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I am taking a blogging break for a little while. I am in the process of getting all of my challenges for 2011 picked out so you'll see a bunch of those posts.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

When a Bad Review goes to far....

The other day I was going through my google reader and I came across a Bad Review for the book Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.  I was upset and thoroughly disgusted with this review because I felt that the person who wrote it was making a big joke out of the author's work.  Comparing this book to other books or characters that they didn't like was in my opinion tasteless.  Sure if done in the right context making those comparisons is a good thing but this was NOT the right context at all. I'm not going to say who wrote this horrible mockery of a review but I will say this....I have viewed the two reviews that were linked in the post and both of those were written in a "hey let's make fun of this book/series" way. 

I thought the point of reading and posting these reviews is to not only post our honest feelings about the book whether they be good or bad feelings.  But in addition to posting our feelings I thought the point of reading and posting reviews was to find some sort of good even if you really don't like the book your reviewing.  I didn't realize that it was "OK" form to make a big joke out of some one's work, but in this case it seems to be a rare yet almost celebrated thing.

I guess my questions to you are: Have you ever come across a bad review that you thought was done in a "not so great" fashion?  Did you say or do anything when you come across reviews like this? If you have to write a bad review how do you go about the process? 



Maidenveil said...

Hi, Jamie! Thanks for your post.

It's really disappointing when someone makes a mockery of someone's work. I always believe that a fair review should at least be respectful to the author and other readers who might be able to appreciate the book more than the reviewer.

I have come across a few reviews before and I think with what you have experienced, the reviews also compared the book with the books they enjoyed. I love the book that the review was "reviewing" but I just left it alone. I just ranted on fellow readers on how could someone post a "review" that demeaning.

I have read some disappointing books but I always make it a point to say why I think I didn't enjoy it and who might. I always bear in mind that the reading experience is subjective and we all have different tastes in books. So if I don't like a book doesn't mean I should poke fun of it or ruin it for everybody else.

Lyndsey said...

I haven't come across any really bad ones...yet!

I have read books that I didn't really like but I always try to pick out the things I did like for a review and explain the parts that I didnt like.

I'm a new follower now.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I use comparisons alll the time (for good and bad examples) but I try to always point out the good too.

As for bad reviewers/reviews: I take it with a grain of salt. ;) We're all just speaking from our hearts. It's just that some people like to be mean.

I usually respond by unfollowing them if I see their reviewing is consistently negative.

Sabrina said...

Great post.

I second what Juju said.
Some people just like to be mean. Often these reviews are callled "brutally honest" by others and people even applaud the reviewer. So there are lots of people who like making fun of authors and who think that being mean is being honest.
I stay away from reviewers like the one you described and unfollow their blogs.

brandileigh2003 said...

I understand a review saying what you didn't like about a book, but I hate it when it does go too far. I remember talk about a review on 13th chime, and it went as far as mouthing the author. These types of reviews are un-necessary and do not add anything to the community.

Janice said...

Being on the writing end - albeit new - I know how much work goes into writing one word never mind an entire book. So being rude just because you have a platform is so unfair and is, I think, a form of bullying.

If the review was objective then fine, not everyone is going to love or get our writing. But if it was plain nasty in a 'let’s make the author cry' way, then not cool.

Book Bloggers can make or break a book - once something goes viral online nothing can stop it and I think because of this they have to be honest, constructive and slightly objective with their reviews. Thankfully all the book blogs I read are by professional, passionate bloggers.

It's my first time stopping by your blog (via YAAddicts linky). I’ll be back – great blog!

Magemanda said...

I have posted some negative reviews myself, and I always follow the principle of judging whether I would feel able to say the same comments to the author's face. If I can, then I know the review is constructive. If I couldn't, then I know my approach is too mean and destructive. I find following this approach makes even negative reviews (hopefully) useful.

Came here from YA Addict comment exchange programme

DforDarla's Definite Reads said...

I have read a few books where I didn't necessarily like them, but I picked out their good qualities to show people who may or may not like the book.

The blogs that I read usually do the same and if it's a negative review, I still look for something that I may like about the book.

April (BooksandWine) said...

I'm not really sure where I stand on this. I've written snarky reviews. I've read snarky reviews. I think there is a difference between saying a book is badly written and commenting on the author themselves. I guess I personally would rather read a brutally honest blog because I know they haven't sold their integrity to be in a publisher's pocket, than a blog where every review is about how great and wonderful books are.

I guess to me, it only goes too far when it calls for banning a book or comments on the author's personal character. If it's a comment on the book, style of writing, etc, that is fair game because the book is out there for the public, also because we all have preferences of what we like in a book, therefore it is fair to comment exactly on what we liked or disliked about the book.

Shanyn said...

I don't think you should ever mock someone's work, but I also don't agree that you are forced to post something good about the book just because you received it for review. You should be posting your honest feelings without including personal attacks and not pushing to find something good (or bad) when writing a review.