Let’s Discuss! DNF’ing Books

Hi all! You might be sat there wondering what on earth this title means. Well, for those of you who don’t know, DNF stands for Did Not Finish in the book community. And I’m here to talk about it!

What is DNF’ing?

Marking a book as DNF’d means you decided to put it down part the way through without completing the book.

Why would this happen?

For example, someone could DNF a book because they decide they didn’t like it, or the writing style isn’t for them, they don’t understand what’s going on, or maybe it just isn’t the right time for them to read it right now. I’ve definitely put books down before knowing it’s not for me right now but I’ll probably pick it up again in the future!

Why is this important?

It really depends on the reader to whether you DNF a book or not. I spent a long time never, ever DNF’ing books under any circumstance, determined to see it all the way through. It’s only in recent times that I’ve decided it’s not worth my time anymore.

And I think it all comes down to that – sometimes it’s just not worth your time to carry on reading a book you just know isn’t for you. Sometimes that could be temporary, sometimes forever.

When do I, personally, DNF a book?

I’ve been thinking about this subject because I recently decided to mark A Darker Shade of Magic as DNF’d. This was for a number of reasons:

  • I didn’t understand the full extent of the book
  • I decided I didn’t much care for the characters
  • I didn’t want to pick the book up at this particular time
  • I didn’t have any intrigue to the outcome of the story

This was a really hard thing for me to do, as obviously this is a very hyped read. But personally, it definitely wasn’t the right time for me. I’ve put it aside for now with the intention of maybe trying it again at some point in the future.

Where do you stand on DNF’ing books? Do you ever do it?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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ARC Review: Arctic Zoo by Robert Muchamore

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From London . . .
Georgia gets straight As at school, writes essays for fun, has been placed first in twenty-six drone races and has a serious addiction to buying Japanese stationery. She plans to follow her older sister Sophie and become a doctor, but her worldview is shattered when Sophie commits suicide.
To Lagos . . .
Julius lives in Ondo, a Nigerian state where half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. But he isn’t one of them. His uncle has been governor of Ondo for more than a decade and his mother is the power behind that throne. He finds refuge in a derelict zoo with best friend Duke, but as the two of them grow close, the world outside becomes more and more hostile.

Disclaimer: Thank you so much to Hot Key Books for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected or changed my opinions in any way.

I really didn’t know what to expect with this book, and I was surprised in a big way. From the synopsis, I expected most of the book to be set in a mental institution, but instead I found a journey to both characters ending up there. I love how Arctic Zoo book flickered backwards and forwards between different times in the characters lives, often enough to feel fast paced but not often enough to make the reader confused.

In fact, let’s talk about these delightful characters. I honestly loved them both for different reasons, and I was shocked by how well the alternate PsOV from both characters worked so well. They lead very different lives, with Georgia being in the UK, a girl with straight As, who has been brought up on drone racing and has a difficult home life, especially when her sister commits suicide. Georgia, who has always looked up to her sisters achievements and followed in her footsteps, realises there might be more to life than studying.

Julius is a very different story. A young gay man in Nigeria, coming to terms with his sexuality and struggling with his family’s political status. His coming out changes his life in many ways, and the book explores his relationships, family/home life, school and friendships, all in a politically turbulent time and place.

Both of the characters, however different, lead very unique yet equally compelling and intriguing lives. Before long, I felt sucked in to both of their stories and I was struggling to put the book down, finishing it’s 400+ pages in just a few days. Sometimes, with books of different PsOV, I find myself favouring one character over the other and I struggle to give completely equal attention to both. This wasn’t the case with Arctic Zoo, and I think that’s because their stories are so different and not often intertwined. Some readers might find it disappointing that they actually don’t spend much time together, but I found it refreshing and well-paced, as the alternate view points would be a break from the one before. I never felt stuck in one persons reality, and knew something fresh was just a few pages away.

I even enjoyed how the characters ended up in different countries for the majority of the book. It still amazes me how Muchamore wrote Julius’ chapters in Nigeria having never visited the country himself. I can be no judge for accuracy, but I felt fully immersed in the story and it felt real. It shows that he had people who had experienced life in Nigeria check his work.

The only downside for me was actually Georgia’s story, towards the end. It just felt a little…rushed? I left feeling as though everything had happened too smoothly, and too quickly, and without much room for full explanation. I won’t go into it too deeply in fear of spoiling the ending, but I just wanted a little more in way of description of how everything slotted into place at the end. Unfortunately for me it left me feeling disjointed about her story as a whole, which I had otherwise really enjoyed.

However, this was a very small disappointment in the grand scheme of what turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable, heartbreaking but hopeful read. If you want something a little different in YA but still relatable and easy to read, this one is perfect!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #96

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi everyone! All of the books featured in today’s post were gifts from my lovely friend Chloe, who I’m actually attending YALC with! Thank you so much again Chloe 🙂

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Goodreads | Amazon

Recklessly loyal.
That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone—including her needy best friend and her absent mom—taking her loyalty for granted.
Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her.
Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.
During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

I’ve had this book on my TBR for years, yet I’ve never picked it up! I was so excited to have this copy.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 

It’s the exact same situation with this book, I can’t wait to try it.

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Goodreads | Amazon

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown. 

I’ve had these on my TBR for a while now, and they sound so intriguing.

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Goodreads | Amazon

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Goodreads | Amazon

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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February Wrap-Up and March TBR

I definitely didn’t read as many books in February but I did a good job at sticking to my TBR for a change! Here are the 5 books I read last month.

Books I Read in February

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review | Goodreads | Amazon

All of these were very highly rated for me and it’s impossible to choose a favourite! I guess I had a good month 🙂

Books I Received in February

A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Bridget Kemmerer

I didn’t buy any books this month as I’m still on a book ban, but my lovely friend Dani kindly gave me this book.

Books I Want to Read in March

Queen of Air and Darkness (#3) – Cassandra Clare
The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

I definitely want to finish The Dark Artifices and The Bane Chronicles in March, and then I’m going to read whatever I feel like.

What did you read in February and what’s your March TBR?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Fictional Places You’d Take a Date To

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

This week we’re still on the Valentine’s theme with Top 5 Places I’d take a date! I consulted my boyfriend (we had the same ideas), and here are some of my favourites:

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Hogwarts of course! This was my first idea, and I guess we have technically been to a version of it in the Studio Tour.

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Of course I had to include Alicante/Glass City from the Shadowhunter world, as I’m reading Lord of Shadows at the moment!

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This world sounds so beautiful, and I’d love to visit the Night Court and the city that surrounds it, especially in A Court of Frost and Starlight.

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My boyfriend and I both said The Shire would be such a cool place to go!

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Although a little terrifying, how cool would it be to go on a date to The Night Circus?

Which fictional place would you take a date to?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Meeting Cassandra Clare

One of my favourite things about being a blogger is having the opportunity to join other fans at events! I have a few upcoming signings, and if I see anyone I like, I always try to attend events.

Since late last year, there’s been a small group of my friends who head off all over the UK to go to signings together. So far we’ve met Ransom Riggs, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli and now Cassandra Clare and Holly Black!

I actually met Cassandra Clare for the first time almost 3 years ago, but at the time I had only read City of Bones and mainly went for my friend at the time who adored Shadowhunters. Of course, I’m now a massive fan of all of her books and have read most of them since early December! It was so awesome to go back and meet Cassie as a reader.

Other than the event being in a strange venue (a club/venue for gigs) which was very loud and had disco lights (??), it was brilliant. Cassandra and Holly chatted for a while on stage, and then took questions. There were some really interesting Q&As too! After a couple of hours waiting, we finally got through to meet the authors. I also made Cassie a cake, pictured below, which she loved!

I made her a very British Victoria Sandwich cake, which is layers of sponge with jam and buttercream in the middle. When I told her, she said she’s wanted to try one since researching for The Infernal Devices years ago! Her and Holly Black’s reactions to the cake were priceless.

I absolutely loved this signing and I’m so excited for my upcoming ones!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #117/ Carry On

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hi all! I’ve been working on a uni project over the past week, which is causing me to think about diverse YA books. That includes LGBTQIA+, and this thought process led me too…Carry On! I read this book when it first came out 4 years ago (where did that time go?!), and I’m definitely due for a reread at some point.

I’ve mainly spent this week doing uni work, and going to a signing! You can find out more about that tomorrow 🙂

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Goodreads | Amazon

“He’s still looking in my eyes. Staring me down like he did that dragon, chin tilted and locked. “I’m not the Chosen One,” he says.
I meet his gaze and sneer. My arm is a steel band around his waist. “I choose you,” I say. “Simon Snow, I choose you.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, 
Carry On

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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