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.