Sometimes you just can’t finish reading a book, be it because of external factors or the book itself. All readers have done this, myself included, and I’m sharing some of the books that I just did not complete.
In this first section, I am going to call “Books I Was Supposed To Read In High School English Classes But Didn’t”. I am not a fast reader at all so one of my struggles was keeping up with the deadlines for reading a certain amount. It made reading frustrating instead of fun, which led to many DNFs. These are just a few memorable instances of DNFing school books, but I can promise that I DNF or didn’t read at all more often than I actually read the whole book.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
This DNF was purely because of running out of time. It was assigned to be read over the summer, which is honestly asking too much of students in my opinion, and the next school year started before I could finish it. And honors classes move quickly, so I didn’t get the opportunity to finish it. And now, I don’t have much interest to try. I know I actually enjoyed reading it when I did, but that was over a decade ago.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Another book that I was enjoying and school was moving too fast for me to keep up reading. I think I made it maybe halfway before I got behind. And like The Things They Carried, I don’t have much interest to try reading it again.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This one was a mix of circumstance and interest. The summer before my senior year, which is when I took AP English, and we had to choose a book from a specified list to read over the summer and annotate. I chose Jane Eyre (don’t remember why) and then once the school year ended, I swiftly got pulled into drum corps. So trying to read classic literature on a bus at like midnight while traveling cross-country is not conducive to finishing books. I definitely faked my annotation before turning it in and got a C on it, which is fair.
Beowulf by Anonymous and Grendel by John Gardner
Reading existentialism as a sophomore in high school is begging to be DNF’ed. I understand why we read these, but I have never seen the life sucked out of so many teenagers at one instance than I did seeing my classmates leave our English class after discussing Grendel. I will never read either of these cause I am low-key traumatized.
Now that the classics are out of the way, here are books I tried to read at my leisure that haven’t been completed.
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
When I was in my undergrad, I had a big John Green phase. And I still have books of his that I enjoy and hold dear. But when I started Turtles All The Way Down, I was bored. I’ve heard many great things, but I just didn’t get hooked.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Yes, I DNF’ed a series. This is the best way to describe this situation because I read four out of the five books, and the fifth book I never started. I don’t remember why I didn’t finish honestly, and now I don’t recall the overall plot well enough to just pick it up and finish it.
The Hate U Give
I’m actually ashamed I haven’t finished The Hate U Give. I tried reading it when I wasn’t really motivated enough to read in general. So after one sitting of reading where I got at least through the first chapter, I never picked it up or any other book again. And since I was borrowing the book, it had to be returned before trying again.
This is one of the few books that I chose to not finish. At the time of Twilight’s hype, I did enjoy the first book. It wasn’t hype-worthy in my opinion, but I still enjoyed reading it. And then there is New Moon, which I hated not even a third of the way through. Bella spending multiple chapters just being depressed with no plot is awful, and I knew that at fourteen.
Any books that you didn’t read cover to cover? Share them in the comments.
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New Moon was my least favourite book out of the Twilight series, Twilight and Eclipse were better and Breaking Dawn took some unexpected writing style that I didn’t enjoy as much.