A Book Review That’s Maybe Sort of Not Really a Book Review

Is there anything worse than a book review from someone who didn’t actually read the book?  If you’re creasing your brow and wondering how that could even be a thing, I’m here to tell you it is.  People do it all the time, and I don’t want to be one of them.

But what do you do when you read a book and you can’t get through it?  I mean, obviously I don’t like the book, but is it really fair to leave a review if I didn’t actually read it?

Out of my rather large stash of used books that I absolutely must read and get rid of as I try to declutter my house, I pulled Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton.  I’d heard good things about the author, and since I do plenty of supernatural stuff in my ghostwriting work I figured it would at least be good research.

I hated it right from the beginning.  I just could not get into it.  I thought maybe I was having a hard time concentrating.  Three kids, three dogs, three cats, and a job make for plenty of distractions.  But I was incredibly turned off when Hamilton began describing the man Anita is supposed to be in love with and find sexy.  Sorry, but a guy rolling around on a bed in a red net shirt and black boots while purring with a French accent is just not attractive.  To each their own, and that’s only my opinion, but no.  I couldn’t get attached to the characters, and they seemed to spend a lot more time talking about the plot than actually doing anything about it.  I was just plain bored.

I get a bit stubborn when it comes to reading books.  I’ve often felt that if I start a book, I have to finish.  Those are just The Rules.  But I also have a lot of other books I’d like to get around to reading and only so much time.  I thought about The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke, in which he emphasizes just how important the beginning of a book is when it comes to captivating your audience.  All right.  I decided I’d give it at least fifty pages and go from there.

Folks, I was dying to see that little 5-0 on the upperhand corner of the page.

Back before I did book reviews online, I read a book that I really struggled to get through.  It was boring and uncomfortable, but I was invested.  I had to follow The Rules.  When I got to the end, the two main characters decided not to change anything about their lives and just go back to how they were at the beginning.  I stared at the book for a moment when I was done, and then I quite literally chucked it across the room.

There’s no point in throwing books when I could just donate this one to the library and grab something different from the shelf.  And while I’ll mention it here, I definitely won’t be leaving a review on Amazon.  Most of the reviews for this book are good ones, so maybe it’s just me?

What do you do when you really hate a book?  I’d love to know!

* * *

Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside Detective. Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous. Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world. You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Note:  I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  I will always give you my honest opinion on something before linking to it.



Filed under Book Reviews

10 responses to “A Book Review That’s Maybe Sort of Not Really a Book Review

  1. Interesting issue you bring up! To answer your question, if I hate the book, I set it aside.

    I’ve found that I go through “phases” where I’ll love one genre more than another. Often I set the book aside, and when I pick it back up at a future time, I enjoy it.

    If it’s a little too terrible (hard to read, graphic, unpleasant) I return or donate it. I don’t usually do bad reviews. I love doing good reviews on great books, and I share it everywhere I can, too 🙂

  2. I used to go by the finish the book rule, too. I only had one book I didn’t finish. In highschool I was supposed to read Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. Classic book. To me every chapter was an I Love Lucy episode. I stopped half-way through. I felt guilty for a long time.

    Now, I’m older and don’t bother finishing if I really don’t like the book or it’s not what I thought it was.The Gray books, I forget the names, I stopped at Chapter 4.

    This gives me time to try books I might not have thought I would enjoy, but did.

    I love your books, btw. 🙂

  3. I laughed out loud when I read that you chucked a bad book across the room. I have also done that! It scared the life out of my daughter and the cat but it released my frustration. Unfortunately I still struggle through mediocre books when I shouldn’t. I mainly write good reviews about books I’ve loved although recently I penned a scathing attack on a generic, formulaic crime novel Good Girl Bad Girl. I think a review has to be honest otherwise the writer and the reader won’t expand their horizons.

  4. Louise Brady, Author

    I rarely review books I don’t like, unless I was really looking forward to it or it was over hyped and I didn’t like it. Sometimes I’ll mention books I didn’t like on my blog, but usually only in passing. Generally I only review if I really liked something 😀 I’m quick to DNF if I didn’t!

  5. I just couldn’t stop reading this post. I love your way of writing😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.