Discussion Post: Would I Lie To You or Have You Ever Reviewed a Book You Didn’t Actually Finish?

Posted June 15, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in discussion post / 19 Comments

And it’s been over a year now since my last Discussion post. Once again though, something happened that I wanted to see if I was the only one. Even thought I’m not part of a challenge, I’m going to link up over on Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

So the title of this might be a bit misleading. I’m not saying I lie about how I feel in my reviews or about the books. BUT, there are occasionally, rarely, but occasionally times when I run out of time to finish a book before I have to post the review for a blog tour and I go ahead and review it even not having finished the book. There, I said it, it’s out there.

To be honest in this post with a title about lying, I almost always go back and finish the book, and my review/rating is never any different than it was when I reviewed a bit early. If I don’t think I’m going to finish a book these days for sure, it is usually because I’m not enjoying it at all. In that case I will reach out to the publisher or maybe the blog tour organizer and ask to just do a promo post instead.

So, I guess what I’m wanting to get some answers on is if anyone else has ever posted a review before they completely finished a book? If not, does it make me a terrible person for having done that? I’ve done it twice this year. Both times I just couldn’t get the reading finished before I went to bed and the post had to be up by 8 am the next morning. So I wrote the review, and then finished the last usually 20% or less of the book the next day.

I feel really guilty when I do this, because I don’t feel like people should rate a book if they didn’t read it. So is that what I’m doing? Do you guys all think less of me now? Not want to read my reviews?


And because the song has been stuck in my head since I started thinking about this post, I’ll share the video below.

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19 responses to “Discussion Post: Would I Lie To You or Have You Ever Reviewed a Book You Didn’t Actually Finish?

  1. So I don’t think I *have* done it, but I wouldn’t say I never would, either? I feel like, with very few exceptions, your rating will stay at least close- plus, we try hard to NOT talk about the end in reviews anyway most of the time, right? And it is still your honest feelings about what you HAVE read- it isn’t like you just made up lies about the ending or something heh. I think you’re fine! Though you could always note somewhere that you still have a tiny bit left, if it would assuage your guilt!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Reviews in a Minute: June-ish
    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, usually I am almost to the end by the time I have done the review, and the end usually doesn’t change my point of view or rating that much.

    • Lisa Mandina

      These are not books I am DNFing. They are books I haven’t yet finished before I have to post a review. I do post DNF posts sometimes when I do that to say why I didn’t like or finish a book. But these are books I am going to finish, just can’t fit it to the last 8 hours before my review has to be posted for a tour since I need sleep before work the next day. That’s the only time I do it. And with DNF books, I never rate them, I don’t think it’s fair since I didn’t finish. By the last 10% of a book, which is usually around what I have left the few times I’ve done this, I know approximately what my rating will be.

  2. I haven’t come across this problem yet! I can see how you would be able to review something for a blog tour if you ran out of time, and I might do the same. If I haven’t had a chance to finish something before the pub date, I usually just hold off the review. There’s only so much time in the day and it is what it is! I think if you are almost finished reading a book, it is probably fairly reasonable to review it, as you probably enjoyed it enough. 😉

    The Candid Cover recently posted: Review: West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras
    • Lisa Mandina

      It only happens because I overbook myself! I keep trying to do better, but am not doing as good as I should! I only do it for blog tours that I have to have a post up by a certain time in the day. If it is one I can post any time on the day I’m scheduled for a tour, then I wait until I’m done. Or if it is just one I’m reading for review without a scheduled tour date, I wait till I’m done to review. And yeah, if I’m going to finish the book, I feel like I can go ahead and review it because I’ve liked it enough to finish it! 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      These aren’t books I’ve given up on, I still finish them. If I quit a book completely, then I won’t do a review, might switch to a promo post for the blog tour, which I have done when I don’t like it. These are only books that I got behind in my reading schedule and can’t get the last 10% or so finished on before I have to have a review posted first thing in the morning. If the review can wait till whatever time during the day, I won’t post till I’ve finished the book. But yeah, I am trying to cut back on blog tours like that unless it is a book I really really want to be a part of the tour, and in that case, this isn’t usually a problem.

  3. Ann

    Sometimes I will review a book as I read it. Usually books I do that for are slow reads or their deep in their them that I has to take notes. If I DNF a book I will review the book and explain why I DNF it.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I kind of do little comments when I do status updates on Goodreads as I read a book, and that is what turns in to my final review. And these are books that I do finish, if I end up DNFing a book, then I won’t do a regular review, especially as part of a blog tour. I’ll switch to a promo in this case and let the tour group know. Thanks for sharing what you do!

  4. Oh, I’ve done this at least once (maybe twice?). I was 90% through with a book and just wrote my review figuring I could always update it if something earth-shattering happened in that last 10% that totally changed my mind (and then I finished the book first thing that morning). By the time I’m that far in, I’ve generally already formed my real opinions, and that book (or two?) was no exception. I didn’t have to do any adjusting. So, obviously I don’t judge you. LOL!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: Sunday Non-Post: COVID Strikes – 6/19/22
    • Lisa Mandina

      That’s exactly it. I’m far enough in that I know what I’ll probably rate it. The only thing is if something happened in the ending that totally ruined it or made it even better. And usually by that far in the book I can get a feeling for how the author is going. I’m rarely surprised! Glad to know someone else occasionally does this as well!

    • Lisa Mandina

      yeah, if I don’t finish a book, then I don’t review it. These are only the books I know I’m going to finish but have to post a review before I can. 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, most of my review is written before I finish, basically. But these are books that I do finish. IF I know I’m not going to finish, then I won’t post a review as part of a tour. And the only time I do this is if I have to have a blog tour review up by a certain time.

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