220 Alliance
192 Brown Coats

Archer's Asylum

I'm a big bloke (7ft tall) and I am forever reading. This will mostly be my thoughts as I am reading and possibly a review or two. You may know me as Archer.


I am basically a lurker. My life revolves around my wife, my cats, Books, and entertainment.


I'm working on building and setting up a forge and I'm generally one of those people who can be found causing or in the middle of mischief somewhere...

“BUT YOU DIDN’T EVEN FINISH IT!” DNF Books – To review or not?

Right this has been a question that has been on my mind for quite a while now. Y’know when you pick up a book and you are looking forward to reading it so you plough in. And the book completely fails to live up to your expectations. And it gets to the point where the book is so bad, I mean so bad that it is at that point you wish you’d picked up the book with the violence and the plotline and the writing that works for you, that you put it down.


You put it down and then it starts to collect dust, you don’t finish it. You can’t finish it, you enjoy your (in)sanity far too much. So you review it, and being the awesomely funny and sexy reviewer that you are you tell your readers that you didn’t finish the book and that this is a review of what you did read. All is well. Your review is up, it’s getting likes, you’re one step closer to ruling the world…


But the question remains. If you do not finish a book should you review it at all? Stop and think about it for a moment whilst I grab a beer.

OK, thought it over? What do you think? Should bloggers/readers review DNF’s? Personally I think we should if we are so inclined. And here’s why. You have every right to share your thoughts about the work you have just, arguably, wasted your precious time reading.


Why shouldn’t you share your disappointment with others? All reviews have the ability to be helpful. You can’t deny this. True they might not always be helpful to everyone but they are never totally unhelpful. There will always be at least one person who will be aided by your reviews. Be it because they agree with your opinions and the things you point out or, inversely, because they disagree with them.


Don’t look at me like that, it happens. I’ve read negative DNF reviews of books and noticed the points that the reviewer had made. But they had made me want to read the book more, I’ve read positive reviews that totally put me off the book because they’re just so much blatant fangirling and squee and they just put me off the work. Hey, shit happens. But that still doesn’t help when you do DNF.


This is going to seem like a how to guide in part. And I suppose that’s the point because DNF reviews are controversial in the blogosphere. And with good reason. They aren’t entirely an accurate representation of the work now are they? It’s true, you didn’t actually read all of the book and you never know, the questions you have may be answered by the end of it… But you never know, they might not.


IF, and that is a big if, you do decide to DNF then don’t be all ragey. That’s not going to help, at all. Not even a little bit. Relax, de-stress, have a (dozen or so) drink(s). Then focus on the plot. Why didn’t it work for work? Was it the execution or the concept itself? Were the character’s likeable at all? The section of it you did read… was it well paced or slow as treacle in the winter? Was it well written or not?


I know that that seems like a lot to focus on for a partial review but if you, like I, decide to review books that you put down then I think you should at least review them in the same way you would review any other book. Do it with the same snark, same sarcasm, same method… however you write your reviews normally. The book still deserves that, it did something right after all. It got you to pick it up in the first place didn’t it?


And will you get negative comments? Probably. Will they have an effect on you? Without a doubt but remember. Don’t get mad, be civil. Be chill… Channel the epitome of cool himself… Morgan Freeman. Remind them politely that while you respect their opinion they have no reason to belittle you for yours and that if they loved it so much, maybe they could better serve their fandom by writing their own review.


Stop sighing, yes I know, that in some cases, I am preaching to the converted and that you’d be just as well telling them to fall in a hole for all the chance they’ll change their minds, but don’t let them force you into stifling your opinion. Your thoughts mean a lot to someone, and at the very least they act as a journal of what you thought of the book if you ever decide to re-read.


So should we review DNF’s?


I’ve shared my thoughts and feelings.


What do you think?