Should Book Bloggers Post “Bad” Book Reviews?

As a writer, when I read a book that I don’t particularly care for, I feel bad giving it a “bad” review. As a writer, I know how hard an author works on their book. I know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. I understand how time consuming it is, how much hard work and dedication gets thrown into the book.

Yet, as a book blogger, I’m obligated to be honest – but fair – in my book reviews. Especially if I get the book for free from the author.

So, what do you do when you don’t care too much for a book you read?

Should Book Bloggers Publish Bad Book Reviews? | Book Reviews | Book Bloggers | Reading | Books |

What is a “bad” book review?

To me, giving a book a “bad” review means giving it a 1- or 2-star rating. Of course, everyone’s rating system is different, but I typically go by the Goodreads rating system. To me, a 1 or a 2 means that I didn’t like the book that much and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever given a book a 1-star before, but I know I’ve given a couple books a 2-star rating before. As I said in my intro, I always feel bad doing this because I hate telling something I didn’t like their creative work.

But that just means it wasn’t my cup of coffee.

Not everyone reviews the books they read and book bloggers review books because they truly enjoy reading.

Reviews are super important to authors. It really brings the hype to their books and the feedback is wonderful for them.

Yes, it’s disappointing and disheartening when someone posts a bad review about their work, but you can’t please everyone. We all have different tastes in things, different likes and dislikes. I’ve come across a couple book bloggers who refuse to read books written in first person. It’s all a matter of perspective and opinion.

Should book bloggers published “bad” book reviews?

The short answer? Yes.

The long answer? Yes, because it’s the job of a book blogger and reviewer to be honest and give feedback to the author. The review serves two purposes: it shows potential readers of the book what to expect (if they read reviews before deciding to read the book) and it also gives the author feedback on their writing – what worked in their story and what didn’t.

As I said, you can’t please everyone. One person might have hated the protagonist, but three other people might have loved the protagonist. It’s a matter of opinion and now two people read the same story. It’s all perspective and what the book meant to them.

Remember to be honest, but fair and polite.

Just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean other people didn’t either. It also doesn’t mean the author doesn’t have feelings.

Every time I’ve given a book a 2-star rating, I always try to balance the review with the things that didn’t work with me along with things that did work well, but just wasn’t enough to do it for me. I also end the review with a recommendation.

Just because I didn’t like the book, doesn’t mean you won’t. If you thought the summary sounded intriguing to you, give the book a try.

What if you don’t want to give a bad review?

I’ve seen plenty of people say they won’t publish their review if it’s under 3 stars. Most authors prefer to not have the review published because they don’t want any low ratings. I understand that, but I personally don’t think it’s practical because not everyone is going to enjoy your work. It sucks, but it’s true.

So, if you don’t want to give a bad review, let the author know and tell them your feelings on why. There was a book I couldn’t finish one time and I explained why and deleted my free copy. That book wasn’t poorly written, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and the content of the book was pretty heavy on a topic I didn’t care to read about.

With that said, while I still post “bad” reviews, it’s okay to not review the book at all. As long as you email the author, if you got the copy for free from them, and explain to them why giving them your feedback privately, there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s all up to you.

Some people don’t mind posting bad book reviews and others do. Just like the books themselves, it’s all a matter of opinion and whatever you feel is right.

Do you usually post a review for every book you read, no matter if it’s a high rating or not? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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84 thoughts on “Should Book Bloggers Post “Bad” Book Reviews?

  1. I’m surprised by people who don’t think anyone should post a bad review EVER or say negative things about books — personally, I think I would read LESS if I had no way of knowing which books were bad or not. That said, I have gotten a couple e-mails from authors when I wrote bad reviews of their books and felt pretty crummy about it.

    Also, I have one big caveat where I generally will not post bad reviews of books from self-published / indie authors. Mostly, I just think it’s better for them to be encouraged to keep writing and improving (and hopefully hear constructive criticism from someone they trust and not a rando on the internet).

    Nice post!

    • I mean, there’s a fine line, but yeah, reviewers are there to give their honest opinion and if they don’t like it, then they have the right to say so. Fairly and politely, of course.

    • Actually, I think a random reader is probably the best person to give an indie a bad review because then the indie realizes that “hey, this really needs to be something I work on for the next book I publish.” Sometimes, I feel like we get coddled by those we trust because they don’t want to rain on the creative spark we have.

  2. I have a 4 point ranking. Either I love it, I like, it’s not for me, or I can’t find any redeeming factors here.
    Generally speaking, if it’s not a book I enjoy, then I just list it as “not for me”.
    I haven’t found many books with no redeeming factors ; poorly written with terrible story, no development, disorganized and so forth. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a book I would review poorly. I can think of a lot that ‘aren’t for me’ though. I think that’s more fair because it just says “this book doesn’t really suit my tastes”.

    • That’s what I usually say. If there’s a book I don’t care for, I say it just wasn’t for me and others may still enjoy it. Which, I think is pretty fair. We can’t all like everything, lol.

  3. I am so far behind on my book reviews! I try to be polite like you say and not just go “I thought it sucked”. Usually when it’s _really_ not my cup of tea, I won’t bother to review it or give it a rating o_O I often say whether non-fiction books are aimed more at an academic market or not.

    • Yeah, you’re still reviewing someone’s hard, creative work. I’d feel pretty crappy if someone gave me a bad review, but as long as your polite and fair in your opinion, I think that’s okay.

  4. Oh, Rachel lol. This is such a sensitive topic. I am both a reviewer and an author so I have mixed feelings about it.

    As an author, of course, I wouldn’t want anyone publishing a 1 or 2-star review on my behalf. It is for this reason that I don’t give such ratings on my blog (I just want to promote the best). As a reviewer though, I sometimes feel it is my job to be honest which means publishing my review on Amazon regardless of the rating (maybe not the blog, but definitely Amazon). After all, it’s what we are supposed to do.

    I have never published a 1 or 2-star review on Amazon but sometimes I do feel it sometimes robs Indie Authors because no matter the rating all reviews count. And because most reviewers don’t publish reviews of books they disliked on Amazon, it robs the Indie Author of the accurate number of reviews he or she could have had if all reviewers were honest and just published what they truly thought of the work. For some traditionally published authors for example, (typically published by big publishing houses), they get a mixture of both good and bad reviews (which makes the reviews look more legit, thus more trusted by readers) but for the Indie Author, they can only hope the reviewer will like the book because otherwise, they won’t get the review.

    I feel sometimes that though this may seem good, it feeds into the stereotype that all Indie Authors are trying to game the system. I mean, think about it. A new Indie Author gets nothing but 5-star reviews for their book because the people who really didn’t like the book didn’t review it. The reviews are not fake but appear that way because not everyone was willing to review for fear of hurting that author’s feelings. (Nevermind the feelings of the traditionally published author who nobody knows and who got tons of 1, 2 and 3 stars…to add to their thousands of reviews btw).

    It’s not that the indie book was liked by everyone but that not everyone reviewed the book. It kinda reminds me of the “everyone gets to win a prize even though everyone didn’t win” strategy they are now implementing into the schools. The whole “everyone’s a winner” thing. No, everyone is not a winner. Everyone did not win and I believe it’s probably why Amazon is being as strict as it is now about reviews. From their, perspective, the reviews and ratings are not realistic. They may be real reviews but because those who didn’t like the book didn’t review it, they don’t seem real because they are all, well “good”.

    Because of this, I believe real, authentic reviews are being deleted. I don’t hear many traditionally published authors talking or worrying about the big review problem with amazon or worry about this because not only do readers buy their books but despite how they feel they leave a review of the book. Often, Traditionally Published authors don’t have the privilege of having their bad reviews not published.

    From a reader/reviewer perspective, it doesn’t seem like a fair system and may be the secret to whats hurting Indie Authors when it comes to Amazon’s strict review policies and reviews. Not all reviews are fake but if only the people who like the Indie book review it, that’s how it looks. We talk about honest reviews but at the same time, most of us don’t publish reviews of books we didn’t like. Doesn’t seem very honest.

    BUT (lol), saying all of this, I am also an author and the author me knows bad reviews bring your rating down and emotionally, I wouldn’t want a bad (1 or 2) star review published myself. What I do as a reviewer (for balance) is publish only 3-5 star reviews to my blog, Amazon, and Goodreads and email a personal review to the author if I have rated it 1 or 2 stars explaining why. I leave it up to the author to decide if they want me to publish a poor review publicly. Like I said, it’s a sensitive topic and harder for me as someone on both sides of the fence. Sorry for the book of a response. Sigh. Lol.

    • No, you bring up excellent points! I didn’t even consider the fact that by not submitting a bad review it makes the book seem high and mighty because all it has is 5- and 4-star ratings.

      I have given a book a 2-star rating before, though I don’t think I’ve ever given a 1. Even then though, I talk the 2-rating up and still tell people to go out and buy it if the summary sounded intriguing to them. Just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean no one else will enjoy it.

      And yeah, while I’m not published yet, I have had my fair share of critique on my work and yes. It sucks when someone talks down about your writing or your creative work in general. Though I’d rather people be honest with me (as long as they’re nice about it, lol) and give me areas to look at and improve upon rather than not say anything at all.

  5. I downloaded a book recommended by a friend and the profits to go to help women from abusive relationships; the story was based on the writer’s experience and that of others. So I felt really guilty I did not like it; badly written and the way the main character acted seemed totally unrealstic. I was amused at some of the reviews on Amazon, but could not bring myself to write one which might have been heavy on sarcasm. The fairy tale ending could have led readers to unrealistic expectations.

    • I feel like most memoirs are like that. There typically is a happy ending and is meant to give others hope. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s all about perspective.

      It’s hard to review books that are based on a true story because when you’re talking about the “character” you’re talking about real people and it’s difficult to say, “I didn’t like so-and-so because…” But again, it’s not the real-life person you’re critiquing, it’s the way they’re portrayed by the writer.

  6. Becoming more of an author has made me become less of the spear-chucking bulldozer critic I once was. That being said, I don’t oppose deeply negative reviews. However, I feel the critic has the responsibility to handle them with taste and restraint.

    Sadly, some authors can’t take criticism, but others can in a positive way, and avoiding excesses means it’s more likely that they will.

    • Lol, as a writer myself I had a hard time writing my first bad review. And for a while, I think I was lenient on some books because I felt bad giving a bad review. But yeah, reviewers just need to be honest, but fair and polite about it.

      I have yet to come across an author who wasn’t happy with my review, though I have seen people complain that an author has sent them a nasty email.

  7. I read one book that was so bad giving it one-star was generous. I couldn’t write the review, nor could I read past the second page of the first chapter. I have a hard time with books that are less than a three-star read. @v@ <3

    • I try to finish what I start to give them some sort of chance. Though there have been a couple books I just haven’t been able to finish.

      • This one I was speaking about was so bad I honestly thought the author had no idea how to write a sentence or a scene for the book. I could read something written by a six-year-old that was better written.
        @v@ <3

  8. As a writer, I like a few bad reviews. It proves that real people are reading my books. If I had 300 reviews that were all 5 stars, it would look fake, because I and the rest of the avid reader community knows that not every book appeals to every person. Also, there is a multitude of reasons to dislike a book… “I couldn’t connect to the characters”, “the plot was slow”, and the one that I run into the most as a reader “I bought it thinking it was a mystery and it turned out to be mostly a romance novel and I had trouble staying interested in it because I just don’t enjoy romance novels.” As you said, not every book is going to be everyone’s cup of tea. As long as a bad review is explained, I find them as helpful as a good review… If it just says “I hated this book” without a reason, it’s a pretty worthless review, just like I find 5-star reviews that simply say “I loved this book” to be just as worthless.

    • Exactly! People perceive what they read in different ways and that’s not a bad thing. Some people like things others don’t, it’s as simple as that.

      And that’s a good point about the high and low ratings being like, “I liked it.” That’s actually how I used to write my reviews before I realized how useful reviews were for the authors (and other readers). You’re right – they’re worthless reviews.

      Also, I hate it when I get excited about a book and the genre is completely different than what the blurb on the back led on…

    • So true. I think it’s always hard to hear criticism, but as long as it’s explained… it’s still good to have feedback. I think as a writer it must be hard to pour your heart and soul into something and have someone slate it though…

  9. I always aim for the compliment sandwich, I mention positive things I liked about the book, the negative parts that I didn’t enjoy and why then end with additional positive remarks.

    I was given a book to read and review. I couldn’t get back chapter 2. It felt so disjointed, badly written and no editing. Since I couldn’t read all the way through I didn’t review it and deleted the e-copy I had. I noticed that others who had reviewed had all put negatives which impacted the author significantly.

    I think one issue, is that some authors are using reviews/reviewers as a way of getting feedback, rather than using Beta Readers and Critique partners. It’s very rare I can’t get through a book but it’s noticeable when it happens.

    I personally believe you do what you can to make your novel as strong and clean and polished as it can be, get it beta read and professionally edited then put it out for review. I personally wouldn’t read my reviews because they are for other readers. I understand they can give feedback to an author but I think most of your feedback should come from a BR or CP.

    Great post!

    • You know, I never thought about it. As an author, I’d never published a book and ask for feedback to bookbloggers. It’s like doing it backwords. I have never suspected that this was a practice. And I question the wisdom in it, since it puts everyone in a bad spot.

      • It does seem strange to me too and yes it definitely puts people in a bad spot.

        I think some people are so eager to get their work published, they either don’t know or don’t care to use beta readers etc and expect feedback from reviews… which is kind of pointless because by that time the book is already published and what’s the author to do? Pull it for a re-write?

    • That’s a good way of doing it. I’ve done that before and tried to stick with it, but my thoughts always get jumbled and I bounce around, lol.

      I actually read a story last year, I think, and the book had so many typos and such in it. The story itself was fine, but it clearly was not edited. I was given it by a publicist who worked for a small publishing company so it must have gone through an editing process… right? Unless I was given an early copy of the book by accident, but still. Authors need to be wary of that. One or two typos slip by, yeah, but the whole book?

      You’re right, beta readers and critique partners are your best friends when you’re writing a book. I don’t know if I’d be able to refrain from reading reviews of my books. I think I’d be too curious, lol.

  10. I use the Goodreads rating system too. I also use it to base my movie review rating system on. It’s easiest to stick to the same system for all reviews.

    It’s very rare for me to want to give a book less than a three star rating. But, if I feel it deserves a lower rating, I’ll give it one, and still post my review. I do make a point of explaining in my review why I’ve done so though. As an author myself, I know how much authors prefer good reviews. However, I also know that a book will never please everyone. If a reviewer read a book and genuinely didn’t like it for some reason, they have every right to say so, though I hope they’ll do so in a polite way, and it would be helpful if they could give their reasons for not enjoying it. That wayan author knows if it was a personal preference thing, or something they can work on to improve their writing.

    Bad reviews only really bother me if they’re obviously not genuine reviews from people who have read the book. I try and take what I can from my reviews to learn for next time, but sometimes there isn’t anything to take from them, because it’s obvious the reviewer just left a negative review because they could. Like one I had once that was a one star review saying, “This book is for babies.” Well, duh! It was a children’s story, aimed at the picture book age group. Of course it was for babies!

    • I agree with you. As a reviewer, we have the right to state our opinion – good or bad. Of course, we need to remain polite and explain why fairly. We’re readers. We enjoy reading. I’d say we want to help the authors improve and such, so I don’t know why some reviewers would be mean about someone else’s creative work.

      Ha! I’m sorry, but I have to laugh at that. Some people are just ridiculous. Some people just don’t look at the book at all before giving it a read to even see if they’d remotely be interested in it. That’s reminds me of that book, “Go The F*ck To Sleep.” It was an adult picture book about parents trying to get their kids to go to bed. It was really true to life and humorous. But because it’s a picture book, despite the title, people bought it for their kids and then the author got such backlash for putting harsh language in a “kids” book.

      • I don’t know either. Fair enough if you don’t like it, but… Well, it’s like some people just enjoy being mean. Not just in reviews, but in general.

        Laugh away… I find it kind of funny about that review myself.

        Ha! Yeah, I could so see that happening. Also, I bet that book is hilarious.

        • Yeah, that’s true. Some people are just flat out mean.

          It is a funny book. Definitely look it up. It’s so true to life, lol.

  11. As an author, I’ve had good reviews and poor reviews. If the reviewer didn’t like that book, that’s their prerogative and they should say so as freely as they wish provided that they refrain from making rude or abusive comments about the author personally – it’s only when a reviewer (and there are several around whom Amazon seem to tolerate) oversteps the mark in that way that the remarks are unacceptable.

    • Yes, definitely. I believe negative reviews help authors just as well as positive reviews, but yeah. Any reviewer who disses the author and/or the book just for the sake of it or has no tact at all is just rude and unfair.

  12. I actually like reading negative reviews because they often provide more information about whether or not I’ll like a book. It seems that negative reviews are often more specific than positive ones. On the other hand, as an author, I’ve felt totally gutted by negative reviews. I don’t mind the negative reviews wherein someone identifies what they didn’t like about the book. That’s fair. The reviews that hit the hardest are the ones that misrepresent (intentionally or not) the book and/or are personal. One of the worst comments I ever received was from someone who was absolutely convinced that I am pro-incest, a subject I don’t even write about. Very bizarre. Great post–thank you.

    • That’s a good point. I’ve found the negative reviews to be more detailed than the positive ones. Especially if you absolutely loved the book – I know I’m guilty of it – when you just end up gushing about every aspect of the book, lol.

      The misrepresentation part is the hardest, I think. There’s a quote by an author (I can’t remember who) but they said, “Not two people read the same book.” And it’s true. We all see things differently. We read in different tones and have a different outlook on everything. So, yeah, when a reader completely misses what we were trying to say on the page, it’s a little disappointing. Though there are some readers out there who are spot on and then you just want to do a celebratory dance.

  13. I think it’s especially tricky when book bloggers get a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, but it isn’t their cup of tea.

    • It definitely is. Because then you know the author is going to see the review and, I don’t know about others, but I always feel bad about giving a negative review. But you just have to remember that there will be someone out there who really enjoys the story. You’re just one opinion.

  14. I’m OK with thoughtful critical reviews, but I think the reviewer must distinguish between “It wasn’t my kind of book” and “It’s a badly written book.”

    • Yeah, definitely. There has to be a reason as to why the reader didn’t care for the book – whether the characters were annoying or the plot didn’t make sense or something.

  15. Rachel, I totally agree with you. Even when a book is not my “cup of tea” I always remain polite and professional and try to point out one or two things that I either liked or that they did well.

    • Yeah, you have to remain polite and adding in a few positives in there is always nice. I mean, a book can’t be 100% “bad,” you know?

  16. There’s a difference between fairly assessing a book – and saying it’s poorly written, or whatever – and simply dissing it because it wasn’t to one’s personal taste. The problem, I think, with a lot of Amazon-style reviews is that they do the latter – I’ve lost ‘star’ ratings for no better reason, for example, than that the reviewer felt a Kindle book should have had pictures.

    • I agree. I mean, there have been times when I’ve picked up a book and it ended up being completely different than what the blurb said. In that case, I get a little annoyed, but I still review it fairly.

      Also, I truly believe there are “troll” reviewers out there. It’s awful, but I think there are some people out there who try to nit-pick and find things “wrong” with a book. I mean, sure, a Kindle book can have pictures, but why do all of them have to have pictures? Some people make no sense.

  17. This is such a great article. And an important one.
    I too see that many readers, even book bloggers, have a policy of not posting reviews which are lower than 3 stars. While I understand part of their reasons, I don’t think it’s fair.

    I’ve both given 2-star reviews (as a reader) and received them (as an author) and honestly in both cases it was a surprising experience.
    One of the authors who received my 2-star review contacted me to thank me for the thoughtfulness of it and for pointing out a couple of things she was going to correct.
    I was surprised that time, but then when I received a 2-star review as an author, I experienced the same thing. The review was very thoughtful, it said what the reviewrs liked and what he didn’t like and why. He also touched a couple of things that had been bothering me, so it was interesting to see how that reader reacted to that.

    I think the important part is being polite and constructive, even when you don’t really like the story. And to rememebr that ours is just one reader’s opinion. We don’t own any Truth! 😉

    • There are two sides to every coin! And I think some people need to experience both sides to get the full effect of reviewing books. Giving and receiving the same thing obviously has different effects, but then you experience both sides of it.

      Also, “we don’t own any truth” is very true, but also kind of a scary thought, lol.

  18. What irks me about bad reviews is that some are given by people who never finished the book and never said so. Few things aggravate me more when I’m reading a review and somebody’s slamming the hell out of a work I just read, and it makes you sit there and go “did they even finish the book?” At least be honest if you didn’t finish it, because we don’t know if your gripe’s about the first 20 pages or the first 200! And that’s not fair or productive.

    I read and review books all the time, and some books I can’t even finish because I just didn’t like them or couldn’t get into them. If I did not finish them, then I make sure to do two things: 1. On rating sites (like goodreads) I WON’T do the star rating–not Zero stars, just not rate it at all (It just occurred to me–I hope it doesn’t affect anyone negatively!), and I’ll explain in the comments box why I didn’t–I don’t think it’s fair to give a rating that’ll be tabulated if I can’t even finish the book. I think ratings should be for if you’ve finished it.

    and 2.when I write my blog review, that’s the FIRST thing I tell people. I tend to start with “didn’t finish, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but I’ll let you know what I got out of it”, or something like that. I explain how far I got in the story and why I quit. I also make it a point to try and find something good to write about the book, whether it was the structure or a character or something. Or if I was totally confused by what was going on, I’ll make sure to say so.

    Most of my bad reviews have been geared toward books written decades or centuries ago, and the authors are long dead (so far), or they’re classics and already reviewed by ten thousand other people over the years, so my opinion’s not gonna matter much. I try to use those “didn’t like that book” posts as opportunities to learn from those who liked the book and what they got out of it. Sometimes it’s just beyond me, and sometimes I genuinely care less about the subject they’re trying to discuss (but didn’t know I would when I bought it).

    I tend to end with something like “Not my cup of tea, but it might be yours. Feel free to give it a whirl.” Sometimes comments make me consider going back and giving the book another shot, like the person picked up on something I missed the first time. I’ll at least consider it. Considering my TBR pile, it’ll be years til I get back to it, but oh well (hee hee).

    • I never write a review if I don’t finish the story. I don’t think it’s very fair to write a review on something you didn’t give a full chance to. And I agree with your rating thing on if you don’t finish the book. Like I said, you can’t give a fair rating if you didn’t give it the full chance.

      That’s a good way of doing things. I too always end it by saying that if I didn’t like it, any one of my readers might.

      And you’re right – sometimes people in the comments will tell me what they got out of it and I could have missed something. Though I may or may not go back and give the book a chance, lol.

  19. ALL reviews are important – good or bad! As you said, not everyone is going to like every single book that gets published. For the most part, I think us book bloggers have mostly higher rated reviews because we know what we’re likely going to enjoy and pick those books out. Sometimes, we get surprised and end up with a book we really don’t like. It’s alright to post bad reviews and authors need to understand that just because one or two bloggers didn’t like it, doesn’t mean that every one else won’t like it either.

    • Well said. It’s true, most book bloggers have been at this for so long we just know what we may like and don’t like, lol. But yeah, all reviews are important no matter what.

  20. I am a bit mixed when it vomes to reading reviews. I find a lot of bad movie reviews end up being great movies whereas those they heaped praise to thr heavens about was more a you could walk away and leave it kind of film. With books it is hard to say as I don’t read as fast or as many these days to determine if the book reviewers are true to their words. Great post.

    • I know what you mean. Honestly, I try not to read reviews until after I’ve read the book. I like to have an unbiased opinion going into the story.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  21. I understand why people don’t want to post bad reviews. Personally, I agree with you though. If I don’t like something, I think it’s fine to say so as long as you’re fair about it. I think opinions are different and that’s the whole value and fun of reviewing! Loads of people didn’t like Night Circus – I loved it. That just makes it more interesting for me to read reviews!

  22. I don’t review books I don’t like because I don’t finish them. Gone are the days if I started a book, I need to finish it. If I don’t like it, I don’t read it.

  23. I don’t like to review books because just as you said, a book is someones life. They work so hard to write and they don’t need to be torn down. BUT, I feel like a critique of I liked this, but this is something that needs fixing, but I liked how you did this, should be a good thing to do.

    • Yeah, I mean I think we all need critique in everything we do – writing or not. We all need people tell us “we can” as well as people to tell us “we can’t.” It’s the only way we can grow in our field. 🙂

  24. This is such an honestly written post. I so agree with all the points. Book bloggers are (in a way) supposed to get the honest and fair judgement out in the reading community. One shouldn’t post a seemingly sweet review when in reality, one doesn’t feel it honestly. Yes, we, book reviewers, must always make our choices- whether to review or not. But, no book reviewer should aim at providing false judgements. After all, it’s the only way to keep this reading and blogging community as fair as possible!

    I, too, am a book blogger! I would love to know what you think about my blog!

    Here’s the link to my recent bookish post:

    Great post!

    • Yeah, in a way we need to stand up for books and their authors and that doesn’t always look pretty, but it’s fair and honest. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing and reading!

  25. Wow I almost feel bad for that review of Children of Blood and Bone. Head over to my page to see it! The good thing is after speaking to just about everyone about this book, I’m practically the only person it seems that doesn’t like it. The way I see it, you can write bad reviews about a book you read, movie you watched etc. You have to remember that creation is now part of the public sphere and will be subject to criticism. In fact criticism can be helpful rather than harmful. I think it would be rather unreasonable not to find any positives at all. The positives are there if you open your mind, even my negative review of Children of Blood and Bone had positives in it. Hope you read it some time. Excellent question by the way. 🙂

    • Right, it’s all a matter of perspective. There have been books I’ve read where I felt like I was only one who didn’t like it and then I wonder what I’m missing. But most of the time it’s just not in your tastes. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as your criticism is polite and honest.

  26. Such an interesting take on bad book reviews, oftentimes we’re so focused on the readers experience that we forget about the author’s creation.

    • Thanks. It’s hard to differentiate between the two. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  27. This is really interesting and to be honest, something that I’ve never thought about. I suppose from the author’s perspective, I’d imagine that reading a one star review saying how it’s the ‘WORST BOOK I’VE EVER READ PERIOD’ isn’t going to be helpful and quite damaging to the writer. However, if a reviewer said why they didn’t like it, and offered detailed and thoughtful reasoning, then it’ll be more valuable.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind posting 2-star reviews on my blog, as long as I tried to make it balanced – “I enjoyed this part of the book; however, I feel that…”. However, on the other side, I rarely give 5* reviews for books (maybe I’m too harsh, I don’t know :p)

    But I do also read or heard somewhere – I think it was an author, maybe? I genuinely can’t remember xD – that the best place to look for reviews are people who give 3*, because they’re more likely to give a genuine, balanced view. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Balance is key, definitely. 5-stars are great and all, but authors need to see what’s worked for some people and what hasn’t worked for others. Everyone has different opinions and tastes when it comes to reading.

      I have heard that 3-star reviews are the “best” to read because the book was just average for them. There were things they liked and things they didn’t like. As I said, it’s all about balance and being polite, but honest and fair.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  28. Great post, I’m launching my first book in the second half of the year 🤞and reviews scare me to death, they could mean the life or death of my novel so it’s great to hear about your fair and balanced approach.

    • Not that I can speak from experience, but don’t be afraid of reviews. I know that’s easier said than done, but in the end, each review is just one individual person’s opinion. As long as, like I said in my post, if they’re fair and polite, you’ll be fine. Good luck with the book. 🙂

  29. I post critical reviews. I feel conflicted about it sometimes, but follow a few self-imposed rules. I never criticize the author. I only focus on the work. I try to highlight some of the good things, because something attracted me to the book in the first place. An author would want to capitalize on what’s catching readers’s eyes. Conversely, an author needs to know what might cause readers to put down books. If it’s just a matter of taste, I’ll mention that. If it’s a stylistic or philosophical problem, I’ll talk about that. Reviewers provide a service both to authors and other readers. If we only post good reviews, then we risk appearing like nothing but marketers and our objectivity is undercut. Who would trust someone who may be motivated by something other than simple honesty?

    • Well said. You’re right, you need to focus on the work and not the author. I’ve seen a review here and there that lash out at the author and it’s just not fair.
      But I agree with you, you can’t post good reviews all the time because then the author isn’t learning, isn’t getting to see what their audience likes or dislikes.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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