More Personal in Nature...

Dearest Readers,

Here is another of my sporadic personalish posts; this one has more feeling from me but also probably won't be very eloquent, because I just don't think I write that way.

So...anyway, I am reading a book called 'Romancing Miss Bronte' by: Juliet Gael and it sort of tugged at a something in me and I decided to post about it....Negative Reviews *Jaws theme song in the background*

In this book an author receives a negative review to her work, but it wasn't only a negative review it also contained stabs at her spinsterhood and childlessness (which were big deals in the era of the book) but the impact the review had on the author made me so sad...and I was thinking about this and the responsibility us bloggers and reviewers take on when we write a book review. We take on an authors entire world for a short period of time...we take on something that means so much more to them than it does to us even if we do love the book. 

Negative reviews are something that I do not believe in; I believe in being constructive not negative. I always like to post at least one thing I enjoyed about the book (there is always at least one thing) and then I like to share why I didn't think the book worked for me, and then continue on with a small snippet of who it could or might work for. I critique the writing and the story and never ever make a poke at the author, at all, in any possible sense...even if they might be a jerk (sometimes it happens) but the entire world doesn't need to know the depth of their will just make you look bad.

I don't know many bloggers who truly write negative reviews, and usually if I see that I won't read them anymore. I see truly negative and just mean reviews in publications and stuff like that, and it still just makes me sad...anyway...I think I have rambled long enough and I know people post about this all the time but...this is how I feel and I am sharing. Feel free to comment on your own opinions and views! I would love to hear them.

P.S. No there is nothing going around the blogosphere, no drama or anything, I was truly thinking about this from the crushing sense the author made me feel when I was reading her work and her characters feelings.

Copyright The Bibliophilic Book Blog 2009-2010
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  1. You are so right. Negative reviews help neither the blogger nor the author. I believe in constructive criticism but as you said, one can always find at least one good aspect of a book to comment positively on. Sometimes we never really consider what a negative review would do to an author as a person and also within the professional realm of things. These people spend months even years pouring out their hearts on paper just to truly share the inner workings of their mind with the world. The least reviewers and bloggers alike could do is say something nice or not say anything at all.

    I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank every author that has shared their work with the rest of us :)

  2. I don't like negative or snarky reviews for the same reasons you pointed doesn't do anyone any good. Even if I agree with the general gist of the negative review I always end up feeling bad for the author, because as soulfulll pointed out, these authors spend a lot of time, energy and love creating their stories. However, unlike soulfulll, I do believe in saying something even if it isn't necessarily nice as long as it is constructive and I can provide examples of why I felt the way I did after reading a book.

    What I think is even more unkind, and what I see more and more of all the time are glowing reviews, 5 star reviews, when a book doesn't deserve it. It's bad for readers who are misled, but also for an author because then they don't get an idea of what worked or didn't. I think very few authors today write just for themselves, but instead write to be read, and love that they can earn a living by following their passion. If readers aren't buying because the book isn't good, but was highly praised, then the author won't know how to approach their next endeavor to try and write a better book. The result being lost sales with an inaccurate reason why this may have been.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the author you are currently reading must do a pretty good job of expressing emotions if it touched you so deeply.

  3. I think you make a truly great point. I've been learning, I wrote one negative review and thinking back really regretted it, since then I've been perfecting the critique and always listing what was good and what others will like.

    For me, I do think it is important to review the books that I didn't like. I set out a goal to review everything I read, and I feel like I would be cheating by not reviewing the ones I didn't love. Plus, even if I didn't like it, someone else might love that piece that I didn't so I always try to say exactly what didn't work for me. And the author, if he or she wishes, can always take that critique and work it in to another book - not that I think I have anywhere near that kind of sway!

    And I agree with Booklover1335 - glowing reviews of meh books are just as harmful.

  4. I think as a blogger we sometimes have to put honesty forthright. It doesn't mean bashing authors or their works, it means being honest with yourself and your valuable readers, by giving them and honest opinion.
    Negative or Positive, the truth needs to be said. I believe you owe it to the people who send you the books to be honest, whatever the cost. Tactful, classy people know how to critic crap in a fashion to have it smelling like roses.


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