The Negative Review

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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?

8 thoughts on “The Negative Review

    • I understand your feelings. However, I don’t think bad reviews are a bad thing either. The whole point of even writing reviews is to give your honest opinion. It may not be fun for you or I, but there’s no point in lying. I think maybe it would be easier if I sat down and tried to write something clever, like the reviews I mentioned. But at the same time, they almost seem more insulting because they’re so well written. Does that make sense?

      • I think I understand what you’re saying. I definitely don’t think of negative reviews of bad things. I do appreciate honest reviews, and I try my best to write from an unbiased standpoint. Do you have any advice on how to make a negative review entertaining/interesting? I might accidentally start ranting, so I would like to prevent that.

      • That’s something I’m working on myself. It’s unusual for me to really dislike a book, so I’m out of practice. Last book I truly hated I didn’t even bother to review. I’d suggest checking out the three reviews I linked to. Those girls certainly entertained me.

  1. I was JUST talking about this! This wasn’t intentional, but I feel like I mostly talk about the books I love on my blog. For example, I didn’t really love my book club’s pick last month and instead of reviewing it I just let it go… but at the same time I do want to have varying reviews so it’s something that I have to work on! Great post! I’m excited to hear more people weigh in 🙂

    • Yeah I’ve posted about a couple two star books, but nothing that I really detested. Not that I want to read bad books. But if I come across any in my blogging travels, I’ll definitely review then. I do wish ask my reviews were a little more witty and fun though.

  2. I am right there with you. It’s not that I have trouble saying bad things, i just don’t like reviewing books that I have nothing interesting to say or promote. More often than not, If I dislike a book I’ve read I just wont write a review at all.

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