The DNF Report #4 – July 2020

Posted August 11, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in discussion post, Review, The DNF Report / 4 Comments

I’ve seen a few people doing DNF posts, and I’ve mentioned the books in my own monthly wrap-up posts, but now that I’m actually giving up on more books much quicker, I thought maybe it would be good to go ahead and do posts about them, maybe monthly, just to talk about ARCs I may have received and give them some promo for the publishers who were nice enough to send them to me, even if they didn’t work for me. I mean, just because I didn’t care for something doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be the book someone else loves. I’m going to just post a picture, the blurb, and then a sentence or two explaining why I didn’t finish. While I was doing every other month, since I’ve started keeping track in my blogging planner of all my DNFs, I think I’m doing something different maybe, because I had 4 to share just from July, although one is technically from the very end of June, but I still read more than I had in a long time in July!

The Diary of a Late Bloomer by L.M.L. Gil:

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Diary of a Late Bloomer by L.M.L. Gil
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Ava Erickson
Published by One Night Stand Studios, Sourcebooks Fire on June 29, 2020
Genres: NA Contemporary
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Format: E-galley
My Rating: DNF


Lo is a sheltered 20-year-old who loves baking, manga/anime, and octopi. When she spots her college swim team’s tryout flyer sporting her favorite sea creature, an octopus, she knows it’s a sign that she must join. The only things standing her way are her socially awkward nature and that she just learned to swim.

My Thoughts: So this one started out kind of interesting, but also really weird for me. Now believe me, I was totally a late bloomer in so many ways, nothing like this character, but still. I tried really hard, but it was over 400 pages long, and after 50 pages I just couldn’t do it anymore.

The Subway Girl by Lisa Becker:

“You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate and what’s written in the stars.” Anais Nin

A hopeless romantic.
A cynical web show producer.
An unscrupulous cameraman.
A sleazy businessman.
An aspiring actress.
A womanizing best friend.
A scheming ex-girlfriend.
A commitment-phobic roommate.
An unlucky-in-love buddy.

These lives intersect when an average guy is awed by a gorgeous mystery woman on a New York subway and vows to meet her.

My thoughts: So I have really enjoyed two books by this author, but the third one was only okay. She still reached out to me about reading this one and I tried. But it was really hard to like one of the main characters right off the bat. And I’m sure that meant that character would have some growing to do as part of the story, but I just couldn’t seem to like her. I gave it about 15% before just realizing I couldn’t go on.

The Yes Factor by Erin Spencer and Emma Sable:

Liv just wants her best friend Bex to find love. 
Bex just wants to stay in bed with Outlander.

With 40 right around the corner, divorced single mom Bex is too busy being a chauffeur for her teenage daughter to bother swiping for dates. Her best friend Liv, who is married to the supposedly perfect man, swoops in from London on a mission to get Bex out of her own bed and in to someone else’s. Liv pushes Bex into a week-long whirlwind of dates, awkward kisses and missed connections.

What could possibly go wrong when Bex agrees to Liv’s harebrained scheme of saying Yes to every possible suitor? And why is Liv so intent on fixing Bex’s love life, or lack thereof? Just what do you find out when all of your no’s turn into The Yes Factor

My thoughts: Now there were definitely some good parts in this. But, I had a lot of trouble connecting to either of the main characters in some other ways. First, as a single forever 47 year old, both of them had been or were married. One was divorced with a kid, and she was the most like me in her dating escapades. Actually chickening out when it came time to actually meet up with the person she’d been talking to on the dating apps. And the other one was married, but unhappy, and I didn’t blame her for sure. But still, I didn’t like the way she acted about it either. I really tried, almost got halfway through, but just knew I wasn’t connecting enough to finish it. I was thankful I was allowed to try this one for a blog tour, just sorry I didn’t enjoy it enough to finish and review.

Prelude For Lost Souls by Helene Dunbar:

For readers of Nova Ren Suma, Maggie Steifvater, and Maureen Johnson comes a spellbinding tale about choosing your own path, the families we create for ourselves, and facing the ghosts of your past.

In the town of St. Hilaire, most make their living by talking to the dead. In the summer, the town gates open to tourists seeking answers while all activity is controlled by The Guild, a sinister ruling body that sees everything.

Dec Hampton has lived there his entire life, but ever since his parents died, he’s been done with it. He knows he has to leave before anyone has a chance to stop him.

His best friend Russ won’t be surprised when Dec leaves—but he will be heartbroken. Russ is a good medium, maybe even a great one. He’s made sacrifices for his gift and will do whatever he can to gain entry to The Guild, even embracing dark forces and contacting the most elusive ghost in town.

But when the train of Annie Krylova, the piano prodigy whose music has been Dec’s main source of solace, breaks down outside of town, it sets off an unexpected chain of events. And in St. Hilaire, there are no such things as coincidences.

My thoughts: I was lucky enough to get this from Sourcebooks Fire. Unfortunately while I tried to get into it, I had a lot of trouble really feeling much for the characters. I did what I shouldn’t have, and went and checked the other reviews on Goodreads, and found a lot of people felt the same way I did. So then I just went ahead and gave it up after 70 pages. It was almost 400 pages long, so I didn’t think I could struggle through that long.

Final Thoughts:

I guess my plans to do every other month have now maybe gone back to once a month? I used to feel guilty for DNFing, but I’ve realized if I don’t enjoy a book, it’s okay to move on. It doesn’t mean the book is bad, or that I’m a bad reader, it just means it’s not for me. And that all fits perfectly with my favorite poem/quote by Robert Louis Stevenson:

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

And while you’re here, if you have time, stop by my July Wrap-Up Post and enter my giveaway for either a book from my giveaway stack if you’re in the US, or a book from The Book Depository for my international followers.

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4 responses to “The DNF Report #4 – July 2020

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’ve just got so many books that I bought and still need to read, or so many ARCs that I didn’t get to because I didn’t schedule my time better when I first started blogging, so I have to just realize it’s not worth forcing myself to read something I don’t enjoy. It was hard to do. And I still have some books sitting on Goodreads saying I’m reading them right now, but I don’t know when/if I’ll ever go back to them!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I only feel bad these days if I did sign up to review for a tour or something. Life’s just too short and crazy to read things that I’m not enjoying! And I make myself feel better by reminding myself that just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean someone else won’t! Thanks for stopping by!

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