Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Does the Bookworm Say? ~ Negative Reviews

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!


  1. +JMJ+

    A few years ago, I read a great tip on writing reviews that I've been following ever since. The tip was that every review must answer three questions:

    a) What is the books about?
    b) What is your opinion of it?
    c) What is the writer's main idea?

    Ever since I started following this structure for my reviews, they have been less easy to classify as "positive" or "negative." I think every book has a bigger message than just the story the author wanted to tell, and this message is something we can't simply like or dislike, but must have a deep engagement with.

  2. I think bloggers should definitely be free to share their opinions positive or negative about a book they read. If it happens to be a negative opinion, I feel like the blogger should be able to present his/her reasons for disliking the book in a fair, logical and unhurtful way. Review the book with constructive criticism, don't be mean or cruel. It takes a lot of talent to write a book. Then, after writing one, again it takes courage to put it out there for people to read and make comment on. Negative review are fine to write, lets just not forget that a human being lies behind the book.

  3. I agree. I like to share my honest thoughts. It is definitely hard when the author is awesome but I don't love their books but you still gotta tell it like it is. And I there are a few authors whose books I've avoided because of bad behavior because 1) it's just uncool and 2) if you don't like their book are they going to attach you? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and when you put stuff out into the world, you have to realize that not everyone is going to like it.

  4. Like you i will write my review without caring if its going to get bashed. Luckily I havent too much because I enjoy most of what I read. I don't post dnf post but I put my thoughts of those up on goodreads. I did once hear some smack talk about me because of a 2 star ya review I wrote and I wasnt even rude. Ultimately you cant please everyone with your reviews. As long as I am reviewing the book and not saying anything about the author, and it isnt anything I wouldnt say to them personally then I think I am fine. Some people tho just get rude and out of hand.


I always appreciate comments and cherish every one of them. THIS IS AN AWARD-FREE ZONE. I don't have the time to fulfill the requirements for the awards, but thank you so much for thinking of me. I just ask for no vulgarity, and if you have any issues with my reviews or writing style, please e-mail me instead of commenting. Now, vent to your heart's content!

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According to FTC guidelines, I'm obligated to share with you that all of the books that I review on my blog are either purchased by me or given to me by an author/publisher. All of the opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and I do not receive any sort of monetary goods for writing either good or bad reviews.