develops superhuman abilities during football tryouts that makes him great at the game…I stopped reading shortly after this point, but apparently (from the Goodreads synopsis) Alex and his friend, Dex, catch the attention of some “nefarious adults” and Alex later learns the truth about himself and his parents. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

The premise sounds fun and made me think of Rick Riordan Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief because it seems as if it would include silly, fun, fantastic adventures as the protagonist and his friend try to evade the “nefarious adults.” However, I quickly lost interest soon after starting. The story progresses too fast without providing sufficient explanation for certain things, and I wasn’t interested in the characters at all. My lack of interest made me give up on the story. It’s not one I’ll return to.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

But since this is middle grade, I’m not the target audience for it. Maybe it would appeal more to children it’s geared towards, those who would like a fantasy story that includes a sport.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, illus. by Jim Kay

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Pubbed:

2016

Quick summary:

The illustrated version of the second Harry Potter book that sees Harry back at Hogwarts with his friends having crazy fantastic adventures. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I forgot why I DNF’d it. I probably wasn’t in the mood for it, which is weird to say because who’s never in the mood for Harry Potter? Such a preposterous thing to even consider.

The problem may have been that I wasn’t in the mood to read it aloud. I hate reading things aloud, so I made a personal challenge to read the illustrated Harry Potter books aloud. I did the first one and — OMG!!! — it took forever to complete and my mouth got tired. Most likely, that’s why I gave up on this.

…Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway.

For Christmas (because I had a giftcard), I bought myself a boxed set of the three illustrated Harry Potter books that are out, so I’ll certainly return to this.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

Of course!

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff, narr. by Eliza Foss

Genre:

Nonfiction — history

Pubbed:

2015

Quick summary:

An account of the Salem witch trials. Schiff gives us a deep dive into life in 1692 Massachusetts and the events that led up to the witch trials. I stopped after that point, so I guess she also discusses what happened during the trials and the effects of it. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Sometime last year, I think, I bought this book because it was on clearance or something. I’ve always wanted to read it because reviews I’ve read, heard, and seen all make it sound exciting. I thought it would be a book I would be easily and quickly swept up in. But it was not.

I was looking for an audiobook to listen to and since this one was available at my library, I decided to listen to The Witches rather than read my physical copy. I don’t know if the format contributed to my negative experience with the book, but I was immensely BORED the entire time I listened and would tune out and start daydreaming about random stuff instead. I listened to about 30% of it before realizing I don’t remember much past the first 2%, so I DNF’d it. I’m still deciding whether or not I want to give it another chance.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

Because of the information it provides and how it’s written. It’s almost like reading a story. Audiobooks can be hit or miss for me and I’m not the best judge of them, so this one might work for you. If I decide to try this book again, though, I’ll read my physical copy instead.

School for Psychics by K.C. Archer

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

2018

Quick summary:

A 20-something woman learns she’s psychic and gets drafted to join a clandestine government organization. Much of what I read was about her training at the organization’s school for psychics. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I reviewed and rated this one here. The premise sounded interesting, so I requested a copy to review. I quickly took a liking to the protagonist, Teddy, within the first couple pages. She was funny, and I was hopeful about the story. But then she got to the school where her training as a psychic would commence and things started to go downhill.

I didn’t like the writing, the characters were annoying, and there were some inconsistencies (might be because I was reading an ARC). It all frustrated me, so I gave up about halfway through the story. It’s not one I’ll return to and I rated it 1.5 stars in my review.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

2018 (self-pubbed in 2015)

Quick summary:

The Grey Bastards is the first novel in a grimdark fantasy series about a half-orc named Jackal who wants to unseat the ruler of the Grey Bastards, the sworn brotherhood Jackal belongs to, and lead it. << See, nice and sweet. I’d say more, but it’d make this too long. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Because I’d seen this mentioned on fantasy blogs (back when it was self-pubbed), I requested a review copy when I saw it would be traditionally pubbed. I discussed this one in my previous post on DNFs, so I’ll keep this brief. I wanted to like it, but I didn’t because it didn’t interest me at the time, probably because I was reading multiple books at once and the other books were more exciting to me. I’m not sure if I’ll return to it.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

If you are a fan of grimdark fantasy or if the story sounds interesting to you.

1001 Islands by K.T. Munson

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

2015

Quick summary:

A fantasy novel set in an archipelago where an individual called the Silence is causing trouble for rulers of other islands. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

The author reached out to me to review her novel and I accepted. I was drawn to it being a high seas fantasy novel. I also discussed this in my previous post on DNFs, so I’ll keep this brief. I was mildly interested in the story when it started because it opens with a spooky scene where a girl is making a bargain with a witch. But as the story got going, I started to get a little confused and frustrated because of short chapters, which were nice because they made me feel as if I was getting through the book quickly, but that combined with many characters and different POVs and locations, made it a little confusing.

The switches in POV eased a bit later in the story, but by then I’d lost interest. This is not one I’ll return to.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

In my previous discussion, I stated that I didn’t know whether or not to recommend it, but now I’ve changed my stance because keeping up with the story can be trying. But the premise is interesting, so if it appeals to you then, hey, you could try it.

Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

1988

Quick summary:

The first novel in Elizabeth Moon’s Deed of Paksenarrion series. It’s about a young woman called Paksenarrion (Paks for short) who leaves her father’s house after refusing to marry a guy he chose and runs off to join the army. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I buddy-read this with Sarah from Dragons & Zombies (click to see her thoughts on this book). We were both BORED by it and DNF’d it. The story started out interesting and we were both anticipating something good and exciting, but shortly before Paks leaves the castle or wherever she goes to train as a soldier, the story goes downhill. All we got was exposition (as Sarah rightly says in her review). The character would explain to us what happens instead of us readers seeing the character do a thing. It seemed that the author decided not to tell us a story but instead just explain what happened to a character. It was boring and frustrating and we gave up on it and moved on to something else.

I think this was Moon’s first book, and it shows. I plan to try some her other novels. I don’t plan to return to these Paksenarrion books.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

Hell no!

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Genre:

Historical fiction; Paranormal

Pubbed:

2018

Quick summary:

Set in Massachusetts two centuries after the Salem Witch Trials, The Witch of Willow Hall is about the Montrose family, which relocates after a scandal in Boston involving one of its three daughters. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

The premise sounded interesting, so I requested a copy to review. Though the story was interesting and had me a little curious because I wondered if something supernatural was involved, I eventually lost patience with the narrator and her sisters. I stopped reading when something happens to the youngest daughter. I don’t think I’ll return to it.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

I think it’s probably a good story; I just didn’t have the patience to find out. It’s atmospheric and it immediately makes you curious about the girls and the family. If the premise sounds interesting to you, then I urge you to try it.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, narr. by Scott Brick

Genre:

Fantasy

Pubbed:

1977

Quick summary:

The Sword of Shannara is the first in Terry Brooks’s Shannara series. It’s about a young man who learns he’s a descendant of elf kings and must help save the world from an evil warlock. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

What a huge letdown! I was so disappointed, though I shouldn’t have been since many people who have recently read it were likewise disappointed.

I chose to read this because of the TV show that aired on MTV. I thought the TV show was whack at first but somehow I got hooked. I was warned, but I went ahead anyway and listened to the audiobook, and I was majorly BORED!! OMG!!! WHY ME!!!

Also it was too much like Lord of the Rings in some spots and the history lessons (because I would NOT call that narrating) was a huge turn off. I DNF’d it when I realized that I was actively tuning it out. I’d like to continue with the series because the world does sound interesting, but I fear having to endure that boredom again, so I’m not sure that I will.

Do I recommend it?

Yes or No

Unless, you really want to try an old fantasy book.


What I’m currently reading:

The Stand by Stephen King

I almost DNF’d this one. I’ve been reading it since friggin November or October last year and for about 500 or so pages (who knows!) it kept feeling as if it’s restarting. You get used to a couple characters and all of a sudden, another pops up for you to care about. 😦 I’m now over 800 pages in and it FINALLY started getting good and interesting and giving me nightmares.

Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb

Me and Emily from Embuhlee liest are buddy-reading this. We are hopelessly hooked on Hobb.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

When I bought this, my plan was to read it in winter. It’s now winter. Snow is coming.

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, narr. by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading

This is the last time I’m rereading these books in an attempt to continue with the series. I’d given up on it but then I discovered the Legendarium Podcast and they made me want to complete the series. Thanks guys. 😐 (BTW, Nynaeve is still my least liked character. Ugh! She’s frustrating and a bully. And I hate all the romances. Jordan doesn’t do romance well.)

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, narr. by Roy Dotrice

Am doing this again to refresh my memory and continue with the books because I didn’t complete Dance with Dragons.


That’s it for now.

Let me know below what you’re currently reading.

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19 thoughts on “Weekend Reads #91: Books I DNF’d in 2018

  1. Haha, I almost forgot Elizabeth Moon 😀 Oh my, yup, that was definitely a let down last year! But good to cross one of the bigger Fantasy names off the list.

    I’m glad I never tried to read ‘Shannara’. I’m a fan of the TV show (and wish they would make a third season!!), but what I enjoy reading & what I enjoy watching are 2 completely different things^^

    Like

  2. Fantastic post. I have a hard time actually DNFing books, not sure why. There are a few I have technically DNF’ed but I always like to think I’ll go back to them someday, lol. (maybe I’m in denial!)

    Like

  3. I JUST finished The Snow Child and I absolutely adored it. It was an emotional read for sure. I would definitely consider it to be a more character driven and slower paced book, which I like to read more of in the winter months.

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  4. I got through Shannara but it was a struggle. The second and third books are better because you can’t exactly match it up with Lord of the Rings the way you can the first book, but there is still excess description and a lot of repetition of names (seriously, if I read ‘the elven girl’ or whatever the exact phrase was one more time, I was gonna scream!), but I was determined to get through them. I normally add to my TBR list while reading your posts – this time I know which to avoid!

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    • Ugh! I don’t think I can do another series with excess description and repetition right now. Wheel of Times series by Robert Jordan has too much of that. It’s the last series I will put up with those things in.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. UP to page 433 of a re-read of DA VINCI CODE
    I think a dozen years since my first reading ,
    SLIGHTLY less than a Dozen DAYS since rebegining the READ .
    Summer busy summer dose a holler and keeps a guy flat out with guests and gardening and grovin, all the G’s.

    And reading zezee with books of course.

    Like

    • Hmm… I might read Da Vinci Code this year too. Read Angels & Demons last year and liked it and rewatched part of Da Vinci Code couple months ago and that renewed my interest.

      Lol! Guests, gardening, and groovin isn’t too bad. Winter here. Snow. 😦 Would prefer summer and groovin. More fun.

      Like

  6. I like that we have the freedom to DNF because otherwise, I don’t know that I’d enjoy reading as much lol. I used to force myself to finish books, but not anymore.

    Sorry you didn’t like Chamber of Secrets, but totally understand. I have to be in the mood as well.

    I’m interested in your thoughts on The Snow Child. I’ve been seeing that book a lot! Great post and happy reading! 😁

    Like

    • I think the same. If it’s a hobby and something done for fun, then we need the option to stop doing it when we aren’t enjoying it.

      With Chamber of Secrets, it was the first time I’ve ever felt not in the mood for HP. I think reading it aloud did that.

      So far, I’m only 3 or so pages in cause I fell asleep while reading it. It was late and I was tired, but I hope it gets good.

      Liked by 1 person

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