Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Negative Book Reviews

Through our journey with books, we fall in love, laugh, and cry with books. Unfortunately, sometime in our exciting journey we won't like a book. There will be a book we can't stand, and we must put it down. You might even give up reading the book. It's something we can't help from happening, so How do we go by this madness of giving bad book reviews?

Shockingly as it might sound, its normal to pick up a book and not be drawn to it. It happens to everybody at some point. There's nothing wrong with that. But, what happens when we want to please everyone with only positive reviews?

Truth be Known, we won't please, everybody.

Do I give negative reviews?

I'll have to think about that! From looking at my records the lowest rating has been 3 stars. I can explain this.

  • When I read I look for the positive, I may be annoyed by some things. But, I like falling in love with what I read. Most of the time, I will read a book and feel like I love it right after reading it. Looking back at them, I think NO it should be less (not always) . When I pick up a book, it's because I'm interested in something in particular. The outcome seems to be positive, most of the time. As readers, we choose books that would best suit our personal tastes, this is what I practice.

To me reviewing a book is not judging or criticizing. For many, blogging in itself is to share thoughts and opinions. The solemn purpose of reviewing books is mainly to share viewpoints, reactions, and share their point of view. Sharing the negative is involved in this. I view this as creative criticism something that can help in some way.

The hardest parts to writing a bad review is always to recommend or not to recommend. In the back of your mind you know there's a variety of books out there that will top the book you are reviewing. But, every person is different, somewhere out there's a person that will like it. Most of the time, I will read bad book reviews, then read the book and love it. There's no saying, how many people will read a book and think "I hate it", and then the next person who reads it would say "I love it". Certainly, we must recommend the book to a person we find would most likely like/love the book we are reviewing. We can't stop anyone else from reading a book we didn't necessarily like.

  • Honesty is the BEST policy. I don't believe in giving every single book I review love or hate 5 star ratings. That doesn't show honesty. As readers, we have rights sometimes we'll like a book and sometimes we won't! Our reviews are to express our feelings with liberty to say the good and the bad. Things shouldn't be sugar-coated. However, there must be room for the positive. Still, we can't make the book look like crap, because there's always somebody who will like it.

When reading negative reviews, we shouldn't be alarmed to judge the reviewer. We all have different tastes and although nothing is perfect, what looks good to me might not look good to you. Negative reviews shouldn't be viewed as a bad thing either, that you read a negative review about so-so book shouldn't stop you from picking it up yourself, it's how we discover our likes and dislikes!

Bottom Line: Personally, I believe is there's a way to write a bad review without being cruel. By saying everything in a diplomatic way, it's not as hard as it seems. When reading bad reviews we shouldn't be kept from reading it, because of the simple fact that someone else didn't fall in love with it! =)


Sara said...

Wow that's an amazing post! I've always wondered what exactly to do about negative reviews. Usually I wait a little longer to write them, so I have some more time to think about it. I definitely agree with everything you said. :D

browneyedgirl said...

Sometimes I think it depends on the reader, too. I've read bad reviews about books, but loved the books myself. I guess it just depends on whether or not the story catches you, if you like the characters, etc. It's always great to get someone else's opinion about something, but only you can judge for yourself. I like reading both sides of the coin, as it gives different perspectives!

BookFanatic said...

Yeah, there shouldn't be dishonesty behind it, and not cruel. Nice post!

Good Golly Miss Holly said...

Negative reviews are a vital part of blogging, I know I am more likely to believe a reviewers point of view when I see both good and bad reviews.

So the next time you're giving something an amazing review, remember it will mean more to your followers if you're honest about the bad books too.