How to write a negative book review?

IMG_2074That heading has a question mark on the end because for me that is a question. I love reading (though I don’t read nearly as much as I would like to). I love sharing the books that I really enjoyed reading, am passionate about honestly saying what I thought …. but am also loathe to write anything bad. I have had the honour of proof reading about half a dozen books so far this year and while some of them I absolutely loved and REALLY hope that they do well, there are others which I really really really didn’t like and in fact could not finish.

It isn’t just that I would hate anyone to trash my books publicly that stops me from writing a bad review, it is also that I am keenly aware that we all have different tastes and I would hate to slam a book that I thought was awful when it could be the best book that someone else ever read. I find that books that I connect to “speak” to me one way or another, and recently I tried sooo hard to trudge through a book that meant the world to a friend, as it spoke deeply to her about a tragedy in her own life, but I could not for the life of me get past half way, even after multiple attempts.

Sure there is atrocious writing, … but there are also a ton of books that I just can’t connect with.

I would like to think that I am honest and truthful and I try not to even make small comments that aren’t actually true. If I tell you that I think you look lovely, I truly mean it. If I thank you for something it is because I truly appreciated it. I am not one to flatter, and I don’t like avoidance in any form, but if I don’t like your purple lipstick then I have no need to tell you that either. It could make your day, or your boyfriend might adore you in it, so who am I to ruin your day by telling you that you look ridiculous? It is after all only my opinion anyway, and I could be completely wrong. Maybe to everyone else in the world you look stunning?

How on earth does one remain gracious and kind when one has absolutely nothing positive to say about what I personally think is a dreadfully written book?? Please someone help me out here!

Thankfully the one I have just finished reading was AMAZING and I can’t wait to review it when it hits the shelves, so watch this space!

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One thought on “How to write a negative book review?

  1. Very interesting situation. We all read books that never get finished because we’re not enjoying the journey, but I guess it’s a different situation when someone has specifically asked for a review of a book. Maybe turn down the request to review the book. All I can hear are the words in my head that I’m sure we were all taught – ‘if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything…’ The author would have put their heart and soul into writing that book, and there will be an audience out there that it will appeal to. Let someone else who enjoyed the book write an honest review. Don’t be the one who writes the negative review that may break the author’s heart.

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