Why negative reviews aren’t always such a bad thing

Hello readers, a really interesting post for you today I think. Critical reviews are really difficult to write; there are so many parts to reading a book. Say you might not enjoy a book for one reason but might really adore it for another – how do you write the review? For me critical reviews are really important and play a vital part in the blogosphere and I’m going to try and put down why they really aren’t such a bad thing.

WE all Enjoy Different Things

Type in ‘book blog’ on google and you will be hit with 34264758482948584 different results each looking at different genres of books; some specialise, some like MLBB don’t – however we all have niche’s that we enjoy. Add in different writing styles, different plot-lines, authors and taste in terms of characters and there’s a lot of difference there to deal with.

I am quite honest about my dislike of fantasy books but will often review them based on the style of writing/character build up/ pace and whether I enjoyed it overall rather than base in on the genre. If you adore fantasy books then my 3/5 could be easily a 5/5; it depends on what we love and what makes us enjoy something. Often I might read and review something I disliked but still recommend it because of something utterly different. We take what we want from reviews based on our own likes and dislikes.

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We have our own opinions

Nothing is worse than being part of a book blog tour and realising that the book, well, it’s really not for you but in little over a week you’re going to have write a review and steer the course between being honest and treading on an authors feelings – it is super rubbish.

Saying that when I read reviews I will often look at the critiques and think, ‘I wonder how if I was reading it I would react.’ Weekly I add books to my TBR just to see whether my thoughts add up with that of the reviewer. Goodreads wouldn’t be as big as it is if we didn’t constantly want to rack up our thoughts next to our fellow book worms.

My final thought on this is that well-written reviews, more critical or more positive sell books, either way. Whether it makes a reader think I want to see why you disliked it, or whether your views were justified a review is still a review.

They create conversation

All of these reasons kind of link, but more critical reviews create conversation.I remember for months after The Casual Vacancy came out it was still being discussed. The reviews were terrible and yet, it was talked about over and over; why was it disliked? Why was it so different from the wonder of Harry Potter?

Negative reviews spark debates, and they often create more conversation. I reviewed Fifty Shades and some of the comments were almost reviews in themselves; it lead to deeper discussion of the book as you talk about the parts that worked and those that didn’t.

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5*’s doesn’t mean a wonderful book

I don’t know whether I’m the only one but when I see a book with all 5* reviews, it makes me think; where have these reviews come from. In my opinion it is very rare to find a book that has no faults, none whatsoever and yet it’s something I see regularly. I know that some bloggers tend not to review books they dislike but something in that irks me; I want to know what you thought? Why it wasn’t great? Not all books are worth reading, but I kinda want to decide that based on the whole spectrum of reviews rather than just the best ones.

Getting to know you

Finally I find that negative reviews let me get to know a blogger better. I can really see what they like and what they don’t like and then I can decide whether our reading needs align. If I read a review and it picks up on things I find difficult or tend not to like when reading I know that our choices may be a little different and therefore their 5* may be a 3* for me. It’s all about personal choice and negative reviews allow us a little more insight.

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I really enjoyed writing this post but as always would love to hear your thoughts. Is there anything you agree with or critically disagree with. Do you read negative reviews and if you’re a blogger how do you go about it? Let me know in le comments book worms.

Andrew Manning: I really really want it

Afternoon readers, lunch break time for me, and I thought I would finally get this review written up. I didn’t want to write this review but I’ve decided to give it a go. I have a confession; I didn’t make it half way through this book, but I’ll explain all in the review below. I once got asked what my thoughts were on negative reviews and they are completely necessary. I would never lie to anyone about how I felt about a book because I would hate for someone to go out and buy a book and be utterly disappointed. This is a book that I disliked from page one and I am now going to tell you why.

Andrew Manning is one of celebrity’s back room boys. He’s spent twenty years repackaging and reviving celebrities whose careers have been overshadowed by scandal and is now the very special agent to a stellar list of stars. Andy is a wealthy and powerful man. He knows where the bodies are buried. Don’t fuck with him. Shelley Bright, chart-topping singer, fashion icon and foul-mouthed homophobe wants a divorce from her closeted gay Premier League footballer husband. She calls on Andrew to organise it. Reality TV star Joey Camp’s career goes into free-fall after he launches an expletive-laden attack on The Queen on live television: he needs Andrew to save him. And Janey Jax, international Pop Goddess…well, what she wants is so twisted and bizarre that it shocks even Andrew. And as Andrew’s partner and lover, Johnny, begins a descent into celebrity-induced psychosis and a blackmailing paparazzi appears on the scene, things look set to become even more complicated. With lashings of suicide, murder, drugs, blackmail and general bad behaviour, I REALLY, REALLY WANT IT is a dark, irreverent and no-holds barred take on celebrity-obsessed culture.

As the above paragraph states the book follows a range of different character as they bustle around trying to get to the top, no matter what it takes. Following Andrew Manning an agent who will help you hide almost any scandal for a price, he is helping Shelley Bright to gain a sizeable reward for her impending divorce from her closeted gay husband. Now, I love dark and brooding books with ghastly characters, but there is a limit to what I can stomach. From the very first page the language is shocking; the swear words are blasted out every other word and they are not limited to the stereotypical words used. I’m not going to post them here but using the C word so frequently for me is inexcusable. The author, oddly, apologises for this, saying to the reader maybe they should not be so uptight or easily shocked. I am not easily shocked, I’m a reader, I have read of frightening murders, grisly plotlines and horrifying characters but this doesn’t mean that I am happy to read a book that openly thinks that swearing at the reader every second is okay. I can’t really give you anymore because I don’t want to read any more of this book. The writing is basic and there are grammatical and spelling mistakes from the word go which is always exhausting. I also disliked the way Andrew Manning talks to the reader, it becomes a diary style form, but we are also right in the action. It quickly becomes tedious and feels old-fashioned.

So, honestly I found this book utterly disturbing; the characters although strongly written are twisted with no moral compass, are shallow, cruel, rude and utterly pitiless. You might be wondering how I came to this decision so early on in the book this may explain; at one point the book describes a character that would like to mash up aborted fetuses and eat them as some kind of health kick. When I turned the next page, (page 28) and hit another barrage of C words, I gave up honestly.  What’s most upsetting is that I was so excited about this book; the plot line sounds brilliant but for me it was just too much. The author seemed to be desperate to upset me, and make me feel uncomfortable. I went online to see whether I was the only one to feel this way and it seems I am not. Sometimes a bit of dark humour is brilliant and sometimes it gets too much. Maybe I should have kept reading but scrolling through I found myself feeling more and more dejected. I don’t know how to end this review but this might work; you honestly couldn’t pay me to give it another go.

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