4 DNF Reviews || It’s the characters’ fault

Okay, let’s get down to this. Do I enjoy writing dnf reviews? Hmm, depends on the reasons for dnfing them. Was it truly a bad book (in my eyes)? Or did I simply not click with it? I’ve seen many books that I loved and others didn’t! And also vice versa. There’s 4 dnf reviews in here so let’s get going! Please note, that just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean you can’t.

Disclaimer: I received these e-arcs through Netgalley, Edelweiss, and the publishers in exchange for free and honest reviews. The featured image is my own. The summaries are my own (well, I summarised the Goodreads descriptions). All opinions expressed are my own.

56159939Title: Max and the Spice Thieves
Series: Secrets of the Twilight Djinn (#1)
Author: John Peragine 
Year Published: 2021
Publisher: Crumblebee Books
Genre: Midde Grade ~ Young Adult ~ Fantasy ~ Pirates ~ Action and Adventure 

Stars: DNF

Links: Goodreads || The StoryGraph
Copy: E-arc

When Max’s mom is kidnapped he joins a crew of spice thieves to find her. Along the way he meets allies and finds himself facing several challenges.

I stopped reading before 20% – which is usually my standard ‘if I’m not interested by this point, I put it down’ percentage. This looked interesting from the synopsis and it sadly went down from there.

Honestly, I just wasn’t interested in anything that went in the little bit that I read. Not in the characters, the tiny bit of starting plot I got, not even the premise of thieves could get me interested. Like I can’t even tell you anything about the characters because I couldn’t get myself into wanting to know more about them.

I do get upset when I realise I’m not interested in a book but then again sometimes you don’t click with a book. But also I’m glad that I realise when I’m truly not into a book and leave before I have to force myself to finish it.

Title: Better Together
Author: Christine Riccio
Year Published: 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult ~ Contemporary ~ Romance

Stars: DNF

Links: Goodreads || The StoryGraph
Copy: E-arc

Jamie and Siri are sisters. But they didn’t grow up with each other thanks to their parents taking one sister with them when they divorced. Just like Parent Trap. Following the movie, they meet up again and decide to go back home as the other. Along with some magic, maybe they’ll be better sisters.

I really like Christine Riccio as a booktuber – even though she can definitely be a bit ‘much’ at times (but then again I’m also very ‘much’ at times so 😅). I haven’t read Again, But Better – her first book – but I heard that didn’t receive high praise. And now after trying to read Better Together, I know I won’t want to read Again, But Better.

It was just all around bad. From characters who definitely should’ve spent more time in the drafts to a plot that most definitely should’ve also been worked on more. The twins, Siri and Jamie, were two very boring and annoying characters. I didn’t get this far, but other reviewers mentioned that they’re named after the Lannister twins… and I’m guessing you know them. So, yeah, that was interesting to read.

Siri has this awful ‘habit’ (is it that or is it just bad writing?) where, instead of swearing, she’ll say the weirdest things. Like ‘excrement’ instead of the ‘s’ word, ‘underworld’ and not ‘hell’ and it’s like… you could just have the characters say they don’t like to swear and have them not swear on page, it’s totally fine. You don’t have to have this super weird thing of making it a ‘quirky’ characteristic – when it totally isn’t! This kept happening so often in her chapters and it really just put me off so much. There’s literally this line that reads “Are you intercoursing kidding me?” And I honestly never want to read that again be because it’s just so wrong.

Apparently Jamie is meant to be funny because she’s a stand-up comedian? I did not see it in the slightest. And I’ve watched some stand-up comedy and obviously every comedian won’t be every person’s cup of tea. From the little bit I read of Jamie’s set, I definitely wouldn’t be a fan.

I didn’t get so far into the book to get much of the but I know I would’ve (maybe) liked it because I do love the comps (Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap). Like cool, cool, great. Just not with these characters.

Title: Lifestyles of the Gods and Monsters
Author: Emily Roberson
Year Published: 2019
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy ~ Retelling ~ Mythology ~ Romance

Stars: DNF

Links: Goodreads || The StoryGraph
Copy: E-arc

Sixteen-year-old Ariadne and her family host The Labyrinth Games every year, where fourteen teenagers attempt to battle a maze and the Minotaur. No one wins. Until a boy named Theseus enters the Games. Taken in by him, will Ariadne choose him or her family?

I was so so excited for this book because the premise of it sounded so fascinating. Modern Labyrinth, reality TV show, super cool, right? I did, however, completely forget about this book for a while. That wasn’t the reason I didn’t finish it, though.

I did really really like how they blended the modernity with the mythology. It was a cool idea, just not well thought out re characters. But just like the previous dnf, it was the characters that annoyed me to no end. I managed to get to a whole 30% before I realised that even though I liked reading it, I wasn’t enjoying it.

There’s also some instalove and I’m not much of a fan of that. I do think instaloves can be written well, but I didn’t feel like this for this romance. Ariadne also seemed to be a ‘not like other girls’ girl and I’m not so interested in that. And I know I didn’t read much of Theseus, but I really felt like he was boring, as was Ariadne for me.

There was also the problem of them trying to blend the modernity with the mythology just too much. Like swapping the iconic the face that launched a thousand ships line for a wink that will launch a million GIFs. I think it was by the …his emptiness stowed away like he’s closing a pop-up window on his browser that I knew I had to leave before I went into another reading slump.

Title: I’m a Gay Wizard
Series: Gay Wizard (#1)
Author: V.S. Santoni
Year Published: 2019
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy ~ LGBTQ+ 

Stars: DNF

Links: Goodreads || The StoryGraph
Copy: E-arc

Johnny and his best friend, Alison, decide to pass the time by practicing magic. Unfortunately, that also means that they have to attend a magical institute. Will they find love, more power, or danger there?

I mange to get to about 11% and (once again) realised I wasn’t connecting at all to the characters. I’m definitely more of a character reader. Don’t get me wrong, I really really love my plots, but badly written characters spoil the vibe for me and is the main cause of me dnfing a book.

Plus, there was a lot of information being shoved at the reader in the tiny part that I read and that’s another reason to not carry on reading. I like having information but not that much in such a little timespan.


Wow, 4 DNF reviews in one post! I do hope that I won’t need to make another one of these for a while. How about you? Do you like dnfing books or making dnf reviews? What was the last book you dnfed and why? Come tell me all in the comments!

4 thoughts on “4 DNF Reviews || It’s the characters’ fault”

  1. i’m glad i haven’t heard three of these titles but lifestyle of gods and monsters was one of my most anticipated books of 2019 so this is surprising but ah, it does sound like a bad retelling.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh wow, it was so interesting to hear your thoughts on these dnfs and why! I was looking at the book better together but I am sorry you didn’t like it. And honestly, that character’s dialogue sounds so annoying I think it wouldn’t be for me either. I actually want to read the gods and monsters one but it sounds like the modernity combination was just a bit too forced for it to be truly funny or enjoyable :/

    Liked by 2 people

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