#FF Follow & Feature Friday: Do I Review DNF Books?

Published July 29, 2016 by The Author


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What is your take on DNF books. Do you review them? Choose not to review them?

Peyton @A Bookish Mess


Honestly, it depends. If I have committed to reviewing the book, such as through Netgalley, yes, I absolutely will. I believe sincerely in being honest in my reviews, and if my opinion counts to anyone who reads my blog, then I want to share my feelings.

If you review for a book tour company, however, there is usually an agreement between tour hosts and the company that if you are going to rate a touring book below a certain score (often below 3 stars), you are asked to let the tour company know–they don’t want people who have paid them for PR to end up with a bunch of bad reviews. It’s walking a fine ethical line as a reviewer, but I understand it from the company’s POV.

Now, when it comes to something I just picked up randomly for myself for some reason (which rarely happens anymore. I’ve had a pile of about 10 books screaming to me from my nightstand that I’m DYING to read for about 5 months now!), and it’s so bad that I DNF it… I’m certainly not going to waste time saying so. I have little enough time to read things I’m obligated to read, or that I want to read to throw any away writing how much I hated the book. I might rate it and make a comment on Goodreads, but that’s it.

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14 comments on “#FF Follow & Feature Friday: Do I Review DNF Books?

  • I agree with all of this. I’ll definitely post a review if it was a request (via NetGalley, from the author, etc.) and if it bugs me enough I’ll write one for books I read for pleasure (though I never had one that was so bad that I absolutely couldn’t suffer through it. Need to work on letting myself put books down if they’re not working for me lol.

    Have a good weekend and happy reading!

    • Oh, I hear you! It took me years–until I started reviewing regularly for Netgalley and others, actually–before I got over the compulsion to read a book all the way through no matter how bad it was. I used to NEED to see it through to the end, just to see what happened.

      Not anymore! To quote Frank Zappa: SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME!

      Thanks for stopping by, Austine! 🙂


  • I am glad that someone else is acknowledging the ethics of ratings with review tours. I wrote about that last year. While I also understand, I feel it is unethical. Even in 1 or 2 star reviews (which for me is SUPER rare, 3 is my baseline), I am fair and honest. Just like a 5 star book, I include things I liked and things that I didn’t.

    As for DNF, I am one of those who forces myself to continue on. I’ve only DNFed 4 books since I started blogging (one was a classic I tried giving a second chance). My standard is I have to read to 40% of the book. Most times, I keep reading and finish. Either way, whether at 40% or finished, I write a review.

    • It is a tough ethical dilemma. On one hand, as an author, I like having the opportunity to read, review, and help promote the work of other authors. On the other, I’m not crazy about the idea of censoring my opinions. I tend to be very picky about the tour books I review (staying with authors whose work I’m familiar with or who I’ve heard positive things about from friends, or strictly in genres I enjoy or that sound good.), and I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t run into any that really called for a two or lower. Most are average, and at least entertaining, which for me is important.

      In my system, a two is something that wasn’t *bad,* necessarily, but maybe wasn’t to my taste, or might have been a three if it didn’t have something seriously flawed about it, tonally or structurally. I think I avoid those in tour books by only picking things I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment! 🙂


    • If I can’t even get 15 or 20% into a book because it’s so bad–unless I’ve made that committment–I won’t even bother with a review on my blog. I might rate and comment why I rated it that way on my Goodreads (mostly for my own record), but that’s it.

      Thanks for commenting, Jessica!

    • I used to have a terrible time putting a book down. It was almost compulsive–however bad it was, I HAD to see how it ended! But since I have so many things I’m obligated to read now, I’m more likely to put something really awful down and give it a detailed DNF, unless it’s something I’m reading for myself.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • I DNF books very rarely. I don’t find the need to, I have gotten really good at picking books that work. On the rare occasion that I do DNF a book I let the person know in private Usually I am obligated to let them know because I agreed to a review. After reading everyone’s thoughts on it I am thinking of changing my mind. Following on Bloglovin

    • I think how a reviewer handles DNF-ing is very personal. I only rarely do it, to tell the truth, because I can almost always find something redeeming in a book. On the occasions that I have put a book down and written a review for it, it was either because I got it from Netgalley or Edelweiss, and felt obligated to, or because something about the book bothered me so much that I really couldn’t keep my big mouth shut! LOL

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • I rarely DNF books, because about 99% of what I read is review books. But I have a problem right now because I have a book that an author sent me and I stopped reading it about a third of the way through. (It’s just too long and moving very slowly). Since then I’ve read about four other books and I can’t imagine I’ll go back to it at this point. But I feel like I need to explain to the author. So I’m not sure what to do!

    • Oh, reviews I volunteered to read, either at the author’s request or one that I requested from them are the worst! Those are the ones I have the toughest time with. It feels more personal than other sources.

      That’s a nasty pickle you’re in! I would definitely struggle with it. Maybe just discuss your issues in the most positive possible terms? Offer constructive criticism they can apply to future work? It’s hard for me to say, because as a writer I’d definitely rather hear constructive specifics about what didn’t work for a reader than not hear anything at all!

      Thanks for stopping by, Tammy!

  • It never occurred to me that doing a book tour for an author on your blog could result to a DNF book or bad review. It would be very awkward to have to say you didn’t liked the book agreeing before you read the book and agreed to host the tour. It’s very professional to let the tour company know in private that you disliked the book. As a new book blogger I’m still learning about the agreements between the reviewers and publishers. Thanks again for commenting on my blog!

    • If you read agreements that tour companies give you for reviews, they almost always ask that you let them know if you’re going to give a touring book a low review. Not only does the review not appear on the tour, but the company usually tries to find a replacement blog to host a different post such as an interview or spotlight.

      Welcome to the book blogging world! It’s a crazy place full of drama and intrigue. I try to keep below the fray as much as possible, but it’s definitely good to pay attention so you learn the ins and outs!

      Thank YOU for stopping by! 🙂

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