Do you post reviews of books you hated?

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I am reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. I’m about three fourths of the way through. I’m reading it for my book group. It was not my pick. It would have never been my pick. The topic and the writing style are totally… not… me. When I imagine reviewing it or (oy!) discussing it at book group, the only adjectives that come to mind are “cheesy,” “preachy,” “sentimental,” and so forth. My Inner Cynic is having a field day with this.

But I sorta feel like that’s not fair to the book. It can’t help it if it’s a preachy life lessons type of book. It might be the best preachy life lessons book in the universe. It’s not its fault that I’m predisposed to hate it.

Do you review books you hated? Why or why not?

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10 thoughts on “Do you post reviews of books you hated?

  1. I normally don’t. I don’t see the value in ripping someone’s work unless they’ve done something so egregious I feel compelled to make sure others know. That doesn’t happen often, though.

      • Last year my wife had the opportunity to be one of the judges for a romance author’s award, and asked me to read one of the books submitted which didn’t like to make sure she was being objective. Heart Journey by Robin Owens was stunningly bad, and I ultimately thought she was being very kind. It had inconsistent characters, unnecessarily complicated plotting, and almost no internal logic.

  2. I’m still struggling with whether or not I want to review books I hated. The thing is, I still appreciate the response a book provokes in me whether it is positive or negative so there is worth in that. When I started my blog I did promise to review every book I read, including the bad. Usually though, the bad I put down and can’t finish.

    • Ok…. this has helped me tremendously. New policy statement: Sometimes, when you don’t like a book, it’s the book’s fault for being bad. Other times, it’s your fault for not being receptive to it (for whatever reason). In the former case, write the review. In the latter case, don’t.

      • I still write the review if I’m not receptive to a book, but the important thing is to say why I, personally, can’t get into it. For example, I loved Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel but couldn’t finish Bringing Up the Bodies. It moves too slowly for me, as opposed to all of the action that takes place in WH. I think this is because BUB covers a shorter span of time than WH.

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