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 | RachelPoli.com

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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Should Book Reviewers Get Paid For Their Reviews?

I always say to myself, “I would love to get paid to read.” That would really be the ideal job, right? Sitting on your couch all day with your pet, beverage of choice, snuggled in your pajamas. You can read books upon books upon books. Then get paid to write a review for the books.

As lovely as that would be, who would be paying us? Do we really expect authors to pay for reviews even after giving us a free copy of their book?

Should Book Reviewers Get Paid for Book Reviewing? | Book Reviews | Book Bloggers | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Getting Paid

I’ve seen some book bloggers post disclaimers about how they will never accept any monetary compensation for reviewing books. I’ve also seen some book bloggers offer paid services for their reviews. For example, an author can pay a fee in order to bump their book to the top of the reviewer’s TBR list.

I can certainly see why some book bloggers ask for monetary compensation to review books, though.

Book reviewing isn’t an easy as it seems. Yes, we book bloggers get a book, we read it, and then we write a review on it. It sounds simple, but it’s time-consuming and ironically a lot of work.

Book bloggers take on a lot of books at one time, often not being able to read what they want because they take on so many requests. We love books, so we get in over our heads.

Writing the actual reviews is time-consuming as well. We post it on our blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else. We share the review around for a while after we publish it.

Books are important to us and we know how difficult is it for authors to write and publish these books.

However, because we know how much work this is for authors, I don’t think it makes sense for book bloggers to ask to be paid. They’re already sending us a free copy of their book and authors already don’t get paid that much to begin with.

Am I saying book bloggers don’t work hard enough to get paid? No, absolutely not. Though I just think book reviewing is more a favor to our favorite writers and I think getting a free book in exchange is a good way to do things.

Donations

I have seen book bloggers ask for donations though. If they review a book for an author, they accept the free book and review it for free. However, they’ll ask the author if they want to donate to their website or blog in return.

I don’t think this is a bad way of doing things. Bloggers work hard and we put a lot of time and money into our websites. If an author is happy with the way the blogger handled the review process, then asking them to make a simple donation to keep their site up and running so they can add more book reviews, isn’t a bad idea.

Of course, it’s just a donation. People aren’t obligated to pay anything.

Being A Book Blogger

While being a book blogger is a job in itself, it’s fun and I enjoy adding books to my reading list as well as aiding authors out on their writing journey.

It would certainly be nice to get paid to review books because it’d be a fun and easy job, but I like the satisfaction of helping out fellow writers.

What are your thoughts? Do you think book bloggers should get paid to write book reviews? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Eliza And Her Monsters By Francesca Zappia [Book Review]

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia | Book Review | YA Fiction | Young Adult | RachelPoli.com

I bought this book myself at my local Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The book cover is what caught my attention. It matches perfectly with the contents of the story. The cover shows a pair of hands, assuming to be Eliza’s, holding onto a pair of characters. The font of the title suggests something artsy as well. I love the design overall.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I had seen this book making its way around the WordPress book world. I had heard a lot of great things. I do enjoy storytellings and creating characters, of course, so when I went to Barnes & Noble I picked it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Eliza Mirk is a creative writer who publishes a comic online. She has created a brand new world with amazing characters and wonderful settings. Her username, Lady Constellation, is practically famous on the internet. However, she doesn’t want anyone to know it’s actually her.

This plot is unique as it relates so well to today. Everyone “knows” who everyone is on the internet and a lot of people make their living online now. Eliza was making money off of merch and that was going to help pay for her college. She was doing what she loved to do but didn’t want the fame attached to it. I found myself really into the plot, especially when she met a real-life fan because I knew what was coming.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed reading Eliza’s story. Eliza and Lady Constellation differ so much from each other which I thought was spot on. We’re all a little different on the internet. She made a great protagonist and developed well throughout the story.

Wallace was a great male lead. I was able to predict what was going to happen when he came into the picture, but I still enjoyed him and the dynamic between him and Eliza.

Eliza had two mods online, both varied in ages and they lived in different parts of the world. They only communicated online and through text but I loved their relationship with each other. They met through Monstruous Sea, but they were great friends.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The story flowed well overall. It bounced back and forth between narrative to text layout to brief drawings and blurbs of Monstrous Sea. I never felt jarred out of the story and it was easy to read. In fact, I read half the book late at night because I couldn’t stop reading.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a wonderful story. I think most of us can relate to it. The storytelling overall is great and I would love to see more.

Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 4 out of 5 cups of coffee

Favorite Quote:

“It’s stupid because that’s what I like about the internet – that it gives you time to think about what you want to say before you say it.” –Francesca Zappia, Eliza And Her Monsters

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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Turtles All The Way Down By John Green [Book Review]

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green | Book Review | Young Adult Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover for Green’s latest novel is simple. I like the orange coloring of the spiral as it’s not too bright and doesn’t take away from the actual title. The title and Green’s name takes up a lot of space on the cover is in a semi-messy font which goes well with the premise of the story as well. I like it.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve hopped on the John Green train late. Before picking this up, I’ve only ever read Paper Towns by him. His books have always been on my list so when this one was announced, I preordered it right away.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot did not turn out the way I had expected it to. I expected more of a mystery, but it turned out to be more about finding yourself and being true to yourself and your friends. It was about being there for one another. While it wasn’t what I expected it to be, it was still a fun read with a cool mystery in the background.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

Part of the reason I enjoyed this novel so much was that Aza is just like me. She’s more extreme than me, but she has anxiety and some of the things she did and said are some things I can relate to. She made a great protagonist and was good fodder to through into a mystery.

Daisy, Aza’s best friend, was a good character to balance Aza out. She was supportive of her friend but got annoyed with her at times. Still, she was a fun character and I would love to see her in another story.

Davis, their other friend who wasn’t their friend in the beginning, was interesting. It was his father who went missing, his money that Aza and Daisy – mostly Daisy – wanted. Aza and Davis related to each other on so many levels and I found it to be a great dynamic.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

John Green’s writing is always phenomenal. The story was nicely paced and flowed well. There were no stones unturned. The plot was enjoyable enough that it was a quick read and kept me wanting more. While this is a standalone novel, I’d be interested to see these characters in a sequel.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

John Green didn’t disappoint. The plot was intriguing, I fell in love with the characters, and I couldn’t put it down. I would highly recommend this.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 5 out of 5

Favorite Quote:

“I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battled you won. Illness is a story told in the past.” –John Green, Turtles All The Way Down

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

 

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*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!