I don't like to rant. I think it's pretty unbecoming. But there's something that bothers me that I just have to say:
I don't think it's fair to "rate" or "review" books that you don't finish.
There. I said it. Now let me explain.
I detest Hemingway. I think his prose is wooden, I think his characterizations are cheap and ineffective, and I think he's a horrifying misogynist. I once told a college professor that if an infinite monkeys writing for all eternity on an equally infinite number of typewriters would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare then it should only take ten monkeys ten minutes with sticks in the sand to produce the works of Hemingway. Needless to say, I feel pretty strongly. I also feel as if I've earned the right to bash the guy's writing because I've read pretty much every story he's written. I felt that in order to justify my strong dislike, I needed to be sure there wasn't some nugget of awesomeness buried within his writing. Sadly, I didn't find what I was looking for, only what I expected I'd find.
I think public discourse is beneficial. I think people have every right to dislike anything they want and to bash the crap out of if it that's what gets them off. But I think you have to earn that right by at least finishing the stinking novel.
Two examples: It took me nearly twice as long to finish the first 200 pages of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay as it did to finish the rest of the book. It was tough to get into. It was also one of my top ten favorite books ever. If I'd given up before I got through those two hundred pages, I would have missed out. If I'd gone on to shout about how horrible it was or to rate it poorly on Amazon or Goodreads or one of those other sites, I'd have been doing the book and myself a serious disservice. Another book is Jellicoe Road. This is another book that I'd have on my top ten best books, but I was so confused throughout the first hundred pages that I thought about giving up. Turns out that "flaw" actually became the book's greatest strength: Marchetta's ability to weave a million disparate threads into a brilliant tapestry.
So I guess my point is that I don't care if you hate a book. My book, someone else's book, all books. All I care is that before you run out and tell everyone how much you hate it, have the decency to finish it so that your opinion is informed and thoughtful.
And if you do choose not to finish a book for whatever reason, and you have a burning desire to "review" it, then maybe just say why you didn't finish. If you picked up a book full of profanity and you hate profanity, I'm okay with saying that. Or if you thought the beginning was slow and you wanted a fast paced novel. I've quit plenty of books, not because they sucked, but because they turned out to be something other than what I was looking for at the moment.
Okay, rant over.