Friday, August 09, 2013

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:  If you don't like a book that you said you would review, do you graciously turn it down and explain why or do you struggle through it and hopefully come up with a half decent review?

Once upon a time, I'd struggle through books I didn't like and then in the review I'd talk about how pretty the cover was or how I really wanted to go where the book was set, just about anything other than how awful the book was; though I'd never say it was good if it wasn't.  I don't do that any more.  Now, I decide whether or not to write a negative review (as opposed to writing nothing at all) based on a variety of factors:
  • If it just isn't my cup of tea, if I can't really point out any problems with the book other than the fact that I didn't like it, then I'll probably either pass (in the case of a NetGalley or Edelweiss ARC) or ask the person who sent it to me if s/he REALLY wants me to review a book I didn't like.
  • If it is a lousy book that no one has ever heard of and probably won't ever hear of, then I'll probably do the same as above.
  • I review for a couple of companies that specifically require reviews.  Well, they get them.
  • If it is a book that "everyone" loves and I don't, I'm apt to write a negative review, but I'll also point out that there are those who love it.  This is especially likely to happen if I'm reviewing Catholic books.
  • If the author rattles my chain about something that is important to me, I'm likely to write a negative review.  Anti-Catholic statements or misrepresenting Catholicism will almost guarantee you a negative review.
  • If I regularly read/review an author's books, and I don't like one of them, I'll probably tell you why.  
In short, I don't write positive reviews of books I don't like.  Also I think having at least a few negative reviews and giving books different ratings helps readers get a feel for the reviewer.  If all books are five star/A+ books, how do I know what you don't like?  How do I get a feel for whether we think alike?

What do you think?  Do you like to read less than positive reviews of books?  Do you write less than positive reviews?

Hop on over to Coffee Addicted Writer to join this hop.


  1. Ruth thanks for visiting my Friday Blog Hop!

    I totally agree with you, I think that it's ok to write a negative review so long as it's constructive criticism and not rude towards the Author at all. If it's still respectful then by all means I think it's good to write it. That way the Author will get honest feedback as well and hopefully they can apply it to future works of theirs.

    How will an Author know if no one tells them?

  2. Good answer, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment :)

  3. Hi, Ann!

    WOW. What a FANTASTIC answer!! You've certainly covered all the bases!!

    I agree with most of what you've stated here. The thing is, though, that I do feel bad if I've received a print book for a blog tour, and have to tell the tour company that I won't be reviewing it because I don't like it. But I think this is the lesser of two evils. If I do give the book a negative review, this will reflect badly on the author being featured in the tour. (Thankfully, I no longer have to deal directly with authors.) In the case of one blogger -- Juli @ A Universe In Words -- she was actually kicked off a blog tour for posting a negative review of the book being toured!

    By the way, I neither read nor review e-books. I prefer REAL books. So I never sign up for e-book tours. If the book is not available in print -- even if I can't get a free review copy from the tour company -- I won't review it at all.

    You made an excellent point regarding such things as anti-Catholic bias. I totally agree!! I did give a negative review to a YA novel, titled "Marked", because of this. The authors are P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (mother & daughter). They have a very strong anti-Christian bias! (I'm a Catholic, too, but any derogatory remarks against ANY Christian denomination, from non-Christians, deeply offends me.) In one early chapter, they refer to ALL Christian men as "beady-eyed pedophiles", would you believe! UGH. I REALLY blasted them for that! If you wish, you can check out my review and see for yourself. Thankfully, this book was not on tour, or I would have DEFINITELY written to the tour company to tell them I couldn't review it!

    Thanks for your TERRIFIC answer! Also, thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting on my BBH post!! : )

    1. I don't write that many completely negative reviews; however, unlike many bloggers I don't have a lot of A or 5 star books. I just think it is more honest.

    2. And this is why we love reading your reviews. :)

      As an aspiring author myself I feel like it's politically a no-no to post bad reviews, and yet I feel strongly that less-than-glowing reviews are the most helpful to readers. So I often spend more time on a review of a book I WASN'T crazy about than one I was. And in some cases I just have to give it a Goodreads star rating and not write anything about it at all.

  4. yeah I agree,visiting back.New GFC follower.


    Mich Book Shelf

  5. Wow! Great answer. I should start thinking about how I write my reviews. But I do sometimes not give reviews for books I didn't like or have nothing to say about it.

  6. Good answer. Nice and detailed.

    Mine is at the link below.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

  7. You've really thought this through! I agree with so many of your points!

  8. I like your response. It's really good that you're honest with your reviews, for both yourself and your readers.

    Thanks for commenting on my BBH!

    Ashling @ Reading, Writing & Anything but Arithmetic

  9. I like your reasons as to what kind of reviews to write. I might have to take some into consideration.

    Thanks for stopping by!


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