Book Review: Girl… *We interrupt this book review to bring you a rambling*

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This rambling is inspired by a book review I wrote for a book and decided not to publish. I took to Twitter to ask for people’s views on one-star book reviews and man, is Twitter vocal! I appreciated everyone’s comments but it left me feel conscious about posting the review because I felt the world was waiting for me to annihilate a book and then annihilate me. So, instead of said book review, I decided to do a rambling on book reviews. This is a topic I’ve seen appear several times on discussion posts and I genuinely want to hear your thoughts on the topic.

*Please note: the quotes below are not direct quotes from anyone, but are inspired by the feedback and comments I have seen. If you see a quote which you have said, this is by pure coincidence. I mean to cause no offense but instead address this taboo topic in a fun way and hopefully get you guys commenting on your feelings about one star book reviews.

“It’s my blog and I’ll post what I want, when I want and how I want.”

“If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

“As long as you are respectful, it’s okay.”

“One-star book reviews are cruel, no matter how polite you are – you’re still saying: I hate this book.”

“One-star book reviews are so much fun to read.”

“If you wouldn’t want the author to read it, don’t post it.”

“If the author chooses to read it, then that’s their choice. Just don’t tag them in the review.”

“What someone hates in a book, I may love, so their one-star review would actually make me read the book.”

“If I had a bad experience at a restaurant, I would tell people about it, so if I have a bad experience with a book, why should I tell people about it?”

“If you explain why you didn’t like the book, then that’s fine but to just say “I hated it” is beneficial to no one.”

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The reason I struggled with the decision on whether to post said review or not was because I struggled to find one redeeming quality in the book to talk about. When I read a book and feel it’s not for me, I can usually find at least one redeeming quality or can acknowledge that it didn’t work for me but may work for readers who enjoy such and such. To think I’ve reviewed a book and not said one positive thing or found one redeeming quality makes me feel bad because I think about how the author would feel if they read my review – would they be understanding, hurt, mad, etc.

But from a reader perspective, I think one star reviews are beneficial because, if I have similar reading interests as the reviewer, I think if they didn’t like said book, then it’s likely I won’t either. There’s so many books I want to read, reviews are one way to proritise my book buying and reading – that’s why book reviews are my favourite type of blog post.

On the flip side, I don’t read one review of someone saying they disliked a book and them immediately banish that book from my life. I read plenty of reviews and based my decision on the collective, specifically looking at those who appear to have similar reading interests to me.

I’m going to be brutally honest, I have in the past, reviewed a book that I greatly disliked and prior to posting it, I was having this inner battle with myself. Ultimately, I tried to shift the responsibility and emailed the review to a fellow blogger and asked them if they thought the review was acceptable or too harsh. The response was, it’s fine, so I posted it but it left me feeling slightly bad because I did not list one redeeming quality about the book. When I look back, I cringe a little because I think I was harsh, and that was born out of frustration because I have so many books I want to read and feel like I could have spent my time reading another book. However, we can’t love every book and, maybe, I need to accept that there will books along the way I don’t like and my blog isn’t a place to vent that frustration – or maybe it is exactly the place? I did list my reasons for disliking the book so that’s okay, right?

Free stock photo of red, art, books, abstract

It’s worth mentioning, I don’t use the star rating on my blog because I believe a star rating has little meaning without, at least, a few words accompanying it. However, on reviewing sites such as Netgalley and Amazon, you cannot share your review with out attaching a star rating. I don’t want to get into the discussion on the star rating system differing from site to site (although it irks me to no end!) but when you see one star – you immediately think the book was thought poorly of and when you see five star you think a book was loved.

I have also chosen not to go with the “just be honest” angle in this post because, to me, reviewing a book honestly is a given and it’s not up for discussion – I am always honest in my reviews. If you do not review honestly, then just stop reviewing right now because you help no one!

So, where do I go from here because, no doubt, I will read many more books in my life-time that I dislike…

TO REVIEW OR NOT TO REVIEW?

96 thoughts on “Book Review: Girl… *We interrupt this book review to bring you a rambling*

  1. To review! I’d like to read your one-star reviews as much as your five-star reviews honestly and like you said as well, I read more than one review about a novel I’m interested in so I’ll take little things from one review and some from another and won’t decide to read or not to read on a single one-star review. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever given a one-star rating on my blog (two-stars yes which was also one I didn’t really like).. since I started blogging I’m reading far less bad reads than before 🙂

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    1. It’s not often I read a book I didn’t enjoy but reading between 10-15 books a month, I’m bound to get one that doesn’t work for me. I hope my reviews of books I didn’t like are informative at least. I think I’ll need some blog proof readers to check my reviews adequately explain what I didn’t like about the book because that what I worry about most, that I haven’t clearly explained why something didn’t work for me.

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  2. I don’t tend to review a book I’ve not enjoyed because, unlike you, I have a hard time coming up with redeeming qualities to talk about. And sometimes it’s just really tough to explain why a book didn’t work for you. I don’t necessarily prescribe to the “I only review what I like” theory, even if my blog has turned out that way.

    But you have a brilliant way with words and I trust your judgement. And despite what you said to Inge, I think you always manage to explain perfectly what worked or didn’t work for you.

    You’d never be harsh, and definitely not just for the sake of it. So I’d say review it. I probably wouldn’t tag the author, although I’m not convinced that means they won’t see it 😄. But I’d be interested in reading it and I’m sure plenty of other people would to.

    One day, we will all stop second-guessing ourselves! 😉

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    1. Thanks Eva. I don’t usually tag authors in my blog posts so that’s okay, but I did have one time when I wrote a not so glowing review and someone else tagged the author – they clearly didn’t take the time to read the review first 🙈

      I never used to worry about writing reviews for books I didn’t like but I guess I’m just having a ‘crisis of self’ atm 😂

      When you can’t find at least one redeeming quality, it’s tough but I do believe everyone’s entitled to their opinion and you shouldn’t be “attacked” for that. I remember I posted a mini review a while back saying a book didn’t work for me and the author was really nice, even sharing it saying he reads every review because they took the time to read his book and then some random person commented on his FB that I basically don’t know what I’m talking about and I know nothing about originality! At the time, it really pissed me off 😂

      Ah the darker side of blogging 😂

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  3. Was struggling with this myself recently! I follow a similar policy as you, if I can say what I disliked, maybe that’s helpful for someone who WOULD like the same points. And I try to tone down any harshness I feel, although I still got a nasty anonymous email from an author (I’m sure it was her as it was the only negative review posted at the time, IP address in the contact form matched her city, she was more vitriolic than anyone casually reading would reasonably be, etc.) telling me to fuck myself, who do I think I am (despite a major publisher book release I guess she doesn’t understand the book blogging concept), and listing her email as “fuckyou@gmail.com” so sometimes it doesn’t matter how tactfully you put your criticisms, if an author reads it they might still (anonymously) go ballistic. Strangely it was even a 2 or 2.5 star read for me and I had good things to say about it too.

    But because of that, I tend not to pick examples of bad writing or purple prose to quote in the review, as I thought that might’ve been too harsh, so maybe that’s something to consider. If I bothered to finish it, there must’ve been a reason, so I ask myself what that was and try to incorporate it. My thinking is that if someone might’ve wondered about the book, I can give them a clear opinion and save them money or wasting their time reading it if they share the same negatives.

    I think your reviews are so thoughtful and considerate while still being really informative so I’m sure you’re able to write a negative review tastefully and thoughtfully! And you’re absolutely right, be honest or what’s the point? LOVED reading this and getting your thoughts on such a tricky topic! I know you’ll find the right way to write it 🙂

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    1. OMG that’s awful, I really hope it wasn’t the author – as an author you surely can’t expect every single person to love your book. Maybe it was a crazy fangirl 🤔 but an experience like that would definitely having me questioning whether or not to review books I didn’t enjoy. I had a less “traumatic” experience of a review I posted – the author actually shared it and said he reads and appreciates every review – good & bad because we took the time to read his book (which I thought was really nice) and then someone commented that I basically don’t know what I’m talking about and I clearly can’t recognise originality when I see it.
      …it’s the darker side of book blogging 😂

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really do think all reviews are important and I think over time my review writing is evolving for the better so I would like to review the good and the bad but I don’t want any backlash for being honest 😊

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      1. I’m so impressed that an author shared your review when it wasn’t glowing, that shows so much maturity and genuine interest in what readers think! Less so for the person who commented, but I guess that’s the internet for you…there’s always going to be someone eager to tell you your opinion is wrong and here’s why.

        I hope it wasn’t the author too but I can’t imagine who else would be so angry about a review that wasn’t that bad or scathingly negative. I was initially shocked and hurt by it, but tried to take the lesson that maybe the quotes I’d pulled as examples of what I didn’t like about the writing were too harsh. But at the same time, proving my point that maybe someone loves that writing style, so how is it so harmful or negative? You can’t please everyone, I still think it’s always better to be honest (backlash like that is rare if it’s not a series or something like that with ultra fangirls, like you say) and I’m confident you’ll find the right words to say it 😉

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  4. Review.. it helps readers and even authors to know why book didn’t work for you or whoever write negative review. Even if it’s 3 or 4 star I like to know what made you to cut rest of the stars. Some points help in making choice whether to go for book or not. I don’t like to cut stars without giving proper justification behind it. It’s hard to pinpoint things but not impossible. Of course negative review should be properly worded and focusing only on the Book and feeling for it.

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    1. Thanks for commenting – and I agree, the justification behind saying you didn’t like a book is so important. To blandly say you didn’t like it isn’t useful and doesn’t help me decide whether or not to read the book. 🙂

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  5. It is really difficult isn’t it. I do tend to finish books I don’t like, but even they tend to get 2 stars, because I’ve finished them and they are alright and yes they have some positives.
    I think people value reviews and if there are books on my TBR or books I am interested in and I see a review I do read it, but if it was an author I liked it a book I loved the sound of I would still read.
    I struggle with the star ratings as 2,3,4 cover such a vast range…
    I think your reviews are fair and I think that’s all you can be.

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    1. So difficult! That’s mainly why I don’t use the star rating system because what separates a 3 star from a 3.5 star from a 4 star is almost impossible to grasp from a rating alone. I saw a blog that used a thumbs up/down system which I quite liked: down for wouldn’t recommend, sideways for borrow from library and up for buy.

      With this particular book, it was wanting to know the mystery (who is the murderer) that kept me reading but I didn’t like the outcome of the mystery so I thought “dang, there goes my redeeming quality”.

      It’s such a tough one, especially when it’s a review copy, as this one was, but I emailed the publisher explaining my reasoning for not publicly sharing the review but sent them my thoughts directly.

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  6. “It’s my blog and I’ll post what I want, when I want and how I want.” definitely sounds like something I’d say only without the swearing and sarcasm that I add to everything.😂

    It’s a tough one. I’d post negative reviews, I’ve only written a few but I posted them. If I hated a book then it’s only my opinion but it’s just as valid as an opinion of someone who loved it too. I think the thing is with positive reviews, they are positive and you may throw in a few things that didn’t work for you in the book. Whereas a negative review is negative and if you can’t find anything positive to include it does make the whole review look very negative. But, if the review is constructive then there shouldn’t be anything wrong in posting it. I think alot of people don’t realise the difference between the types of negative review. If someone just writes the book was awful and doesn’t explain why then it’s a bad review and of no help to anyone but if you write a negative review and constructively explain why aspects and the book didn’t work for you then no one should be able to complain.

    Oh, I definitely agree with you that 1* reviews are beneficial (I’m sure I even read it somewhere and erm, hell yeah your blog is always the place to vent frustration! Venting is good.👌

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    1. I’m very aware my dad is subscribed to my blog so I do not swear online 😂 I 100% agree venting is good; maybe I’m too concerned with what others think of me, in the sense that, if they feel my reasons for not liking a book are not justified then they’ll think I’m a b*tch. My reviews are usually on the longer side because I want to ensure I’ve fully explained my thoughts.

      That’s it, with this particular book, I couldn’t find a redeeming quality so it was negative overall, but at the same time it was honest so maybe they balance each other out? I always explain, in fact I think I’m guilty of over-explaining 🙈

      Maybe I’m more sensitive than I thought 🤔 although, after reading all these comments, I think I will share said reviews in future and if people don’t like it, they can unfollow!

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  7. It is a very tough call. I usually don’t as I would feel a terrible self inflicted guilt. In saying that when I felt I just could not review a book as it was so bad I contacted the author by mail who asked to talk to me. He was v appreciative of my comments tbh and I think it helped him…I hope! Other than that if I just don’t like it…it’s a dnf. Too many books to read and as you say we can’t like them all. Janel I love your reviews always. They’re you!!! Great post. Xx

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    1. Thanks for commenting Mairead, it’s so tough, and I really think it’s important for bloggers to support each other because I’m definitely have a “crisis of self” with reviewing books I didn’t like but really we shouldn’t feel guilty for saying we don’t like a book, although we do.

      Some authors are so kind and understanding, I had an author share my review saying he reads and appreciates all reviews – good and bad – because we took the time to read his book, which I thought was incredibly kind.

      And you’re right, my reviews are me and 9 times out of 10 I enjoy the books I read so when I don’t like a book I hit panic mode when it comes to reviewing it because I can’t lie 😂

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  8. Wowza, what a storm of comments! I think I love your honesty in the end. I don’t always rate with stars either, unless it was a 4 or 5 star. Less than that, I just review and explain pros/cons. I want to go to reviewers that I “trust” and not just giving every book a high rating. If I DNF a book then I don’t post a review on my blog, because obviously I am not recommending it.

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    1. I guess it’s a topic that affects us all as bloggers lol. I don’t review DNF books on my blog either, I usually leave a comment on my GRs with my reasons for choosing not to finish the book, but also if I don’t finish the book how can I write a detailed, accurate review for my blog.

      I always try to explain the statements I make about a book, that’s why my reviews are usually on the longer side because I want to make sure everyone understands what I mean lol.

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      1. Sounds like what I do too. It is really hard for me to give up on a book! Although, I should if I’m just struggling with it!!

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      2. I only learnt to DNF a book about a year ago 😂 previously no matter how much I hated it, I’d have to finish it – I might have mentioned this before – in my non DNFings days, it took me seven months to finish a book once!

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    1. I agree, to me 3/5 stars should mean a book (anything really) is average, but many people see that as an already declining rating, instead of middle of the road. So it’s hard to assign a number that has no accepted base line for reference.

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  9. I agree with you!
    Although I only post 4/5*reviews!
    Its bad enough if I have had to sit/read through a 1* book. I haven’t the energy to write a review on it. For me they enter room 101! 😂
    Never to be mentioned again! I don’t judge others though. As said above it’s your blog etc.

    I am getting sick and tired of the malicious backlash for daring to have an opinion! Are we really such a ridiculous society we all think only our opinions are the right ones. Can’t we agree to disagree like adult anymore.
    I support you 100% Janel,because I know what you write/say comes from a good place!
    Do not let the trolls change you! Block them and move on! Your blog is amazing! Amazing because it comes frone your heart! 💖

    Lots of love for you Janel 😘😘😘

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Abby ❤️ I’ve never been on the receiving end of a social media “attack” but there were a few replies to my tweet where people seemed angry that I’d even consider posting a one star review and I all I did was ask the question. …I have had a fellow blogger msg me because they were so upset as they had been on the receiving end of a lot of backlash for having an opinion. I’m all for agreeing to disagree, I maintain that it would be boring if we all liked and disliked the same books! On the whole I love this community, and I’ve “met” some amazing people but I guess there’ll always be that small minority who get joy from making others feel like crap.
      …And are you sure those books are safe in room 101, I want to see them! 😂

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  10. I’ve only ever published one one-star review for a book. It was one I tried desperately to find positives about and I think I found one or two, but unfortunately the positives didn’t offset the negatives about it. I contacted the author prior to posting and explained that I couldn’t give a glowing review, I pointed out the issues I had with the book and offered to not post the review. They told me to go ahead, then proceeded to attempt to draw me into an argument about the points I made.

    As a reader, I don’t take much notice of the star systems used on sites (including Amazon and GoodReads), I look at the quality of the actual review. Seeing a one-star review that says nothing except “I hate it” is of no use at all, but if someone gives a one-star and adds an eloquent review to it explaining the reasons behind the star rating, I’m more inclined to take notice.

    Mostly, reviews don’t sway my decisions on whether I want to read a book or not though – I tend to use Amazon’s “Look Inside” option to get a feel for whether it’s a book I might enjoy 🙂

    As a writer, there is always the fear of receiving a one-star review, but speaking for myself, any review is better than no review and so long as the star rating comes with a decently worded review of why the reviewer has chosen the rating they have, then I’m happy to have the review in the first place. If we all loved the same books, the world would be a very boring place.

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    1. 🙌 I always say it’d be boring if we all liked and disliked the same books too! And I agree, star ratings are no good on their own, it’d be better if the system was universal instead of differing from site to site, but again, you’d still need an explanation behind it.

      My reviews are usually on the longer side because I want to ensure I’ve fully explained what worked for me and what didn’t. I worry that I’m not clear and when it comes to books I didn’t like, I fear it’ll read like I’m just attacking the book, I think I just need to be more confident in my writing/reviewing abilities 🙂

      It’s good that the author told you to go ahead and post the review (I suppose no publicity is bad publicity) but then why try to cause an argument out of it, it makes no sense.

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      1. I got the impression they thought I’d miss off the things I really didn’t like about the book (as an example, there were around 12 prologues and 12 epilogues (I jest you not!) – one prologue after each chapter in the first half of the book, and then an epilogue after every chapter in the second half of the book. I had some real issues with that!) And that was just one issue heh.

        As a reviewer you can’t please every author, as an author you can’t please every reader. Some authors are a little more…. let’s say temperamental… than others and bad reviews really really get to them. I prefer to look at a review (good or bad) with the view of getting better with each story I write and any review that can give you good quality feedback on the positives and the negatives can only help strengthen your skills.

        tl;dr version – you are the kind of reviewer us writers need – you tell us what you think and you tell us WHY you think it – and the why is the far more important part of the review. Knowing someone doesn’t like a scene, a character is all very well, but getting the reason why they don’t like it gives us something to work with. Keep on doing what you’re doing and any author who gets a review (positive or negative) from you will be getting essential feedback on their future work 😉

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  11. I very rarely even read a book I think is 1 star worthy, because if they’re that bad, I’ve usually DNF’ed them already. I have no qualms about putting up negative reviews, usually two star ones, as long as I’m being constructive. But even sometimes I don’t manage that! (My Did You See Melody review, for example lol)

    I don’t think you should worry about putting up a 1 star review because of how other people will perceive it, but if it’s something you don’t feel comfortable with yourself, then do what makes you feel happy.

    Also, I really wanna know what the book was 😛

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    1. You’re as bad as Annie, wanting to know what book it was 😂

      You’re right, I wrote the review, reread it and thought it was fine but the worry can’t from what other people would think. I guess I’m more sensitive that I thought lol

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  12. I am in the same situation myself. I emailed back and froth with a new author who book I read. I gave it a 2/5 but I felt really bad. I told him he had the skill, he just needed to slow down. He thanked me and took it on board. I can understand feeling bad when its a new author. But when it is a seasoned author? Not so much. If you don’t like someone work, it very hard to sugarcoat a 1* review. Like you, I am also trying to be reasonable and use constructive criticism. But frustration also plays a part for me. The story could have been so good and then they just sent it to the land of poop. But again it is all my own opinion, people can take it or leave it. That’s how I’ve justified it. Been interesting to read everyone’s comments. I don’t know if I am in the right or wrong. Just trying to start my blog off in the right direction.

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    1. Thank you for commenting 🙂 That’s an interesting point about the author – I don’t want to be responsible for an debut author never writing again 😂
      I have no issues reading a one star review, as long as it’s well explained so on that premise, I shouldn’t have a problem writing and posting them. It’s so nice when an author appreciates your feedback 😊

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  13. I myself am not fond of the star system. But you are right, we have to do it on Netgalley and Amazon. I will usually just say This book just was not for me, but give it a try, you may like it. Or if the author has written other books I’ll just say I will give them another try. I’ve only had one author email me about a review and ask that I read it again. I blocked her. I don’t have time for petty stuff like that. I have books to read. Good Books. Stick to the truth. I wish someone had told me how awful one of those Girl books was. I never would have read it!

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    1. It would help if the star systems on NG and Amazon were at least the same! They don’t make it easy for us lol!
      And yes, people should just stop with the petty behaviour. All the comments today have be amazing though so thank you 🙂

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  14. I obviously agree completely with everything here. I used to write reviews in a way that wasn’t informative (as in I’d say “love this” or “it sucks”) but now I am mindful of the way I express my opinion, but I still think negative opinions are just as worthy as positive ones. Great post!

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    1. I think they’re just as worthy too! So why do I feel bad about posting them 🤷🏾‍♀️😂 it makes no sense. I don’t write to offend, I just share my thoughts, like or dislike I’m just going to keep doing it…

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  15. This is a great question! Personally if a book is a one star I probably wouldn’t have finished it. I only read 5/6 books a month so I don’t want to waste my time with one star books.
    This is a tough one. I would probably not review it but I may make my feelings known on Goodreads, give it one star and leave it at that. If someone wants to know why you rated it one star they can message you privately.
    My motto is…books are not one size fits all.

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    1. That’s what I do with DNFs, don’t blog it but put it on GRs, that could be an idea, to do that for one star books too. It’s definitely a tricky subject… thankfully the majority of books I read I enjoy so it’s not a dilemma I often face, but since blogging, the number of books I read a month has drastically increased so I’m facing this decision more often 🙈
      And I whole heartedly agree – not every book can be for everyone!

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  16. I suppose part of my thoughts are is this a one star review because it’s not a good book or it isn’t a book you enjoyed? That is the problem with ratings – and reviews in general I guess. I would still say to review if you feel you can legitimately put down what you feel – I just don’t like it when people are mean or nasty (which often feels like they are doing it for affect).

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    1. That’s a good point, it’s reminds me of my ‘The Hate U Give’ review, do I review subjectively or objectively. With this particular book I chose not to post my review, I did mention what atmosphere/vibe/tone should have been there due to the kinds of character but it just didn’t manifest itself for me – so I suppose that’s both objective (I can see the good) but subjective (it just wasn’t good for me)… maybe, I don’t know 🤷🏾‍♀️🙈

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      1. Interestingly right after I commented on your post I saw a one star review somewhere else and did feel quite uncomfortable with the rating and the review. I normally share that bloggers posts but decided not to as I didn’t feel comfortable so I think that says something about my feelings in theory vs. The reality (if that makes sense?)

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  17. I recently gave a book 1* on Goodreads. That review took so long to write because I wanted to explain why the book wasn’t for me. I felt dreadful for author and publisher (neither of whom I tagged). I still haven’t put it up on Amazon as I want the book to receive some good reviews before I drop mine. I will post it though. Just because I didn’t like the book doesn’t mean others won’t. As has been said, it is possible to state that I didn’t enjoy reading without being mean or nasty.

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    1. I’m the same, in the sense, I won’t post a low (2star) review on Amazon until it’s got some positive reviews first. It seems this feeling of dread can’t be helped, even thought we are just honestly sharing our thoughts on the book 🙂

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  18. Wow, Janel you’ve struck a chord with this post!! You’ve got me thinking and number 1… I’m with Annie and Zuky…I WANT to know what the book is!! Number 2…you are a respectful reviewer and your reviews help many others decide if a book is for them or not. I’m very confident that you didn’t just write “this book sucks don’t read it” so with that in mind, I think everyone who visits your blog is looking for why a book did or didn’t work for you, and if your review is a list of why it didn’t work in any way so be it. You finished the book so you have every right to put your review out there.

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    1. Thanks so much Renee, all the comments today have been so helpful and I think in the future I’m not going to second guess myself and just post my thoughts.
      …As I DMd Annie and Zuky the book title, I’ll DM you too 🙂

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  19. Great post Janel. Normally I DNF any book I’m not really enjoying and don’t bother reviewing it, however I found myself in this predicament recently about a book I was on a blog tour for. The person who had arranged the tour left the publishers and no alternative contact was given so I didn’t know who to contact about it. I decided to go ahead with my review as, I thought, I was fair in saying it was really well written and while it didn’t hit the mark for me I knew others had loved it. I don’t give star ratings on my blog so that didn’t come into it. Needless to say the publisher unfollowed me on Twitter 😂 It’s a tough one to call really as to whether you should or shouldn’t xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, to be fair, it was bad that they didn’t provide you with an alternative contact. When I first started blogging, I used to agree to any and every blog tour but I’d always ask for extra content to share along my review, just in case. Now I’m much more picky lol. Why can’t I just love every book I read 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Great question and the only answer I can give is you have to do what works for you. If you are content that a review is fair, then why not post it? As you say, one mans meat is another mans poison. People may love what you hate and vice versa. Personally I don’t post review below three star because I’m too busy to spend time crafting a review on a book I didn’t enjoy. It takes far longer than on a book I love and it’s time I just don’t have. I’ll review on GR and Amazon with very short comment but won’t waste bandwidth and storage space on my blog. It takes too long getting covers, links etc to spend on a book I wouldn’t recommend. But we are all different and if it fits you and your blog, go for it. Just, yeah, I wouldn’t take the author. Unless they’re a complete idiot and need a reality check. Then it would be tempting. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, it should essentially come down to personal preference – if we want to share them on our own blog or not. It doesn’t take me any longer to write a review for a book I didn’t enjoy lol, but I can see why if it takes additional time (especially if you’re including an about the author section too) then it wouldn’t seem worth it. Plenty of food for thought in these comments! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Your book reviews are YOUR opinion. Whether you liked the book or not, your readers will be interested in YOUR opinion. If they know that their reading tastes are very similar to yours, they might save themselves a few hours they will never get back – by NOT reading that particular book. So, as long as the review is not written in a mean or hurtful way, just tell it like it is. It can be (and should be) a really short review. Just something like “the characterization, description, and overall writing was not to MY taste.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was part of my dilemma, the review I had written for said book was long, due to me wanting to make sure I had adequately explained why certain elements didn’t work so it didn’t seem like I was giving empty statements. And then it looked like one big post if negativity – it’s something to work on, I guess… 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Honesty is always the best policy. Authors will not learn to change if they don’t know when their books are bad! And yes you may not like it but 100 others might. Just depends. I say post it! I probably would…if I could get through a book I didn’t like!
    Chill mom

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Most of the time if a book is that bad I have typically DNF’d it but on the rare occasion I finish it i will absolutely post the review. I give constructive criticism on what I thought made the book so bad and I move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s rare I completely dislike a book, that was why I was so stumped with this one, it was the need to know who the murderer was that kept me reading and then it was an underwhelming reveal, and I was like damn, not one redeeming feature 🙈 but after all these comments, I think in future, I will share the review – honestly, adequately explained and as you mentioned, with constructive criticism 🙂

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  24. It took me years to really grasp and understand that there are books that I will love and others won’t and books others love that I won’t love. Everyone has a different opinion and different experiences. I’ve learned to embrace that and its ok. There are always going to be mixed reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. This is crazy accurate! I’ve had this dilemma a few times where I’ve written something and just found it inappropriate or post. I wish we lived on an internet where we could post honest things, even when negative

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I believe that writing is an art form, and like all art, we all have different tastes and view the art in different ways. Disliking a book doesn’t mean the work is bad, it just means it didn’t suit your tastes. And that’s okay! So personally I’d go ahead and write your review whether positive or negative. Art is supposed to invoke emotion based on our own historys. I’d hope any author with an ounce of understanding of art would know this and wouldn’t be offended by your review.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Wow! This was a great post. One star reviews are…tricky at best. I am always worried what the author is going to think (basically, I feel guilty because I want to like all the books I read). At the same time, though, I think that if we aren’t able to post one stars and give our criticism, what is the point of honest reviews? I have a one star review I have been sitting on for awhile because I feel bad but, my issues have to do with something that really upset me and could set others off but isn’t mentioned in the blurb. So, post to help? Or hide to be nice? It’s a rock meets hard place decision. I think, if you are gracious in your review, post it. Be true to how you feel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, if you read a book and it contains something that may upset others, and it’s not mentioned in the blurb, then I absolutely think you should let others know about said trigger. I always try to incorporate trigger warnings into my review if it’s not mentioned in the blurb.

      But it’s so reassuring to know this is an inner-battle all bloggers have and the consensus seems to be: post the review, we shouldn’t feel guilty for being honest but we do, it’s definitely a tricky subject 🙂

      Like

  28. Many times I’ve encountered reviews, mainly on Amazon or Goodreads, that give slavering praise to a book that I thought was horrible. But almost always if the consensus was that the book was horrible, I end up thinking it’s pretty bad too. Probably the key is that I have a really hard time reading a book with poor writing, even if the story itself is essentially compelling. I agree with you that the star system isn’t very useful.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sorry, but you’re in the wrong bizz if this is a huge concern for you. If you give a low review and back up your claims with facts, then it’s an honest one. Not everyone is going to like a book, everyone has their opinions, tastes, hates, etc. It’s theirs and they should own it. If the author is a professional, they’ll take it in stride based on whatever facts you’ve added to back up your thoughts. Cover your butt with facts, in the end, it puts the truth back on the author. Just do it with tact and decorum for your opinions to be taken seriously.

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  30. It can be difficult for authors to read negative reviews of their work, but I think they understand and take it with a grain of salt. You might not like my book, but someone else may. I think that’s part of being a creative individual. I think you should continue your honest reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I’ve never one starred a book before. If a book is so awful (to me), I usually can’t get through it. I reviewed one book that I didn’t finish, but even then I still gave it two stars because – as you said – I was able to see the redeeming qualities in it.

    As a rule, though, I tend to avoid reviews myself until I’ve read the book (same goes for games and films). That’s just a stance I prefer to take. I feel I can enjoy it on its own merits if I don’t know what to expect when diving in.

    The exception to this is friend’s opinions. I feel friends and people I know well can be a good divining rod for finding new things I may (or may not) like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems a lot of people never have to give one star reviews as they often abandon the book if they dislike it so much. That leads me to believe I must have liked something about the book that inspired this post otherwise I’d have stopped reading it but I just can’t pinpoint the redeeming quality. But sometimes if I’ve dedicated a lot of time to reading a book, say I’m 75% of the way through then sometimes I decide to finish it regardless because I’ve come so far, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes you feel an obligation to finish a book even if you’re hating it. I’ve slogged through some stinkers in my time because I felt I owed it. Now I look over at my growing book shelf and realise there’s just no time to waste on things you aren’t enjoying 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  32. I agree that 1 star reviews are beneficial as long as you can back up your 1 star. It’s never meant to be cruel, it’s meant to inform and hopefully the author knows, going in to that line of work, that there will be people who will not like their book. As long as they actually state a valid reason for their rating I think it’s fine.
    I think it’s cruel when someone gives something a 1 or even 2 star rating AND DOESN’T REVIEW IT! If you’re going to give such a low rating at least explain why so people can make an educated opinion about the book.
    Also people need to make sure that they stick to the facts of the book and they don’t pick on the readers who actually liked the book. I’ve seen that in the past as well and there’s no reason to pick on other people’s opinions. State yours and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting 🙂 And I agree, a low rating without an explanation is useless lol but then again so is a high rating without an explanation. Even just a sentence or two to explain what worked or what didn’t.
      And from now on, I’m going to post all my reviews, no matter the rating 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  33. I’m late to the party but I hope you reviewed the book. I think it’s admirable to try and find something good in something “bad” but sometimes…sometimes, it’s just bad (for you). Doesn’t mean you’re swaying the next newcomer. I actually buy books based on the content of a bad review. If the review is based on things I would find annoying, like a whiny heroine or an abusive boyfriend who she loves anyway, I pass. But if the 1 star is based on petty, I buy the book to see if I feel the same way. It’s my hobby. Most of the time I don’t and give it a good review.

    I enjoyed your post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting 😊 I still haven’t posted this particularly review, mainly because I feel like everyone will analyse it to death after this post, haha. But going forward I have posted reviews for books I haven’t enjoyed and I will continue to do so 😊 Thankfully I enjoy way more books than not so it’s not an issue I face too often.

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  34. I’ve written a lot of 1 star reviews. I feel bad sometimes but I still post them and I always write my reasons for not liking the book. If I see the book as racist or homophobic, I write a SCATHING 1 star review and I use star ratings on my reviews. I agree with the person that said “It’s my blog. I’ll write whatever I want to write” It may seem very mean but it’s the truth. I feel any authors that search for reviews of their books have to be prepared for bad ones. It’s inevitable. That’s my opinion though😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it’s a very welcomed opinion! And if I book is racist or homophobic then it deserved a scathing 1 star review!! But as for other books not enjoyed, I think as long about you say why then that’s fine. I find this topic so interesting because so many people have varied views, although the majority consensus appears to be “write the review and explain why.” Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

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