Discussion Time: Do You Ever Feel Nervous about Posting a Negative Review?

When it comes down to it we can’t all love the same books, and even the most hyped up releases, the incredible stories people seem to see nothing but positive reviews for, will have a few negative reviews here and there. We all like different things, we all take the books we read in different ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Personally I don’t mind reading negative reviews for books I’ve enjoyed. Even if I’ve really loved a certain book or series it doesn’t mean I expect everyone to, and just the fact that someone else hasn’t enjoyed my favourite book doesn’t mean I then enjoy it any less (OK, there are a few exceptions but I’ll go into them a little later). Does that mean though I don’t worry about expressing my opinion when I’ve not enjoyed a book everyone seems to love? No, it doesn’t.

Do You Ever Feel Nervous about Posting a Negative Review

Do You Ever Feel Nervous about Posting a Negative Review?

I think we all get protective over the things we love, I’m not an exception. We want others to share the joy we’ve found in a certain release and that’s not always the case. Children of Blood and Bone was one of the most hyped up books of this year, and so far based on the reviews I’ve seen everyone has loved it. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this book, and I wouldn’t really class my review for it as a ‘negative’ one, but it wasn’t as glowing as the majority of the reviews out there for Children of Blood and Bone are.

Children of Blood and Bone

The other thing about a Children of Blood and Bone is that it’s diverse and own voices release, so can I really post a negative review when this book wasn’t written for me as much as it would have been for someone who can identify more with Zélie’s character and the discrimination she faced as a maji? Seeing as what I didn’t enjoy about Children of Smoke and Bone was the romance between Zélie and Inan I’d say yes, but this is just an example.

My review for From Twinkle, With Love was more mixed and the main reason this book fell down for me was the way Twinkle’s character changed throughout the story, becoming a ‘mean girl’. This was a review I did feel nervous about posting because my main issue was with the main character, and as I’m not someone who can identify with the diverse aspect of Twinkle’s character could my opinion of her characterisation in this book count?

From Twinkle with Love

Personally I think that even though diverse books are important to see on bookshelves reviews need to be honest. A book can’t just rely on the fact that it has diverse characters to get away with lazy writing, character development, or world building.


Putting diverse book to the side (because wow part of me feels like the last few paragraphs of this post are a land mine waiting to happen) hyped books have their own separate issues and the Harry Potter series is a main one. There is a very intense fandom for the series, people who grew up with J.K. Rowling’s books and for whom the books are always going to be something they love, but that doesn’t mean the series is perfect.

Harry Potter

I love Harry Potter; the whole series is full of nostalgia for me and I will fork out any amount of money for anything HP related, but I know there must be people out there who aren’t fans. Maybe they haven’t read the books, or maybe they have and just didn’t like the books, but you don’t hear from those people as much as you do the fans and it’s the same with all hyped books. You always see the glowing reviews but never the mixed ones, and is that because there are so few or because the people who didn’t enjoy these books haven’t felt like they could post their mixed opinions without insulting someone?


Eight times out of ten I don’t care if someone else hasn’t enjoyed a book I’ve loved. One of the exceptions is if that person then turns around and insults the people who enjoyed the book, and the other is if I’ve recommended the book to that person. In that case I feel guilty that I’ve hyped this book up to them, gone on and on about how amazing it is, and that’s not the experience they’ve had reading it.

We’re all entitled to take away whatever we want from the books we read, and it’s very very rare that a negative review for a book I love is going to change my mind, however it does happen. The first time I read A Court of Thorns and Roses (and I read this before A Court of Mist and Fury was released in case anyone was wondering) I loved it, and definitely shipped Tamlin and Feyre. Then I started seeing some of the more mixed reviews and looking back, seeing the story and the relationship between Tamlin and Feyre in a new light, I did find my opinion of the book changing.

A Court of Thorns and Roses


Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:

Have you ever felt nervous about posting a negative review before, either because it’s a really hyped release or because it’s a diverse book?

Do you mind seeing negative reviews for your favourite reads, or do you go out of your way to avoid them?

Has a negative review ever ended up changing your mind about a book you loved?

Let me know in the comments below.

94 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Do You Ever Feel Nervous about Posting a Negative Review?

  1. YESSS! When I posted my Leah on The Offbeat review, I was so anxious! I know Becky Albertalli has a lot of fans (me included) so I was little nervous to post the review. Same with controversial discussion posts! I don’t mind people disagreeing but I’m always scared of insults and “you’re wrong so stop complaining” statements. I have a couple discussion posts that have those and I honestly just stopped approving those comments. No one needs to see hurtful insults on my blog.

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    1. Yeah I’m a massive fan of Becky Albertalli but I think Leah on the Offbeat could have been better. I think it was just a victim of its hype for me.
      I almost enjoy it when people have different opinions when it comes to discussion posts (to create a discussion is kind of why I post them) but I live in fear of getting those comments. Hasn’t happened yet but if it does I’ll do the same and just delete them.

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  2. Hey Beth! I really appreciate the fact that you don’t mind much negative reviews! I really wish there were more people like you in the world! When I started my blog… Harry Potter books were the first recommendation and I always kept avoiding it because I was afraid I wouldn’t like it and would have to write a bad review since I don’t believe in telling lies. Luckily for me though, I tried the book a few weeks ago and in spite of hating fantasy so much, I am surprised to say but I actually did enjoy reading the first book in the Harry Potter series. I am yet to continue the series… but if people were as open-minded as you, I guess I’d have read this book long ago.

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    1. Well most people don’t hate on books for no reason, and I’ve found sometimes negative reviews can help me see certain books in a different light so I don’t mind reading them. See that sucks that something like that kept you from reading a book for so long, but I completely get what you mean, and something like Harry Potter is something a lot of people feel very strongly about as well.
      Here’s hoping you enjoy the rest of the books in the series as well then, and that you’ll think they were worth the wait as well. 🙂

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      1. I completely agree with you! Sometimes negative reviews can really help us see certain books in a different light! And yes… I hope that I enjoy the rest of the books in the series as well! I have to start the second book very soon as it has to be returned in a few days!!

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  3. Oh gosh I always feel nervous whenever I post a negative or even not entirely positive review- even though I totally agree with you on reading negative reviews for books I loved- I don’t mind, in fact I usually enjoy hearing another perspective. But like you said, people get protective of things they love and that makes me nervous. I really agree with you about the importance of honest reviewing- regardless what the book is. And yeah hyped books often feel like they have protected status in their own right, which makes it harder to criticise them. I think it’s so true that we’re all entitled to our own opinion and I think that’s a great thing! Nothing is going to please everyone all the time- so people should acknowledge that.
    Fantastic post!! 😀 ❤

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    1. I think based on the comments everyone seems to be the same-ish way about reading negative reviews for books they love. Still I think we all get a little nervous despite knowing it’d be rare for someone to attack our opinion you know? Part of being human I guess.
      Yeah I’d never post a dishonest review simply because I was worried about how people would react to my opinion. If I ever get any negative comments I’d likely just end up ignoring them (or deleting them, depends how bad they were).
      Thanks so much! 😀 ❤

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  4. I don’t tend to feel nervous when posting a negative review anymore. I used to, especially when saying negative things about VERY popular books. But then I realised that I’m just sharing my opinion on a book and if people get “offended” by that, then it’s their problem and not mine! 😀
    I enjoy reading negative reviews. I always find it interesting to see other peoples perspective on the books I adore. And yes, a negative review has changed my opinion of a book before. Sometimes I don’t see problematic things within a book and a negative review, especially by an own voice reviewer, can help change that.
    Amazing post Beth! ❤ 🙂

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    1. Yeah that’s the mindset you need to have. It’s your blog so you’re more than allowed to post your own opinion. If people don’t like it they don’t have to read it. Unfortunately that’s a mindset I still need to develop but I’m getting there. 🙂
      As much as positive reviews can lead me to books I know I’ll love negative reviews have a lot to offer too. I feel like sometimes with books we really love we can be blind to the faults they have (no book is perfect after all) until someone else points it out. I still love ACOTAR, but I’m not blind to the issues it has anymore.
      Thanks so much Anna! 🙂 ❤️

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  5. I definitely do! I’m always slightly worried that even though I never tag authors in negative reviews, they’ll still somehow stumble across it and be hurt by what I think of their work, and I also feel especially terrible when someone specifically recommended a book to me and I didn’t like it. And I wonder if people with think less of me for apparently missing whatever it is that makes a book so beloved, among a whole host of other concerns.

    Ultimately I always post my negative reviews anyways because I think it’s important to be honest and document what I think of books, and I think it should always been acceptable so long as it’s done in a respectful manner. But that doesn’t make me any less nervous!

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    1. I read from one author (can’t remember who) that they tend to avoid all kind of reviews, but I get what you mean because no matter how much you didn’t enjoy a book it’s still something someone’s put a lot of time and effort into. Yes I definitely get that feeling, but I don’t think less of people who recommend books to me I don’t end up enjoying so I’d hope it would be the same the other way around too.
      Oh I’m the same. I want my blog to be my honest impression and that means posting negative reviews when I don’t enjoy a book. If people don’t like what I say they don’t have to read my posts. Yeah knowing that doesn’t make me less nervous either. 🙂

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  6. I don’t mind seeing a negative review of my favorite book even though sometimes I try to avoid them! but I strongly agree with you that it’s not okay when someone who didn’t love the book tries and insults the ones who enjoyed it ( specially if the book didn’t insult anyone). same thing with acotar when I read other people’s reviews I did see the problematic aspects of somethings ( so it can very useful reading negative reviews). lastly I do get nervous posting negative review of a hyped book, but starting a personal blog means sharing your opinions right?!

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    1. I suppose it depends on both the review and how you’re feeling. I guess you have to be in the right mood to read a negative review for a book you love.
      God reading reviews like that (where the reviewer trashes the fans) always makes me feel kind of uncomfortable.
      Yes definitely, and I guess as we get more experienced blogging we start getting used to sharing our opinions more. I’m definitely more open now than I was when I started blogging. 🙂

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  7. Negative reviews are tricky.

    I don’t read a lot of books that are potentially problematic (as so many contemporaries can be), so a lot of times when I don’t like a book it comes down to personal taste. That’s why I try not to completely trash books. I watch my tone, and I try to think of what might appeal to readers who are not me. It’s more difficult, but I think it makes a better review too.

    The main struggle I have is as someone who writes and would like to be published one day. I wouldn’t want my reviews to come back to haunt me if I ever became a peer of one of these major authors. That’ll probably never become an issue for most people (myself included)!

    But one more thing that I think bloggers should be aware of is that how negative reviews are written can reveal a lot about the blogger. I find it easy to tell when the reviewer is being unfair or making bad arguments and that can really hurt how much their opinions are valued in the future.

    In summary, I think negative reviews are important but must be treated with caution! Great discussion post! ^_^

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    1. I mean personal taste is still a very valid reason to write a negative review. There have been a few books I’ve picked up that I haven’t enjoyed as much, and the main reason I can think to explain is is that it just wasn’t for me. But yeah I try and avoid controversial books too, I feel like they’re a minefield I want no part of.
      Ohh, that’s a really interesting point as well. I think it’s a fine line to walk, being honest without being hurtful. I guess as well as a writer would you want someone to say what you’re saying in a negative review about your book? Constructive criticism is one thing but cruelty is another all together.
      Negative reviews are definitely important, they’ve guided me away from books I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed in the past. In fact there are even a couple of negative reviews out there I wish I’d paid more mind to. 🙂 Thanks so much! 😀

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  8. I totally agree with you about it being tricky having more negative opinions on diverse reads, especially if you can’t exactly identify with the main character. I think though that you should be able to have your own opinions on any book–even if it’s diverse–because while diverse books are obviously really important, that label doesn’t automatically make them perfect reads. And as for reading negative reviews of my favorite books, I don’t handle them too well xD and I get very overprotective. I don’t mind reading thought-out honest reviews with good points and reasoning behind someone not liking one of my faves, but I don’t like rant reviews where it’s just someone saying they hate a book I love over and over again so I try to avoid them.

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    1. Yeah maybe we can’t identify with main characters who’s diversity we don’t share but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to connect with them as main characters in the book we’re reading. Exactly, it takes a lot more than having diversity in a book to make it a worthwhile read, and honest reviews are how we find the worthwhile ones.
      Oh I haven’t read too many rant reviews for my favourite books, most of the ones I have read have had well constructed criticism which on one hand I can actually agree with you know? I don’t come across too many of the other kind and hopefully I won’t in the future either. 🙂

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  9. I do not post negative reviews as a policy. I just do not like to bring publicity to a book I didn’t enjoy. That being said, I don’t mind reading a negative review and believe me when I say that after reading 4 or 5 books in a row that I don’t feel that I can recommend I rue that policy! I appreciate that all of you struggle with posting negative thoughts and reviews.

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    1. Ohh, that’s an interesting thought because it fits with the whole “there’s no such thing as bad press” idea right? A bad review is still a review putting the book out there to the world.
      I suppose one positive is you’re only talking about books you’ve loved, and it’s gotta make blogging a completely positive experience too.
      Yeah, I have to deal with the eternal struggle of not wanting to offend someone but at the same time wanting to be honest in my reviews. 🙂

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      1. I absolutely started it because of the “no press is bad press!” If I don’t like a book, why talk about it? However, sometimes it is a royal pain because I can read for weeks and not find anything worth talking about so the blog posting suffers.

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    2. This is super interesting. I like reading (respectively and thoughtfully written) negative reviews, especially if they help me decide whether or not to invest in the book by buying it. I also like to be able to commiserate with others who may have disliked a book after I’ve read a book and found I did not enjoy it.

      If you’re finding that your reading a lot of books you did not like or want to promote on your blog, maybe you could do a collective blog post about the issues you had. If those issues are because the books are problematic, this kind of blog post could be really helpful to potential readers without highlighting (i.e. promoting) any of the books in particular.

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  10. Wonderful discussion post, Beth. I don’t personally hesitate to post negative reviews since I’m a firm believer that honesty is the best policy. There’s also the fact that there are plenty of other readers out there and other reviews a person can check out if all they want are positive things being said about a book. I also believe that everything comes down to how a person expresses themselves. If they justify themselves properly as to why they hated a book, then I doubt I’ll get mad at them, even if I loved said book.

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    1. Thanks so much Lashaan. 🙂 Oh yeah honestly definitely is the best policy, and even when I do get a little nervous about posting a negative review I never think to myself I shouldn’t post it, or that I should re-write it to make it more positive because it’s my opinion. Exactly, and I feel like for the most parts books will have more positive reviews than negative ones so there’s plenty of other opinions out there. And it’s rare we hate books for no reason as well right?

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  11. Absolutely! I feel terrible. Even when I kindly comment negatively about what someone has put their heart and time into. But like most, I try to find something positive to comment on as well. There has only been one book I reviewed that I seriously couldn’t find anything positive to say.
    Regarding others who have reviewed a book completely opposite my thoughts, I wonder two things:
    1) have I lost touch with reality?
    2) do most readers think if it’s published it must be good and they don’t analyze much about it?
    Great post. Thank you.

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    1. It seems like that’s what a lot of people do, try and find the positives in the negative books. I guess no matter what there’s no book that’s wholly terrible is there? Yeah it can be hard writing a negative review, but in my opinion as long as you’re not attacking the author you should feel fine sharing your opinion.
      It just goes to show how individual reading can be, that there’s something some people have loved so much and other people haven’t. 🙂
      Thanks so much. 😀

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  12. I always feel a little nervous when posting negative reviews, just because I hope it doesn’t come across like bashing the book but that I am able to articulate why it didn’t work for me personally. Because like you, I understand that we all like different things and am never mad (although sometimes sad) when people don’t like the same book that I loved. So, I just want to make sure others understand my reasoning behind the rating that I give.
    I am very glad to say that I never had an issue with an author harrassing me after a negative review. I would understand how that would crush someone’s confidence maybe.

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    1. Yeah that’s a good point, I feel like there are a lot of strong opinions when it comes to books, and if you end up not liking a book everyone else seems to have loved you don’t want to seem like you’re bashing something so well loved. We’re never all going to love the same book but negative reviews are needed I think, even for favourites of mine negative reviews have still ended up teaching me something about this book I thought was perfect which I kind of love you know?
      God that would be awful, authors are people we look up to and they have a fair bit of power as well. It sucks when they use that against people and bloggers out there.

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      1. I just also don’t think it’s fair to bash a book. Of course you can very strongly dislike something or even hate it, but you should still be able to articulate the why somehow. So that’s just what I am striving for when I have to write a negative review.

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      2. Yeah I get that. When I think back on the books I haven’t enjoyed (and there haven’t been that many of them) there’s always been a very clear reason I haven’t like them. It wasn’t just because I wasn’t in the ‘mood’ for that kind of story or that I just want to hate on something. That being said though I’ve yet to read a negative review that felt like the reviewer was just bashing the book you know?

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  13. I had the same experience with From Twinkle, in that I couldn’t get away with the main character and wasn’t a fan of the sudden change in her personality. I found her kind of mean, arrogant and a bit whiny. I’m always a big believer in posting honest reviews, even if they’re a book people loved or that I was sent by a publisher, although I do try and make sure to not completely attack a book because I feel that’s unfair to the writer and the readers. It’s always a case of finding at least a few positives in something. Thanks for this post, it was really awesome.

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    1. I wanted to love From Twinkle, With Love. There was so much hype for it and plenty of people seemed so excited I wanted to share that feeling you know? I just couldn’t get past the main character and it ended up ruining the book a little for me in the end. Oh overall reviews need to be honest before they’re anything else, no matter what, and yeah I definitely agree. I’ve wrote some harsh negative reviews but I’ve never ever attacked the author or fans of the book, and I never will because that’s a step too far in my opinion.
      Thanks so much! 🙂 ❤

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  14. So far, I’ve never felt nervous about posting negative review. Honestly when I’m reading a book and realize that the review at the end is going to be negative, I get more excited for it, if that makes sense. I tend to write my best when I have a lot of emotion pent up about a book, positive or negative.

    I’m all for differing of opinions, so if someone reacts badly to my review I tend to just ignore the person. They’re allowed to be mad if they want to be, I suppose. I also love reading negative reviews of books I liked. It allows me to view the book I likely have tunnel vision for with a different perspective.

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    1. In a way I kind of do get what you mean. I find it a lot easier to write negative reviews than positive ones (I think I like ranting because it’s easier than trying to order my thoughts for positive reviews).
      I think that’s a good way to look at things, I dunno I’ve never had anyone react badly to my negative reviews so I can’t say for sure how I’d react but ignoring them seems like the best way to go. So far though it seems like everyone actually enjoys reading negative reviews even for books they love. 🙂

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  15. It’s really interesting to read a negative review of a book you love! I love hearing what other people thought, and it always make me look at the book more deeply than I did at first. Sometimes it helps me realise that what I thought was great plot and depth was actually just meagre writing, or a character who was really confident was actually shallow. Do you find this happens with you too? Great post!

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    1. Yeah I love reading all reviews for books I love, and if they’re negative then that doesn’t matter that much to me. A review would have to be really really negative, pointing out things I never considered, to change my opinion on an all-time favourite read of mine (hasn’t happened yet!) but yeah it has happened that negative reviews have made me reconsider things. Largely in the case of A Court of Thorns and Roses but there have been others where I’ve seen some of the flaws after someone else has pointed them out in their review. They’re kind of learning experiences in that way you know?
      Thanks so much. 🙂

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  16. I sometimes feel really nervous writing negative reviews. I just feel like when I don’t like it I get mean but I am trying to get out of that mindset and just write the dang review. You know?

    Sometimes I mind seeing negative reviews about a book I like but then I fully read them and a couple other reviews on different books to see where the reviewer is coming from so that I can understand why they have that opinion. I mean shouldn’t we respect everyone’s opinions. The only point we shouldn’t do that is when it gets harmful for a person I believe.

    A negative review has changed my opinion on a couple of my used to be favorite books.

    Wonderful post. Have a great day 🙂

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    1. I think I’ve sometimes been mean about books when writing negative reviews, I think as long as you’re not mean about the author or the people who enjoyed the book that’s the main thing right?
      Yeah negative reviews can give a different outlook, and I think for book blogging that different outlook is important. No one hates a book simply for the sake of hating a book, there’s usually a reason and a good one at that.
      Thanks so much. 🙂

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      1. I agree. I usually just get really upset with the content of the book. There is definitely most always a reason but there is also people out there who hate books just to hate. Thank you for replying back 🙂

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      2. It just really blows my mind. It was no problem I love talking to other book bloggers and don’t tell anyone but you are one of the coolest to talk to 🙂

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      3. Yeah. Like I wrote this one negative review and I believe it posted yesterday but at least I had facts from the book. I think that problematic books should have more reviews from people to get more input.

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  17. Interesting topic! Especially in an age where EVERYTHING is out there on the internet, reviews feel like they can make or break a book which is sometimes good and others bad xD but like you said, if you love a book, it shouldnt deter you if someone else dislikes it – maybe itll just make for an interesting discussion! I think as long as the bad review is constructive and not just ‘this is stupid’, it’s not necessarily a bad thing! :p

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    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Yeah the internet has become a huge part of life for everyone at the moment, and you do see books which are pretty much broken by negative reviews and negative press (mainly controversial ones but they still count). That’s the main thing reviews create that discussion and I think that’s so important in the book blogging community, the important part if just respecting other people’s opinions. They may not have enjoyed the same books but it doesn’t mean their thoughts are any less valid. 😀

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  18. No, I don’t really feel nervous as long as I’m being truthful. It takes a lot (and I mean a lot) for me to feel negatively about a book. Good and bad reviews help readers. I always remind myself of that.

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  19. This post is amazing — you just touched on a few thoughts I’ve been wondering about reviews lately.

    I think your example with A Court of Thorns and Roses is a great example, because I LOVED the book when I first read it, as well as the sequel. When the third book came out, I reread the first and second books of the ACOTAR series to refresh my memories of what happened, but I caught so many problematic elements with the novel that I actually ended up never finishing the third book. Negative book reviews that give out constructive criticism — I think “constructive” is the key word here 😊 — are great to read in order for us to become more open-minded and understand other people’s perspectives.

    As for your thoughts on negative reviews for diverse books, I want to frame what you wrote and save the quote because it’s honest:

    “Personally I think that even though diverse books are important to see on bookshelves reviews need to be honest. A book can’t just rely on the fact that it has diverse characters to get away with lazy writing, character development, or world building.”

    That thought was so well-written and eloquently put by you, I just wanted to thank you for putting that out there. Diverse books are important, and we should praise that… but it’s important for us to also honestly evaluate how good the actual storytelling of a book is. Because, in essence, aren’t all fictional books meant to tell us good stories? And if a book fails to do that, or does it in a way that we personally don’t like, shouldn’t we be able to share our thoughts?

    Great discussion post, Beth! I enjoyed reading it! 😊

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    1. Thanks so much, and yeah this is something that’s been on my mind for a while, but especially recently because of the less-than-glowing reviews I posted for some diverse books. They weren’t terrible by any means but not amazing either.
      I haven’t re-read A Court of Thorns and Roses since the first time I picked it up, but review I’ve seen for it have opened my eyes so I think I will be more aware of the problematic aspects if/when I do re-read the series. it’s kind of a learning experience, looking back on these books we loved so much and realising that they aren’t perfect, but that we can still enjoy them.
      Oh thanks so much Zoie, I’m really glad that part of my post spoke to you. It’s something important because at the end of the day we read because we want great stories, great characters and great world building and as important as diversity is the most important part is always the story. There’s no point awarding a book brownie points for diversity when the story itself is terrible.
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤

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  20. I don’t particularly like leaving a bad review. Seeing as I review every book I read, there will be a bad one here and there. I just suck it up and tell it how it is. Sometimes books just aren’t good.

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    1. Yeah, we can’t expect to love every book we read, or expect everyone to love the same books we do either. I feel like blogging would be very boring if every book out thee had glowing five-star ratings. We need a little conversation when it comes to reviews. 🙂

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  21. I get so incredibly nervous, when I post negative reviews! Especially because I’m a very critical reader and tend to rate books lower than my friends, and oftentimes dislike books everyone loves. So I always feel like saying “sorry everyone, but I just … did not like this.” (Which I do a lot.)

    I don’t mind seeing negative reviews for my favorite books, because I find it really interesting that people can read the same books and have completely different opinions on them, and I’m curious as to what made them dislike it.

    And negative reviews have definitely made me re-think my opinion, but mostly, I stand by my initial judgment. It has happened, though, that something I hadn’t paid attention to or realized is pointed out in a review, and then I’ll re-adjust my rating and maybe my review.

    This is a great discussion, Beth! 🙂

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    1. I feel like I’ve done that a time or two, apologized for my feelings on a book. I guess if it’s a well loved book sometimes it’s instinctive right? And after blogging for a few years I feel I’ve become more critical so I really get what you mean. 🙂
      Yeah it’s part of the fun of blogging as well I think, seeing the different opinions, besides as long as a negative review for my favourite book isn’t attacking fans of said book I can enjoy reading it.
      I stand by a lot of my initial feelings for books, I still love A Court of Thorns and Roses I guess I’m just now more aware of the problematic aspects in the story and I see them as they are instead of looking past them. It’s been a learning experience I guess I can say.
      Thanks so much! 😀

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  22. I definitely feel nerves when writing a negative review. It’s not so much because a book is popular and I’m afraid of backlash. It’s more to do with feeling bad when an author put so much work into a book. I try my best to find something positive to mention along with the negative comments. I just can’t be super harsh. I also know that some people will love a book that I didn’t like, so there is something positive about a book for different readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I get what you mean. While I can’t always find something positive to say about the negative reviews I write I make sure my negative reviews are never an attack on the author or the people who are fans of the book either. Its one thing to not like a book but it’s another to be a bully you know? I do think that there’s very few books where you can’t say something positive about some aspect of it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Weirdly enough I don’t really feel nervous about posting negative reviews. Especially not when they’re for hyped books. Idk I just get all “Come at me bro”, gearing up to fight anyone who wants to lol.

    That being said, I actually love reading negative reviews for my favourite books? They don’t affect my opinion usually, and I like knowing what people didn’t like about them. I won’t go arguing about it either. Anyone’s entitled to their own opinion. And if there’s common criticisms I know about before writing my review maybe I can address that aspect as well and give my perspective on it. The only negative reviews I really get mad at are ones that I feel are uninformed or just plain wrong. I’m not a fan of piling on books and calling them out on things because so-and-so said it was problematic so obviously it has to be problematic (hell, the internet has ruined the word problematic for me tbqh).

    And for the most part I don’t stop loving books because of negative reviews. Depending on how they make their point and what their reasoning is, I’ll consider their criticism, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop loving the book. In fact, I feel like it should be possible to love a book while also being aware of its shortcomings. I love Lord of the Rings, but I’m aware that it’s not perfect. And I don’t feel like anyone should feel bad about liking a book that gets criticised, or be pressured to do that for that matter. Tastes differ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s great, can you tell me your secret because despite how long I’ve been blogging I’ve never managed to get beyond that feeling of worry when I post a negative review. 🙂
      Yeah I get what you mean because I love reading negative reviews too. A lot of the time they don’t change my opinion so much but they can make me look at things differently which I think is a good thing because the more you read the more you learn right? That being said I get what you mean about uninformed reviews because they feel more like an attack than anything else. Ha, problematic is a word that has been ruined for me too, I feel like there are so many different connotations applied to the word ‘problematic’ now.
      Ohh, that’s a good point actually. I guess as long as you’re aware of the problems in favourite books and that they’re not perfect that’s the main thing right? Yeah, we can’t always love the same books, how boring would blogging be if we did? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Im not sure there is much of a secret? I’ve just grown up to be someone who’s inherently done with everything and doesn’t give a shite anymore. And if someone wants to fight me they’re welcome to. (I guess my secret is that somewhere deep down I’m always angry. Which probably makes me a bit of a Bruce Banner with less scientific genius).
        Exactly! And learning and looking at things from a different perspective can help us understnad the world better imo.
        You could say that the word problematic has become well problematic.
        yes. And people have so many different reasons for books being their favourites. Maybe this particular book helped them through a bad time or it helped them discover something about themselves. I think that is something that gets lost in discussions sometimes.
        Oh god if we all liked the same books we could probably close all of our blogs because what use is there in blogging when it’s just everyone talking about the same books over and over again?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do that as well then, I dunno I feel like I put too much stock in other people’s feelings of me. I need to give less of a shite, be more Bruce Banner (again without the scientific genius!)
        Ha, yes. We almost need a new word because problematic is too problematic.
        Yeah it’s so personal isn’t it? I have some favourite books that have that emotional connection to me, but a lot more I just love because I love the story.
        Exactly, it would almost be like one blog fits all. There would just need to be one blog because it would be all of our opinions. 😀

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  24. Hello Beth! I love this discussion about negative reviews because I think it is something we all deal with as book bloggers and book reviewers. There is bound to be a book that we dislike, and sometimes it is a popular book that other people love!
    I do feel nervous posting a negative review because I am worried that fans of the book may react badly when they see a negative review. For example, I feel that When Dimple Met Rishi and The Sun is Also a Star did not live up to the hype! So far I never had any rude comments when I’ve posted a negative review, and more often than not I realize that there are other readers who feel the same way as I do.
    I don’t mind reading negative reviews of books that I enjoyed, since it is interesting to hear a perspective that is different than mine. For example I liked Everything Everything and Me Before You, but it turns out that many book bloggers feel that these are problematic books, and now I can see why they feel this way.
    All in all I feel that negative reviews are essential even if they are difficult to write or post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Sophie, and yes negative reviews are something we’ve all posted at least once, and we’ve likely all had these feelings as well because people can be so passionate about the books they love can’t they? 🙂
      I’ve never had any negative feedback to my negative reviews either, but I always wonder whether one day there will be that blow-back from my negative reviews. It’s harder when they’re diverse books because there’s a lot of expectations and hype and opinions surrounding diverse books and it feels like the wrong thing could cause an explosion you know?
      No I don’t mind it either, and sometimes negative reviews are helpful because they can give us a different outlook on these books. Even with books we love no story is perfect so there’s always something that we can learn right?
      Definitely, what’s book blogging without a little discourse. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I know what you mean. I definitely feel that it is harder to write a negative review about a diverse book that people love. I love that a book has diverse characters and I often don’t have any problems with the representation in the book, but sometimes it is other elements that I did not enjoy (for example, the pacing, character development or writing style). Even if I make this clear in the review, I worry that this can be misinterpreted by people reading it!
        Absolutely! If everyone’s opinion is the same, then there wouldn’t be need for book bloggers, right? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Diverse books is such a hot topic at the moment it seems like there are so many ways a negative review can backfire, even if it’s not because of the characters or the diverse aspect of the story right? I mean there have been rare occasions where it’s been the character that’s meant I haven’t enjoyed the book (like with From Twinkle, With Love) but in that case it wasn’t the diverse part of the character, just the things she did you know?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I know what you mean. There can be aspects that we don’t like about a character’s development regardless of their ethnicity/identity! Just because a character is diverse, doesn’t mean that they are automatically likeable and relatable right?

        Liked by 1 person

  25. yes to everything in this post!! i don’t know if it’s because i haven’t had enough experience posting reviews or interacting in the bookish community, but i always feel a little nervous when posting a negative review. this especially applies to super popular diverse books because i’m afraid that readers might misconstrue my message, or that i might say something wrong and offend someone. i guess it’s all a learning and growing process! i also always feel at least a little bit guilty posting a super negative review of a debuting author (especially if they’re self-published) but i always remind myself that i need to give my unfiltered opinion. :’)

    fantastic post!! i always love reading your discussions because they make me think ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean I’ve been blogging for nearly three years now and I still get nervous about posting negative reviews, so I’m not sure if more experience will help get rid of that feeling for you Hannah (though hopefully it will). Yeah I feel like there’s a lot of eggshells to navigate when it comes to negative reviews for diverse books, but my opinions my opinion, and I’m not going to rate a book five stars for including diversity when I didn’t like the characters and/or the story. I think at the end we just need to remind ourselves that honestly is more worthwhile than non-honest positive reviews, and every book out there will have at least one negative review so it’s not the like the ones we post will break the bank or anything.
      Thanks so much Hannah. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess negative reviews will always be a little harder to post HAHA :”) That’s also why I personally sometimes feel a little uncomfortable negatively reviewing #ownsvoices novels I didn’t really enjoy.
        Honesty always comes first, though ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same! (Sorry for the late response, I seem to always go on unplanned hiatuses T.T) Also I’ve noticed this phenomenon going around on book twitter where people tag authors in negative reviews; I was just curious about your thoughts on that! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s all right. I know all about unplanned hiatuses. 🙂
        See I don’t think that’s right. I mean it’s different when it comes to fans of the book but it’s more personal when it’s an authors actual work you know. Plus I feel like most authors don’t read any reviews of their books, positive or negative, so why tag them and pretty much throw it in their faces.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sighhh “unplanned hiatuses” is basically my middle name.

        I do believe that negative reviews are just as important as positive reviews, but I also totally agree that you shouldn’t tag the author unless you know that they’re absolutely okay with it! Like, that book has probably been the author’s pride, joy, and life for months, and people don’t need to tear it apart in front of their eyes :’)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’d just stay on the safe side and avoid tagging authors no matter what. If they want to read reviews they know where to find them but I feel like if it was me I’d be uncomfortable reading any reviews for a story I spent so much time on and put so much effort into.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Of course I’ve felt nervous especially if the book has been writtend by an author that I love! But I promised to always be honest in my reviews…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Yes, I have definitely felt nervous about sharing a negative review! I don’t even know why, since nobody’s really ever said anything to me about any of my negative reviews.

    And no, I don’t mind seeing negative reviews of my favorite books. I don’t actively seek them out, but if I come across one, it’s always interesting to see someone else’s interpretation. And sometimes those interpretations make me see the book in a different light. While I’m not going to go from loving a book to hating it just because I read someone else’s negative opinion, it can make me think twice about problematic aspects or whether I’d really want to recommend it to someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, no one’s said anything negative to me about my negative reviews either, but there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind every time I post a negative review.
      Reading is something we’re all passionate about, and I guess sometimes that passion can come across in bad ways. Oh I don’t seek out negative reviews either, but I agree it’s interesting to see someone else’s perspective especially if it’s a negative one because there’s always something you can learn even about books you love.

      Like

  28. Sometimes I feel nervous, especially I’m reviewing something out of my lane. I recently finished Fawkes, just to use an example, at it has discourse about racism and colonialism but I feel that weren’t so well handled. Plus other things I’m not sure about. I’ve kinda choose what to talk about, but also is not something I’m fully competent to expose properly. I will try my best.

    Sometimes I’m a bit vary about reviews made by not ownvoices, mostly because of personal experience. I read many reviews with fatphobic undertones while the MC experiences was really near to me. So I always read them with a certain caution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think as long as we try our best that’s all we can do right? In the end reviews are our opinions, so even if we’re not who the book was written for and are a little out of our lane that doesn’t mean our opinion isn’t justified, just that someone who this book was written for or who is in their lane may have a different experience.
      Yeah I think even when there are books where we can identify with the MC experiences will still differ. In the end reading with caution is a good idea, and I guess not taking reviews too personally either, we can’t all get the same things from reading after all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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