Why I’m Happy to be Negative Sometimes

Hello all!! I’m feeling awfully chipper today cos I’m gonna be talking about negativity! Lately, I’ve been dropping a fair few negative posts, and that, together with your comments and an *amazing* post by Uptown Oracle, got me thinking… Why am I happy to be negative on my blog? Especially when so many people aren’t…

Well brace yourself, because I’m gonna deep dive into my monkey brain and tell you all why I put on my grouchy pants from time to time and why I’m willing to sling the odd banana peel at things I don’t like.

  1. I had to suffer through the book dammit! Consider this my very cheap form of therapy. If I suffered through 300+ pages of bilge and was made utterly miserable by a book, then you can be jolly well sure I’m gonna need to vent!!

better out than in shrew

  1. Also, let’s be honest, it’s fun!! Nothing is more cathartic than a good rant- so of course I’m having fun writing these posts and I hope you’re enjoying reading them. Plus, you all get to laugh at my pain. And who doesn’t secretly take pleasure from that? 😉
  1. Honesty is key! I started my blog to share honest opinions about books and that (in my humble opinion) is the best way to have a positive experience and the key to any sort of success. I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s not always easily- some people will say the opposite, but anecdotally I can say my follower count takes a hit when I say something mean about some movie or book I don’t like- and as tempted as I am to follow after the person yelling “come back!” like Rose at the end of Titanic, I know that it’s for the best that I parted ways with someone who can’t take hearing a differing opinion. So I take it as a win anyway 😉 And while we’re on the subject of trust…

come back rose.gif

  1. I’m gonna be blunt– I don’t trust purely positive reviewers- I just don’t. If I go on someone’s page and find nothing but a sea of stars, I’m gonna get suspicious. And if I read a negative review and then the person gives the book upwards of 4 stars, there’s no end to my suspicion! The only way you can trust that I’m giving all my bananas out fairly is if some books don’t get too many. Plus- I love my bananas and only give them away for a good reason- so if I’m giving a book 4-5 bananas it has to be well earned.

terry pratchett banana quote

  1. Besides, rating systems are on a scale for a reason. Books make me feel all sorts of emotions, ranging between AHHH THIS IS AMAZING to UGHHH THIS IS TERRIBLE- so naturally I need a system that reflects that. Talking numerically, if I refuse to go below 3*, I’ve suddenly skewed everything upwards and made 4* books average and now I can’t give 5* sparingly and… arghhh- do you see how confusing this is!? That’s why I have a clear system:

banana rating

  1. Even worse- without clear rating systems, the reader might be misled over whether it’s worth investing time and money in a book. Book reviewing serves a purpose and as much as we may hate to admit it, we *need* to discriminate against books sometimes, because (unfortunately) we don’t have money trees and as much as we would like to personally finance every author/publishing house/book shop on the planet, that is simply not possible. As it is I’m shopping on AbeBooks, scanning every amazon bargain and hopping over to the library once a week (highly recommended practices 😉 ) Contrary to popular belief, our tbr’s don’t just want to be fed all the time- they want to be starved a little as well (okay they’ll never go hungry- but maybe we should put them on a diet). The fact is, we’re not just reading reviews to have our own opinions confirmed or to hear how every single book is just excellent and we need to read it- we need to know whether we should read something or not. If there’s a reason I really shouldn’t be wasted my hard earned cash on something- I want to know about it. And if that means my tbr will get shorter, so much the better!

monster book of monsters

  1. It’s a challenge! Call me crazy, but seeing a negative review for a book I love is like throwing down a gauntlet (and vice versa). It’s great to have perspectives challenged and see things from another point of view- and nothing makes you think more critically than seeing an opposing opinion. Naturally this doesn’t mean you have to agree with the reviewer- sometimes hearing someone’s arguments can actually help you bolster up your own views as you think of counter arguments and you can go away with your opinions intact- but this just shows it doesn’t hurt to hear another point of view, it can only help.

come at me bro.gif


So there you go- those are my reasons I’m happy to be a negative nancy from time to time. What do you think of sharing negative opinions? Let me know in the comments!

115 thoughts on “Why I’m Happy to be Negative Sometimes

  1. Lol, this is great. Really had a laugh reading this post. And you are so right, it’s just great to blow of steam sometimes especially if you have invested time in something and it disappoints you. I think negative opinions are just very honest, and it’s also a good way to let people lower expectations for something. That said, everyone experiences things differently. Whether it’s a novel, movie ot tv series…what maybe is absolutely loved by one person, might actually be hated by another person. And that’s what makes it so fun to exchange thoughts on reviews, as long as it’s done in a respectful way and not in the Youtube kind of way of you know what I mean lol 😂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes definitely!! For sure- I often like having my expectations lowered for things, cos overhyping something can really ruin a book for me. so if I go in with lower expectations I won’t be holding it to such a high standard. Yes that’s very true- just because someone doesn’t like something, doesn’t mean no one ever will. hahahaa yes! 😂 Thank you so much!!

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  2. I physically clapped for this post. I never trust a reviewer that gushes over every book. It is a load of forced bull cookies. If a book pisses you off, voice that. If a book sends you full rage face and has you throwing things? Voice that. If it gives you sun shine and rainbows, that is awesome, voice that too. But you can just tell when someone is lying especially with ARCs. I want and give honest book reviews. What is the bloody point in lying about it?

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    1. Aww thank you!! Yes exactly!! hehehe what a hilarious phrase!! YES!!! Exactly- I found this a lot when I watched booktube- cos I saw *so many* reviews for books that went something like “here’s everything wrong with this book annnnd I gave it 5*” I’d be confused until they said they got it sent by the publisher. Yes!! I one hundred percent agree!!

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    1. That’s fair- I think you can tell when people give honest reviews cos they tend to be more balanced even if the rating is upwards of 3*. It’s really just about the balanced reviews (with the occasional gush 😉 ) hehehe yes!! It’s very cathartic 😉

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  3. Great post and I totally agree! I actually have a part drafted post called ‘It’s OK to be negative’ but you know, procrastination and all that means it has been festering unfinished in my drafts for a couple of months.😂

    I understand why people don’t want to be negative on their blog and respect their decision but I don’t see anything wrong in being negative.

    If you do never see negative reviews it does make you question the blog. If you know that the blogger doesn’t post negative reviews then OK, cool. But if it’s a new too you blog and all you see is gushing praise then you do have to think about it. I’ve only written 4 or 5 negative reviews but they have sure been negative!😂 I’m just picky about what I read and try to only read what I think I’ll like, which works most of the time but a few times it hasn’t. But no negative reviews on an unknown blog hhhmmm.🤔

    Honesty! Hell yeah!

    It’s definitely fun and cathartic, ranting is great for that, foul mouthed, sarcastic, a nice rant, it makes you feel better.

    Yeah, if you finish the book and struggle through then there is no reason not to review, you want something written to sat, yes, I finished it and it sucked!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much!! hehe great minds think alike 😉 😂 and I know what you mean about having something in drafts for ages 😉 I really look forward to your take on this!!

      Yeah for sure! If someone makes that decision it really is upto them- I get that a lot of people have books they rate down, they just won’t review it and that’s fair.

      But yeah, usually if the person gives complex reviews with the ups and downs of a book then I’ll be cool with it. But if I see nothing but gush I’ll just not trust it. The worst for me is when I used to watch booktube- some of the reviewers on there would rant about a book for ten minutes and at the end go “in the end I gave this 5*”- and I’d just think “WHATTT??!!!!” yes I totally get that- I go through phases- but I have had some really good runs where it’s nothing but amazing ratings cos I’m just picking better.

      hehehe yes it is!!! 😂😂😂 Precisely!!! Especially since sometimes I seem to punish myself by finishing things I really should DNF, just so I can tell people why I should have DNF’d it (I really don’t know why I do that to myself though 😂😂😂)

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      1. My take on it could be a while or I might use what I’ve wrote and add it to another post and then that’ll be in the drafts for ages as my procrastination levels are exceedingly high at the moment.😂

        I am having that issue at the moment, I’m not enjoying a book but want to try and read it all just because but really I should quit and read something else that I’ll enjoy.

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  4. I have no problem featuring negative reviews either. I started blogging to share my thoughts about books and…I don’t like every book I read. Writing negative reviews helps me remember my own thoughts about the book, and work out why I didn’t like the book, and I agree it can help you come across as honest to your readers.

    I have no problems with people who only post positive reviews to spread the love of books or just stay positive in their lives, but I don’t see that as my personal job or goal. I think I’d be positive if I were literally in charge of helping other people find books, like if I worked in a library or bookstore. But on my blog I just say what I personally thought about the book instead of trying to “find the right audience who will love it” or whatever.

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    1. Yes!! So glad you agree!! Precisely- sometimes I can have a visceral reaction and writing the review can actually calm me and even make me more balanced about it. It just makes me a more critical reader in general. And I definitely agree.

      Yes it’s not something I relate to as much. hehe yes, the trouble is if someone’s too positive all the time, I feel like all they’re trying to do is sell me something 😉 hehehe yes!!


      1. Yes, I also kind of associate being positive about every book and “finding it the right reader” with marketing. And I don’t really want to feel like my blog is about marketing products (especially since I don’t actually work for the publisher or anyone selling the products!).

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  5. Oh I love this post so much. ❤ It kind of makes me reconsider my whole blog and everything, like, am I being too positive about the books?! 😂😂 Will definitely try to mix things up, but also…something weird happens with negativity: somehow, negative reviews attract way more people to a blog post than positive reviews. It's great, because everyone loves a good ranting, and we're warned not to spend our money if a book is bad, but… on the other hand, where is the support for the good books? 😂 ANYWAY hahaha I'm not here to rant about that. This is such a great post, I so agree that honesty is key, definitely what we're looking for in book bloggers, reviews and everything. It's GOOD to be negative sometimes, I agree! 🙂

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    1. hahah no no, I love your blog- I always feel like your reviews are fair and balanced (knew I should have put more caveats into the post 😂) It’s more something I noticed when I watched booktube to be honest where *every single* book was 5* even if they didn’t seem to like it (and you can really see if someone doesn’t like something in a video!) hehe yes I do see that- but to be honest I’ve found my negative reviews get a lot more views to likes- especially at first 😂😂 It’s like people are scared off by the negativity 😂😂😂 I wish more of those people would write in the comments why I’m wrong to be honest 😉 . hehehe true!! 😂😂 Thank you so much!!

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      1. I don’t watch a ton of booktube, but…I’m curious to see these videos now 😂 it is true, it doesn’t make tons of sense to rate a book 5 stars if you’re not convinced by it all. It is so important to remain honest and everything in our reviews, to try and point out potential issues and everything.
        I agree with you on that! It would be so good to have constructive conversations in comments whenever we share a negative reviews….I’m guessing people are nervous to share their thoughts?

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        1. hehehe for all this talk of being mean, I think it probably would be a bit mean if I sent you the videos of people I don’t like- but there are loads of great booktubers out there if you want recs 😉 😂 Yes absolutely!!
          I definitely agree- and I do think a lot of people are scared to share their thoughts- but I do try to encourage it if I can. I totally understand why though- it’s a scary thing to do!

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  6. I couldn’t agree more, giving out negative reviews every once in a while is the only way to be legit as a book reviewer, how else are you going to trust people’s recommendations? Good for you for standing up and announcing this, hopefully more people follow suit!

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  7. I actually really love reading negative reviews even if I don’t agree with them. Big ranty reviews are so fun to read and even if my opinion is different I can usually understand where they’re coming from. I’m not going to take offence or stop following.

    In terms of writing negative reviews I’m a little more cautious. I would never claim to have loved a book when I didn’t (and I hope my ratings are fair). Most of the time if I don’t like a book I won’t post a review on my blog at all. I do still put a negative review on Goodreads but a lot of the books I read are ARCs and often debuts so I don’t want to be overly harsh. If it’s a well known, popular author *cough*John Green*cough* however….

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    1. hehehe yes!!! I definitely agree!! And I’m the same- I’ve read so many snarky reviews of books I loved and I was just laughing my head off. I’m the same- I find it equally entertaining whether I liked the book or not. The most I’ve ever thought when someone doesn’t like a book I like is “ah shame”

      I get that- I’ve seen a lot of people who do balanced reviews in general that don’t publish negative reviews on books. Even I have my limits- on the rare occasion I read Indie books I won’t review them if I’ve given it 1 or 2 stars- though I’ll put the rating on GR too- so I get exactly what you mean 😉 hehehe I’m the same- when it comes to popular books then the gloves are off cos it really won’t make a difference 😂 (hehehe John Green was incidentally one of my first reviews- and it was of course gripey 😂)

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    1. Thank you!! hehehe me too!!! Even if I haven’t read the book/read it and loved it- snarky rants can be the funniest blogs!! hehe too true!! I only like gushy reviews if I’ve read it and loved it/plan to read it. Whereas I always like a rant 😉 😂

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  8. I totally agree! I hate it when I read a glowing review and then I look and it’s been given like 2/5 because the person is worried about offending someone by laying out exactly what they think! I think you’ve gotta just call it as you see it or what’s the point?!

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  9. This is SO very true! There are several really loved books/series that I just can’t get into – and sometimes I feel bad about the idea of posting a negative review. But really, what’s wrong with the fact I didn’t like it? Especially since so much of the time, it’s just personal taste – and just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean somebody else won’t, and honestly I don’t care if that’s the case. If I didn’t like the work because I felt it was truly poorly written or certainly bad for us (for example, a novel that portrays autism as “a problem to be cured”), and I feel the need to flatout say I don’t think anyone should read it, I will. But otherwise I don’t have a problem with somebody loving one that was a miss for me. And when I really can’t stand a book, it’s really a relief to find someone who agrees with me!

    The only book no one’s ever allowed to not like is mine. 🙂

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    1. Thank you!! Yes- exactly- there’s nothing wrong with not liking something. Precisely!! And yes I definitely get what you mean!! I think it’s perfectly ok to say when something in a book is just wrong! Especially since I’ve seen books trying to be educational and failing drastically. And I really agree- I often seek out negative reviews if I wasn’t crazy about a book, just to make sure it’s not just me!!

      hehehe- funnily enough, that reminds me of a post I did once “I don’t care, I didn’t write it”- which was basically along the lines of what we’ve been saying, but of course I do take it personally when people don’t like my work (of course, they’re free to dislike it if I ever share it… just far away from me!) 😉

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      1. You’re welcome! Yeah, about a year ago I read “Some Kind of Happiness” by Clare LeGrand, and I was enjoying it for the first few chapters, then started getting a little concerned because it was clear there were bad things afoot…then when it was revealed (spoiler) that the main character’s grandparents were actually complicit in the accidental death of a family (including young kids), and it was covered up for decades, I became horrified. And the ending showed that not only were they never forced to own up to this, the main character forgave them of all wrongdoing. That made me absolutely furious, and it totally pissed me off when I only found positive reviews on Goodreads! Then finally on Amazon I found a review that stated everything I felt about that book, and I was like “THANK YOU!!!!!”

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        1. Ah man, I get that. ughhh ok I can deal with the horrific actions- but I hate when these things just have no consequences (even if those consequences are just symbolic). Ahh I totally get that!!! I often find books that are really popular and don’t get why- so it’s good to hear it from someone else! (and it’s equally good to hear why someone else might not like something I liked- cos then I might learn something!)

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          1. Yeah, I found the fact there were absolutely no consequences to be extremely damaging, and I couldn’t believe the author purposefully ended the story that way!

            Sometimes I think a book’s/series’ popularity will just be beyond the reach of some of us! For example, I simply couldn’t get into Six of Crows, A Darker Shade of Magic, or really excited about The Raven Cycle (I had to force myself to finish it), all of which have a huge fan base.

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    1. Ah glad you agree!! 😀 Yes I definitely get that!! It’s just harder to think critically cos my brain is all full of “ahhh I loved it” lol (which doesn’t make for a good review 😉 ) Yes me too!! I find it really hard to find absolutely perfect books!! So when I’m giving a book 5* it really needs to earn it!

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  10. For once I have a fairly short comment! I’m not a committed book blogger but I’ve definitely perfected the art of being brutally honest in all things I do. I think I’m fairly mixed when it comes to book ratings. If it kept me up all night is usually a 5 star book (except court of mist and fury.. still have issues with it when I think about it haha). If I struggle to get through it or just day screw and don’t finish it them yeah it’s gonna get rated low and I often have differing opinions to ppl who love certain series that I can’t stand. Anyway, great post and I love your rants. Being honest is always fantastic and in your case hilarious. (See, I can’t not leave a long comment on your blog even when I say I won’t!) 😉

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    1. haha well I love all your comments, long or short! And I think that’s fantastic!! Yeah I’m the same about ratings- and usually 5* means I wasn’t even thinking about how to rate it, it was just perfect (and yes that’s something that will have kept me up all night 😉 ) haha I was the same about court of mist and fury- it did keep me up all night, but it wasn’t without it’s problems 😉 Yes for sure!! And yeah differing opinions are what make things interesting! 😀 Aww thank you so much!! 😀

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  11. Well Orangutan Librarian you may remember the compliments I’ve given your negative reviews… so you already know I’m a lover of your negativity!! I agree though about only seeing high ratings on a blog… it makes me SUPER suspicious… Ultimately I read book bloggers, NOT for discussions but for REVIEWS!! So if I can’t trust a review what can I trust?! I LOVE this post!! ❤

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  12. I think that it’s important to have both negative and positive reviews. If I see only positive reviews, it’s hard to know if the person really thinks that these books are all good. Negative reviews are sometimes seen as “mean,” but they don’t have to be. It’s perfectly possible to describe the issues or weaknesses you see in a book without making it mean-spirited or personal! And I think you do that very well! 🙂

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    1. Yes for sure!! I agree- I don’t think they have to be and I think the vast majority should be taken in the spirit with which they were intended: honest critique rather than “mean”. For sure!! 😀 Aww thank you!! I certainly never mean to be mean-spirited and personal!


      1. Yes. I don’t think most reviewers are mean. We seem to think somethings that ANY criticism is mean and that we can only say positive things to people in order to be kind. But it’s not exactly kind to pretend something is good when it isn’t!

        Also, I don’t think reviews are for authors. They are for readers. Of course if you were talking to someone to their face you might give them a criticism sandwich review. You might just say, “Oh, I liked it” and leave it there because they didn’t ask you to be their writing partner/critic. and you’re just being polite. But if you are honestly engaging with a piece of writing to talk about it, then you probably have to go beyond niceties.

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        1. Yes very true. I definitely agree with you. The issue is you might be kind to the person in front of you by only being positive (aka the author) but what about the other people (aka the readers) who are being misled?

          I *definitely* agree with you there. Of course if I do a positive review, it’s obviously a massive bonus to be able to support an author, but reviews are primarily for readers. And I one hundred percent agree- besides there are very few (I can literally think of 2 books) where I had absolutely nothing nice to say about it- so most things will be a criticism sandwich. But the way I generally operate anyway is that the author won’t see it, cos I don’t tweet at them or send it to them, so they’d actually have to search for it.


          1. That seems like a sensible approach to me! And I take comfort in knowing that my giving a less-than-glowing review might not matter in the end. I read books that other bloggers haven’t liked. Just because they didn’t like it, doesn’t mean I won’t!

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  13. I love this post. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through a terrible book is the thought of the one start review I’m going to write. Weirdly, when I really hate a book I find the review super easy and fun to write. Sometimes I feel bad, especially if it’s an ARC and I’m sending feedback to the publisher so I often try to balance things out by mentioning the more mediocre/ok bits, but ultimately if I hated it then I make it pretty clear. And I love reading other bloggers snarky reviews, as long as they’re constructive.

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    1. Thank you so much! hehehe I know right!! I’ve been there for sure. hehe I totally get that. And I try to be as balanced as possible- it’s very rare that there was nothing redeemable about the book (I could literally name those books on one hand… or even two fingers 😉 ) I definitely agree!

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  14. My goodness, I wish I had your courage! My goodreads reviews tend to oscillate between 3-5 stars ( there was only one I could find with two) . I always worry about being unjust or hurting the author’s feeligs and reserve the rants for my nearest and dearest who often have no clue why I might be so annoyed by a book…
    Perhaps it’s time to loosen up a little…

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    1. Aww thank you!! That’s fair- I do try to give books I didn’t like 2* cos I think other people might like them- 1 star is so rare anyway. hehehe I get that!! You do you! I really think it’s upto the individual and what they feel comfortable with 🙂

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  15. I laughed along with everyone else in your comments at your post but I guess i’ll be the first to humbly disagree with some of your points. While it is fun to read and write rants and we all love being the insiders on the jokes, I wonder how a writer (who is a human too) feels being used as the pillow you’re punching to get catharsis. (Not you personally as I’ve been known to rant myself). Is it different to rant to a friend in the privacy of your own home than to put in print a snarky review for all the world to see as long as amazon exists? Most people in publishing look down on even highly successful writers who’ve fought back or taken a review badly. So are we punching someone with their hands tied behind their backs? I’m not sure.

    Books can be incredibly cheap these days and that’s great for us readers but for us writers when years of our lives are put into books a strangely personal attack from a reviewer who “bought” the book for FREE on kindle seems a bit much.

    Having said this, I appreciate a reader who takes the time to thoughtfully review my books even if they’re negative. I’ve learned things from those reviews.

    My review policy is to only publish reviews for books I’d recommend so yes my reviews are skewed toward the positive (that doesn’t mean my family is saved from my book and movie rants). I’ve just decided for myself that publicly i will follow my mother’s old advice: if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. 🙂 But i’ll still enjoy your rants..

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I appreciate your concerns, but if I didn’t disagree I wouldn’t have written this post 😉 . First of all, I can only speak for myself and my own practices- so if someone else does something differently to how I do it, I won’t criticise them, but I also won’t answer for them- that’s up to the individual. Instead, I’ll just clarify some of my own personal rules here.

      There are a few things I do which mean that the author shouldn’t be affected personally. For instance, I’ve never tweeted a review, positive or negative at an author. Secondly, as I mentioned to someone else in the comments, I don’t review Indie books I’ve rated below 3*. Nor have I ever attacked the author personally. I also don’t post reviews on GR or Amazon- so like I said, the person’s gonna have to do a search to find a negative review *and then* continue reading past the first line where I state I don’t like it.

      I understand that you included successful authors in this argument as well- so I will address what I think they can do in this situation: not read the review. I’m sure that, for instance, John Green, whose work I was meh about can handle one lacklustre review in a stream of millions of positive ones- especially since he would have to really dig for that criticism. I don’t view reviews as something an author has any reason to engage in. Nor do I see it as an “attack”, a fight, or anything remotely combative- I hold by the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

      My blog is not actually here for a writers’ benefit. As I said in the piece, I created this space for myself and my own thoughts- I will not censor that for somebody who searches out criticism. Criticism exists for many reasons- but in this case, I’ll just apply the fact that reviews exist for readers who want honest advice over whether to buy a book or not (again, scales and ratings are helpful in this because it’s a measure by comparison- however if nothing goes below 3* then it would be logical to consider 3* books the equivalent of a 1* book and not worth reading- which is why I don’t believe in ratings skewed to the positive). That’s why it wouldn’t do to censor negative opinions, which are just as important to the reader. And I’ll reiterate: it’s not personal. Books/ideas/art are not extensions of people and all have to be open to critique- for many reasons, including, to paraphrase Roland Barthes, it is the place where meaning is found.

      Like I said in this post and many others, what works for me doesn’t have to work for other people. People are entitled to follow whatever rules they like on their blog, but I’m gonna stick to my main rule: “honesty is the best policy”.

      Anyway, sorry this reply was so long 😉 Thanks again for your comment- I really do welcome comments that disagree- so I hope my response was ok and that I’ve addressed most of your points!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally appreciate what you’re saying 😉 and really appreciate your thoughtful response. I agree with your points about Indie vs big-timers in the field. And I was also just speaking for myself at this point in my life and not judging how others work. I guess when I review I should really say recommend for the time being because I think there is a little bit of a difference.

        All the best~

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  16. I love this post! I don’t necessarily enjoy writing bad reviews and I try to be nice about it because I don’t like it when people are mean when they criticize my work, so I try not to do it to others. But like you said being honest is key and ‘I had to suffer through it!’ It’s impossible to like every single book we read, right? I usually end up giving lower ratings to hyped books because most of the time they don’t live up to the hype. Plus they get so many good reviews already, so I think a negative one would spice things up 🙂
    P.S: I love the gifs 😀

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  17. You make fair points and of course, you can be negative if you need to be.
    I have come across bloggers who only publish positive reviews (3 or even from 4 stars up) and anything negative doesn’t get on their blog, only on Goodreads/Amazon, etc… so sometimes a blog with just positive reviews would call upon checking out their policy if they happen to just ‘work that way’…
    About being suspicious when someone gives a book a high rating among the majority of bad reviews, yes… it does seem suspicious, but then again, it can be an individual thing as well, I think it’s best to judge by the review and their thoughts then? If they just jumble the usual ‘advertisement’ slogan out there, I’d disregard the opinion, but if they come across as really enthusiastic about the book even though so many other didn’t like it, then.. why not, right? 🙂
    I completely agree with your point about seeing things from different POVs though- especially the ones that challenge your own idea of something… I think these challenging POVs are like lifeblood for the brain 😀
    As for negative reviews, I’ve had my share of them.. some negative reviews haven’t gotten to the blog, because I simply haven’t bothered to write a full blown analytical piece on it (Goodreads and Amazon do have them though- those few liners to back up the low rating, to the point kind of thing)… If a book does inspire a full blown rant, oh it’s so going on the blog but as always, with a bit of nervous anticipation of actually having proven my point on why the review is negative for me 🙂 However, lately., and because I’m fairly good at choosing my reading material, I haven’t come across a lot of those negative reviews inducing books…
    I actually recently saw a popular blogger negatively review a rather popular book and the feedback she received was humongous… It made me think about ‘influencers’ and while it comes with it’s own perks (saving money and starving the overfed TBR pile), it made me think how easily people are swayed by a ‘popular’ person and their personal views about something so easily… half of the commenters on that negative review dropped the book off their TBR straight away and started slagging the book off…which is fair enough- I ain’t nobody to tell them what to do, but it did make me think how easily we take a ‘stranger’s’ word on something (issue a, b or c) and let our minds be swayed by it without having the inside scoop to either, from a valid point of view aka having read the book, agree or disagree…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes true- everyone has different ways of working and that really is upto them. As for being suspicious, I mean more if I feel like they’re trying to sell me something all the time OR if they critique a book heavily and still give it 4-5 stars (I saw this more when I watched Booktube) Obviously if a reviewers fair and balanced and they happen to give a lot of high ratings, I won’t judge (like you said, it may just be their policy). And of course I won’t judge them for liking something I/other people didn’t!
      For sure! Haha love that phrase “lifeblood for the brain”.
      I get that- I have had negative reviews that for various reasons I haven’t published. And I do find that the more selective I get about my reading the fewer negative reviews I have- which is great for me 😉 (I don’t enjoy reading books I dislike lol 😉 )
      Yeah you are right- I do think that comes down to people taking reviews with a pinch of salt. If you’re excited by a book and then see a negative review, it’s worth going for it anyway, cos there’s a good chance it’ll still be good. I know I ignore plenty of reviews if I already have my heart set on a book 😉 Also it’s important to think critically about the review (so, if the reviewer hates love triangles and rates the book badly for including one, but you love love triangles then it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and read it… annnd that was a terrible eg cos who loves love triangles? But you get the idea 😉 ) I do find it a *massive* problem when people who haven’t read a book start critiquing it though- and I have seen people putting negative ratings for books they’ve never read- but this goes back to my desire for honesty.
      Hehe and I’m not one to argue with the fact that people are too easily swayed. But then the issue might equally be that people may be swayed to like something as well as dislike something out of wanting to fit in. It’s a problem either way and we can only try to be honest with ourselves and tell people what we really think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, don’t even get me started on the ratings when the book hasn’t been read! That is just not on at all and I can’t believe people actually do that!
        Thanks for the reply- I of course know that you’re one of the most balanced reviewers out there and wouldn’t yay or nay something without a valid reason, nor are you one to follow the masses without a pinch of salt, I think… but honesty! Yes, this has to be one of the best qualities for a reviewer and you’ve got it nailed! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I hear you. I prefer reviews and critiques that are true and balanced. I’m not trying to go steady with the book or hold its hands underneath a tree while eating a cherry Popsicle.

    Gimme some truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OMG you’re just a mind reader, aren’t you? Because, seriously, everything you just wrote here is just perfection – PERFECTION, I TELL YOU ❤
    Personally, when a blogger is way too chipper and positive, it just gives me the creeps. I mean, it's fine to be happy about stuff! I love gushing about books too! But when every single review is a 5-stars one and every single post is just rainbows and unicorns, I happen to be suspicious of this person. Where do you get all that energy? Why are you not the slightest bit critical about anything? ARE YOU EVEN A HUMAN BEING?
    Like you said, it's cathartic. It's fun. It's a way of bonding with other people (who knew?) and letting them know you have opinions about stuff. You're not just a robot following the crowd or trying to please others.
    So please receive some very well-deserved virtual clapping and the promise that I will not unfollow you based on your brashest opinions. Quite the opposite, actually! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww thank you so much!!! ❤
      hahahaha yes!! I TOTALLY TOTALLY agree- I love a good 5 star reviews cos obviously I love good books and gushing- but for every single book!? No way! hahahaha so true!!!
      Yes for sure!! haha you're so right!! Aww thank you so much!!! hahaha 😀 ❤ Thanks so much for this comment!!


  20. I too do not trust reviewers who consistently give 5 star ratings. I think it is impossible to LOVE every book you read. For that reason I actually stopped following two blogs (which I will not name here).
    As we choose the titles we read, we are likely going to LIKE most of them, but not LOVE all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yes I know what you mean!! hehe not done that yet- I feel mean unfollowing even if people are willing to do that to me lol, but I respect people’s decision to do that. I should really do the same!

      YES!! Definitely agree!!


  21. I had to laugh when I read your post and Liz’s reply because I have it right on my Book Review Rating SytemPage and my About Me/Review Policy Page that I refuse to write reviews for books that I DNF or rate only 1 and 2 Stars. I think I state in my policy “I simply don’t have time to waste reviewing books I didn’t like and won’t recommend” or something like that. However, I definitely let the publisher or author know why I rated the book that badly…in a nice way HAHAHA instead of telling them off like I have wanted to before. Yet, I did tell the publisher for Girl in Snow, which I thought was 2 Stars, that my college English Lit class could have written the book better as it was “juvenile, immature, and needed a serious editor.” I’m surprised they sent me another book to review, but they did 🙂 I was so pissed that I wasted time on that book, and I should have DNFd, but I have such a hard time doing that because I keep waiting for something good to happen…and it doesn’t 😦

    Obviously, this doesn’t mean I don’t hate some books I read…you read my TTT post last week about books I struggled with and they were 1 and 2 star ratings. I gave small rants in it. Plus, I rate ALL the books that I think are 1-2 star badly on Goodreads if I found them to be bad, and I sometimes write one line why. But I decided when I started my blog to only write reviews for 3 Star and up books (and I have written a few 2.5 star reviews that were borderline rants…don’t get me started on The Goddesses although I could have been nastier omg) since I just don’t have time with teaching 160+ students a day, taking 4 classes towards my Ph.D., raising 3 kids, etc to write reviews for every single book that I read, and I needed to limit what I write…well, I only post 1-2x a week anyway, lol. So I don’t write reviews for a lot of the books that I read, well, just because I 1) don’t have the time and 2) some are my “fun” books just for me to enjoy.

    I’ve read and rated almost 2000 books on GR, and I’ve read well more than that in my life..I’m so old… (wait, 40 is NOT old no matter what my 7 yr old says) that I just can’t remember the titles, hahaha So by now, I pretty much know what is going to be a good or an excellent read for me….95% of the time. There is always Dune, lol but I did admittedly try to read that as a teenager! Wait, there is the drivel that Gregory spews about the Tudors when she is trying to be a “historian” who has no idea what she is talking about haha haha! God, and let’s not forget my Wicked mistake, but that was an enticement by music. Believe me, though I have read some god-awful books, yikes! Most before I became a blogger; most were in my 20’s!!! Jeez…I used to read my neighbors Harlequin Romances back then, my God! Embarrassing to think of now, lol.

    With all that said, I do think there is nothing wrong with a negative review, and there are some times that I do just want to write “WTF is this piece of crap that you just made me read???” and I probably will one day…after I get my degree in May and my time is my own LOL! But not when I’m having to write 65 pages worth of essays that are due in 2 weeks…HELP ME! I love ranting, I do it all the time at my hubby, lol. And if I write a review that has something in it I don’t like, I will critique it and put why I might have disliked it (which is as close to a rant I will get although I gave a small ranting review to Gregory’s Three Sister’s Three Queen’s book not long ago since she made me so mad, lol).

    I do HATE to see reviews for books that people haven’t read-you have no idea what you are talking about!! Shut up! That is a major rant right there for me! Oh, man!

    Now that I have hijacked your comment thread, I’m off to eat chocolate cake 😉 I didn’t make it, but it is still good! I made my older son go buy it because I had a mad craving after you mentioned cake, lol. I will think of you when eating it 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe that’s totally fair- I feel like I was remiss not being clearer in the piece- I really don’t judge people for not going under certain ratings- firstly cos I know loads of people who do that rarely (or not at all) for various reasons. I for one don’t always have time to review every book I read anyway and won’t do reviews for DNF cos I don’t think it’s fair (which is why I often force myself to the end) Point is we all draw the line somewhere. I really should have said, I meant when people are never balanced and *only* ever positive- so basically I have seen reviewers or booktubers only giving 5* (even for books they’ve criticised) and that’s where I often have a problem. Hehehehehe fair enough!! HAHHAHAHA brilliant lol. Hahahaha I’ve done that so many times with books!!
      Haha fair enough!! Hehehe yes I liked that post (speaking of, I couldn’t reply to your last comment cos the reply comments gone on the page and I didn’t get to it fast enough in my comments before WP cleared it :/ So sorry about that- I was enjoying our convo about cake!!) hehehehe yes totally fair!! We all have other things on!! And we all have different ideas about fun- what’s fun for me doesn’t have to be fun for other people and vice versa!
      WOW- that’s a lot of books!! I’m seriously impressed!! Hehehe no it’s not old!! My mum was almost 40 when she had me and I have a younger sister. Hahaha I totally get that- it’s getting so much easier for me to be able to tell what’s good. I read a lot fewer bad books a year now. Hahahaahaha YES!!! (also loved reading your Gregory rant- made me giggle- again sorry I was too slow to reply!!) But yes- you know in the intro to one of her books she literally went on a whole shpiel about how much she knew about the subject and when I read it (considering I did a similar course at the same uni funnily enough) I thought *wait what, I don’t remember learning that, how did you get there*?!? So strange! Hahahaha I ttaly get that!! Hahahahaha we’ve all been there!! And rest assured I won’t be reviewing anything like Harlequin Romances on here LOL!!! (so like I said, we all have things we won’t review 😉 )
      Hahaha I know right!! Hahaha yes I get that!! Oh gosh wow- good luck!! Hahahaha I’m the same lol. Hahaha
      Oh gosh yes!! That’s a pet peeve of mine- I don’t care if someone told you it’s offensive/badly written/the best thing since sliced bread/you read the prequel and plan to read it/you love/hate the writer- NO ONE SHOULD WRITE REVIEWS UNLESS THEY’VE READ THE BOOK!! Gah!!
      Hahaha oh yum- very jealous- hope you enjoyed it!! hahahaha 😉 😀 ❤


      1. No, you weren’t remiss at all 😉 I didn’t think you were being judgmental of anyone, and I think you are so right that if people are just giving out 4s and 5s all the time that it can look odd and unbalanced, but again (as you pointed out too) there could be different circumstance why. I think if they just aren’t posting the 1 and 2 star reviews and have that policy, that is one thing but if it someone who is only giving every single book 4 and 5 stars…well, not every book is that good! No freaking way! Like I said, I now know for the most part what I’m going to like, so it generally will be a 4 and 5 star read for me, and I’m hugely disappointed when I made a bad judgment call LOL. You said you’re getting better and knowing what you like too, and that will just improve the older you get…so less negative reviews for you then, JOKING!! LOL But it will and then it’s trying to decide if you want to jump on all the hype bandwagon’s because that is my BIGGEST struggle!! I read the hyped reviews and so want to read it and that’s when I get disappointed. Urgh…

        And that is just stupid to criticize a book and turn around and give it 5 stars. Wow! I might have a problem with slow plot in spots or spotty narration in a 4 Star book, but I mention it and move on. If it was throughout the book, it would be 3 stars, if I skipped pages and wanted to burn my eyes with bleach, it would be a 2 star, lol! I just need to force myself to DNF!!! If there is a genuine problem you had in the book, then include it in the review since that is “your” feelings. Like you said, what is fun for me might not be for you (except cake) and the same goes with reviews even if they are all positive. We’re all going to interpret things differently…I hope, lol. I have over 160 essays to start grading this weekend, and I really hope that they all interpreted the assigned readings differently, or I’m going to be bored out of my damn mind! Same with reading reviews on the same book.

        No, I’m right there with you with the no time to review every book, and I keep thinking that I will catch up with mini-reviews, but I read faster than I can write them LOL! So, my new philosophy is if it gets written it does and if not, oh well! As long as it’s not a book from a publisher or NetGalley that is…those are about the only books that I have time to review now!

        Right, I was nervous telling the publisher that I thought Girl in Snow was bad, but I figure they want the truth. And I thought better tell them than write a huge review about it.

        Hahaha! I hate when WP clears my comments, and I lose who I need to comment to! I have about 4 people now I need to now, but I can’t remember the post, lol. Yes, cake!! That was a great convo…and it did taste yummy, thanks 🙂

        That is a lot of books, wow! LOL! I guess I never really thought about it! I usually average 150/yr, so it has to be more than that, but those are the ones I can think of. I wish I had been keeping track of all of them long before Goodreads came along although I will see one on there and be like, “I read you!!”. I was such a bookworm when I was a kid; I hated playing with other people and just wanted to read LOL. Wow, they must have thought I was psycho.

        No, I guess I’m not old, but I love when my daughter is like “your old, right??” And I’m like “No! I’m only 29 and have been for years!!”!! Her brothers are like wth, lol! I was the young mom since I was 21 when I had my oldest, so that is cool your mom was older! Although I can’t imagine having a baby now..omg!! But I have 2 friends my age who are pregnant, and I’m thinking what are they thinking!

        Gregory is full of yourself, lol. I minored in history when getting my Master’s Degree since I thought it would help me teach British Lit better (to know more about British history), and I think I know more about history than she does, lol. That is hysterical though! You should call her on it and ask her where she got her info!

        I won’t be reviewing any Harlequin Romance either or any steamy romances for that matter LOL! So not my style! Reading Fifty Shades was about all I wanted to deal with haha. I’m much more a serial killer kind of girl 😉 Not that I am a serial killer…I just want to read about them, nor am I attracted to them!!

        Yeah, thanks! I think I will just be posting to my blog 1x a week if at all until these essays are written!! Good thing my next Netgalley book isn’t released until 10/3, and I just finished reading it 2 days ago…gives me time to write a review although I will probably never want to write again after those papers LOL! Now I can sympathize with my students whining about me assigning 12 pg papers.

        Oh, yeah! Totally agree!! Don’t be an ass and write a bad review when you have NO idea what you are talking about! You might just love the book! It is so wrong toward the author who has worked so hard!

        I hope you can get some cake soon! 🙂 ;)<3

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahh good- I kind of threw this post together and worried I wasn’t clear enough there! Yes for sure!! Totally agree!! I’m definitely getting better at choosing as well- although I still get a number of 3* books, the number of 4-5 stars is going up and (most importantly) the number of 1-2* is going down- so I consider that a great result! Hehehe yes, I certainly hope so lol!! Ahh that’s the biggest struggle for sure. Trouble is on rare occasions I agree with the hype… I usually find that if I wait out the hype and don’t jump on the bandwagon before the release date, I’ll see more negative reviews cropping up… then if I follow it up and still get the book it’s on me- it’s just so hard to be patient and ignore that initial wave of “this book is amazing!!” And then of course I usually cave after a while 😉

          Yes!! And yeah I’m super fussy about what I give 5* too, so if I have any hesitation, I’ll knock it down to 4.5 or 4. Hahahaha so true!! I don’t expect to see an entirely negative review with 5 stars though!! (but I have!!) haha oh gosh yes I’ve got to really force myself with DNFs too! Hehehe yes!! (except cake- always!) hahahaha yes, very true!! Life (and essays) would be boring if we all thought the same.

          Yes for sure!! Yeah- I do that… and I still don’t review everything lol. Sometimes I just don’t have much to say on something except “yeah I like it” (or sometimes a book is really complex and I was too lazy to take notes, so I’m not gonna review it either). Yes true!!

          Yeah I think that’s very fair! And it definitely would suit them better that way!

          Me too!! Always drives me crazy!! Hehe I’m the same lol!!

          Hehehe I’m the same lol. I do occasionally see a book on there I read years ago and get excited (I didn’t get out much as a kid either- unless it was to go to the library 😉 ) Everyone thought I was that quiet kid that reads lol 😉

          Hehe that’s cool! Hahahaha yeah I don’t know how my mum did it lol! (especially since I have older brothers as well 😉 )

          Oh that’s cool! And yeah, I had to check it out after this conversation and she did study at my old uni, but she didn’t do history, she did 18th century literature there (which is where she was inspired to write that horrible Wideacre book), but before that she did a degree in history somewhere else- which makes both more sense (cos that’s where she got her ideas for historical fiction) and less sense (cos her books are so historically inaccurate!!)

          Hahaha totally agree lol!! Hahahahaha I get what you mean (I’d write that I like serial killers too, but then I’d have to untangle that… and I think I just did that- whoops)

          That’s fair! Hehe that’s good! Hahaha

          Yes!! Totally agree!! Hehehe thank you- I think there is chocolate cake in the fridge with my name on it tonight 😉 ❤


  22. As always you’ve managed to make me laugh.
    Honesty is so important and if you don’t like something, you have every right to say it. And you’re not insulting anyone, you’re just expressing how you feel.
    With that said… If you ever read my novel and don’t like it, don’t you dare… 😉 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I very much agree with you! honesty is key. I also get suspicious of people who love everything and only post positive reviews. like I am not saying you have to trash the author or whatever but you cant tell me you like every book you read its just not possible 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hello! I completely agree! The truth is, we all have books that we like more than other books, and it would suck to have to write a positive review about a book that we actually don’t like. In my opinion, negative reviews are a good thing because it helps other peeps narrow down their tbr, or at least dampens the hype a bit and gives peeps more realistic expectations about the book. I also don’t mind reading reviews that provide a different opinion from my own, usually I do see where the reviewer is coming from 🙂

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes exactly!! I completely agree. I kind of need negative reviews, even if I’m planning to read something either way, cos otherwise I hype the book up too much in my mind and then I get letdown if it doesn’t live upto that. Totally agree with that as well- even if I adored a book, it’s good to see things from another point of view and I’ll usually get why they thought that too.
      Thank you so much!! And thanks for your lovely comment!! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  25. All very excellent points!

    “I don’t trust purely positive reviewers- I just don’t. If I go on someone’s page and find nothing but a sea of stars, I’m gonna get suspicious.”

    YES!!! Thank you! Nothing annoys me more than seeing a blog where EVERY book is rated 4 or more stars…. Personally, I typically give out a lot of 3 & 4 stars, but am very stingy with my 5 stars. I probably read 100 books a year, and maybe give out 10 5-star ratings… I always side eye the people who 5-star every book.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Omg this is so so so true. I LOVE doing negative reviews. Also, I 100% wet myself laughing at the Avenue Q song (I’m not familiar with it) because omg, that word is now entering my vocab. I don’t know what it is about bad books but people are frequently like, well, why don’t you just put it down? I and I say, because if I get to the end and this continues to be horrendous awful then I can GO. TO. TOWN. on gifs I never get to use (like ones of people tearing things up and headdesking – oh there are so many headdesking gifs) and rants that go on for millenniums. There’s no denying it’s nice to shake it up and be mean (in a polite way, of course) every now and then.

    LOVE IT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 😀 hahahaha I know it’s the perfect word right!! 😀 hahahha YES!! I’m glad you’re the same- personally, I don;t do reviews of DNF, so if I’ve put a certain amount of time into a book, then I want to finish it so I can review it!! And then, yes, I can have fun going off into one!! hahahaha headdesking gifs are always great! (Plus of course there are the occasional books that have a slow/bad start but end up being amazing- so there is always the hope that I’ll end up liking it- but mostly I’m in it for the head-desking gifs too 😉 ) hahah yes!!
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Fantastic post! I 100% agree with you on all fronts. Honesty is the best policy, and sometimes when it deserves it, negative reviews are very much needed. I too would be pretty suspicious of someone who simply enjoy everything they read. either they never fail at picking up the books they want to read or they are reviewing for the wrong reasons!! It’s also super awesome to hear opinions that aren’t popular! Especially when the person backs up their arguments properly!! And it’s even more awesome when you find someone hating on something that you also hated!!! Sometimes… even hate reunites us together!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes absolutely agree. Yes exactly- totally agree wuth you there!! Definitely!! Of course there are occasional books we can’t fault- but for most books there’s something that’s a flaw or didn’t work for us. And I agree- I find it a great way to commiserate with fellow readers when I find someone who didn’t like some thing I didn’t like either. hahaha so true!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Lol at ending with that Khal Drogo gif n being suspicious of seas of stars, lol.
    I agree with you on this. Honesty is key and to me a negative review isn’t always bad for a book. For folks like me, it makes me even more curious about the book. Other times it’s helpful in warning peeps of what to expect.
    My rating system is wonky so sometimes badly written books get a fairly high rating because it was enjoyable while well written ones get a fairly low rating cause it was boring as hell, but I try to explain all that in my reviews so peeps know what to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teeheehee. Thank you! Yes so true! Especially for books that everyone’s reading anyway. A lot of the time, of it’s hyped for instance, it makes me lower my expectations and I enjoy the book more. And sometimes I see something the review that makes me all the more curious, like you said.
      Haha yes I totally get that. I basically think the same way- it’s all so subjective, so I hope people realise I’m not definitively saying it was a good or bad book, just what I felt about it 😉


  29. I’m a slush reader. I read unsolicited stories for a science fiction magazine. It’s rare that something worthwhile lands in my inbox. The people who submit their work don’t consider my feelings. Some are resentful at being rejected. I try to be constructive even when I’m rejecting their story, but I’m not their mother.
    Twitter is a sewer. People who couldn’t have their opinions published anywhere vent their spleen on Twitter. 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

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