Daily Stuff (2)

Spotted on WordPress.com’s front page: Top 10 Underrated Fantasy Stories Before 1937. Includes one of my favorite fantasy books, which I sort of wrote about before, The Princess and the Goblin!

Over at Presenting Lenore, Lenore posts about bad behaviors book bloggers fall prey to.

Also there’s this old Tor.com post, which I forgot about for a while. It’s about book bloggers being too nice, basically, and why they’re reluctant to write negative reviews for books. Also some stuff about writers who review, and what they go through when doing so.

I tend to go by the belief that negative reviews are needed, that they’re even a GOOD thing, if a book warrants it (or a reader thinks it does). I like being fair, and if a book is getting only positive reviews because the people who didn’t like it are too afraid to post their views– that’s unbalanced. I don’t want people to be afraid to post negative reviews! That seems almost like, I don’t know, shaming a blogger into just conforming with the majority or just keeping their mouth shut.

Of course, I recently went through this dilemma myself. But then, I wasn’t particularly afraid of what the author would think; I was afraid of what other bloggers/fans of the book would think. I worried about hurting their feelings, which I know can happen when someone doesn’t like a book you love, and I also worried about being the only person to not like that book. Was I weird? What was wrong with me, that I didn’t like this book? Would people attack me? Not want to be my friend any more? It was like high school all over again, seriously.

But then I thought: 1. I can’t be the only person not to like this book. What if other people didn’t like it but are just afraid to write about it like I was? 2. Just because everyone else seemed to like it doesn’t mean that I had to, or that something was wrong with me for not liking it. 3. I can handle any negativity pretty well by now, after over a year blogging (kinda). And so I posted my negative review! To be honest, I’m still pretty nervous about that thing (the trolls have to start coming eventually), but I’m hoping that by posting it I’ve done something, er, positive! for the blogging community. Maybe.

/essay

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0 thoughts on “Daily Stuff (2)”

  1. recently, i read several books that didn’t appeal to me for various reasons. i wrote honest reviews and rating the books accordingly (each 2 stars or less).

    it may be difficult to write a less-than-glowing review but for the integrity of my blog (and me!) i do write them. i know there are bloggers who consistently give above average ratings to books i think are average or below, but i take those reviews with a grain of salt. sometimes, i’ll hunt out a book that got a terrible review from another blogger just to see if our opinions line up.

    the bottom line for me is to be honest about the book, support my opinion, and keep it professional and diplomatic. i won’t say a book ‘sucks’, but i’m not afraid to say that there was poor character development or a very predictable plot. as long as you support your opinion, have at it! 🙂

    1. The issue of rating books higher for whatever reasons when they don’t necessarily deserve it is a whole other mess– what I meant was more about people refusing to post negative reviews at all, because they don’t want to offend anyone or be attacked for their opinion. Personally, I don’t mind posting negative reviews except when I know the author or know that a lot of people love that book; then I feel weird and maybe a bit defensive, like with Heist Society.

      I do try to be fair in my reviews, though, like you said, and hopefully people can see that. 😀

  2. I do you think you should be honest – and also fair of course. If you explain what you didn’t like, it could very well be that another reader loves books with the very things you don’t.

  3. I like that list of early fantasy books! Though I wish the person hadn’t said that Mirlees’s other books were good too, because it’s made me yearn for them frantically, and I know that will be a difficult craving to satisfy.

    When I write negative reviews, I am usually more worried about hurting the feelings of whoever recommended that book. Like if I read a book because you suggested it, and hated it, I’d be very anxious about posting a negative review.

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