Criteria: Whether or Not to Continue Series/Books/Etc.

I get asked often why I DNF something.  There are several reasons why I’ll DNF a book or series.  And I thought for the sake of having a blog post that I’d list and discuss some of them.

Book:

1)Annoying Tropes: 

This is probably the most common reason I’ll DNF. If the tropes you use annoy me, chances are I’m not going to finish the book even if it is decently written.  Listed below are some of my “Hate” tropes:

  • Babies: I don’t usually read baby books especially in YA if they are merely there for the cute factor.  If the story is tastefully done, and the baby serves an actual purpose I might read it but I need to be informed before I read it that I’m dealign with babies.
  • Mary Sue: Get over yourself.  We all know that So and So MC is really you.
  • Bastardizing culture, religion, etc.  You’re offending someone out there, and if they aren’t aware by default your offending me.  Because it gives me a reason to be cranky and I like being cranky-I think.
  • The standard love triangle: Meaning, both guys love the girl and she has to chose and there are no consequences.  Ugh.  Just ugh.  Why can’t both guys dump little Ms. Perfect and get together (that would actually be an interesting twist).
  • Standard Dystopia/Fantasy fare with nothing new.  I feel like I’m reading the same freaking book.  Actually this trope (or series of tropes) made me stop reading fantasy for a few months.  And fantasy is what is popular in the market these days, so this was quite distressing.

2) Offensive Author Behavior:

Because unfortunately this has caused me to DNF a few things.  Just don’t act like Kathleen Hale.  I think that’s enough said on that one.

3) Loss of Interest:

This can be due to several factors.  And sometimes it falls on me.  But usually if I don’t finish something or made a good chunk of progress in something within two weeks, then I’m not going to finish it.

3)  The book is just BAD

All around.  Sometimes it happens.  And if it’s not hilari-bad or I’m not in the mood to read hilari-bad (which is occurring more and more well…)

 

 

4) Experimental Prose:

Instant death.  I think there’s only one book I tried to read all the way through just because I used to have fondness for the author, but I was like WTF am I reading.  I can’t make sense of this and then I had my dog review it because it was kicking a puppy bad worthy (meaning, I felt bad about even reviewing it).

Now, if I see anything written in verse on the jacket I won’t even touch it.  If I find out it’s in verse or it uses bizarre electric prose it’s lucky if I get through the halfway mark.

5) I want to slug the  MC:

I am not a violent person.  If I want to slug the MC safe bet is I shouldn’t finish the book.

Books I DNF’d:

Ew on so many levels.  You can read my full review for why I absolutely think this is the most offensive book of 2015.  But I DNF’d it because it contained offensive use of mythology and culture AND had a blatant Mary Sue.

This one just made me squeamish on so many levels.  The main character was way too dumb AND the book was just so utterly predictable.

The book was decently written but it contained a trope I detest.

Books I  Surprisingly Finished:

How I finished this cluster fuck I’ll never know.

How to NOT execute a fantastic premises.  Transgender and intersex are two separate concepts that need to be dealt with properly and sensitively.  This book muddles both of these subject matters and has a main character I just can’t sympathize with.

I still can’t figure out this book.  And I don’t think I really want to.  It was that bad.  I kept reading it though because…I don’t know.  I thought it had to get better.

Series:

1)You’re Forgettable

Honestly, sometimes I forget about series and when I hear the next installment is out I’m like-oh, that’s nice.  Never a good way to keep the interest.

2) I Can Predict What’s Going to Happen:

Obviously, what’s the point of continuing.

3) There are Too Many Books/Spinoffs/Etc to Care at this Point:

Even the best series need to have a definitive ending.  Unless they’re like a soap opera then they should never be canceled because their soap operas (RIP All My Children and One Life to Live, I am still not over your cancellation and crappy epic fail of a reboot with that idiot from High School Musical).  Books aren’t soaps though.  And I really don’t want to be reading about the same characters ten years trying to solve the same problem and going after the same guy.  At least in soap opera world they would’ve had a baby, a couple of back from the deads, and maybe a recast or two.

4) Budgets:

Sadly, I often don’t finish finish series for budgetary issues.  Despite the fact I’m an attorney I am not raking in the dough.  Most of it is going towards bills, student loans, and recent moving expenses.  Plus, did I mention I had to buy a mattress the past month.  That isn’t cheap, folks.  So often books get defected or put up because I can’t afford them right now (you’d be surprised how many books I don’t buy despite my TBR piles usually omnibus size).  If I’m truly not feeling a series then I’m probably not going to give it a chance.  And since my new library is no HCPL I can’t check out everything I’d like.

Series I DNF’d:

People raved about the first one, I only found it to be so so at best.  I intitially did preorder the second one, but the time I started working on my TBR feature for the month I completely lost interest.

The character and the abusive relationship she was in got to much for me.  I did think this series had potential though-pity.

At some point in a series you have to cut the cord.  This book reached the tipping point for me.  It’s a new trilogy in the Blue Blood world.  I read the rest of this world’s novels and this one way way too out there for me.  The characters didn’t even resemble themselves.  Mimi Force would never answer phones for a living.

Series I Surprisingly Finished:

There are two more books in this so called series, but I consider this series complete with America’s story.  And the other two books a spinoff.  Regardless, I am giving myself a pat on the back for finishing this stupidity.

How I read twelve of these, I’ll never know.

The last book was a hot mess.  And I really think now if I read this series, I probably wouldn’t have continued after New Moon.

Reading Schedules: How Do I Decide What to Read Next

One of the best things about being a small blog, is that I can sort of set my own reading schedule.  Oh, I try to read things that come out recently and all of that.  But having a limited ARC pile and sort of limiting my reviews to books I want to read makes the process a little easier.

It’s still a little aggravating though because I DO want the reviews I do to vary.  And you do end up with a lot  titles, even if you only buy a few books a month.

Here are some ways I try to plan:

1) Once a month I do a TBR Pile feature which I’ll post on the blog.  These posts are more to my benefit than to the readers of this blog.  It helps me go over what I ordered and decide whether I still want it.  Sometimes, some of the things I preorer I end up canceling for various reasons.  Sometimes I can be a little to trigger friendly with that one click button on Amazon and then later when I read reviews I’m like no just no.  The results that I actually post is an edited list-and yes, still sometimes I cancel orders after I post that list or buy more titles.

2) I try to vary my reading sub genres.  Though I personally read mostly YA-because adult titles in general don’t really interest me except on rare occasions-there are a ton of different types of YA within YA.  If I read to much of a certain type of a YA novel, the most recent example being fantasy in one setting I can get burn out fast.  A lot of the high fantasies I’ve seen recently have just sort of been so predictable and formulaic.   Seriously, long lost princess much?

3) I try to make sure I read something light after I read something really serious.  A the same time, I don’t try to overdo it on the light books.  As much as I love both sort of  books, I think it’s important (for me) to factor in burn out.  However, I probably can get away reading more fluff than a lot of serious books.  I think it’s just because real life is so serious (for me at least).  But if I read a few bad light books…ooh not good.

4) Snark Reads.  I don’t do as much of these as I used to because they’re predictable and after reading the abomination that is the Halo trilogy, followed by reading the entire House of Night series, and a couple of other dubious series I just have no fun trying to even rationalize the publication of these books anymore.  Occasionally, if I’m morbidly curious I might still give one a try.  But life is too short for these sorts of books so it has to be a real compelling reason.  Other than let’s see how bad Alexandra Adornetto can screw up writing a screenplay about gender identity (oh yeah, the author of Halo wrote and starred in  a film about such an important issue-I don’t even…well, let’s say I wish her the best).

4) I try to make sure I get to my ARCs that I do have by making a point to read them in their release month.  Occasionally, there will be a Read Now title that sort of gets left on my Kindle but I feel less pressure to read those.  Honestly, I am sort of over the whole Thou Must Read an ARC thing.  Really, I’m a lawyer.  I know I didn’t sign a contract with said publisher to read it and that it’s a gratuitous promise if anything else.  But still, I feel guilt.  A whole bunch of guilt if I don’t at least give the few ARCs I get the good college try which is why I’m really trying hard NOT to request that much unless I really want to read the book.  Since Edelweiss usually  acts like I don’t exist, and I usually find a title I desperately want late in the game on Netgalley this is not a huge issue for me.

5) Whim Reading.  I make an effort to do a whim read a couple of times a month.  It’s nice to break out of schedule and keeps me from getting burn out.  Overall, I keep a very loose schedule so a whim read might seem more common than it should be.  But I find loose reading schedules are better than thou must read X book X day of the month.  Generally, if I do any planning it will be for a week rather than a month.

Below, is an example of what I tentatively have planned for next week:

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I am actually almost done with this one (probably will be done when I post).  It was sort of heavy, so I will be reading a couple of lighter reads after this.
  • The World Forgo by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal: A series ender.  I think the best idea to explain this one is that it’s just sort of out there.  I’m sort of in the mood for that, so I’ll more than likely be reading it tomorrow.
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey: Sigh, I’ve been reading this one on and off for two weeks.  I got an ARC from Netgalley and I feel obligated to give a nice try.  But I am bored with it.  I’m going to give it a few more pages and decide whether I should at least give it to the fifty percent mark and review or just DNF it and not even bother except for maybe in a DNF Roundup post.
  • From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess  by Meg Cabot: It’s being released this week and I sort of have a It’s Meg Cabot drop everything you’re reading and read Meg’s stuff policy.

6) I usually read one book at a time.  Because that’s how I roll.  If I’m reading more than one book it usually means I’m struggling with said book. Primarily example, see above example.

7) Commitment Reads.  I do try to have a few commitment reads a month.  This is actually something new I’m starting.  Again, said commitment read will be on the TBR Pile List every month.  Usually it’s like a duh pick.

8) I am thinking about having a Reader’s Choice Pick for the month which leaves this entry with the below poll.

So, what should I read next month?  And how do you decide your reading schedule? Feel free to discuss.