Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Blogger Hop - Negative Reviews

This week's question is:

How do you handle the writing of a negative review?

My answer:

First of all, I don't write that many "negative" reviews.  The very simple reason for my lack of negative reviewing is that I choose the books I'm going to read very carefully.  As we discussed in last week's hop, I have a bajillion books on my TBR shelves.  There is no reason in the world for me to read books that don't sound good from the get-go.   Secondly, I've always been an adamant follower of reader response theories.  Just because I don't like a book, whether it's the plot, the characters, the format, the setting, etc, that doesn't mean those same elements won't touch someone else.
When I first started reviewing books on my blog, I struggled with the "negative" review...specifically the fact that I never had any and it looked like all I did was sing the praises of all the books I read.  That's when I decided to switch to a format that consisted of two specific sections, "What I Liked" and "What I Didn't Like."  That way, others could decide, based on my specific details, whether or not that particular book might be for their personal tastes.  It also gives me the opportunity to explain why exactly I didn't like a particular book, when and if that happens.
I've just recently been receiving some emails from outside sources asking me to review new titles.  At first I felt a little guilty about saying no, but then, I decided that saying no is better than accepting a book I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like and then not liking it.  That doesn't seem fair at all.

There you have it! I'm very interested to see where other bloggers stand on this issue!
Hopping out!

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jenn @ Crazy for Books.


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment. I had to give up on the book reviews solicied by publishers, just too many books that weren't worth my time. I do review "new" authors that other bloggers recommend every so often, though, and those can turn out not to be my cup of tea after all.

  2. Jon, today's post has made me decide that it's time to publish a review policy...many of the publisher solicited ones I've been getting lately have made me wonder if those particular publishers even look at my blog...the summaries are so not my thing.  

  3. Thanks for stopping by.

    I've often considered putting a "Things I Liked" and Things I Didn't Like" section in my reviews. But, I usually say those things one way or another in my reviews anyway. But, I think it's a good rule of thumb.

  4. me too :) Keeping them apart on purpose helps me make sure that I do indeed address both...helps my crazy brain stay focused :)

  5. I hunted you down from Wordpress. (First; kitty! Second; I
    love the background.) I write my reviews much the same way as you. Even a book
    I didn’t really like will have parts of it that weren’t so bad. I point out
    what I did and what I didn’t like in a book and let the reader base their
    decision off of that. But sometimes a book I thought I would love turns out to
    be a disappointment. Can’t be helped really.

  6. I'm glad you hunted!! I think so too...we're gonna like some and not like others; that just the way it is :) 

  7. I choose books that appeal to me as well.  I will not bash a book online, but look for its positive aspects. (If a book were truly terrible, I probably would not review it publicly, but would keep my thoughts to myself.)

  8. As I do not have to worry about unsolicited reviewing, lol, I don't relate to that so much. But I have found as far as genres, the generic of fiction is enough for me.  I don't keep myself to a certain sub genre of for example the currently popular paranormal or dystopian novels.  For along time I didn't read any kind of mystery novels til my 20's and I had missed out on a lot of good books that way.  I like the new authors because most well known writers tend to always have the same "writing voice".  So I enjoy the freshness of it.  And as far as something that I think I won't like, sometimes as well may end up being a great read, and something I thought I'd enjoy ends up lacking.  So my personal opinion is not to limit myself at all.  As far as those who receive the unsolicited request, I would be flattered, assumingly there is something about your style that they really valued to want your opinion.

  9. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leave comment. Glad to to hear I had great Idea. You may use it in your book Review policy.

    I understand your point. Though I love Fiction, I have recently enjoy Historical Fiction, Amish Fiction, a Bit of Western. I also read Children, Young Adult, I would love to read animal and Pets so I go though several different Genres.

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I wholeheartedly agree! There are too many great books out there to waste time reading a book you aren't that interested in. Don't people get enough of that in high school? I'd much rather read a book that I'm so into that I can't tell what's going on around me. 

    So I don't write any negative reviews either. =D

  11. I feel the same way, Suko...I don't set out to bash anything...and I try to discuss even the negatives in a balanced and honest way.  Thankfully, I don't have to worry about it too much bc I choose the books I read carefully :)

  12. Sometimes Cynthia, I think the publishers have these lists for book bloggers kinda like telephone marketers use and just start throwing things out there.  I've honestly had a few requests where I've wanted to reply not just no, but have you even looked at the kindof stuff I read?  because the request seems so out of nowhere.  Thanks for stopping by! :)

  13. THANKS so much!!! It's truly one of the best statements I've seen on the subject and matches so perfectly the way I think when I'm reviewing a book :)


    Stop by my blog if you like to check out my answer.  :)



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  15. I very much enjoyed and agree with your answer.
    Very will said!

    I am gladly following you on GFC.

  16. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us at Create With Joy! Not only do I love your approach - I LOVE your beautiful black cat in the header! I hope you have a fabulous week and will visit again soon - look forward to getting to know you!

    Create With Joy