DNF&Y is a feature hosted by Lindsi at Do You Dog-ear? According to Lindsi, "DNF&Y is used to explain why I gave up on certain books, and what about them just didn't work for me. What I disliked about a book might be something you love, so it helps to share your thoughts even when they're negative!" Since I tend to DNF quite a bit, I thought it would be fun to participate!
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau (2019)
I saw this one on my Goodreads "Want to Read" list and my library happened to have an audiobook copy of it, so I decided to try it. In a vaguely dystopian near future, Meri tries to figure out the meaning behind her deceased mother's artwork and begins to realize that the government may be hiding some serious things from its citizens. I ended up DNFing this around 33%. The writing wasn't great - very repetitive (it felt like the characters were saying "mother" or "artwork" in every other sentence) - and the world-building seemed fuzzy and non-descript. Maybe 5-10 years ago a dystopian like this could have worked, but these days, the genre has come so far that a story needs to be more defined and have more of a hook. It's not enough that people don't use paper anymore or certain words have "disappeared" from usage. It also seemed pretty obvious where the story was going, and I wasn't totally interested.
Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay (2019)
I've never actually read the original Alice in Wonderland books, but I've seen movies and have a general idea of the story. I think Wonderland is just not my thing - whimsy that's confusing for the sake of being confusing. I ended up DNFing this one around page 63. In this retelling, Alice finds herself back in Wonderland after a stint in an asylum and now she's being tasked with killing the Queen of Hearts. I felt like the author was just trying too hard, and I think you need to be careful when you're doing a retelling that is still set in the same world as the original. It can feel too similar, like too much is being borrowed. I would have preferred the author come up with an original idea that incorporated elements of the classic story.