negative reviews and why they aren’t a bad thing

I was scrolling through Goodreads after finishing a review about Elizabeth I and I found a review about Colleen Hoover’s November 9. This particular review was extremely negative and used quite a bit of curse words to express the writer’s extreme dissatisfaction with the book. I was reading the comments and noticed that there was quite a lot of hate towards this reviewer for how she reviewed the book and how this reviewer was clearly in the wrong for disliking such a beloved book. She had pointed out major flaws in the book that she felt needed attention.

I will say right now that I have not read this book nor do I have any intention of doing so. It was NOT because of the review. I simply found the blurb to be uninteresting. 

That got me thinking about negative reviews and why I really do think they are beneficial to the reading society. I think people assume that any sort of negative review is a reflection on how you feel towards the author, that you must think the author is horrible and trash. This is simply untrue. I have written several negative reviews about Danielle Steel, my most beloved author after Jk Rowling. Do I like her any less? Of course not! She is still very near and dear to my heart. I will often go to her during a reading slump. There are just going to be some books that I will simply not like, as I am sure the reviewer felt the same way.

I think another reason why people tend to not like negative reviews is they often view anything negative as some sort of attack. I noticed while reading the comments in the review I mentioned above, people who loved Colleen Hoover began to verbally assault the reviewer. Some of the comments were so down right awful that I was surprised Goodreads allowed some of them to remain. A negative review is not an attack on the author. It is just simply a review that someone wrote in which they disliked a great many things about it.

I think that at the end of the day, we just have to remember that negative reviews are just that. They are negative reviews. The person writing it felt strongly about their dislike and wanted it to be known. Yes, maybe their hopes are to dissuade the reader from reading the book or at the very least to be aware of what is problematic in the book. But it is up to the reader of the review to decide whether or not to read the book. Remember that behind that review is a human. A human with emotions and feelings just like you. Think about that before you begin to pen a nasty comment because someone hated your beloved book/author.



10 thoughts on “negative reviews and why they aren’t a bad thing

  1. Negative reviews can be really useful both to potential readers and writers. As long as their constructive then negative reviews are sometimes more useful in my opinion as they push us to improve our work.
    However, you’re right about the basics. We’re all humans on the other side of the scree, and those who disliked a book have just as much right to express that as those who liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with your thought about how it benefits authors. I notice, when there is a negative review that has generated a lot of comments, that the author will comment their thoughts. Often times, they are appreciative of bringing problematic things to light that they didn’t think were problematic to begin with.
      Thank you for your wonderful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for those readers getting stick for writing bad reviews. I used to be an admin for a poetry group of DeviantArt for their ‘outstanding literature’ folder. Part of the submission process was each piece would be critiqued before it was accepted or declined and this was made clear in the submission guidelines. However, this didn’t stop someone chewing me out for daring to suggest their art could be improved upon, because ‘who was I to judge their art’. It’s why I’ve always tried to handle bad reviews with grace, even if they sting.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Most negative reviews I have seen have understandable grounds of reasonings, despite their occasional “offensive” manner. So yes, I do believe that negative reviews are fine since it is a form of expression concerning one’s honest opinion. Just because a book is really well-known doesn’t mean that everyone has to love it! 🙂

    Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank for your awesome comment!
      I agree with what you are saying. Most of the reviews that I have seen that are negative have been justifiably so. I don’t mind the offensive ones because I know that is what the person is thinking. I would rather have a cuss filled review with honests thoughts then a fluff piece that skirts around the issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a negative review, but I DO think we can respect the author and their writing by not being “mean” about the book in a review. There’s a way to keep things classy even when writing a review that is less than glowing. That said, I also don’t think there’s any reason for fellow readers and/or reviewers to be unkind towards someone else who has written a less-than-perfect (regarding the book) review about a book that the reader may have loved.

    For the most part, this book community is awesome and that’s part of the reason I appreciate it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for you awesome comment! I agree! Keeping it classy is the best way to go. The book community is very awesome. There has only been a few times that I have seen attacking like I saw. It seems to happen with an author that is super well known and beloved by most.


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