Today I’m going to talk about DNFing or Did Not Finish. I will also be featuring a couple of books I did not finish because of specific reasons I will discuss later. Let’s first say that I’m one of those people that attempts as much as I can to read the stories I either buy or check out from the library or receive review copies of. Most of the time, I do soft DNFs: this means that I am intrigued by the story but at the moment, I just do not want to read it right away, or it goes in a direction I do not expect and I need to prepare for it, or I am not in the mood for what its about. When it comes to hard DNFs: this is when I need to stop reading it completely, get rid of it, and pretend it doesn’t exist.
My DNF System
Like I said earlier, not finishing a story or book is not something I typically do often or if I do its not something I tend to talk about. Recently though, with events going on, I have been not finishing books left and right for reasons such as:
- With the library, I have been experimenting with audiobooks so because of this, I am very particular of the playback speed and the narration so I tend to not finish those and wait to find them in e-book or physical form to read them later.
- Starting a book or manga, lately I am feeling that I want to read to escape the current situation and absorb the story I am consuming. If the story is not able to do that, I may not be able to finish it.
- When it comes to content that may make me uncomfortable, I am not opposed to reading uncomfortable topics; however, if theres a lot at once I really cannot handle it and I have to put it down.
- When it comes to series especially manga/anime I may not be in the right headspace to watch or read it or I understand that there is a particular topic matter and I may need to prepare myself before reading/watching it again.
- Another reason it could be too predictable or just plain boring. Sometimes I don’t mind that or I don’t mind rereading or watching something again that’s predictable but sometimes it can be really dull for me and I can’t finish that.
- Lastly, I do not finish if I try so hard and read it and I just can’t get hooked or the writing style just does not land for me. Writing style usually does not affect me as much as it could for some people but if it does can cause a not finish for me.
Now I’m going to put a few of my most recent examples that I have DNFed and why.
Komi Can’t Communicate
With this particular series, I was worried how the mangaka as well as the translator was going to handle the concept of social communication disorders. This is because to me personally communication and having a communication disorder has such a spectrum of meanings that I was not sure about what I would find especially between the cultures of the United States and Japan. Upon reading this, though at least in this particular volume, the side characters in this were really unlikable with personalities although I appreciated that there were a variety of character representation. The leading lady is the only character is the only one I enjoy and can relate to.
There were scenes in this that I understand are supposed to be I guess “filler” or “bonus” content but they felt unnecessarily uncomfortable to me especially with the scene of making the lead character a god…. in addition, I felt that there were way too many times throughout the volume that were recaps in my opinion. I mean it is not like this is an omnibus combining several volumes at once right? When it comes to the communication disorder aspect of things, as someone who has communication skills difficulties myself, there were a lot of aspects I could relate to. However, there were moments I was angry at some of the situations that occurred; so many instances could have been better or if it wasn’t then there could have been more lessons involved to help improve the communication skills.
Overall, this really disappointed me, I wish this was better than it was but I love the leading lady. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 3 out of 5 stars and may not continue with the series because of those points.
This volume was a start of a manga series I wanted to try because the same mangaka/author also wrote one/created one of my favorite animes of all time Full moon wo sagashite. Although this was enjoyable, I feel that it has not aged well with time and this is why.
First off the world and art are beautiful and amazing and I loved it alot. However, there were moments where although the art was gorgeous, it was unclear to me what was happening especially towards the end.
Second off, it’s a very trope heavy. Japanese fantasy manga/anime is one of my many sweet spots but with this particular case they decided to add the “magical girl” trope on top of it. In this particular case, it just doesn’t work in my opinion. It’s one thing to build it effectively but adding just as a joke to me is annoying. On top of this, there is a Yona of the dawnesque feeling to it (this was written before that but you understand my point). It seemed like the leading man was just goading the leading lady towards the end which just wasn’t as effective to me to continue on.
Crazy Cupid Love
I thought I was going love this book because of the concept but after buddy reading it with a friend and DNFing it to try again at a later date, reading at a later date and then DNFing again alone along with reading the ending to see if I’d be curious about the journey… nope. It was one of those that the concept was just poorly executed and thought I would love it more with time.
This last one…….. it made me feel so emotional in the worse way. Trigger warnings for rape, death of a parent, Catholicism disdain, cancer, depression, anxiety, girl hate the whole shebang thank you to my friend for allowing me to read an early copy of this it was on my Wishlist but I just can’t anymore. I think the main issue with not finishing this one though was just the emotional backlash I was not needing to feel at this current moment.
Overall, This is my Did Not Finish system and four prime examples of recent DNFs. Do you guys have a system like this or have trouble even not finishing things? Let’s talk about it!!
2 thoughts on “DNFS: When to finish a series/standalone or not?”
It’s so hard to DNF, especially when you have been given a copy for review. I think having a system in place (like you do) is a good start.
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You’re absolutely right Jenny I appreciate that compliment