Let’s Chat: What Happens When You Didn’t Like That Book – Negative Reviews

let's chat

Recently, I have been picking up some books that I haven’t been feeling all that hot about. Maybe it’s something to do with being a book blogger, but ever since my TBR pile has been growing, I just don’t have the same amount of patience I used to have with books. When I have such a huge list of things I could be reading, I really don’t want to read something I don’t like.

But let’s say that I make it through the book…or suddenly it takes a turn for the worse at the end…and I don’t like the book.

I write a negative review.

In the past, negative reviews aren’t typically very well received. There have been some problems with the people that write these reviews. Personally, I really enjoying reading and writing negative reviews. I am not doing it to be mean to the author – I’m doing it to make sure that other people understand what they are getting into before they read the book.

For example…

I really hate books with instalove. It annoys me so much, especially since I have been seeing it more and more. When I read a review of a book that mentions instalove, it makes me a little more wary of the book. That way, it just decreases the amount of books I have to read and prevents a possible DNF. Which is a lot worse. So when I write a negative review, I am trying to point out the problems I had with the book to open up a discussion about what I like and what I didn’t like in the book. Plus, I always find it interesting to read reviews of the opposite opinion – when I didn’t like a book and someone else did, or vice versa. It opens up a discussion about points in a book, such as instalove or pacing or action. It is always very interesting to see what someone else thought.

When I write a negative review, I am contributing to the discussion amongst readers.

I don’t expect authors to read my negative reviews or respond to them. I know that they can’t change the book once it is in publication. And I make sure never to attack the author in my review as well. When I write a negative review, I try to focus on the writing style and themes within the book. If a book covers a heavy topic (such as sexism or such), I try to see it in the way of the character, if it was just a basic problem with character development or how that idea came to be a part of the story. When an author just throws in stuff to be dramatic or gritty, that’s when I will also write a negative review – it’s just unnecessary.

Of course, there are all kinds of opinions about negative reviews. Do you write them? Do you read them? And what do you think their purpose is, if they have one?

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Chat: What Happens When You Didn’t Like That Book – Negative Reviews

  1. I’m okay with writing and reading negative reviews, too. I once had someone tell me that it was a terrible thing to do, especially to rate a book one star, but it’s my personal opinion. If I hated it, I think the people who read my reviews deserve to know why I hated it, especially since many of them have similar tastes. What’s the point in writing reviews if you can’t be honest, right? Not everyone is going to like every single book that is published. It’s a way of life.

    I just hate when authors take it personally. They are in a business that is full of criticism – both positive and negative – so they should expect both good and bad reviews. I’m getting so sick of seeing authors take to Facebook and Twitter to call out a reviewer. It’s sad and it usually results in me deleting their books from my TBR list.

    But… when I do write a negative review, I usually try to find something positive to include. I tend to find one or two things that I liked about the book, like the use of advanced vocabulary or writing style, or maybe even some parts of the plot. I just want people to know that I actually took the time to really read the book and didn’t just go to my keyboard to slam it for attention.

  2. I normally keep my negative reviews a bit toned down. Like I don’t say I hate….., I would probably say _____ is not really for me or I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought….and then explain the problem. I can read negative reviews because they give an insight to why the book is not worth reading, but some people just hate on everything and sometimes, I’m wondering ‘what’s with them?’. Otherwise, they’re helpful. πŸ™‚

    Great post!
    Cindy @ In This World of Books..

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  4. I don’t write traditional reviews anymore and instead do brief highlight of each book I read (I usually do 2-3 books per post, so that shows you how brief the highlights really are lol). I also no long rate books. If I read a book and I don’t care for it, I definitely share my opinion, but I always make sure to back it up with my reasons. That way someone might read my thoughts and still decide to try the book, because the reason I didn’t like it, might not be something that would turn them off to a book πŸ™‚

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