The question this week specifically is: Do you write negative reviews and why or why not?
First thoughts: I have no problem whatsoever in writing negative. Seriously.
The reason I started this blog was to share my HONEST opinion on the books I was reading. I don't care if the author sent it to me themselves or if I bought it in a bookstore; I'm going to give it the same review. I might mention in the review that the author is really sweet, but I will never give a book a better review just because I know the author. It's a little difficult when everyone seems to love the book (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a great example) because I feel like the black sheep. But if I mentioned the things that bothered me, maybe other people can relate because they experiences the same thing. Or maybe I've prepared other readers for the bad parts and the book seems a bit better to them in comparison because they were ready for it. I don't know, but either way, I'm not afraid to write a negative review, whether I bought it or received it from a publisher/author for review. That's the whole point of the blog!
I think the other side of this coin is writing reviews for DNF's (did not finish). Those are a bit of a different situation; I didn't finish the book and therefore I can't give a full review. But the same principle applies. I'm going to tell you why I didn't finish it so that, if you have the same problems with other books and try to avoid them, I may have saved you the time of reading a crappy book.
There was a... debacle a couple years back with a female YA author who shall remain nameless (but I'm sure some of you heard about the situation) and her publicist who were bashing reviewers on their reviews on Goodreads and on Twitter for writing bad reviews for her book. It was ridiculous and I was appalled. Her book continues to sit on my shelf because I'm waiting for a time when my brain can truly separate the art from the author. Things like that get in the way of a critique on the work itself, and not how the author behaves.
All in all, I don't have a problem writing a bad review. I don't like writing them because I obviously wish that all the books I read could be guaranteed 4-5 stars. But it just doesn't work like that. Books reach people on different levels; I may love a book that someone hates and vice-versa. That doesn't mean it's a bad book. I try not to pick at every bad thing. In fact, I often say what I liked about it. Okay, I'll rant about the bad stuff, but I do mention the good stuff AND how it could have been better. I wish I didn't have to write bad reviews, but I'm not going to not review a book just because I'm worried about how people will react to the negative review. I'm just telling it like it is people!