Dilemma of the ‘Did Not Finish’ | Book Blogger Problems!

So lately I’ve not been having the best luck with books.  Over the last few weeks I have picked up two books that I’ve not been able to get into, which poses somewhat of a problem for me. The first book was an ARC, requested via NetGalley. I haven’t reviewed this for one simple reason – I haven’t finished it.

The plot sounded brilliant, right up my street – a museum setting, a powerful female protagonist, a mystery to be solved. On trying to read the book, however, I just couldn’t get into it. The writing was difficult to engage with and the characters just turned out to be annoying. I put it down and instead picked up Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad; at 110 pages long I figured I could finish it in a few days and try again with the other book. Here I am two weeks later still struggling with it. (I must admit that I did put it down to read How to Stop Time before publication day.) It’s an important classic and shows imperialist British views wonderfully, but Christ is the protagonist boring. He drones on and on and on about nothing, with some racism thrown in for good measure, in long rambling paragraphs leading nowhere. Now I’m a lover and writer of literary realism, so long rambling paragraphs leading nowhere are kind of my thing, but must be engaging. I find myself opening the book and being unsure if I’m on the right page because it feels like I’ve read it all already.

As a reviewer, I feel like I have a duty to finish these books even though I’m not enjoying them. I can’t only post good reviews to have a well-rounded blog. As a writer, I feel as though it is insulting to accept an ARC from a writer who has clearly worked so hard on their book only to not even finish it, even if my review wouldn’t be great. As a person who unfortunately doesn’t get paid to read books all day (the dream!), though, I don’t feel like have enough time to put energy into books I’m not getting on with. So the question is:

Do I stay or do I go now?

What do you think – do I have a duty as a reviewer to stick it out and finish these books, or should I just move on to the next one on the pile? Help!

See you soon,


Last Post: Review (not) Wednesday | ARC Review – How to Stop Time

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4 thoughts on “Dilemma of the ‘Did Not Finish’ | Book Blogger Problems!”

  1. I wouldn’t finish a book if I didn’t like it b/c there are so many other books I want to read & forcing myself to finish a book is not enjoyable! Also, I don’t have a lot of time to read so why would I waste it? Since you mentioned NetGalley, this link states that you are under no obligation to finish and review a book https://netgalley.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/94583-do-i-have-to-write-a-review-or-send-feedback-to-th

    Liked by 1 person

  2. [ Smiles ] For starters, do not be too hard on yourself.

    Relax! Take your time with the book!

    In my case, I would read a few chapters at a time (This is easier than trying to read an entire book in a day’s time).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s fair to make a post saying why you didn’t finish a book! If I’ve read enough, I feel okay making a blurb saying why the book didn’t work for me, with the caveat that since I didn’t finish it, I can’t speak to the entirety of the work. That way, others will know what they’re getting themselves into while also understanding that it’s not necessarily the whole experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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