Why I Love Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are the most difficult kind of reviews for me to write. Not only do I want to avoid offending anyone (like the author, if they are to see it), but it can be hard to come up with any redeeming/positive points if I really disliked a book.

While I may not enjoy writing negative reviews for those reasons, I absolutely love reading them. Part of it is definitely the entertainment factor – the snarkier reviews, in particular, are great at making me laugh. I also love reading negative reviews because they’re incredibly informative. The parts that didn’t work for a reader are thoroughly laid out, so if certain topics that I’m uncomfortable with or tropes that I really dislike are present, I avoid giving that book a read.

Of course, negative reviews don’t always cause a book to be removed from my TBR; in fact, they often cause me to want to read a book even more since I’m curious to see if it’s that bad. If it’s a book that I was really looking forward to reading, I may lower my expectations a little bit or borrow it from the library instead of purchasing it, but I’ll likely still give it a read. After all, just because one reader didn’t enjoy a book doesn’t mean that it won’t be another reader’s favourite story. An individual’s thoughts and feelings towards a book are shaped by their experiences, and that subjectivity is part of what makes reading such a magical experience.

Your turn: how do negative reviews affect your reading choices?

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12 thoughts on “Why I Love Negative Reviews

  1. I love those snarky negative reviews. Those are the best xD I think when I read a negative review, I find them informative. But because it’s only one person’s opinion, I’ll still read the book if it interests me or if I share an opinion with the reviewer.

  2. I feel the same way! If I was already interested in it and it’s on my TBR then I usually just give it a go anyways. I’ve read some of my favorite books that way! Great post! 🙂

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  4. It depends what kind of negative review. I dismiss any ‘review’ that simply takes every opportunity to bash the author, or doesn’t qualify why they dislike the book so much. So, ‘I HATE THIS SO THERE’ just ain’t gonna cut it for me.

    But I do like a detailed review if it’s gotta be negative. It makes it easier for me to work out if it’s still something I want to read.

    To be fair, if I’ve already put a book in my TBR list it’s gonna take a big crowbar to get it out again. I like to make my own judgements.

    I like that sense of ‘thank chuff, it’s not just me’ though- after you’ve read a book and it’s disappointing but so many have loved the fluff out of it.. then a negative review helps to make me feel sane!

    Ha!

    Interesting post!!

  5. I have to admit I like reading negative reviews as well especially from a book I enjoyed. I guess I like seeing why someone didn’t like it even though I did. But, I have a hard time writing negative reviews – I don’t want to hurt an author’s feelings. I try writing some positive aspects in between the negatives to kind of balance things out.

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  7. I’m a sucker for snarky, negative reviews too. (Sometimes I even get a kick out of writing them too. Does that make me an awful person? If it makes a difference, I rarely end up posting them.) I king of feel like the only thing that garners for attention than a glowing, positive review, are these negative reviews we all secretly love. I’m like you though– just because a book received a negative review doesn’t mean I’m not going to read the book. If anything, my curiosity is piqued even more! Part of me has faith that I’ll end up liking the book more than the person who wrote the negative review did.

  8. I have to say that whether it’s a good or a bad review doesn’t feature too much in my reading choices. Yeah, the snarky ones are very entertaining, but whether or not it influences my reading choices depends on the actual quality of the review…

    Like, a really bad example:
    Person A: “I loooooved this book, the male lead is such a hottie, and so nice to the female lead. I shipped them so hard!”
    Person B: “I HATED this book, the instalove just did not do it for me.”

    Neither of those reviews would have encouraged or discouraged me to pick up the book. I need more. Why was it an awesome book? Why was it awful? And sometimes, the reason one person loved it might be the very reason I won’t like it. So yeah… I like reading well-written reviews, and I don’t care too much whether the reviewer loved or hated it.

  9. I have only written one bad review so far on my blog, and I actually think I found it easier to write than most reviews, because I had so much to say! However, at the same time, I felt like I had to come up with at least a few redeeming qualities, and not be too horrible about it in case other people loved it (or by some chance the author came across it), which I guess was quite hard. I love reading negative reviews though too, particularly if its a book I’ve read, because I like to see what it was they didn’t like about it.

  10. Just like you I enjoy reading negative reviews, they can be very informative. One of my pet peeves in especially fantasy and sci-fi books is bad world building, so when a review mentioned that I usually decide to avoid that book. In general it matters who has written the negative review and what is negative about the book if it changes my opinion of wanting to read one.

  11. I absolutely love reading negative reviews. I feel bad for the authors because they obviously put a lot of effort into writing the book but if it sucks then I want to know about it. I also find writing negative reviews a lot easier than positive ones, because there is far more to say. In positive reviews I just basically write ILOVEITSOMUCH over and over.

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