A bunch of DNF mini-reviews || At least I tried!

Once again, I’ve dnfed a couple of books so here they are. There’s nothing wrong if you choose to not finish a book for whatever reason!

Don’t force yourself to muddle through a book – the last time I did I got myself into a nasty reading slump. Also, please remember that just because I dnfed these books and didn’t enjoy them doesn’t mean you can’t read/enjoy them. If you read one of these books and absolutely loved it, that’s great! Because that’s how reading and books work – not all books work for everyone.

Another dnf mini-review that’ll have to be split up into 2 parts because I like to wait until I’ve dnfed like 3 books and then write a review for all of them. And plus there are some books that I’ve dnfed and I just haven’t written reviews for them yet.

Disclaimer: I received these e-arcs through Netgalley or Edelweiss and the publishers in exchange for free and honest reviews. The featured image is my own. The summaries are taken from Goodreads. All opinions expressed are my own.


Title: Seven Devils
Author: Elizabeth May and Laura Lam
Series: #1 in Seven Devils
Year Published: 2020
Publisher: DAW (Imprint of Penguin Random House)
Cover Art/Designer: UK cover (the cover I had for my arc): Loulou Clark.
Genre: Young Adult ~ Science Fiction ~ Fantasy ~ LGBTQ+ characters

Stars: did not finish at 25%
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Copy: E-arc (Netgalley)
CW/TW: (Taken from The Storygraph) Death, Violence, Emotional abuse, Gore, Blood, Xenophobia, others)

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die


Look, I really wanted to finish and like this book. But I kept reading a few pages of it and then putting it down to read something else. It was when I used the text-to-speech function on my kindle and realized nearly a chapter had gone by with me not paying a lick of attention – I had to dnf this, otherwise I was very likely to get into another reading slump. It stayed on my Currently Reading shelf for about a YEAR because I kept trying to get myself into this book.

So yes, I dnfed this at 25%. The cause? I guess not being interested enough? The characters were interesting and I liked the whole plot – rebellions are always fun to read about. It’s not that it was high sci-fi – I liked that bit. I think it was largely due to the characters – though they were interesting from time to time – it wasn’t enough to keep my reading.

Maybe I’ll pick it up in audio some time.

Title: The Gravity of Us
Author: Phil Stamper
Year Published: 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Cover Art/Designer: Patrick Leger (Illustrator) and Danielle Ceccolini (Designer)
Genre: Young Adult ~ Contemporary ~ Romance ~ LGBTQ+ characters

Stars: Did not finish at 47%
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Copy: E-arc (Edelweiss)
CW/TW: (Taken from The Storygraph) Death, Mental Illness, Panic attacks/disorders, Suicidal Thoughts, Bullying.

As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch. 


Hopefully I’ll like the author’s other books because I’ve seen those synopses and like them. Then again I liked this synopsis as well so who knows? My main reason for not liking this book was solely due to the main character, Cal. I didn’t like him at all. I think it was how he saw the world and thought. And because the book is written from his point of view, we unfortunately see all his thoughts.

I did see a bit of Leon (the love interest) before I dnfed and I much preferred him and would maybe even finish the book if it was from his point of view. It also looked like a certain trope was in their budding relationship, one I very much dislike, so that was even another reason for me to not want to read any further.

Another reason I didn’t like Cal is that I thought his focus and idea of media and his view on social media was weird? Like he thinks badly of some media personnel because ‘they act a certain way’ (I’m paraphrasing) but Cal has nearly half a million followers and you’re telling me he HASN’T taken some type of media/marketing course or maybe acts a different way off camera so he can be ‘himself’ off camera? Maybe I feel this way about him because (to me) it doesn’t feel like he’s been written to have so many followers, if this makes sense. I also feel that Cal is a bit self-absorbed and he tries to show that he isn’t, which makes me dislike him more.

Oh, and also the formatting in the e-arc was really annoying me too. Bits of interviews meshed into the paragraphs and it was difficult to read. I tried to force myself to read it and fizzled out before the 50% mark. Once again, don’t force yourself to read a book! There’s no merit in that!

But then again, my best friend read the book and loved it. So, two different people, I guess.

eep10c9l1irdun0hogbns2eibbo5Title: The Other Magic
Author: Derrick Smythe
Series: #1 in Passage to Dawn
Year Published: 2019
Publisher: Dorean Press
Cover Art/Designer: Alexandre Rito – I think (she was the designer for the second book and the art looks the same + there’s no news about the first book).
Genre: Young Adult ~ Epic Fantasy

Stars: did not finish at 4%
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Copy: E-arc (Netgalley)
CW/TW: Slavery, violence, violence in the form of whipping (owner to slave) (I read very little, so I don’t know any further)

I didn’t even reach the 5% mark. I tried hard with this one, but it was definitely not to be. It wasn’t holding my attention at all. I got through the first chapter and realized I wouldn’t be finishing the book, but tried a bit more. But ended up (like I knew I would) deciding to stop reading.

It was the case of the writer thinking they were capable of writing lengthy sentences and thinking it would work because they’re writing a fantasy book – it’s even more seen when it’s a high/epic fantasy book. It’s a very, very common thing to have long sentences for fantasy because I don’t know, apparently fantasy = long sentences. Some authors do it well and I’m not too annoyed by it. Personally I think we could without long sentences in fantasy or anywhere else. Like learn where to end one sentence and begin another (of course, I’m including myself here). Smythe, unfortunately, is not an author who knows how to masterfully create long sentences.

That was mostly the reason for dnfing the book. I could tell I would have this issue the entire way through and I wasn’t interested in having to slog through a near full paragraph and it just being one sentence. Plus, the characters didn’t capture my interest from the beginning.


I did want to add another review but I guess I’ll wait for the next mini-review post I’ll have.

What about you? Have you read any of the books I dnfed here? Did you like them? Any other books you may have dnfed recently? Tell me down below in the comments!

2 thoughts on “A bunch of DNF mini-reviews || At least I tried!”

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