Being a Happy DNF Reader: The Recent Novels I Just Can’t


On my bookshelf one will likely spy lots of contemporary novels because I do love a good contemporary read. This I make no secret of. Love of this genre is likely a reason why I am continuously tempted (or swayed) to buy all of the shiny new tiles in the genre. Secular fiction and inspirational reads alike, no matter which subgenre I have bought many from both. Recently I’ve also started two romantic comedy titles that, on paper, I should love. This is how the subject of recent DNF reads topic of the day is born.

LIST | 5 of the Reasons I Do and Don’t (!!) Like ‘Beach Read’

I think, like any reader, I have a hard time DNF-ing a book. For me, personally, I think it’s a discipline thing, in the way of it’s a task I began and I “have” to finish it. It’s been a process to sort of re-learn or undo that mindset that I don’t have to finish a book. If it’s not working for me or not bringing joy, why press on? There’s too many other books to enjoy and discover. Plus I’ve also worked hard to teach myself what I like vs don’t. Despite this, there are times when I find a book (or two!)  that I mark a “DNF.” Here are the two most recent such books.

Two of the Recent DNF Reads on my List  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

1: The Honey-Don’t List, by Christina Lauren

Story: Two assistants to media-perfect couple Rusty and Melissa Tripp must go on a book tour with the couple in order to keep all of their little secrets from going public!

Why it Doesn’t Work: This is one of those books I really wanted to like. With its adorable title and fun premise, I was ready to fall in love with the plot and these characters. Sadly, I do not.

I do not care for Rusty or Melissa (and I know this is purposeful, but flipping through the back end makes it seem like no one learns anything, so…). To be honest, I really don’t love Carey and James all that much. Their attraction (lust) is fueled by frustration and feels really bad as a result. Though this is my second novel from the Lauren writing duo, I do not like how they handle conflict, and as such, I don’t think the more serious aspects of their novels are healthy. Sad since I really did want to like their novels.

At 200 some pages in and I feel like it’s just best to let this one go. It’s not going to change, I’m not going to change, and we’re clearly going to keep butting heads. Find on Amazon | Goodreads

2: If I Never Met You, by Mhairi McFarlane

Story: A woman in a committed 10+ year relationship is ready to take the next step with her boyfriend when he unexpectedly dumps her. Confused (and mostly angry), Laurie’s resentment gets worse when she learns he’s with someone new, and they are expecting a baby.

Why it Doesn’t Work: Penned by an author I hadn’t read before but I liked the “look” of (I mean, how cute are her covers?), this book has lots of promise, but it just didn’t click for me. I decided to give up about 110 pages in, the character of Laurie is supposed to be the one you sympathize with, and I just… don’t. But I want to. The conflict is really poor, and I have a feeling the romance isn’t going to be something I easily cheer for either.

Somewhere along the way, a fake dating trope is meant to work in, and while I love these, I just cannot press on. Find on Amazon | Goodreads

NOTE: both of these are secular fiction, and both use an abundance of the f-word, other profanities and sexual innuendo. There’s also at least one pretty descriptive sex scene in ‘List,’; whether or not there’s more or one in ‘Never,’ I cannot say.

Despite this making me a bit OCD in terms of feeling like I’m being irresponsible by not finishing a task, I’m learning that in order to enjoy reading (which is always what I want), sometimes you have to quit reading a novel and move on to something that will make you a happy reading. Tough as this reader lesson may be (*ahem* for some of us), it’s something that is sure to make things better in our reader life if we’re open to it. When we learn this, I think most of us will find our reader experiences are all the better for it.

What about you? Do you DNF books readily or reluctantly? What are your recent DNF novels? Should I give another of these author’s works a chance? Comment all of your recent choices, tips or thoughts on DNF-ing below. Let’s converse!


Being a Happy DNF Reader: The Recent Novels I Just Can't. Sharing two of my recent DNF reads that just don't work for me. © Rissi JC
Being a Happy DNF Reader: The Recent Novels I Just Can't. Sharing two of my recent DNF reads that just don't work for me. What would make your list? #DNF #DNFBooks #BookNerd #Reading #AmReading Click To Tweet

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

PS: this is also our topic on booktube today, so if you’d like to see the video, it’s live, too!

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Ooh, yikes, I just put a hold on The Honey-Don’t List at the library! The reviews have not been great for it in general, but maybe I’ll have better luck?

    1. Hope you do, Angela!! I really like the principal, I just couldn’t get past some of the “issues” I have with it. Hope it’s a great read for you. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

Optimized by Optimole
%d bloggers like this: