Friday, June 8, 2018

DNF'ing Horror Books

I try to give every book a chance. I usually give a story a few chapters to grab my attention. I'm talking about the 25% mark depending on the length of the story. I do this because some stories start off slow, then gain momentum after a few chapters. I have DNF'd quite a few books in 2018. I don't have time to slowly make my way through a book. There are far too many books that I want to read. My TBR pile is through the roof with ARCs and books that I have put off in the past. So, I've decided to give you the 10 Reasons Why I'll DNF a book. 

1. Not Into the Writing Style

I can't stand it when a book goes from first-person to third-person. It's weird and throws me off. If I don't like the way the story is written, then I will close the book. 

2. Didn't Connect with the Characters

Good characters are those that you connect with. Characters drive the story just as much as anything else. I have to feel something for the characters. I love character building. Whether it's the protagonist or the antagonist, I need to have empathy for them. I don't care if the character is likable or not, they just need to interest me. In horror, the antagonist is where it's at.  

3. The Story Feels Familiar

I will DNF a book if the story feels familiar–like it's already been written before. The story has to be unique in its own way. I need to hear the author's voice when reading it, not someone else's.  

4. Bad Writing

Bad writing is not good at all. Passive voice is terrible. Repetitiveness is offsetting. Sentence structure is another pet peeve of mine. Some books have massive plot holes and loose ends. 

5. Poor Editing

Authors need to have their books edited with a fervor. There is nothing worse than editing issues in a book. I've seen words spelled correctly, but they're used in the wrong context. Not good at all.

6. Just Not My Type of Book 

I will not finish a book if it's not my type. If I'm not digging the type of horror, then I will close the book. 

7. Boring Story 

If the storyline is flat, then I will stop reading the rood. Most books have a dull moment here or there, but something has to happen from time to time. The story shouldn't get bogged down with backstory and things like that. 

8. Nothing Is Happening/No Excitement

I need excitement. I need to be on the edge of my seat, biting my nails. There has to be something keeping me interested in the book. 

9. The BIG Reveal is the Only Tension in the Story

I need tension like I need Sweet Tea. I need it through the story, or at the least, most of the story. 

10. Trigger Warning Topics

I think this last one speaks for itself. If the book has topics that cross the line, then I will stop reading it. 

DNF'ing has become a hot topic in the horror book reviewing community as of late. Some say to give a star rating and review, while others say not to. I'm going to rate and review my DNFs to explain why I stopped reading the book. 

I would love to hear your hot take on this topic. As always, thanks again for visiting my site. 


  1. Great piece, Curtis.
    I choose not to rate or review books I DNF. In fact, if I can't find a way to give a book at least two stars, I don't bother with any sort of review.
    As an author, I like to keep my focus on the positive as much as I can.