I was a little nervous about posting my last book review. I didn't enjoy the book - nor was I overly keen on the writing style. I didn't want to bash the book, because no book, no matter how terrible deserves to be bashed. It takes great skill to be able to sit down and write a novel from start to finish, and everyone who manages to do this deserves to be commended.  If it was easy, I would have done it by now, haha! 

The thing is, although I didn't want to bash the book, I didn't want to praise it either. 

I have been drifting in and out of the #bookblogger community for around five years, and not once have I come across a negative book review. Everything has always been positive or at least erred on the positive side, so when I hit 'publish' on my latest review, I was overrun with anxiety and panic. I didn't want the author to hate me, but I felt as though I wouldn't be being honest and trustworthy to you guys, my readers if I lied. 

At first, I put my negative feelings towards the book down to the fact it is a genre that I am not particularly a fan of, but then I stepped back and looked at it again through the eyes of someone with a Masters in Creative Writing, and it still didn't do much for me except wanting to print it out, suggesting a whole bunch of edits and mailing it to the author - but I digress. 

I don't think I was outright mean about the book, but I was truthful about my experience reading it. I didn't tell people to stay away from the book, in fact, I did the opposite, I invited people to form their own opinion. But I still feel incredibly guilty about posting my negative reaction online.

After much deliberation with inner Kirstie, I have come to the conclusion that yes it is okay to write a bad review. As #bookbloggers  it is our responsibility to write about a book as honestly as we can, that not only includes our thoughts and feelings but our general experience in reading it too! Everone is entitled to their own opinion, and our readers often rely on us to help them find their next read.  

If you didn't like a book, tell your readers! What didn't you like, why didn't you like it? Heck even suggest changes. Authors thrive on reviews, it helps them to see what worked and what didn't. 

Lying isn't fair to anyone. 

HOWEVER; Don't be mean about it. You didn't like it, that's your opinion. Just don't shit all over someones hard work. 

What do you think?

Ps. I still feel incredibly bad about sharing the bad review, haha.

The review I mentioned in the post: Entrapped - Claire Ayres 

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  1. I have the same problem! I didn't know what the blogging etiquette was for bad book reviews so I just stay away from them. I will only write about a book or product I recommend and won't share the ones I wasn't happy with.

    1. I am glad I wrote it - it gives people a chance to see that as Bookbloggers we're not obligated to love everything we read. I just feel bad about posting it as I know that there are probably people out there that will love the book, and I don't want to discourage people from making up their own minds.

  2. As an aspiring writer, the topic of negative reviews scares me a little bit, but I think it's important to allow everyone to share their honest opinion. Otherwise what's the point? Let's just slap a 5 star icon next to every book description.

    No, I see positive reviews as a prize you should strive for, and the negatives an oportunity to improve.

    Keep speaking your mind without fear. No one should give you grief for it (as long as you're respectful)

  3. I see this discussion a lot about bloggers giving bad reviews on their blog and whether it's a good or bad thing. Obviously it's up to the blogger individually whether they feel comfortable doing so and whatever they chose is totally fine but I personally DO post bad reviews (there's a few I can link you to if you want to read a bad review haha!) and I figure that if a book is sent to me in exchange for an honest review, then that's what I'm going to give it. Although I like to think I'm constructive and fair in all my bad reviews, which I think is important.


  4. I really prefer when people are honest about books. I take quite a lot of recommendations from blog posts, so I like knowing that I'm going to enjoy haha! I think a negative review can be phrased in a way that makes it clear that you're not being rude, and I think you did that well in yours! Sometimes books just aren't for us and that's totally fine. I would rather write a negative review than not post about it at all, as I think that's evasive, but that's a personal thing!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  5. When I am considering purchasing a book, I read a few five start reviews then look for a three star or lower review that looks like it was written by someone who finished the book. I use those to help in my purchasing decision. So thanks for writing one and detailing what didn't work for you.

  6. I admire the way you webt with this, and that you honestly expressed your thoughts on the book without disrespecting the author. I personally don't like it when the review sounds like a diss track more than anything -- and believe me, I've seen TONS of "This is pure trash, don't read this" kinds of reviews. Love your discussion post!
    Kate |


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