I know of a lot of bloggers who don't write negative reviews - either because they think it's rude or because they just don't care to review the books they didn't like. And that's fine, but it's not what I do and today I wanted to talk about that because I really hope that nobody finds my negative reviews rude or insulting.
I review every YA or MG book I read. If I finish the book, I write a review, and oftentimes this means writing a less-than-stellar review. Sometimes it means being negative. Sometimes it means really negative. There are some books I just don't like. Some that have flaws that I can't get past or that I wish someone had told me about before picking the book up.
A lot of times I'm that rare minority in the blogging world. The one who doesn't love a book everyone else is gaga over. And sometimes this is just me, just the fact that the book hit me wrong or didn't interest me for whatever reason. Other times though (and most of the time) I genuinely see flaws in the book. Ones that others either haven't noticed or didn't think important enough to point out. But I mention these things - the too-slow pace, the unrealistic relationships, the character I just couldn't stand. I never try to do it in a mean way and though anything you've written is intensely personal to you, I never mean for a negative review to be an attack on the author. It's about the book. I could love the next book an author writes, or the previous book, and still not like the one I reviewed.
One of my biggest policies on the blog and in my reviews is honesty. Even if everyone else in the world likes a certain book, there's still a reason I didn't. And maybe (probably) there's another reader out there with similar tastes, who will appreciate a different viewpoint. I'm fairly in-depth in my reviews and while this is partly because I don't want to leave anything out, it's also because my feelings and opinions on most books are fairly complicated. I'll like some parts of a book and be bored by others, or I'll be surprised or disappointed by something in the book and I want to talk about that, to share it with others. Sometimes this means giving a negative review.
So what do you guys think? Negative reviews: yay or nay? My reviews: yay or nay?
Also, I have more thoughts on reviews (and my system in particular) that will be up within the week. Stay tuned!
Edit: But really, Adele of Persnickety Snark says it better than I ever could.