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Reader Interactions


  1. Tamara @ Tamaraniac says

    Personally I HATE writing negative reviews. Because I hardly ever “hate” a book with any sort of passion : pretty much all of my one and two star reviews are just that I couldn’t get into the book or I just didn’t care at all while reading it. I think I’ve only written one ranty review and that was for Lord of the Flies. And I only posted it on goodreads.

  2. S. Usher Evans says

    As an author, negative reviews are both a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing because they give my book legitimacy that someone OTHER than my mom read it. They are a curse because no one likes to hear their baby is ugly.

    As a reader, I’ve come to the point where unless a book is evoking a major emotional response, I won’t continue reading if I don’t love it. There’s too many books on my list to waste time on one I’m not feeling.

  3. Amber Theresa Morrell says

    It’s funny that you mention Queen of Shadows. I actually had a lot of problems with it and posted a critical, though not necessarily negative, review on my blog. I think there’s a lot of “rating inflation” on Goodreads and in the blogging community. 3 stars is seen as bad, when really, it should mean “average.” I too love to read negative reviews, but only ones that have put in the effort for serious critical thought.

  4. Rosie | Girl In Awe says

    I always feel semi uncomfortable about posting negative / critical reviews – it doesn’t stop me from posting them, but I probably won’t tag the author in a tweet or promote it quite as much as other reviews. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or not.

    As a reader, I do read negative / critical reviews and I know my taste, so I know whether or not I will probably agree with negative / critical points.

  5. Geraldine @ Corralling Books says

    I devour negative reviews as well! Especially for the books I love, because I like seeing other people’s perspectives and seeing what I might have missed in the books. Plus, reading negative reviews also helps me pick out books because there are some specific things that I try to shy away from when reading a book (like a poorly constructed plot). Bad reviews, read along with good reviews, give me a more holistic view, and I really appreciate them. Great post – never really thought about this before!

  6. Natalie says

    I’ll admit that I very rarely read reviews in general but I do love reading negative reviews especially when I didn’t like the book myself. Something about someone else ranting about the book makes me extremely happy. And I DO like writing negative reviews, I like being able to get my negative thoughts out there and they’re easier to write than ‘OMGTHIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!!!’ but posting them, not so much.

  7. Lais Espacini says

    i loooove reading negative reviews as well! i think is, just like you said, my guilty pleasure. i always search for those, despise if i loved the book or if i hated it. i think the best part about book blogs/booktube is that you can always find completely different perspectives over the same book – and that’s okay! i think most part of people don’t like negative reviews, because some of them may be disrespectful, but i believe you can express your dislike without offending anyone. there’s nothing wrong in not feeling a book, but you have to be careful on how you put that in words.

  8. Alexa S. says

    If they’re critical reviews that point out exactly why a book just wasn’t for them, I find negative reviews interesting to read. They challenge my perspective or feelings towards a book I loved; they can also have me nodding in agreement when someone expresses my reservations towards the book perfectly.

  9. Leah @ Girl vs Books says

    I actually enjoy negative reviews. I love the snarky ones the most – I know they’re mean, but they make me laugh, and they’re so, so amusing. But I also love reading the critical ones, especially of books I’ve got to read, or I’m thinking about reading, because it helps give a balanced view on it. At the end of the day, everyone gets bad reviews – musicians, actors, movies, sportsmen, so why shouldn’t authors? I know writing a book is a lot of hard work, but I’d be very worried as a writer if all of my reviews were positive, because not everyone can love your work, that’s what makes us unique.

  10. ♡ Kristin ♡ says

    I like reading negative reviews as well. When I love a book and someone else doesn’t I’m always so curious to find out why that is. I think it’s good to listen to the issues other people have with a book and figure out why they didn’t bother you. And yes, it always fun to read negative reviews of books you don’t like too, especially the gif filled goodreads ones although I would never feel comfortable posting one of those myself! I’ve written negative reviews on my blog (most recently Winterspell by Claire Legrand) but it doesn’t make me feel bad because I talked about why it didn’t work for me and I honestly would be open to reading other books she writes.

  11. Islam Ahmed says

    I find your view of negative reviews rather interesting. Personally, I hate reading negative reviews, though they are constructive, I just don’t like to read them. Especially if I’ve read the book and love it. Negative reviews make me doubt my initial thoughts on the book. On the other hand, I don’t mind writing them as much. But, usually (like you) I just look for the good stuff and write about that in my reviews.

  12. Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian says

    Thank you for this! I always feel guilty about negative reviews because I think about if I wrote that book how much it would crush me to see a bunch of people not liking it. But on the flip side, you don’t want people to bump you up to three stars because they feel badly for you.

    I recently read Gambit which I got from the publisher on NetGalley and felt a lot of pressure to like it. But the male lead was an abusive love interest and I couldn’t not say anything.

    I think the negative reviews are great because they really tell you about what might make you not want to read the book. I totally get your desire to read a book more because of negative reviews. I end up going on an internet search spree to see if other people had the same problem with the book. And honestly, sometimes I think those sorts of reviews can be more constructive to a writer than “I loved it”. You want people to love your stuff, but if there’s nothing to fix then there’s nothing to improve on

  13. Maya @ Suddenly Inundated says

    I love negative reviews! When I’m looking to buy a book that I’m not sure about, I ALWAYS read the negative reviews. Lets be real here, positive reviews are nice, but they arent exactly helpful… I want to know what could go wrong with said book… not what could go right! IF there is tons of negative reviews, I back away, obviously this book is pretty bad… If however, nobody posted negative reviews, I would never know! I would squeal and buy the book. Then I would cry. Because it would be bad! I loved the post by the way and totally agree with everything you said!

  14. Zoe N. says

    I really enjoy negative reviews. It’s always eye-opening to read a negative review about a book you’ve already read, because so many times the criticisms people make are just so observant and so accurate it makes you wonder why you didn’t see that first. Thanks for sharing Alexandra and, as always, fabulous discussion! <3

  15. Annie says

    i think i’m the opposite of you, like i love writing negative reviews but less so reading them. like don’t get me wrong, i have enjoyed reading negative reviews but writing them brings me such catharsis. it’s like a weight being lifted off my chest. i think it helps that i don’t request review copies so i don’t feel a sense of obligation to write a positive review because even if honesty, regardless if it’s a positive or negative critque, is appreciated, i still felt awful about writing a negative review for a book i’d requested when i used to use netgalley. but now that all the books i read i pick up on my own accord, i don’t have that obligation so writing negative reviews is really fun for me. obviously i don’t seek out to hate books so i can trash them or whatever but it is fun for me in the same way it’s fun for me to rant after a long exhausting day. good to get all that toxic out before my next read so i can set myself up for a good experience! or at least that’s my mentality haha.

  16. Blaise Haddow says

    I agree with so many points on this post. Just so much yes.

    But also: I think there’s a stigma against negativity sometimes in the blogging community. Even the people whose brand is snark are required to be funny, I think. People are just expected to be happy and excitable and positive and encouraging and OMG! in a way, and negative reviews don’t jive with that. I dunno.

  17. Reading With Jade says

    I think there is definitely a place for negative reviews, but there is also a line too. Yes, the book might have been so terrible you couldn’t even finish it, but share nicely why you DNF’ed or gave one star – those are the kind of negatives reviews I dislike, when people are just intentionally cruel. Someone worked really hard on that book!

    It’s inevitable that of 10 reviewers, 1 of those aren’t going to like that book, and that should be expressed, for the exact same reason positive reviews should be out there. It’s an opinion. I don’t tend to share negative reviews myself, well very few of them, for no other reason than the fact I tend to DNF books I’m not connecting with and I don’t share DNF’ed books on my blog in review form. When I do finish a book that was say 2 stars and below, I’ll be constructive in my review, just as I am with every other kind of review.

    You mentioned certain book tours not allowing negative reviews, which I think is a little bit silly really. Receiving a negative review of your book doesn’t mean its a bad book, for the most part it just means it wasn’t that reviewers cup of tea. Also, whether the talk is good or bad, it is still getting the word out there about your book. And in all honesty, if I’m following a book tour, I’m more likely to pick up a book that has received some negative feedback.

    Great discussion topic!

  18. Mara @ Mara Was Here says

    I definitely agree! Whenever I feel hesitant on buying a book, I immediately go on Goodreads and check the 1-3 star ratings and read what made the book not appealing for them. It gives me an idea if the book should really be for me or not. I only read good ratings when I really loved the book and want to discuss with someone about it.

  19. Julia Kyle says

    This is a great discussion post and I’m glad you clarified the difference between critical reviews that put in an effort in comparison to “urgh I just hate it, make it go away” reviews (anyone can write a review like that, it doesn’t take a particular amount of skill). However, as for critical reviews that happen to be negative, I think they’re vital for the writing and publishing industry. For myself, if I come across a book with racism, sexism, internalized misogyny and abusive relationships (regardless of the type), I will not let that slide by in my review, as a book reviewer I feel I have a responsibility to point out those factors. In turn, I do tend to rely on Goodreads for whether or not a book I’m interested in has been reviewed favorably.

  20. bookishventures says

    Yes, I go looking for 1 star reviews before I purchase a book. My favorite reviewer who reviews books truthfully on a analytical stand point, but brutally is Khanh (the grinch) on goodreads. But definitely the review should always be made out respectfully.

  21. Anette @ Anette Reads says

    I completely agree with you, I love reading negative reviews, especially if they’re written in a funny or ranty way. Ten points for negative reviews with gifs! “when i finish a book i didn’t like, i go to the negative rant-y ones and cackle along” hahaha this is definitely me.

    I actually enjoy writing negative reviews too (most of the time) because it’s kind of cathartic to let it all out and explain why it didn’t work for me. Ranting is fun. The last review I posted was actually quite negative and I was both scared and excited to post it because it’s such a popular book (A Darker Shade of Magic).

  22. Kyra says

    SAME! I also enjoy reading negative reviews (not the disrespectful ones though!) and before I buy/read a book I’ll always make sure I read negative reviews (as well as positive) just so I can reduce the chances of reading a book I’ll dislike. I especially enjoy reading them after I’ve finished a book I strongly dislike and then I’m just like SAME, same, same throughout the whole review haha!

  23. Becky Baker says

    I do actually like negative reviews, but then I don’t like writing them on my blog because I worry I will put someone off from reading a book when I know it’s just my own personal opinion and I know other will enjoy it. I do get what you’re saying though, critical reviews help people understand the flaws in a book and give a more realistic picture for a book. It’s one thing I like about Goodreads, there I don’t mind posting my negative thoughts because there you have so many different opinions.

  24. Steph Laymon says

    I love negative reviews since it points out things that I may or may not be able to overlook. I pair them with the positive reviews and make a decision to whether a book is worth the time investment. Negative reviews are not something that will get me to not read a book necessarily, but it is an avenue to having a balanced outlook before going in.

  25. Amber @bookstacksamber says

    I love negative reviews, reading them and writing them! I think they’re much easier to write than positive reviews. I am pretty picky about my books, and even when I rate something 5 stars, I often still have some negative things to say. I usually read 1 star reviews for books before writing my own reviews (for book I loved and hated) to get some more insight and see if there was anything problematic about the book that I missed. We can definitely learn more about a book from a negative review than from someone singing a book’s praises!

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