Discussion: On Writing DNF Reviews

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DNFing isn't the most pleasant choice a reader has to make, but sometimes it's inevitable. This can be  a  tricky decision if you're a book blogger / reviewer. When you don't finish a book, can you review it? Should you review it? Come discuss!
I have a confession

I used to DNF a lot of books. I have an unhealthy amount of books on my DNF shelf on GoodReads (about 20+). I rarely DNF books now, and use all my willpower to reach the finish line. Hopefully, the number won't be increasing anytime soon.

Going back to DNF reviews, let's take a look at the

Negative side

 If you haven't fully experienced the events of a book, you can't possibly give your readers a full explanation, with the whys and hows and whats they're looking for in your review.

If you don't finish a book, you never know whether your opinion is going to change or not. For all you know, you could end up loving the half of it you haven't read due to a specific turn of the plot.

You can't possibly write a detailed review if you haven't finished a book, which is why most people make it pretty clear that from the start that it's the review of a book they haven't finished reading so the readers can be cautious.

If you're still hellbent on making your reviews detailed, you can try skim-reading until the end in search for some important points. Avoiding errors and wrong information is extremely important, or one mistake might be where your readers start to suspect the accuracy of your reviews.

On the positive side..

 DNF reviews will help your readers know why you abandoned the book so they can decide whether they want the book or not. They can be influential, and often, accurate. Almost 80% of the time, it's not like a book will miraculously become excellent after it becomes obvious that nothing is going get better.

About review copies
When authors/publishers send you review copies, I believe  it's a completely different situation. I don't think it's quite fair not to finish the book when they've so generously provided you with a review copy. I feel it's best if you somehow finish the book, and share your honest opinion afterwards.

It all depends on your personal choice. If finishing the book makes it to your list of all time nightmares, then you might want to consider other options, like the easy way out which is abandoning the book. 

If you want to review it, you can write a DNF review, focusing mainly on what lead you to DNFing the particular book.

Now, let's talk about you.

What do you think about DNF reviews?
How often do you DNF books?
Share your precious thoughts!