Book, Reviews

Negative Book Reviews… An Arrow In The Dark.

For someone who loves books I have never said much about books. I just recently started talking about the books I read. There’s two type of bibliophile, one who buy because they liked the blurb or the second who has read a lot of reviews and reached to the conclusion that the book would be a good read. I am both. Most often I buy the books because I loved the blurb and no matter how bad a review is it’s not going to make me “not buy it”. Book reviews are a glimpse of the magical worlds that the book holds. Often there are negative and positive reviews of almost anything. Let’s talk about the negatives today.

What makes people write the positive or negative book reviews? 

Why is it that one book that you absolutely loved was disappointment for the other?

There are more 5 stars reviews on Amazon then 1-2 stars one. But mostly, I believe that people who dislike the books are the ones to give a precise and long review of it. The ones who like it are just so much in their bliss they talk about why one should buy it and don’t reveal much about the books. It’s fun to read both the kind of book reviews. It gives a good glimpse of what to expect and what not to expect from the books. Once I wrote an honest review about a review copy of a book and for some reason the site that asked me to do it didn’t publish it. When I asked I was told it is better if the rising writer don’t have bad reviews. It was my first review ever and I thought it was downright wrong, which is one reason I stopped reviewing. After all, not everyone in this world is going to like a book. I am more likely to buy a book which has mixed reviews then a book which has all 5 stars. Mostly 5 star reviews are more suspicious, plus nobody and nothing is perfect, how can a book be perfect for a 100% of reading population out there? Also reading bad reviews about some of the most amazing books out there gives confidence to those who are writing their own stories. Sometimes people are not judging the book but the writer as well. If the second book is not as good as the first it is a huge topic among those who picked up the copy out of interest and care, because they read the first one.

Book reviews are like arrows in the dark.

Types of Reviewers
  1. Ones that love the book. Yes, I am quoting the John Green here, talking about the book you love does feel like you are advertising your affection but we still do it and we like doing it at times. How can you not talk about getting hit by a ton of bricks??
  2. Ones who were disappointed/hated the book. Now we all know that it’s a Universal rule that one must talk about the things they didn’t like and they must do it in detail. As in talking about getting hit in the guts by a ton of bricks, something that actually hurt is a must right? A warning is a must.

Funny enough, I like to buy books that have some negative reviews about it. It arouses a certain spark of curiosity in me which makes me want to know why someone didn’t like the book.

So we come back to question, Who write’s those negative reviews?

Anyone and everyone can write a negative review. For example, not everyone is going to like Shakespeare. And, if THE SHAKESPEARE can have negative reviews then what can you expect? I ask people and they say I don’t understand it. In the time of Whatsapp and Facebook Shakespearean literature is a boon though. Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell is a great book, it’s a classic but how many today has read it? The Lord of The Rings by J R R Talkien is the highest selling fantasy fiction but it has a few bad reviews. If they were alive, would Shakespeare/ J R R Talkien/ Margaret Mitchell stop writing because they have bad reviews? I don’t think so. In fact they faced it in their time too. Like John Locke said, “If your book sells enough, it will eventually fall into the hands of someone who wasn’t meant to read it in the first place. People who won’t enjoy it, because they don’t like the genre, the style, or simply the type of story you wrote.” It happens a lot, don’t you think? A misguiding blurb, review, comment or picture can lead some crime genre lover to buy a chic lit and guess what would happen?

To be or not to be…..

To be true I do not do much research before I buy some book. I am either going to like it or dislike it. I don’t read reviews in the magazines or newspapers, I do checkout Goodreads and Amazon. A writer who has good reviews and high prestige has most probably gone through all these, fought these battles and a writer isn’t afraid to take on the negative reviews. The negative reviews are where people learn about their writing and learn that not everyone is going to like it. Plus the negative reviews make it easy to read by being witty than most.

So negative reviews? Why are they disliked more? Obviously there’s no surefire way to know of how a book will turn out to be for you or others. In the end it just comes down to your like towards a certain genre and your feeling about a certain book after reading the blurb or reviews.

14 thoughts on “Negative Book Reviews… An Arrow In The Dark.

  1. This is the hardest part of book reviewing and I truly hate giving a bad review.
    I do need to be honest, but I try my best to be kind and explain why I did like the book.
    But I still feel bad about it, lol.

  2. I always try to find the positive and if there are any the negatives in books I read and tell the people who read my reviews what it is I liked and didn’t like, without giving away any spoilers. I always make clear that this was my experience with the book (some people may enjoy a writing style that I don’t) but what’s important is that this is a review of the book and not of the author.
    I recently lost a good author friend because I told them I would give their book a 4 star review because there was something missing. They didn’t even want to know what it was I thought could be improved, instead they just completely dropped my friendship! (I blogged about it last week) I guess some authors cannot take any form of criticism.
    As for completely negative reviews, it would take a lot for me to find something negative and give it 1 or 2 stars, such as really poor writing or something that doesn’t make sense. Some negative reviews on amazon are not taken seriously by most people as they can be really silly, but funny to read at the same time. 🙂

    1. I am sorry for the loss of a good friend. I’ll read the blog about it now.:/ It’s weird why publications, sites and even authors never share a review that is less than 4 stars. Once I reviewed a book for a website and they didn’t want to share it because it has less than 4 stars and I said that the author needs to develop his original style. They said, “new author should not be discouraged by bad reviews.” I think it’s a very bad loss to them since they won’t get to know some tiny bits of inputs by honest reviewers. I think criticism is really important in every creative field, be it bad or good. It’s about the work and not the person. I on the other hand keep waiting for some reviews on my short stories and posts. haha

      I love some amazon reviews specially on the costly items like camera and apple laptops. They are crazy.

      Thanks so much for coming by dear 🙂 Appreciate it.

  3. I only review books about classic Hollywood, and only occasionally at that. There have been books I wasn’t too crazy about, but I decided to just focus on the positive aspects.

    This is a great topic for a post. You’ve given me lots to think about here.

    1. :)Thanks so much Ruth. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for organizing the Ggreat Villain Blogathon it was amazing to read so many different blogs about it. I look forward to reading more of your posts on movies.

      Have a wonderful week 🙂

  4. I’ve never written a negative review. I’ve written a couple review about books that I was slightly disappointed with, and given them 3 stars out of 5. Those have all been books I read with the goal learn something, finding out that the author actually doesn’t know very much about the subject. That is usually my biggest disappointment. (It is easy to get a book published these days.. I often buy books of unknown, new authors, for the thrill of it.) I read a lot, and do a lot of research. 99% of the books I read, I love = good reviews.

    Great post!!

    1. I usually end up not reading the book when the book just don’t happen. I have given 2 stars maximum to books that just didn’t click at all. Thanks for sharing your review style… 🙂

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