DNF Reviews

The A to Z Challenge is an annual blogging challenge. It isn’t restricted to book blogs – all kinds of blogs can participate. It takes place every year in April and during that month you have to write a post on the designated days (all except Sundays). These posts must have some correlation to the letter of the day. So, there will be a total of 26 posts starting from the letter A and ending with Z. Here is a list of all my posts.


Hello everyone!

I have heard a few different opinions about posting reviews of books you haven’t finished reading. Commonly known as “DNF (Did Not Finish) Reviews”. Some book bloggers seem to think that posting a review of a book you didn’t finish is not fair to the author, the book, is bad publicity, is unacceptable etc. I have to admit that I haven’t seen this opinion expressed a lot by bloggers. Most book bloggers (including myself) also post DNF reviews on their blogs.

Personally, I don’t believe that posting a DNF review is in any way offending or inaccurate. I always state on the title of my post that this is a DNF review, so I think it is pretty clear to everyone that I will be judging this book up to the point that I have read. And I don’t think that this is unacceptable. I don’t have to be an expert on the book to state my opinion about it. After all, it’s just that: my opinion. Which in this case is that the specific book wasn’t good enough for me to finish.

Now author’s opinions on DNF reviews is slightly different than that of book bloggers. Which is understandable. No one likes to hear bad criticism and someone saying they couldn’t even finish your book is quite bad criticism. On the other hand, I don’t think that authors expect everyone to like their book, that is just impossible. And most all of them accept the fact that they will probably also get 1-star reviews. So what’s the problem with DNF reviews? Is it that the reader doesn’t have a full perspective and so he or she isn’t allowed to judge it? Or is this just an excuse for trying to avoid a bad review?

I’m not saying that every author, or even the majority of authors are opposed to DNF reviews. But quite frankly, they can’t do anything about it anyway! Once you publish a book and give it to the world you have to be able and willing to deal with all kinds of feedback. Good and bad. So it really isn’t in the hands of an author to say whether they want or don’t want to have DNF reviews of their book.

So, I will definitely continue posting DNF reviews on my blog. I usually try to finish books and don’t DNF a book very easily. But when I do, you can expect to see a review of it.

After all, it’s my blog and I can post whatever the hell I want!

Where do you stand on DNF reviews? Do you post them? Do you think they’re unfair?


24 thoughts on “DNF Reviews

  1. I’m with you Nadia I provide ‘my readers’ with an honest opinion of a book, I don’t feel that I am being honest if I don’t post about books that weren’t for me. This doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad book, it just didn’t fit my criteria for a good one. I also post five star reviews for books others don’t like as much. Everyone has their own reasons for posting or not posting DNF reviews and each is valid but I will continue to do so on the rare occasion it happens (after all I don’t choose books I don’t think I’ll like!)

    • It doesn’t happen to me very often either, because I also choose books that think I’ll like (of course). But sometimes it happens and I feel it’s only fair to post a review about it!

  2. I also picked DNF for today’s A-Z post! I don’t do formal reviews on my blog, so I guess it’s not such an issue for me to abandon a book. That being said, I do sometimes worry that I”m not giving a book a fair shot if I put it in the DNF pile. But then I look at the big pile of books that I still want to read, and I don’t feel so bad. So many books, so little time–right? πŸ™‚

    • I don’t really feel guilty for not finishing books, but I certainly used to! If I don’t like it after reading a fair amount of it I just put it down. There are far too many books that I want to read for me to waste my time on sth I don’t like!

  3. I post DNF reviews, and I don’t see the problem in them either. I also actually have two to post this month. I do make a point of reading at least 50% of it to get a better view of it, since by then if you don’t like the characters/feel/if there’s any plot/etc, then you’re not going to, it shouldn’t take that long. Unless a book annoys me so much, I might write one for 30% (usually I rant a lot then, ha).

    But it’s in no way saying it’s like that for everybody, you’re just giving an opinion, and if somebody who has the same taste in books, same annoyances in books sees it, then you’re saving them time too.

    Like you said, not everyone’s going to like an authors work, and it’s a bit smug of an author to think so, I know DNF reviews are bad publicity and all, but if you want an honest opinion, an honest opinion you’re going to get. I’m not going to lie about a book I don’t like.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

    • I’m definitely with you girl! πŸ˜› I don’t really have a standard percentage on when I’m going to stop reading a book! Before I started blogging I would give up on books I’d only read 50 pages from! I don’t do that anymore. Since I’m going to post a review on it I feel like I should read at least one third of it otherwise it might be kind of unfair.

      But a review is just an opinion and it might even help somebody. I have deleted a couple of books from my to-read list by reading a bad review about them and figuring out that there will be some stuff that I’m not going to like in those books.

  4. I wouldn’t publish a review if I hated/didn’t finish a book. I’d still rate it on Goodreads and Shelfari but prefer not to actually write out and publish a review of a book I didn’t like. Honesty by omission… I guess I am a bit of a coward – but I am always aware that it is just my opinion and in most cases someone else is going to love the book!

    • I feel like I can’t only publish positive reviews, because it wouldn’t be completely fair to the people reading my blog. But I’ve heard a couple of bloggers who do that and I’ve also heard of the opposite (only posting negative reviews). I can definitely understand both, but I think I’m going to keep posting both of them! πŸ™‚

  5. I definitely agree with you. What’s it to the other book bloggers? Most publishers and authors are happy that you’ve given an honest review, and really, your honesty and thoughts put together is the perfect recipe for a great review. I post DNF reviews, and if you’re honest, there is a reason why you didn’t finish it, so why not tell the truth instead of lying and saying it was amazing? Great post, I high-five you girl!

    It would mean so much to me if you could visit my blog: http://www.thatgirlybookworm.blogspot.ca

    The theme focuses on books and the title according to the letter of the day!

    • Thanks a lot Michelle! I wouldn’t want to hide the fact that I didn’t like a certain book, because it wouldn’t feel completely honest to me. So I write DNF reviews and anyone who doesn’t like them doesn’t have to read them.

  6. I agree with you. I don’t see why people shouldn’t post DNF reviews. It provides an alternative opinion. Maybe I look at things differently, but I actually learn more about a book from a well written DNF and lower stared reviews than from positive reviews. =)

    • I also like reading DNF and few-star reviews especially on books that are very hyped. It gives a different kind of perspective and I think I go into reading the book with less higher expectations, which sometimes can ruin a book!

    • I always do that. I think it’s only fair to say the reasons I didn’t finish a book so that others can decide for themselves if that would be sth that might bother them too or not.

  7. I post them on my blog too! If I’ve made it to 50% and you still haven’t won me over I’m done and reviewing. But I know a LOT of bloggers/readers who won’t post them and who heck won’t even review if the book is a 3 or less! I really appreciate the lower rating reviews since it helps me just like a positive one does what works or doesn’t. And sometimes a DNF for someone (and their reasoning) will be one I’ll so want to pick up! lol

    I’ve seen a lot of authors complain about ANY negative review and how anything below a 3 is attacking the author. Oys.

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    herding cats & burning soup.

    • I really appreciate those kinds of reviews too! Even though authors probably don’t like them, I think a lot of readers do. It helps me get a different perspective, especially if it’s a very popular book and I also feel like the blogger is being honest with me. Not trying to shy away from giving bad reviews.

  8. I’ve never posted a DNF review, but I would if I had a book that was so bad I just couldn’t finish reading it. I don’t think it’s an excuse to not give a one star review, in fact talking about the reasons you were unable to finish a book is more effective for me than giving a one star review!
    Great post!

    • I really appreciate both of them to be honest. Especially if it’s a very hyped book I enjoy getting a different opinion on it. Of course only if the review states the reasons for not finishing. I f it’s a simple “I hated it! The writing was awful”, it’s not very helpful.

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