We’ve all been there – you read a book that you just didn’t enjoy…hated even. You may or may not actually publish a negative review somewhere, but you’ve at least had negative thoughts about the book.
Personally, I hate having to write negative reviews. I know my own taste very well, and I expect that when I read a book, I will enjoy it based on what I know about the plot. It’s always a big let down to dislike a book after the blurb or review or recommendation made it seem like something I’d really enjoy. When I don’t enjoy a book, it’s almost painful (bad writing, time wasted, the disappointment of finding out it wasn’t what I thought it was, etc). Negative reviews are hard for me to write because it’s someone else’s creation – the author worked hard (I assume) and no one wants to hear that someone thinks their book is terrible (even if it is). Not to mention, I don’t want to sound like a jerk – I sometimes find it hard to express what I dislike about a book, but I don’t want to say something unhelpful like “I hated this book. It’s the worst.” Not to mention, my opinion is my own, it doesn’t mean that other’s won’t still enjoy the book.
I don’t always read reviews, but when I come across well written, negative reviews (especially for a book I dislike), I have to admit that I find a deep sense of pleasure in reading them. My guilty pleasure is reading humorous, snarky or maybe downright angry reviews. While I try to be polite if I do have a negative review, I often find myself wishing I had the witty prose of some of the reviewers whose posts I have enjoyed in the past.
This post was inspired by some funny (and enjoyable) reviews that came up in my Goodreads feed today. These are the types of negative reviews I could read all day:
+ Steph Sinclair’s awesome review of 50 Shades of Grey – now I haven’t read the book and I don’t plan to. I’m not a fan of Twilight and it’s rare that I read smut (erotica, if you will) and I’ve seen too many hilarious videos of people reading it aloud on YouTube to ever want to touch the book.
+ Kat Kennedy’s review of Evermore – I’d never even heard of this book, but her commentary on the tropes of teen paranormal romances was spot on! I really enjoyed the style of this review.
+ Another review by Kat for Clockwork Prince – I did read this book a while ago and was not at all impressed with Clare’s writing. In fact, Kat’s review of Evermore mentions some of the cliché archetypes that I felt Clare featured in her book.
How about you? Do you enjoy reading or writing bad reviews? Do you have any guilty pleasures in regards to reviews?