So here’s the thing.
The book blogging community is a very tight-knit community. And I love that about it! It also means, though, that many authors read my reviews of their books. Some I’ve interacted with on Twitter even before I’ve read their books. So sometimes I’m kind of scared to write negative reviews of books – because authors put so much time into them, and they’re just so dang nice!
I don’t actually write too many negative reviews.
Most of my reviews talk about at least SOMETHING I liked. Probably the exception to this is Allegiant, which I…okay, let’s not talk about that one. But I didn’t feel bad about my negative review of that, because as if Veronica Roth’s going to read my review!! She’s got enough awesome fans 🙂
Often, it’s not the fault of a book when I don’t enjoy it. I didn’t like We Were Liars that much despite how EVERYONE else seemed to love it – and the same is true with Throne of Glass. And I DO say in my reviews that mine is an unpopular opinion, and other people might love it.
This scaredy-cat-ness is mostly for the smaller-scale books – the ones by small presses or Aussie authors whom I have connected with. Because even before I read the book, I think OH MY GOSH, WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE IT AND I HAVE TO WRITE A NEGATIVE REVIEW? HOW WILL I EVER TALK TO THAT AUTHOR AGAIN?
But as much as I’d like to, I cannot enjoy every book.
Because the other thing is that if I were to write a glowing review of every book, they would all sound the same, and it would diminish the books I really DID like/love.
As a writer, I’ve thought about this a lot as well. I mean, yes, I wouldn’t be ecstatic with negative reviews, but at the same time, I appreciate that honesty is the best policy when reviewing. As long as the honesty doesn’t extend to bashing. Because that’s not cool.
So in the end, I don’t think we should feel guilty/scared for posting a less-than-positive review, because we’re NOT going to love every book we read, and I don’t want to be dishonest in how I review books. So, to all the authors whose books I may not enjoy: I’m very sorry! I’m sure you’re lovely and awesome and I want to meet ALL of you. But no matter how much of themselves authors put into their books, they are NOT their books, and we can interact with authors separately from their work.
Those are my thoughts, anyway.
Excuse my rambling thoughts. I’ve been writing essays and I’m a bit brain-dead right now.
So how about you?
Are you like me, scared to post negative reviews? Or are you more of a tough critic (you guys know who I’m talking to)? Maybe I’m just too much of a softie. I need to work on that.