Why It’s 100% Okay to Write Negative Reviews | Book Snacks Babbles

Book Snacks Babbles is a discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish & bloggish! For more info, check out my intro post here

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Hello everyone and welcome! As part of an attempt to follow one of my resolutions for this year (to write at least 1 discussion post per week), I’m back here today with another discussion post for you all! This topic was actually pretty unplanned; I was going to go with another topic for this week, but I decided to do this one instead because writing negative reviews is generally something of a gray area for me, and I find it to be a pretty interesting debate. It’s always kind of hard writing them, especially when it’s a book that a) you REALLY wanted to like, and/or b) it’s a VERY popular book loved by the nations—but then, it could also be kind of fun. If you’re looking for some inspiration or motivation to post that drafted negative review, read on for today’s post will be dedicated to why writing negative reviews is totally OKAY!

Why Negative Reviews Are Okay

1. They offer a different perspective on a book.

Whether the book is popular or not, negative reviews are useful and essential because they show us the other side. The side where it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, you know? Particularly in the case of a hyped book; it’s refreshing to see an opinion of the book where the less-than-perfect aspects are shown. And I’m talking from personal experience; whenever I see a more negative review of a very hyped book, it’s interesting to see why the reviewer didn’t like it. It gives me the opportunity to really judge if the book is a good fit for me or not, among other things. So if you’re ever worrying about the response your negative review might get—don’t sweat it! The bookish community is always really understanding and will instead appreciate the fact that you shared your thoughts on it, even if they were less than stellar.

2. They offer an amazing opportunity for discussion. 

Just as positive reviews (of hyped books, especially) bring out great discussion, negative reviews do the same. Why? Well, it’s kind of obvious; in a negative review, there are usually several aspects of the novel that the reader perhaps did not enjoy, and those aspects generally provide for interesting topics of discussion. For example, perhaps you didn’t enjoy the plot of a novel because it dragged out too much. Topics like the types of plots you usually DO enjoy, or ways the book could’ve been better, are things to talk about. For hyped books, you may be even more worried about the negative review. But never fear! If you didn’t enjoy a popular novel, write about it! Don’t be afraid to post that negative review, for it might just open up the gateway to many new ideas and conversation with other bloggers.

3. They give you the chance to RANT.

Everyone likes a long little rant every once in a while, right? And there’s nothing more satisfying sometimes, to simply let out all your frustrations over a book. Of course, it’s important to still remain respectful to the author and to people who did enjoy the book, but your opinion stays the same, yes? It’s useless to keep your opinion on a book to yourself just because you didn’t like it—by sharing it, you’ll be able to accept the parts of the book that made you mad or frustrated (if there were any parts like that).

4. You will most likely be able to find someone else who shares your opinion.

The best thing about the book blogging community is the fact that there’s so many people out there, there’s almost no chance of you NOT being able to find someone sharing similar ideas as you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In sharing your negative review, it opens up the possibility that people who share the same idea will see it—and you will no longer be the only black sheep! (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a black sheep, mind you.) Believe me, it always feels better when you find someone else who also didn’t enjoy the book! You have nothing to lose by posting a negative review, really. Unless you count gaining a new bookish friend as a loss…which you really shouldn’t! ๐Ÿ˜›

5. What you found to be negative, might be someone else’s positive.

Everyone isn’t the same! Say, your tastes in books might be different from the reading tastes of your next-door neighbor. A person across the country in, say, Antarctica might hate the exact books you love, or vice versa. You might hate the love triangle in the book you read, but someone else might love that kind of thing. You never know! Just because you disliked a book doesn’t mean everyone else will, and in sharing your thoughts on it, who knows? Maybe a fellow blogger will stumble upon it and find that the book you seemed to dislike seems to be right up his or her alley. So really, you’re doing yourself and others a favor by posting a negative review.


Aaaaaand, that’s a wrap! There are tons of more reasons to name for why writing negative reviews is perfectly fine, but we’d be here for hours if I were to list them all! Which means it’s now up to YOU all to continue the discussion. Here are some questions to get you started!

  • What do you think of writing negative reviews?
  • What other reasons are there as to why writing negative reviews is perfectly fine and useful?
  • Have you ever had those times where you were unsure over whether you should post your review or not?

Even if you’re not a reviewer, you can still join in the discussion—in fact, you should! ๐Ÿ™‚ How do you feel about reading negative reviews? Do they do more harm than good? What do you love most about negative reviews?

Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below! Discussion is always lots of fun, so don’t hesitate to join in! 

Until the Next Meal, Analee

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40 thoughts on “Why It’s 100% Okay to Write Negative Reviews | Book Snacks Babbles

  1. I am having the same situation now. I read a book sent to me by an author and it’s bad. Like really bad. Because I’ve never hated any book before but this time I’m struggling how to write something bad about the book. And this book is really pointless. Really.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Of course its okay! Part of the reason that we blog is for the discussions and that means honest opinions. I will never lie about how I feel about a book. One of my close friends and I almost always disagree on books but she always points out details that I didn’t notice and I do the same. It makes it more fun really!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love this post! Paige from Paige by Page posted something similar and I pretty much told her all of this in the comments haha. One of my favorite things about negative reviews is that sometimes I use them to write my own. Not stealing their words but if it’s a book that I read a long time ago that I need to be refreshed on, I’ll see the things they mentioned. Sometimes in those cases all I can remember is how I felt about that book so going to those reviews, whether I agree or disagree, help me remember the things that happened in specific

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! Oh, I had no idea! I think I’m gonna have to check out her post. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Very true, reading negative reviews can definitely bring out some new perspectives and ideas we might’ve missed ourselves while reading, which can prove to be very useful when we’ve forgotten some of our own thoughts on the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not have any problems writing negative reviews. As a reviewer I try to keep my thoughts 100% honest cause I always keep in mind that people might buy these books with their hard earned money after reading my reviews. Besides even with negative reviews I try to find some saving grace for the book! After all just because I hated a particular book doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to other people.

    As for the ranting thing that is so true! Negative reviews help me get rid off all that angst and it feels so good afterwards!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! That’s a very good point; at the end of the day, no matter the uncertainties surrounding negative reviews for some, honest opinions are always the best.
      And yes! Not everyone has the same opinion, so it makes sense that some aspects of the book would appeal more to others.
      Haha I KNOW RIGHT. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Ranting is such a release!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love that discussion, Analee! I really like reading negative reviews, because sometimes, they open my eyes on books I liked, or books I thought I could like, and underline the flaws. It makes me realize maybe it’s not a book for me, or maybe I’ve been blinded by all the hype. And I always LOVE reading a good rant, haha :p

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely write negative reviews. There’s no point in being a reviewer if youre only giving pats on the back. The think is, it can’t be personal attacks, and must include constructive criticism. If you cant provide examples of their bad writing, don’t call them a bad writer! I always make sure I give a real way they can improve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s absolutely true! Sometimes you don’t enjoy a book, and that’s just a fact you can’t change. And I agree on that for sure! Attacking an author or their book without giving any support for your opinions isn’t the best way to go—nor is it any help to other readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I never explicitly attack the author in bad reviews (eg: your writing sucks never write again). I try to say what I didn’t like about the plot and specific WTF moments that made me want to throw it out a window

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been seeing a lot of this topic lately. It’s nice to see everyone’s thoughts on it and they honesty they have.
    I think negative reviews are actually a good thing. Not everyone likes the same thing. Positive and negative reviews help me decide if I want to read a book or not. Someone’s negative review can sometimes make me read a book because because I won’t mind something they dislike (ex: cheating, foul language, sex, etc.). Review are all about helping people find something that makes them happy to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not a book blogger, but I loved this post! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love reading negative reviews because, like you said, it offers a different perspective and stops my book craze because I have to THINK if I want to read the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! โค Yes, that's exactly why negative reviews are so important and helpful! It offers a better preparation of what to expect, too. Instead of all sunshines and rainbows, there's some flaws to be aware of, which is pointed out in the negative reviews. So. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  10. THIS IS PERFECTION! I was actually just thinking about this topic! In 2015, when I started blogging, I hated writing negative reviews, especially when I was sent the book by an author or publisher. But then in 2016, I decided I had to a) be a tougher reviewer (my Goodreads average was 4.38!!!) and b) review every book I read, EVEN THE BAD ONES.
    And you know what? I love it. I LOVE writing negative reviews. I feel like I should be hating myself for being mean and awful but no. I love crucifying books. I’m generally an overly, obnoxiously nice person in real life, so negative reviews are my chance to be BRUTAL.
    And like you said, one persons negative is another’s positive. So it’s really important to list why you hated the book, and not just that you hated it.
    YAY FOR THIS DISCUSSION!

    Like

  11. Excellent post! This is so important. I think many people feel compelled to write positive reviews even though they didn’t like a book. But, as you make clear, negative reviews can create positive results!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yayy so happy to hear that! I totally get you, it feels so great when you can rant about something and let it all out! And that rant/review in turn can HELP other readers, so what’s the problem? ๐Ÿ˜„

      Like

  12. Negative reviews are my favourite to write based on the fact that they’re the quickest to churn out. I swear my memory indexes every single thing I disliked about it and I can word vomit verbatim of how I initially felt when I read it.

    I think as long as you’re being mindful of your diction and tone, it’s still an opinion to be considered even if it’s on the other spectrum of the community. What would be interesting to ask if if you would retrospectively downgrade books based on your changing reading habits and critical mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I know right? It’s funny how it’s so much easier to write a negative review than writing a positive review of a book you adored…

      Yes, very true! It’s important to be respectful, for sure, but you’re entitled to your own opinion–and if it happens to be the opposite of the majority, well, nothing to do about it than just share your thoughts on why. Oh yes, that’s a very interesting question; I can totally relate to it for one thing. Sometimes, as your reading tastes change and adapt, your former preferences might not apply anymore, in which case it would make sense to downgrade your rating on books? (Lol this could be a whole new discussion entirely!)

      Like

  13. Great post and I love all the comments so far! I find it hard at times to write up a review for a book I didn’t like and I do my best to write constructive criticism. In the end, a book review is just one person’s opinion and the author should know not everyone reading their book is going to like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! โค Haha me too. I can totally understand that. Sometimes it's hard to talk about a book you disliked respectfully, and it's important that while you are entitled to your own opinion, you should be mindful of the way you express it! ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, that's true as well. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion!

      Like

  14. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I don’t usually write bad/negative reviews because I’m always afraid someone will just call me names but thank you! Perfect good reasons you have there!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EEEE YOU’RE WELCOME!! I’m so glad this was helpful!! You have absolutely nothing to worry about, honestly. โค Negative reviews should be embraced–after all, in the end it's just another honest opinion and honesty is always the best choice. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I AGREE with everything in this post! Especially with negative reviews giving us the chance to rant because I love a good rant. I have a friend who gets really creative with her negative reviews and they always make me laugh! But I don’t understand why reviewers are afraid to do negative reviews. I mean honesty is the best policy and as long as we give valid reasons why we didn’t enjoy the book then I think that they are okay. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAYY I’m so happy to hear that! โค Haha yesss ranting is just so much fun. It's always so interesting to read them, for sure. ๐Ÿ˜€ YES that's exactly it! No matter what, honesty is always the best way to go and you'd be doing more harm than not if you lied about how you felt on a book. We're entitled to our own opinions after all, so just back it up with some good reasons and try to remain respectful. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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