Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Negative Reviews

Posted September 26, 2016 by Loverofromance in Tea and Biscuits Discussions / 20 Comments

There is much speculation on whether negative reviews should be part of the book blogging community. Now I know for many especially authors, it can be really difficult to read tough reviews that aren’t positive at all especially when they work so hard to put a book together.But I do feel like these can be very important for authors. Now first off, not every book is going to make everyone else happy. Let me give you an example of an author many of you know. Karen Marie Moning. Now her first series, The Highlander one is amazing, and I couldn’t get enough of those books. But not many like that series. But then you look at her UF Fever Series and I read ALL five books hoping I would somehow fall in love with the series and it just didn’t suit me at all, but I don’t think I have met one person that really feels the same way I do.

Now what happens when you don’t like a book? Whether its a big reason or some small ones, writing a review for a book you didn’t like can be one of the hardest things a book blogger can do. I don’t know about all of you that run a book blog, but its something I always dread having to do. Its so much easier to write a positive review on a book I loved. Now do I agree with the type of reviews that are mean and cruel: HELL NO hehe I am a believer in being diplomatic especially when its a book you have problems with. I feel like there is no need to be super mean about an author or a certain book just because it doesn’t agree with you. I highly support writing honest reviews—since I do the same, but I always try to have something positive in them. Who likes to read a review that is ALL negative, it can be such a downer right?

Now I do believe that negative reviews can be important, because it shows other readers and authors even the flaws or the issues of the story, so others can be beware. I don’t believe that its vital to be honest about the review. Not to be afraid that others may or may not disagree. But I do think we all walk a fine line of what is really appropriate to say in a review because sometimes if we go too far in the pessimism and come off being rude and mean than I don’t support those type of reviews, I don’t find them necessary.

 

  • I know there are many who take the stance that only positive reviews will be published and I respect that. For myself, I choose to published the negative, the mediocre, and the positive. I work hard for the kindness and helpfulness to shine through so that positive is paired with negative no matter which is more than the other.

    • I respect both Sophia!!! Its only the vindictive and hateful type of reviews I can’t agree with. I am like you though, even while writing a negative review I always try to add something positive into it.

  • I struggle with writing negative reviews because I don’t want the author unknowningly falling on it and being hurt or disappointed. BUT at the end of the day, reviews are not for authors. They are for other readers like us. I just think that it’s possible write a really respectful negative review by using proper tone. Unfortunately, a lot of the snarky, rude negative reviews are the ones that appear to be the most popular on sites like GR.

    • Oh I agree….its probably why I would be the WORST editor hehe In high school I always said nice things about other kids papers hehe Even while writing a DNF or below a 3 star, I still try to include something positive. But I do try to be careful not to be insensitive while writing a review. Sometimes GR drives me crazy because some people are so cruel on there.

  • I guess, when I write a review, I’m not thinking about promoting it for the author’s sake. When I’m writing a review I want to talk about my feelings about that book and I want to talk to other readers about that book. If I love a book, and praise it in my review, and other people decide to read that book because of my review, that’s awesome! I love that. But my purpose in blogging is not to support authors. I love authors, and obviously I love reading. I respect them. But I don’t work for them. That’s not why I blog.

    I do think it’s really interesting how people can have such different opinions about the same book, though. When I review a book, I try to explain why I had an issue with it, and I completely respect other people’s opinion of that book, even if it’s completely different from me.

    • I am like you in not promoting for the authors sake. I always try to be honest in my reviews, but I do try to be kind too especially if its a negative review. I don’t believe in being snarky or vindictive.

      It is very interesting to see how we all have different opinions on one books, its what makes us unique πŸ™‚

  • A very thoughtful discussion. I know I have written a post or two on negative reviews. I totally agree, I appreciate a negative review especially if it is insightful and helpful, and can save me from a read that wouldn’t work for me. I am not a fan of vitriolic or nasty reviews especially the ones full of gifs and pictures. I feel like those are attention seeking reviews and they don’t hold value. I know I am not fond of writing negative reviews either, but I always try and include some good things, and if I can’t then I won’t review the book at all.

    • oh I can’t stand the GIF’s or pictures, they drive me up a wall. I like real authentic and genuine reviews. I do think even when writing a negative review, to include something positive. So I am glad you are like that too!!! πŸ™‚

  • I don’t believe in being mean and cruel during reviews. I’d rather mention the things I didn’t enjoy and also mention the things I did enjoy. If it’s a DNF I just do a few lines of why I DNF on GR and don’t bother reviewing.

    • Yay!!! So glad you agree with this Lily!!! I do think that its important to be positive if you can even on a negative type review. For me when it comes to DNF, it depends I usually try to do a small review for them unless its a book I don’t care to review at all. Thanks for stopping in for the discussion. πŸ™‚

  • I so need neg ones, I know some authors (sadly a few) believes that if they just get all 5s on GR then everyone will buy their book. Well I sure wont. Cos when I want a book I look at the positive ones and the neg ones. That tell me both stories.

    • haha oh I so agree!!! 5 Stars don’t guarantee that you will like the story right? Especially since on GR, I think some tend to be “fixed” or written to please the author or publisher and not a full honest review. I like to read the more 4 or 3 stars more, because I feel like those I can rely on more. But I do feel that negative reviews are just as important as positive ones.

  • Michele H

    I completely agree with everyone so far. πŸ™‚ I read all of the reviews for a book I’m interested in on GR, good and bad. But that being said, if someone says they hated the book and they don’t elaborate why then I take their rating/review with a grain of salt. When I’m writing a less than stellar review myself, I don’t believe in book or author bashing. I say what I didn’t like and how it could have been avoided or changed to make it work better. But in the end it’s all just a matter of personal opinion anyway.

  • My thing on reviews is that I’ve invested time in the story too. Not as much time as the author but still. If I loved the book, you can bet your behind that I’m going to shout it from the rooftops and I will recommend it like crazy but on the other hand, if I didn’t like the book, I’m still going to write about my thoughts. I won’t shout it from the roof tops and I won’t discourage others from reading it, but you’ll know why I didn’t like the book (sometimes in great detail) on my blog.

    Another thing is, I started book blogging to connect with other readers. Not authors. My reviews and my book posts are written with other readers in mind.

  • I don’t always write a negative review for books I don’t care for. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say about them. But I try not to be mean when I do. It’s hard sometimes, though. lol.

  • i try hard not to write negative reviews. I have one I kind of have to write… well..I don’t I guess.. you don’t tech have to review if you don’t, but I am trying to formulate one that isn’t negative but more of an education approach of why I didn’t like it..heh. For me, I do think Negative reviews, as long as they are not stupid, can in fact be helpful

  • Ann Lorz

    I try very hard to tell what I liked and didn’t like of the same book. When I follow a reviewer and they never seem to dislike anything I don’t trust them. We all can’t like everything. Nice post!

  • Karen

    I think negative reviews are really important in helping me decide what book to read. Even more than positive. It end to get more information about what will work for me from them.

    They should never be personal though or gleefully negative IMO.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • Bookworm Brandee

    First off, I LOVE KMM’s Highlander series!! πŸ˜€ But I also like the Fever series, so… But the Highlander would be my fav! As for negative reviews…I do write them, although I don’t think my negative reviews are all that negative. You’re right in that not every book works for every person. There are tropes that some people love but others absolutely will not read. I think reviews should reflect how the book made you feel, both good and bad. But I do think that if you’re constructive with the criticism, negative reviews are helpful to authors. (especially indies) No one should *ever* be mean or spiteful or tear down an author in a review though. That’s not the spirit of book blogging, in my opinion.

  • Eva

    Great discussion! I don’t mind negative reviews and I supposed I write them often. I think more than anything I try to be honest and tactful. There is no need to say something just to be mean or to attack an author personally but there is also no reason to gloss over what didn’t work