Negative Reviews and Why They Are Important


Negative Reviews and Why They Are Important

Hi! I’m Nisha from A Running Commentary, another book blog. Today, I wanted to discuss the negative reviews and why I believe they are important. Thank you to Ava for letting me guest post on her blog!

If you’ve ever seen any of my monthly wrap ups, you’ll probably know that I love a ton of books. Often times, I rate many of the books that I read at about 4-5 stars, which is good or bad depending on where you stand on that. (i know reviewers who are incredibly critical, and i know people like me, who generally tend to like most books) It’s not that I’m pressured to rate books so highly or anything, it’s just that I genuinely love many of the books that I read, which I consider a good thing. (what do you think??)

However, I do have a couple of books that I’ve read and completely disliked/DNFed, and I have written negative reviews about them. As someone who does review books and does read book reviews, I’ve come to the conclusion that negative reviews are incredibly important.

When I’m looking at a Goodreads page to see whether I want to read a certain book, I usually troll through the reviews and read both positive reviews and the negative ones. The positive ones offer some of the good aspects of the book, and the negative reviews offer the bad aspects of the book, if there are any. I like having negative reviews to fall back upon because they show what kind of person would enjoy the book. Maybe the negative reviews says that the book is good, but it wasn’t what they [the reviewer] were looking for.

Focusing more on negative reviews, I’ve always sorted them into two reasons as to why people would dislike the particular book: difference of taste and problematic elements. I’ll give you a list of what these usually involve.

d i f f e r e n c e   o f   t a s t e

  • this usually involves the reader not enjoying story lines or finding the characters hard to relate to.
  • in this case, the reader usually respects the author’s writing style and choices, but simply does not relate to and/or like them.
  • this can range from dislike of characters, plot, or genre to simply not liking how the book is written.

p r o b l e m a t i c   e l e m e n t s

  • this usually involves the author writing something that the reader finds problematic or offensive.
  • in this case, the reader may not respect the author, and may write the review in order to get other people to also understand the problems with the book.
  • this can range from unrealistic characters to offensive terms to a lack of diversity.

Whenever I read a negative review of the former, I usually still remain interested in the book. Maybe the reviewer and I don’t have the same taste in books. (and that’s okay!!!) However, whenever I see that a review explains that a certain book has problematic elements, I will either stay away from the book. (sometimes i do pick up the book JUST to see how problematic it is)

See, negative reviews help me see the book on a broader spectrum of opinions, and, as a reader, I appreciate that. Books do take time to read, and I want to know that I’m not wasting my time reading a book I may not like. (as much as i wish i could read all the books in the world, i don’t have time :///)

As much as I like reading negative reviews, I have seen some incredibly disrespectful that people have tagged authors in. (????) I don’t usually tag authors in my reviews at all, whether they be good or bad, because reviews are for readers, but the most horrible way to ruin someone’s day is sending them three paragraphs about why you hated their book.

So, what do you guys think? Are negative reviews important to you? Tell me in the comments!!


Inline image 1
Hi, I’m Nisha, a book addict and fiction enthusiast. I’m a blogger, and my blog centers around books, fiction, and endless rambling. I’m a huge believer in diversity, feminism, large mugs of tea, rainy summer days, and a good book. 

Nisha’s Links!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

What do you think of negative reviews? Do they help you?


6 thoughts on “Negative Reviews and Why They Are Important

  1. I am so glad I found this post. I have a few books I did not like and was struggling on should I even review them or how to put it across without offending anyone. This post is very helpful. Now I know that it is okay to do so! Thank you so much! 🙂


  2. Unless I rate a book 5 stars I always list the reasons (which are negative) why I rated it lower; whether it is underdeveloped characters or a plot that is all over the place I think it is definitely important to back up any negative comments with why you feel that way. Great guest post by the way not everyone tackles the subject of negative reviews!


  3. I agree, negative reviews are really important. I lean on reviews to help me make the decision to buy a book about 90% of the time, so negative reviews are immensely important to me; they’re effective at stopping me from buying books I won’t like. They’re also usually the ones I find most interesting to read and write!

    Tagging the author in a negative review is just awful and unnecessary.


  4. As both an author/blogger/reviewer, I agree 100000% with this post. EVERY review is important. Not everyone is going to like the same book—and so they shouldn’t right?? (imagine how dull conversation would be if there were no opposing opinions.) Although tagging an author in a negative review? Um, NO THANK YOU. No author wants to see negative crit. on their book (especially now that it’s published they can’t change anything even though they might want to.) I also kind of like the idea of not tagging authors in positive reviews, either—although a short tweet/message from a reader can literally make their day. 🙂 Interestingly, as a reader, I try to avoid most reviews altogether. Just because a book might have problematic things about it, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it (from personal experience!) And I like to go into books without preconceived ideas on what I might expect. 🙂

    Awesome post. Love it.


  5. I do believe negative reviews are as important as good ones, if they are handled carefully. I have seen some bad reviews bashing a book with nothing to support their claim, and with such a disrespect for the author, that it made me very angry. Negative reviews should be as well-built as good reviews. You make your points, you explain why, and you try to keep it respectful. I am always interested in negative reviews as I like to know what did not work for someone, and check if I noticed what irked them or not.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s