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! ūüėõ

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! ūüôā 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

Is YA Fiction Too ‘Dark’ For Young Adults? | 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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Say hello to the first discussion of 2016!! Woot woot! After starting my discussion feature, Book Snacks Babbles, last year, I severely lacked in keeping up a consistent schedule, but for this year, I’m hoping to have more of them written! They’re lots of fun to do, and it’s always great to have conversation with other bloggers, so fingers crossed I’ll have more free time to do them.

SO. This question kind of stemmed from when I was reading the controversial¬†Wall Street Journal¬†article¬†by Meghan Cox Gurdon¬†about how¬†YA is too risky and too dark for the targeted audience. And I know many people argued back against this, but I’ve decided to join in as well. I mean, Gurdon does have a point… about how¬†YA is becoming more and more dark, that is. In the quest to get more diverse books out there,¬†there are books¬†talking about all sorts of topics judged as ‘dark’: suicide, murder, cancer, and many more. So yes, I do acknowledge the fact that YA books can and do have more ‘darker’¬†content. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In my opinion, definitely not—and let me tell you why, in a very helpful list, if I do say so myself. Get comfy, and let’s babble!

Note:¬†Please, I must ask that comments be kept respectful. I understand that this is a more controversial topic and may be subject to different opinions—and I’m all for discussion!—but please, no rude or disrespectful comments.

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What is Dark YA anyway?

I know some of you may be asking this question to yourselves—and if you are, I don’t blame you. Really, there is no specific words to describe what it really is, but I’ll try anyway.

According to most people, and specifically Gurdon, dark YA are books that include¬†topics that are generally considered inapporitate for the intended audience of 12-18. Things like abuse, violence, suicide, cancer, even vampires, included in the novel. I know that’s a pretty small definition—and I’m sure there is a much better way to explain it, but I’m assuming you all get the gist of it, right? If anyone has anything to add to it, feel free to tell me below.

The Importance of Dark YA

Truthfully, I hate calling books that deal with what people deem as risky or inappropriate as ‘dark’ but for the sake of shortening things down, that’s what I’m going to use. But really, just because a book deals with suicide, or murder, or cancer, or anything like that, it doesn’t mean it’s ‘dark’. It’s a part of YA fiction, and life, at that. But I digress.

One of my biggest arguments about this whole topic is how dark YA is important, essential, even, for readers. Teens, and adults, read young-adult fiction to fall in love with a story, to read about different characters, yes, but also to explore and learn about the things that fascinate or even scare them, in a way.¬†Death, murder, suicide. Books dealing with social and personal problems are ways to show readers that there are ways to cope. The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and in the world we’re in today, it¬†would be naive to believe that people¬†are oblivious to that.

Reading about these supposedly dark topics, represent and answers those questions teens and older people will inevitably ask to themselves. Books about death aren’t just about death, they answer questions surrounding the topic, about how to cope. Books about suicide aren’t trying to encourage it, they’re trying to explain.¬†I can’t account for ALL the books out there talking about these topics, but I can believe in my heart that no author would intentionally be trying to encourage the¬†behavior in their novels. In reading books surrounding ‘dark’ topics, younger and older readers alike¬†aren’t corrupted (as far as I know), but instead is given a way to relate their own lives with the lives of others—even if the ‘others’ is fictional.

Reasons Why I Love Dark YA

It’s¬†important that dark YA exists, but there are a few other reasons why I enjoy reading it:

  • It’s an escape from reality. And I know some of you might be wondering, why would you want to escape into a reality that may (or may not) be worse than yours?¬†Well, I can’t give you an answer for that any more than the answer you’d give for why you read a dystopian novel whose world is at war. Because yes, it’s true that perhaps our reality might be better than what happens in the book, but it’s that difference, that makes it an intriguing read.¬†Also, I guess sometimes, when reality becomes too much, reading about how another person copes with a reality much worse than ours puts things into perspective, and in a way, is comforting (as odd as that may sound). Yes? (I hope that made sense..)
  • Because it’s a glimpse into a different life.¬†At the base of it all, fiction lets us imagine the life of another person. Just as with any other YA book, dark YA fiction tells a story about another person. The only difference (in most cases, at least) is that it includes a more sensitive story—and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Instead, in seeing this story, this different life of a character, is enlightening and thought-provoking.
  • It pushes me outside me comfort zone (sometimes). From time to time, I find it to be helpful if I read something that really makes me think, you know? Yes,¬†it’s something that I don’t usually read, (and we all know how difficult it can be to accept a kind of story you’re not used to) but that’s what challenges me to reconsider my opinions and to see things from another point of view.

So… IS YA Fiction Too Dark For Young Adults?

Maybe it’s a matter of opinion, maybe not. But for me, I’d say no.¬†At least not for the majority of it. As a general statement, I don’t believe dark YA is meant to corrupt young adults—or anyone. Adults and teens alike are old enough to realize what books suit their fancy, and just because books deal with more sensitive topics does not mean it’s bad or inappropriate for teens. These days, people deal with a variety of problems and situations. Bullies, violence, suicide. If there weren’t books representing both the good and the bad, then it wouldn’t be the truth. With so many causes of problems out in the world, the last thing anyone needs is a lack of books that represent those problems, right?


So what is your opinion? As I mentioned at the start of this post, please keep comments respectful! I’d love to know what you think:¬†What IS dark YA, really? Do you stay away from it, or accept it? Does it seem to you that YA fiction is becoming too ‘dark’?¬†Let it be open for discussion!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Why Do You Re-Read? | Book Snacks Babbles

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since my previous Book Snacks Babbles post, but here I am back again with a discussion post! In case you didn’t know, here’s a little blurb of what Book Snacks Babbles is all about.

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

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Why Do You Re-Read

This topic kind of suddenly hit me the other day.¬†There is a lot of things I can mention about re-reading, but I’m going to be focusing specifically on why do we reread books? We all know there are pros and cons to it, but we all have our reasons for rereading books (or for nor rereading books at all). Here are some of my¬†different situations where re-reading might be needed!

  • I hardly remember what happened in the first book, and the sequel is being released soon.

    This is one of the most common reasons for me. I can occasionally have very bad memory when it comes to previous books I’ve read in a series (especially if it was a while ago), and often times when there’s a newer book being released in the series, I re-read the first books to refresh my memory. Sometimes I’m lucky to start a series after all the books have been released, but a lot of the times I’m placed in a situation where I have to wait for another book to be released, and I reread the series in the mean time.

    Some examples¬†for me would be the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I remember reading those series several times as I waited almost a year for the books to be released. ūüôā

  • I loved this book!

    This one’s pretty self-explanatory! Sometimes there’s just those books that you simply loved so much, that you want to reread it just for the fun of it.

    Examples include… almost every book I loved? I’m only half-kidding. Re-reading books I love was something I loved to do years back. I don’t do it as much these days since I have so many books to read, but yeah. I can’t think of any off the top of my head!

  • I read this book a long time ago, and I really want to read it again.

    I don’t think this particular kind of case has happened to me in a while, but there are definitely times where there was this one (or several) book I read a very long time ago, and I remember enjoying it, or I can’t fully remember what happened, so I read it again.

    One example for me here would be the Harry Potter series. I first read it when I was quite young, and of course, since HP is timeless, I have re-read the books several times over the years.

  • The movie is being released soon.

    Yes, this is a reason! Sometimes there’s a movie being released for a book I’ve¬†read a long time ago, and I can’t help but reread it before the movie is released. Or maybe I’m watching a book-to-film adaptation of a movie that’s already released, and I’ll reread the book. I don’t always do this, but I did do this before and I’m sure I can’t be the only one… right? I’m not sure whether I can truly identify the logic behind this… I guess I just want to book fresh in my mind for comparison?

    An example¬†for me would be The Maze Runner. I watched the movie after it left theaters, and a few days before I watched it, I finished reading the book. I think I liked the movie more, but I’m not even sure anymore haha.

  • I don’t feel like reading anything new, so I read some old favorites.

    Sometimes there are no new books that are suiting my mood, so I simply re-read¬†an old favorite to get myself back into the reading game! This can work for reading slumps too. After all, if you’re in no mood to read, what better way to try and fix the slump than to pick up a book you know you loved before?

    An example for me would be when I reread The Infernal Devices. At the time I couldn’t find anything that really suited my moods, call it a sort of slump if you will, and so I picked up TID, and binge-read the series. Needless to say, I loved it and I got back on track after that! (Of course, this doesn’t work all the time, but it’s definitely one of the re-reading scenarios!)

  • I don’t have any new reading material.

    This hardly happens anymore, but this is a possibility! Sometimes you simply have nothing new to read, no recent library books, no new ebooks, nothing. Only a bunch of books you’ve already read before. So the natural thing to do, of course, you re-read the books you have! I mean, there are just times where you have no new books. Sad, but it happens. (Of course, the opposite is true more often… too many new books!) At least we have a solution. ūüėČ

    An example for me would be Divergent. I usually always have new reading material, especially as of late, but in my younger years, I didn’t have as much of a book collection, and so I reread the few books I owned when I didn’t have new books. At the time, Divergent was the one I chose!

  • I didn’t like reading the book the first time, but I want to give it another try.

    There are always some books I simply don’t like. After I finish them, I find they’re just not for me. But rereading them may change the original opinion. Although I myself haven’t gotten around to this kind of re-reading recently, I definitely want to try re-reading Matched one day (not anytime soon though, for sure) and see if I like it better. Or maybe even Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

  • I want to see if my opinions have changed on the book from the first time.

    This is kind of like the reason I mentioned above, but it’s different because this is more of rereading to simply see if my opinion¬†has changed towards a particular book, instead of re-reading with the hope of having a different opinion. I don’t do this often, in fact, I can’t really think of an example on the spot, but I do know that I have considered rereading the Twilight series in the past, to see if I still like it as much as I did back in middle school.


So these are the main reasons why I imagine I and other people would reread books! Tell me; what do you think? Are you a re-reader? Which one of these reasons apply most to you? Don’t feel shy to let me know below, I love to chat and hear people’s thoughts! Just get comfy, and let’s babble!

Until the Next Meal, Analee