{DISCUSSION} Negative Book Reviews

Do you read/write negative book reviews?

Hey! Not every book is going to be a best seller. Not every book is going to be mind-blowing. Not every book is going to be… well… good. :/ I know it’s sad, especially since we want to encourage writers to write, to create new stories, to test the boundaries of our imaginations, but let’s face it: not every book is good.

There are bad books in the world. There are dreadful books in the world. And sometimes there is just no getting around it, especially when they’ve already been published. Those published books are going to find their ways into your hands and you’re gonna read ’em. You can’t not read bad books. The question is: now that you have, what are you gonna do about it?

Writing the bad review

I know some bloggers who refuse to write bad reviews. If they don’t like a book, they put it aside, ignore it, forget about it, and never discuss it with anyone. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because they only want to provide good books to their readers, to promote good books. Or perhaps they just don’t want to waste their time on a book that they didn’t enjoy. (After all, book reviews can take a while to write, depending on the length, which we discussed last week. :p)

I, on the other hand, kind of… in a sick and twisted way… love… writing bad book reviews. >.> Maybe I’m a horrible person or maybe I’m just insane, but I find a certain sense of enjoyment out of writing a bad book review. Perhaps it’s how I cope with wasting so much time on a horrible book (half of which are ARCs I receive. >.>) Or perhaps it’s a way to purge my system of the bad book.. I dunno. Whatever the case, I actually am more likely to write a bad book review than I am to write a good book review. (Maybe that means I write reviews for myself more than my readers… Oops!)

However, bad book reviews are important for writer growth. If an author reads a bad review of their book (and see a lot of the same thing) maybe they’ll take a hint and improve their writing or get away from a trope. Bad book reviews are also ways for readers to acknowledge what bad trends or cliches are filling the literary world. It helps us recognize what writers need to improve on to continue building wonderful books.

Reading bad reviews

I can’t attest to this (because I’m not much of a book review reader unless I’ve read the book), but how many people actually read bad reviews? Is it an accident when you do? Or do you go through and look at what was bad about the book? Does it depend on whether or not you’ve read the book?

Honestly, despite my love of writing bad book reviews, I can’t ever imagine reading a bad book review. Okay. That’s not true. I would read a bad book review if I disliked the book and I want someone to concur with me. :p (*is really a horrible person* Sorry guys.) Or perhaps I’ll read a bad book review if I liked a book and I’m just like: ‘why didn’t you like this book?’ Still, that’s having read the book. What about people who haven’t read the book? Do they still read bad book reviews? Or do people who have read the book just stay away from bad book reviews?

What do you think about negative book reviews?
Let me know in the comments below!

And check out last week’s discussion:
Book Review Length

If you have the time, please fill out my 7-question book review survey!
I’d love your opinions to improve my book reviews for you!

12 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Negative Book Reviews”

  1. My slightly sadistic side very often revels in reading a well-written snarky review, they can be very fun. I’m one of those readers who put aside books I’m not enjoying, so I don’t often write negative reviews myself. I’m not always sure if it makes me a “bad” book reviewer, though, since I’m forever gushing over the books I do review. One does need balance, I suppose. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes negative reviews are a lot easier to write than positive ones, just because I have a very specific idea of what I’m going to address. Whereas if I really liked/loved a book, I just don’t know how to express those feelings as well. It was an overall heart-warming experience and I can’t really pinpoint what I enjoyed more. It depends, but usually that’s the case!

    I read all types of reviews, good or bad. I always go look for both points of views from other readers. First, I want to know if a book is worth buying/reading. Those reviews don’t always influence me and I might still buy/read a badly rated book and ignore a bestseller, but I like to get an idea of what I’m getting into, at least. After reading it, I also enjoy learning what others thought about it, and I don’t mind reading different opinions. I might even agree with certain assessments, even if they go against my own. But do those anger/sadden me if they’re targeted at a beloved book? Not really. I understand everyone’s taste is different and based off their own experiences/reality, and I’m not going to attack someone because of it. So I appreciate they do the same. It’s when the opposite happens that I become not so nice about it.

    I think oversensitive fans and writers are the worst. If you don’t care for constructive criticism, then either don’t read it or ignore it. Simple as that. If you put your work out there, you’re bound to get it. Like you mentioned, it helps one improve. Sure, it might be harsh to be criticized. But unless they are attacking you personally, there’s nothing to be offended about. (Easier said than done, I know!)

    Not everyone will enjoy your work or your favorite book, no matter how stellar it is. I know it can be hard to accept that sometimes. Even I will struggle with it, on both ways. But it’s something we can all work on 🙂 Well-constructed, eloquent and objective reviews are awesome, no matter if they’re positive or negative. At least in my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ‘But unless they are attacking you personally, there’s nothing to be offended about. ‘ This is an awesome sentence and I hope to keep this in mind whenever I get published some day. :p

      And I agree with your last paragraph about writing well-written reviews. Just because one doesn’t like a book doesn’t mean one has to get rude about it and just bash the book. That’s just childish. Yet, so often, I see reviews on Goodreads of people just being complete jerks when they write their like… 3 sentence review and it’s just hurtful. People should be respectful of the writer no matter their opinion.

      P.s. I think it’s easier to write bad book reviews, too, because there’s usually something very particular about the book which I didn’t like. ^.^ Glad I’m not the only one. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t do book reviews, positive or negative, but I do try and remember to star-rate them on Good reads and I’m not afraid to leave a one star to indicate it was terrible. I will also give my honest opinion if asked!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s for the other readers. And no, not really. I figure if it’s bad enough that everyone else hates it, too, then the author should know so that way they can either fix it, or be aware of the fact that maybe writing isn’t the career for them. But I feel, when I leave a one star (which happens very rarely) that it’s just my opinion, and not everyone shares it, so it probably doesn’t impact the author too much. But it might be important to those that are considering that book – especially if they’re tossing up the money to spend.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Exactly. There have been some books I’ve read that I’m sure they’ve published them themselves, because they’re rich enough to do so, but they aren’t good. I’ve literally been like, ‘How was this published?’ and I’m not talking Twilight or 50 Shades … I’m talking so much worse than that.

            Liked by 2 people

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