The DNF Report #28 – March 2024

Posted March 29, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review, The DNF Report / 14 Comments

So at the beginning of this month I had a thought and decided that 2024 is the year of no more! No more fighting my way through books that I am not enjoying. So be prepared for possibly longer posts coming up each month! And to start with, I had two e-galleys that I started at the end of this past month and into this month, but I couldn’t seem to get into either. So I picked up the next book on my blog schedule and was able to get right into them. No desire to pick either of those others back up, so to me, that means I am DNFing them and moving on. There are also a few others that I am on the fence about, so those may show up in a future month’s post.

Once Persuaded, Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards

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

The DNF Report #28 – March 2024Once Persuaded, Twice Shy by Melodie Edwards
Published by Berkley on February 27, 2024
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Retelling
Pages: 352
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: DNF

This modern reimagining of Persuasion is full of witty banter, romantic angst, and compelling characters as it captures the heart of the classic Jane Austen novel.
When Anne Elliott broke up with Ben Wentworth, it seemed like the right thing to do . . . but now, eight years later, she’s not so sure.
In her scenic hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Anne is comfortable focusing on her successful filling her late mother’s shoes as town councilor and executive director of her theater company. She certainly keeps busy as the all-around wrangler of eccentric locals, self-centered family members, elaborate festivals, and the occasional attacking goose. But the more she tries to convince herself that her life is fine as is, the more it all feels like a show—and not nearly as good as the ones put on by her theater company. She’s the always responsible Anne, always taken for granted and cleaning up after other people, and the memories of happier times with Ben Wentworth still haunt her.
So when the nearby Kellynch Winery is bought by Ben’s aunt and uncle, Anne’s world is set ablaze as her old flame crashes back into her life—and it’s clear he hasn’t forgiven her for breaking his heart. A joint project between the winery and Anne’s theater forces both Ben and Anne to confront their complicated history, and as they spend more time together, Anne can’t help but wonder if there might be hope for their future after all.

My thoughts:

This is another book that the publisher sent me a link to the e-galley on Netgalley. I’m so grateful that someone at Berkley is reaching out to me, because I love so many of their books! Unfortunately this one just wasn’t for me. To be fair, I’ve never read the book that it is a retelling of, but usually that doesn’t matter. A retelling usually makes me want to go back and read it. This one just didn’t have characters that I was immediately drawn to. I think maybe it was in 3rd person too? Can’t remember for sure, that shows you how much it just didn’t stick with me. To be fair I only got 8% in though. I know others who read this really liked it, so don’t skip it based on my thoughts if it sounds good to you!

The Breakup Vacation by Anna Gracia

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

The DNF Report #28 – March 2024The Breakup Vacation by Anna Gracia
Published by MTV Books on March 5, 2024
Genres: NA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: DNF

The summer before senior year of college has arrived, and Grace has been anticipating an important trip to Los Angeles with her boyfriend, Josh. But when he unexpectedly dumps her, she’s left with nothing but a broken heart and an empty schedule.
Her best friends Tiff and Camille quickly come to her rescue by taking her on a post-break-up beach vacation in Cancun, hoping it will help her start to move on. Too bad neither of them knows that Josh will be there, too, along with his possibly-new girlfriend.
Grace is determined to win Josh back at all costs. But when she keeps crossing paths with Daniel, a gorgeous soccer player from Hawaii, she starts to rethink her plan. Daniel is everything Josh isn’t—easygoing, unpretentious, unselfish in bed—and he gets what it’s like to be biracial, too. Grace can’t help but wonder if it’s possible for your entire life to change in just one wild week in this boisterous and witty celebration of friendship, forgiveness, and falling in love.

My thoughts:

I tried, but the main character is kind of a little unlikable and the fact that she is still so blind to what is right in front of her eyes. That she’s okay if he wants to get physical with her but doesn’t like her past that anymore, it just didn’t really work for me. I also think this is one that might have been better in first person. Once again I didn’t get far, only 5%. But I went and read other reviews and saw that other people felt the same as me. So again, I moved on.

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14 responses to “The DNF Report #28 – March 2024

  1. I still struggle to DNF books at times, but usually feel so much better when I do. I can see why you DNF’d these ones. And like with the second book you DNF’d so early, I often do that too to see if reviewers who read it all mention the same issues I have at the start to see whether there’s a chance it gets better or not. I don’t often read retellings and if I haven’t read the source material I often feel like I am missing something. That is nice someone at Berkley is sending you those Netgalley invites!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Sometimes I try to keep going because I feel guilty, but I always like you said feel better when I just move on and get into a book I like. I hate to look at reviews early for advanced books, but in situations like this when I’m struggling, I will go ahead and do it.

  2. I was one who liked your first one and maybe it was because I love the source book already. 🙂 Sorry it wasn’t for you, but I do agree with your decision to DNF what doesn’t grab you. I do that more than I ever did and I get to read lots more books that do appeal to me.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I know some of the people I follow and often agree with liked it, but it wasn’t for me this time. 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      I am working on not requesting or signing up for anything I’m not sure about. But I’m also working to get through freebie ebooks I downloaded, and those may be more likely to be DNFed. I just have to get in and try them!

  3. Suzie B

    I still REALLY struggle with not finishing a book. I never really know how long to give a book before giving up on it – the first chapter? Two chapters? I have had books that were slow to start and ended up being amazing, which I feel makes me hesitate on others to give up too fast.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I have had that too. But if it is a new to me author, or one I didn’t necessarily request, but a publisher sent me anyway, I don’t always want to waste my time when I know there are others I’m waiting on to read still. But I get it!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I just don’t have time to read what I’m not enjoying when I have a whole bookcase full of books I’ve already got and then all the new ones I want to read coming out, lol.

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