Book Talk: Should I Post Negative Reviews?

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I saw a conversation on Twitter a few months ago about whether book bloggers should share their negative reviews for books, so I felt like I should share my view on this.

Since I started blogging back in 2014 on Tumblr, I’ve been honest in my reviews. Back then, I didn’t review every single book I read, but in the reviews I did post I was always completely truthful about how I felt about the book, which included talking about the parts I didn’t completely like.

I’ve only recently started reviewing every book I read – it’s probably been around a year now since I started doing it on my old blog, and I have always done it on this blog. To me, it just seems like something I should be doing as a book blogger. I’ve always felt like every book needs reviewing just so I can get my thoughts out there.

Reviewing helps me gather my thoughts on a book and have closure after the novel is finished. So it is something I love doing and will probably always do.

The problem with reviewing every single book I read is that I will post negative reviews. And I know that a lot of people are against it.

I understand that my negative reviews may change a person’s mind on whether they are going to buy that book or not, but when people comment and say ‘I don’t think I’ll get this now if you didn’t like it’ I will always tell them to try it anyway. My taste isn’t the same as everyone else’s tastes – I really dislike some really popular books! I don’t want people to say they won’t buy the books just because I don’t like them. Reviews are an opinion, not a fact.

There are also some books that are really problematic and I need to air that, and if that is in the form of a negative review, so be it. I really didn’t like the message in The Hate U Give where the main character fights hate with hate. So I aired my opinion. Once again, this is only my opinion and not something to be taken as fact.

I was terrified to post this review because I was worried that with the book being so popular, I would get a lot of hate for this opinion. But I never did, which I suppose shows that we are all entitled to our opinions. I respect that some people loved this novel, but it wasn’t for me and that was my opinion.

It’s important to be honest. If I am going to review every book I read, I’m not going to give every single one a five star review. It’s almost impossible to find that five star book that is perfect for you, and for me it’s important that I write about my journey.

My one star may be your five. Once again, it’s all about opinion.

Overall, I do think we should post negative reviews. To me, it helps me air my thoughts and gives me closure to the books as well as starting discussions with other bookish people on their thoughts on the book. We shouldn’t stay quiet just because we aren’t 100% on board with a book.

Do you post negative reviews? Or do you avoid them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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12 comments

  1. It’s funny because I’m currently going through a kind of similar situation. I’m having a hard time finishing a book review because, although the book was enjoyable and it’s probably a 3 star, I can pinpoint negative points about pretty much all the aspects of the book. And, to me, it’s much easier to point out negative aspects than positivies. So trying to find a balance has been a real struggle.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rather calling a negative review, it should be viewed as criticism. I think a reviewer should offer both his likes and dislikes on the book. The reader then decides to read the book or not. A clear negative opinion/low star rating on the book may discourage readers completely in a way to avoid it. But who knows, the reader may like something that the reviewer doesn’t like.
    Finally a review should be in a way to appreciate the efforts the author put into writing that book. Then there will no problem with expressing negative opinions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s important to post negative reviews when we feel very strongly about the matter or the handling of the said matter. If it’s problematic then it needs to be talked about and sure, not everyone thinks the same or even likes the same things but that’s what makes the whole thing important. To see it from a different perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree – if you don’t like a book, why shouldn’t you be entitled to say so?! Even when I was a bookseller I used to be honest and say that I didn’t like a book. So long as you have a reason, even if it’s just “it’s not my kinda book” then that’s enough!
    It’s nice to see a negative review of books sometimes – like with The Hate U Give, that’s a book I’ve never had the desire to pick up so it’s refreshing to read that someone didn’t like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! A few times I’ve been made to feel that I should have kept my mouth shut, but thankfully with The Hate U Give, nobody responded negatively to my point of view. If everyone gave every book a brilliant review, how are you supposed to choose what book to read next?

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    1. I always try to point out in my lower starred reviews that the review is based purely on my opinion and others may still like the book. I don’t want to think I’ve made someone fully decide they didn’t want to buy a book based on my opinion, so I still try to point out that it’s worth giving a go

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Meh, I’ll post a negative review if I didn’t like a book. I find reviews for books I really didn’t like – and those that I loved! – to be the easiest to write because they come from a place of strong emotion or opinion. It’s the books that you neither like or dislike, the solid 3’s, the ‘meh’ of the books… Those reviews are harder to write and I often find myself not reviewing them because I quickly forget about anything I want to say about them.

    As you said, just because you, or I, or someone doesn’t like something it doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. I’ve actually read books because someone didn’t like it but they explained what they didn’t like about it and I know myself well enough to know that it was something I probably would like! As long as the reviews are to the point and don’t unnecessarily bash the book then I don’t think there is harm in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Actually, I try to read a couple of negative reviews before I buy a book! I want to see what others disliked about it and decide if they are things that would affect my enjoyment of the book! Also, I trust bloggers’ opinions more when I know what they like and what they dislike in books. So all in all, I’d say it’s essential to write negative reviews to coneect better with your audience!

    Liked by 1 person

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