Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Do you write reviews on ‘meh’ books?

January 31st, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

So I’ve been seeing quite a few people talking about whether or not they post negative reviews on their blogs but a Twitter conversation had me wondering about posting ‘meh’ reviews.  One blogger said she doesn’t bother posting them because she can’t really think of what to write and another says she does because she reviews all the books she reads.

I fall into the camp of reviewing pretty much every book I read so I do often find myself reviewing books that I would pretty much say ‘meh’ about.  They weren’t horrible, I enjoyed reading them but they were nothing to write home about.  I do find it much harder to write the review for these books though.  At least for books I love I can gush about what I liked and for negative reviews I can point out what did not work for me.  For these middle of the road books it’s often hard to point out what did not grab me about the book and I tend to come off sounding overly positive about it.

I debated about not bothering with reviews of books that don’t excite me one way or another because I often find it hard to figure out what to say.  Then I thought I find it useful when my favorite bloggers post their ‘meh’ reviews.  Often I will have those books on my shelves or wish list and if I know they read it and didn’t think it was all that great I don’t have to move it up in my TBR pile or rush out to buy it.  (And to those that wonder if blogs sell books? Yes they do!  The opinions of other bloggers do sway my buying habits).  If they don’t review it then I never know if they haven’t read it or if they just weren’t all too excited over it.

So what do you think?  Do you post reviews about books that you thought were just ok?  Do you find them harder to write reviews for?  Do you like reading reviews about so-so books on other blogs?

Posted in Books

22 Responses

  1. Sabrina @ about happy books

    I only review the books I enjoyed so all my reviews are positive. However I have a “books read” section on my blog where I list all the books I read and I always add a few words about if I enjoyed a book or if I had issues with it.

  2. Danya

    Good question! I do find it way more difficult to talk about the middle-of-the-road books than either books I loved or books that really didn’t work for me. I don’t review every book I read, so often it’s the “meh” books that end up getting pushed aside for books that I have more to say about. Still, I do appreciate knowing which books have been getting only so-so ratings from other bloggers, so I’d like to figure out a way to review my ‘meh’ books without my review sounding really flat and uninspired. Any suggestions? :)

  3. dsuzuki

    LOL. I wish I had suggestions. I really struggle with these reviews.

  4. Ems

    I do write ‘meh’ reviews, just because I try and review as many books as I can. And what strikes me as ‘meh’ might be someone else’s Holy Grail of books.

  5. Pam

    I have never written reviews of ‘meh’ books. I don’t have enough to say. I could fabricate enough but then it may seem that I am endorsing a book that I didn’t feel very strongly about. So I just don’t do it.

  6. Lisa Langdale

    I think it’s nice to post “meh” reviews. Everyone is intrigued by different books. I think that by explaining why you thought it was “meh”, it will help your blog readers know if it’s something they might be interested it. For instance, from time to time I like to read books that don’t have a lot of angst and are just fun/light reads. Many readers might find these types of books “meh”, but if I’m looking for that kind of book, then GREAT, I’ve just found it on a blog. On the flip side, if someone is thinking of reading that book, they can see why you thought it was just so-so and that might save them time by skipping a book they probably wouldn’t enjoy.

  7. dsuzuki

    That is true. I think I will continue to try and review the majority of the books I read even if they were just so-so.

  8. J.C. Montgomery

    I used to review over 95% of the books I read, but I resolved this year to review whatever I wanted. Regardless of how well I liked or disliked it.

    Even with a “meh” book, I can at least provide enough information to say why it was meh. A paragraph here or there isn’t too much of an effort and helps me maintain my goal of always being as transparent and honest as I can on my blog.

    I understand those who don’t because when it all comes down to it: your blog, your rules.

    So a few of them never post anything negative. That’s cool because there are that do. I follow enough blogs on my reader to see a great diversity of opinions and appreciate their honesty. I wouldn’t follow them if I thought they weren’t.

  9. dsuzuki

    So one thing I did at the end of last year was write mini reviews of books I just didn’t have much to say about. I may have to utilize that more often.

  10. Mariah

    I review them but I agree that they are much harder to write!

  11. Grace

    I don’t think the ‘meh’ reviews are any more difficult than reviews for the books I loved or hated. They probably aren’t as long or as detailed, but there is useful content in them for potential readers. I like reading other readers’ reviews on the ‘meh’ books because it’s a way to see what makes them tick as readers.

  12. Tea and Tomes

    I try to post reviews of all the books that I read. If they’re good, I want to say so, if they’re bad, I want to say why, and if they’re just so-so, I like to try to look at the pros and cons of the book. Maybe the characterization was good but the plot had bad pacing. Maybe it was so much like 101 other books of the genre that it just didn’t stand out. There’s always a reason behind it, even if it’s a lukewarm reaction, and if I’m doing book reviews, I kind of feel like it’s worth mentioning why certain books didn’t impress me much.

  13. dsuzuki

    I think one concern is I come across as very wishy washy. Like if the characters don’t grab me but they weren’t horrible I sometimes can’t put my finger on why so I wonder if saying so is even useful.

  14. Ladybug

    I do post reviews of meh-books :) I also find it difficult but I feel that my readers would want to know my honest opinion on a book just as I do when it comes to the bloggers I follow.

    I also tendt to put off buying books if some of my fav bloggers doesn’t like a book all that much. It definitly affects my book buying habits.

  15. carol

    You can always tell the ‘Meh’ reviews on our site because they are the short ones. I don’t have time to read enough books that I can forget the ‘meh’ ones, so in they go.

  16. Anna

    I review everything, including “meh” books and books I didn’t finish, though I guess you can’t really call that latter reviews, just reasons why I didn’t finish the book. I think posts like that are useful, especially to me, as I get all of my book recommendations these days from bloggers.

  17. Pam S (pams00)

    Great post!

    Yes I do find it harder to write/post reviews for books that I thought were just so-so, and don’t want to post reviews for ones I didn’t care for so much. I realize the book in question is someone’s baby and that they probably worked very hard to get it completed and pubbed. I always try to find positives to comment on when writing a review.

  18. dsuzuki

    Carol-lol. Yes my meh reviews tend to be pretty short as well.
    Anna-I’ve only had a few DNFs but I do usually try to write something about them too.
    Pam-I know what you mean about it being someone’s baby. I try to find the positives too which is why I think I sometimes come across as more enthusiastic about the book than I really was.

  19. Michelle

    It’s harder for me to do so and it takes longer but I write a review of everything regardless of the lengths to which I liked or didn’t like it. I think a “meh” book is actually one of the easiest to get people to pick up mainly because it will likely appeal to a wider audience.

  20. Vasilly

    If a book is just “meh” to me, I usually don’t finish it let alone review it. I judge those kinds of books as being not worth my time to write about.

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