Rant: Where Have All The Reviews Gone??

Monster's Inc Boo Hiding Gif

I was just about to participate in another meme when I noticed that I seem to be doing all the memes lately… I’m still debating doing it though as I think they’re a great way to inspire discussion among book bloggers and generate great ideas for my to-read pile, which despite my best efforts is still growing at a fairly alarming rate!

I’ve been a bit slow on the review front lately – basically, I started reading a book for review from NetGalley and it was taking me forever to get into it. I kept picking it up and putting it down again, skirting around it and eventually just avoiding it because it wasn’t doing anything for me but I felt like I had to finish it before I could move on to something else. I only managed to get halfway through it (in a week!) before I just hid from it.

Coincidentally, I’ve been reading some great blogs lately and came across quite a few posts about blogger-guilt surrounding books requested from publishers, or sent by publishers, for review and how some of you guys handle it when it ends up being a “please do not resuscitate, I just can’t finish this” book.

did not finish gif

I’m still pretty new at the whole blogging thing, and until recently I hadn’t experienced this. Sure, I’ve received or requested some books for review that weren’t what I was expecting, and I was a little disappointed by them, but I still managed to finish them and write an honest review. In this case though, I was really struggling.

After my Stacking the Shelves post, I realised how many great books I’ve picked up lately that I’m super excited about reading, and how many books are just waiting on some lonely shelf in a bookstore for me to take them home, and I came to the conclusion that I just don’t have the time to dedicate a week, or even two, to trying to finish a book that is destroying my happy-place. Initially I did feel pretty bad for two main reasons:

  1. requested this book, it wasn’t just randomly sent to me.
  2. I have a bookish OCD when it comes to finishing books, I can’t just leave the story hanging in mid-air and not know what happens!

(Which also happens to be why I dislike cliff-hangers in books and movies. I don’t mean cliff-hangers at the end of books in the middle of a series, I mean great big whopping, “I guess we’ll never know”, or “it leaves it open to the individual’s own interpretation” cliff-hangers that happen right at the very end. Admit it, it’s a cop-out).

My conclusion? I decided for my own sanity I had to just put the book down. I’ve provided my feedback to the publisher already, and I’d like to finish the book slowly, in my own time, and provide a review on here of what I thought and why I struggled with it. And, if for some reason I really, really don’t like it and don’t finish it, I’ve made the brave decision that I’m still going to do a Did Not Finish post. In the meantime, I’ve moved on to my eagerly anticipated reread of Noughts and Crosses (yay!), and I’m pleased to say we’re having a really great time!

Have you struggled with finishing review books before? What do you do about books you haven’t finished? Do you ignore them or write about them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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About Rachel

Avid reader & book blogger. Lover of Business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

17 Responses

  1. anitadesignstudio

    As you know, I’m not an official ‘book reviewer’ but I do and can get excited about a good book (read 50 Shades Trilogy in a week: FACT). And I don’t mind entering into discussion about a good storyline, or lack thereof. But I don’t need to wear a ‘book reviewer’ hat to contribute to this discussion. I’m extremely judgemental of the first few chapters of a book. If it isn’t ringing my bell it’s discarded in a ruthless, cold, ice-queen on speed, swinging-brick-for-a-heart, get-out-of-my-life kinda way. Try it, it’s liberating 🙂

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  2. I think all you can offer is your honest opinion so long as you’re objective and critical with what you say, I’m sure you’re just overthinking it. But who am I to say? I just finished my first ARC review with glowing hate (for the most part anyways). Aha.

    In either reading situation, I’d still say you should take things on your own pace and not be caught up by the need to have to post something for the sake of posting something. But then again, you shouldn’t listen to me because I’m the master at procrastinating and foregoing strenuous posting work…so scratch everything I’ve said.

    Annnnd discussions. I love discussions. I’m still trying to figure out this post that I want to delve into but still need to figure out the topic kinks that I want to engage. zzzz.

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  3. YES! LIBERATION! Seriously, giving up on a book that feels like homework can be difficult decision, but a delightfully liberating one! I’m in a reading slump right now, so I can definitely feel you on not wanting to read a book you’ve started. Sometimes I buy myself a coffee and set a timer for 3 hours and force myself to finish, which may sound extreme, but it works. Sometimes I read anything I want to…any book at all…and then come back to the book I’m struggling to finish. Most of the time, though, I do just like you did and submit the feedback and move on (though not always with hopes of returning). Breaking up with books is liberating!

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  4. Yes, I struggle with finishing review books. I’ve DNFed two books (or three, I can’t remember) since starting this book blogging adventure. One was a book I asked for, and the other was one sent to me for review. I still post a review of what I’ve read and why I couldn’t finish the book. It is honest and perhaps it can save someone else the time who might feel the same as I did. My struggle in the beginning was accepting every book that was ever sent to me, no matter the genre or writing because I had just started and didn’t have much to work with. Some of those were struggles to finish, but I have really worked on saying “no”. However, I still find myself struggling with books I request to review (a few for tours, no less!) and severely struggled to get through. I have come to notice that with a majority of books published this year that they do not get the plot and action rolling until the last 1/3 or 1/4 of the book, and that beginning portion is a continuous span that does nothing but nurture us to DNF.

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  5. Although I did state in my post that I’ve gotten better at putting books down that I can’t get into, I do find it harder to put down the NetGalley ones. I haven’t come across one I hated, but there have been a couple that under different circumstances (like a library book), I would have put down.

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