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negative reviews??

Do you post negative reviews?

When I first started blogging I made up my mind that I was going to post reviews no matter what I thought about the book even if it was negative. I since started to change my mind and have decided to post a round up of a books I haven't got on with for a variety of reasons in one single post with links to more positive reviews. I have decided to do this for a variety of reasons.

The most important reason why I don't want to post negative reviews is because I don't see the merit in ripping into someone's pride and joy for the sake of it. I am fickle in what I like - if I have to concentrate for a book I usually don't get on with it (especially after a long day at work). Authors put their heart and soul into a book who am I to tell them it is awful?

Wasting time continuing to read a book that I am not getting on with takes away from time I could use to read books I enjoy. I can't believe that some people read the first book in a series, give it one star then continue to read and rip into the rest of the series (I saw a particularly nasty one ripping into the Twilight series - seriously do these people have nothing better to do, or nothing else to read for that matter).

I find it hard to write negative reviews and not come across as unreasonable or nasty. I'm sure this isn't what my followers want to read or publishers want to release their books to.

Therefore I would like to state from here on out will be a negative review free zone. I will do my round up book break up posts but if you see an individual post on a book you will know it is of a book I have enjoyed enough to see it through to the end.

What do other bloggers do? Do you post negative reviews? Why? Why not?


I like to think of my blog as a place where people can find reccomendations from my reviews. So far, I haven't had to write a negative review because I've enjoyed nearly all the books I've read in the past few months (very lucky!) but I think I would still post my thoughts on the book and try to find something good about the book. There's a big difference between being nasty about a book you didn't enjoy or finish for some reason and thoughtfully explaining why the book wasn't for you so readers can understand why you didn't like it. It is easy to come across as being unreasonable without intending to so I understand why you're not going to be posting negative reviews.
Braiden said…
Great topic! Now, I am very honest at what I write but I never go and destroy someone's pride and being negative to a novel that they have put so much stress, time, effort and accomplishments into. Although I do write some things of what I didn't enjoy, that is only a small part of my review as a whole.

I saw a review of Raised By Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes on GoodReads and I was utterly disgraced at it when I read it. It was torturous to read because this girl was just being highly disrespectful and wrote about so much negativity that I just thought she doesn't have a heart. She even began relating it to Twilight. Why would you do that? Seriously! What was even worse is that it is one of the first reviews you come across because it has the most comments/views and everyone takes her word for it. Go check it out because you'll be disgraced too. I loved this book wholeheartedly and Jennifer is a fantastic young author with a great future ahead of her. She doesn't need this negativity. Nobody does!

Woops that was my rant. Check out my review on my blog.
Vicki said…
I'm not scared of saying if I don't like a book, and have done in the past. Although I try to make my reviews as balanced as possible and don't like just slating and being nasty. The truth is though, I'm not one of these people who will force themselves to read a book they dislike and never review books I don't finish, so it's rare I will write a review of one I just plain hated. I'd have quit it way before the end and moved on anyway.
Daisy said…
I have reviewed books I didn't like, but most of them I got sent for review, so I felt like I had to. But I really don't like writing them.
You have seen my book break-ups post where I just state the reason I didnt get on with the book and link positive reviews. I understand the merit of negative reviews but reading is SUBJECTIVE so what doesnt appeal to me someone else might adore.
Great post, thanks :D
Bookingly Yours said…
when i was younger, still in school, i always ask my parents money to buy books and i just buy books sometimes because the cover looks great or i love the color. most of the time ewww bad bad books

but now that i am older and have my own job and with family i buy books depending on the book reviews. i am not rich and i really try not to buy books without checking blogs or amazon first for the review. its really disappointing to buy books that aren't good. so i believe in posting negative reviews.

there i just posted my book review for Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. Ive not read a single negative review about it so i bought it. i was sooo disappointed that i wasted my money on that book which is hard bound btw. it really depends on the reader. if they think its awful, then they have the right to say it. reviews are posted because you want your readers to be aware of the books you liked/disliked.

im not sure what others think about my negative reviews in my blog but i believe they're okay, but lately i add a link of the positive reviews to my negative review so readers will see what others think about the book
Anonymous said…
I know it is very hard to write a review on a bad book without pulling the book and the author to pieces, but I really do think it's necessary for readers to see, even more so if it's a very popular book.

If you bought a book because you'd read 10 fabulous reviews about it and then hated it yourself, would you not be really disappointed? Maybe 100 bloggers read that book but only 10 liked it and posted their reviews. Personally I'd rather read 10 great reviews and a couple of bad ones too. It gives balance and when I do go and buy the book I know that.

This is all my own personal opinion though (so don't hate me :-), but I feel if we never post a negative review, we become more 'advertisers' instead of 'reviewers', as in advertising all the good and popular books instead of giving the reader a choice.
Leanna Elle said…
I post negative reviews, but I'm just honest and I keep things balanced. The way I see it, I can't love every book I read, and I am actually pretty hard to please when it comes to books, so if you see a glowing review from me, then I'll really have loved the book. I prefer seeing blogs that post both positive and negative reviews, actually. I've come across a lot of blogs that are just filled with five-starred reviews, and that just seems odd to me!
Leanna Elle said…
By the way, I totally agree with what The Slowest Bookworm just said about bloggers becoming advertisers instead of reviewers if they never post a negative review. This is an element I've seen on a lot of blogs, and those reviews don't bear much weight with me. On the other hand, I follow a lot of blogs where I trust the views implicitly because they post honest reviews - both positive and negative.

I totally agree about blogs who only post 5 star reviews that does get tiresome. I don;t have a problem posting 3 star (or even 2 star reviews) and picking out both the positive and the negative bits from a book I have read. What I don't like is when someone rates a book one star and just rips into it. That said if I thought a book was that bad I wouldn't bother finishing it anyway to be able to write a 1 star review. If I've got through it it deserves at least a 2.

Yes and I totally agree about the advertiser thing!!
Rebecca-Books said…
Like you, when I started blogging, I thought too, 'I'm going to write a review about even if I didn't like it', but then I wrote a review about a book I didn't finish and I thought, hang on...
Imagine if that's you and your book that you've worked so hard on and revised it so many times, you would feel terrible if someone ripped the books to shreads.
I think negative reviews do help people. I mean reviews are just what they think and as a help so people know whether they are going to be blown away.
So, now if I do a negative review, and I know others that do this too, add some positive and negative so no-one can accuse you of being too negative or too postive and just be honest.

Oh the advertiser thing. I TOTALLY agree. Those who recieve free books from publishers, something I then read it and think, hang on, this isn't as good as you made me think, could they be changing it slightly for the publisher?
I don't know. That's what I think anyway.
Yiota said…
I do write negative reviews. We have a lot of them at my blog, as we have many good too.
Sometimes i'm a bit harsh too but actually i don't feel bad about it. When i write something negative, i'm always giving an explanation. We do reviews right? And reviews are our opinions, if we don't write negative reviews it's like we don't talk.
The authors need to know that they will not hear all good things about their books.
If i was writer, i would love more to read a negative review. Cause i love to see how the other think about my work. All the blogs are full of good reviews, most of them are not either true.

When i receive a book from a publisher, and not via NetGalley,etc, then i will tell them that i have a bad review before posting it. Only because they send the book to me and i feel that's the least i can do. I will not change the review but i will give them the chance to decide if they want me to post it or so.

I do make art. And i have heard negative comments about it many times. I tried to work on the things they said and i became better.

It's not so much the negative review, as write what you truly believe. How can authors be mad when you tell them what you really feel and give them an explanation? If they find it bad, sorry to tell it but they just doing it for the money or smth.

I hope i wasn't too mean XD
Mel said…
Life is too short to read bad books. That said if you manage to struggle to end of a bad book there must have been a reason even if it's one tiny point in a hundred that you carried on reading. I like to think reviewers can give balanced reviews - you might not like it but on the other hand perhaps other people will. In the same way even with books I enjoy there are usually one or two things that I might not like! As someone has mentioned reading is subjective so not everyone will like everything.

I like the links to positive reviews if you really hated a book - then the reader can make up their own minds about whether a book is worth reading!
Kulsuma said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kulsuma said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kulsuma said…
Sorry, the comment posted twice the first time.

I think it's important for reviewers to say they didn't like a book and why if they really didn't like it. I don't see a point in not reviewing a book because you didn't enjoy it. I have done negative reviews and will continue to do so (if I don't like a book) because I don't see it as a bad thing. It's honesty. I read it, I didn't enjoy it, I wrote a negative review in the same way as when I read a book, enjoy it and write a positive review.

If there were good things about the book, I would mention those too of course. If you enjoyed a book, give it a positive review, if you didn't, give it a negative review. Simple. As a reviewer, yes, other readers will see your review of a book first-but that doesn't mean you have to be positive about a book that you didn't enjoy.

If I read someone's review-which they had perhaps not enjoyed but reviewed positively anyway- and if I went out and read it because of their recommendation and hated it, I wouldn't take recommendations from them again because obviously our tastes don't match.

I have read a lot of positive reviews for books I haven't enjoyed but those reviewers didn't change the way I felt about the book personally after I read them.

'I find it hard to write negative reviews and not come across as unreasonable or nasty. I'm sure this isn't what my followers want to read or publishers want to release their books to.' --It's your personal choice if you don't write these types of reviews, but I as a follower want your personal and honest opinion and I'm sure that's what the publisher wants- your honest opinion, regardless of whether it's positive or negative.

There will always be some people who don't enjoy a book; no author will have all reviewers saying they enjoyed the book, not even JKRowling or Stephen King.

'Authors put their heart and soul into a book who am I to tell them it is awful?'--Who are you? You are a reader first and foremost before you are a reviewer. You have an opinion. Authors know what they are getting themselves into when they write a book and know that there will be people who didn't enjoy it. Of course, all negative reviews should be written tactfully, without personally attacking the author.
Michelle said…
I never write negative reviews because if I don't like a book I normally don't finish it. I do like your idea of posting several books together and posting positive reviews with it. If I ever post a negative review I might include this.
Laura Massey said…
I'm completely honest when I review things, but it's rare that I write a negative review. I have once or twice, I think. In my review policy, I state that I only review books I've finished. Usually, if I don't like a book I don't finish it so that kind of solves the problem for me. Every now and then I'll keep reading, hoping for it to get better. That's how I end up with one or two negative reviews. My rating system is even geared more toward me liking books than not liking them because I know that if I hate a book, I'm not going to review it.
Aylee said…
Before I read a book, I like to collect as many reviews as possible before I spend time and/or money on it. I simply don't have time to read a book that most people have given negative reviews when I could be reading other books that are rated more positively. So I hope I never come across this problem. If ever I did though, I can't see myself posting a review for a book that I've rated below 3 out of 5.
Just So Jess said…
I post negative reviews. I never really thought about not posting them. For me it really helps if a blogger posts reviews like that so I can see if we really have similar taste in books.
When I see blogs with 4 and 5 star reviews across the board, honestly, my initial reaction is that they are easy to please. Now, of course, if I see a statement like this saying you don't post negative reviews I don't think that.

So far I've only had to do a couple kind of negative reviews and the author ended up commenting on one. I felt really bad after she read it that I had pointed out stuff I didn't like in her story, but I shouldn't have felt bad. The review was actually really balanced. And she asked me to review it for her. I state in my review policy though that I only review books I finish and that if I do post a negative review and the publisher or author doesn't like it, I will take it down.
Like a few other people have said, it's just all about balance.
l will review a book if l didn't like it and l really try hard to make sure l don't come across as if l am personally attacking the author as l know its their book so they might see it that way.
I think authors know and have to accept that every reader will think differently about their book.
Books For Company
Donna (Bites) said…
You're making all negative reviews out to be bashfests, which they're not. There's a difference between a negative review that offers constructive criticism and one that just bashes the book and the author while it's at it.

Yeah, the author poured their heart and soul into their book, but at the same time they offered it up to the public to read. That doesn't give people the right to bash the hell out of it if they don't like it but if people have genuine concerns or dislikes about the book, and want to post it intelligently (be they a book blogger or just someone posting a review on Amazon), they're certainly able to. That doesn't make them nasty; it just makes them honest. People have a right to know the good and the bad of a book they're about to read.

As someone that's read the whole of the Twilight series and reviewed it, and hated it, 1) all four books took me all of a day and a half to read total. Not a huge chunk of my time gone. 2) I kept reading with the glimmer of hope that they'd get better, that I'd see the worth that the hordes saw. Fail. 3) I needed to tamper down the praise for it because I felt it didn't deserve all the hype it was getting. 4) I bashed the fuck out of the last book because I do think SMeyer was a piece of shit for glorifying a horribly abusive relationship and making pedophilia all sorts of sweet and sexy. But that's just me.

Personally, I feel that blogs that only post positive reviews just can't be trusted in their opinions. What you are showing to the world is that you love everything you read, that you never come across a bad book so you ultimately look like a shill. Now I know that's not the case and I know quite a few bloggers only post positive reviews but you have to realize the repercussions of doing that. If you post a balance, people will get an idea of what you do and don't like (a plus for publishers that actually do their homework) and it makes your more positive reviews all the more weighty. If you post nothing but positive then, well, you think everything's good so why should I read your reviews? If you post a balance, you'll give the books you really like more weight with your positive reviews because people will know you're not willing to just hand out the praise. But that's just my opinion, for which could mean absolutely nothing to you. And that's fine. Just adding my two cents.

But don't think you're taking the author's dreams in your hand and pulverizing them to dust with a negative review. You're not. They go into this knowing not everyone will like their stuff. Just don't add to the bashing because, well, bashing fails and doesn't do much of anything for the book or the reviewer.
Ama said…
I post both positive and negative reviews. When I read reviews I am looking for honest opinions of books. This is what I hope to offer my readers as well. I do not bash a work. I try to give an honest and educated review. While I understand that what I am reviewing is the literary child of the author – I feel that when something is published – whether a book or blog post, its author needs to realize not everyone will love their “child” and be open to (hopefully) constructive criticism.
I write both on my blog. I used to write more scathing negative reviews for books and I'm embarassed of them now. Especially as some authors have looked up their own reviews and found my reviews. Now when I write negative reviews I try to balance it out some and while remaining honest about my feelings for it at least state that other people might have different views. I've seen other people who link positive reviews saying like 'here's other people who think differently to me' and I like that idea.
serendipity_viv said…
Sorry I read your later post before this one but had to come and read it afterwards.
I believe in writing constructive criticism rather than negative comments. I believe in honesty. If I was the author, I would know that my work would not appeal to everyone. I have written papers that have been ripped to shreds by others and been told to rewrite them. I learnt from that. I learnt how to improve my writing.
Wow, sorry, going on again.