Thursday, December 9, 2010

Do Nice Bloggers Finish Last?

I've seen comments around the blogosphere about how when a blogger only puts up good reviews they're not really trustworthy as far as book recs go. I don't know if I fall into that "nice blogger" category or not. I mean, yes, I'm nice, and I'm a blogger, but I hope I'm not one of those bloggers no one trusts a recommendation from.

Here's my thing: I started blogging to talk about books - books I like. Who wants to talk about a book they hate? (Trust me, there are a few authors and/or books I just can't do, but unless I've been specifically asked to review them, or it was a "OMG you're not going to believe this", I just skip the review.)

My husband tells me I'm too nice on the blog, and wants me to get down and dirty with the reviews ('cause he's evil like that). That's just not me. I think I did one snarky review waaaayyy back (this time last year?) when I was still new to blogging, and even though I did it as more of a "holy smokes I wish someone would have told me that's in this book" than anything else, I still feel badly about it (although I still won't read her books!). I think I've done one or two DNF reviews, and a couple of 1 or 2 stars, but usually if it's less than 3 stars I don't want to talk about it - why continue to torture myself?

So, unless I start chugging from that there bottle of Sweet Bitch (I currently have two bottles in the house *winks*), I'll probably continue to gush about the books I love and sweep the duds under the carpet. I'll still put 1 or 2 stars on Goodreads, but probably won't put a review (if it's a requested review I am honest however).

What about you? How do you review? Every book you read? Only the ones you like? A mixed bag?


  1. I only post good reviews...but I am so busy that I don't finish reading books I don't like.

    It isn't a love-fest though. I point out things that are annoying or dumb but I don't feel the need to bash.

  2. I review everything I read whether I like it not (almost anyway, there are a couple of exceptions).

    But that is just because I started my blog so that I could think about the books I read. I was reading so many books, putting them down and picking up the next one without any reflection.

    So its still improtant to me personally to think about what i didn't like about the book and review it anyway.

    I don't think writing a negative review from my perspective means i am ust baggin gout the book - im just saying what I enjoyed and what I didn't and why

  3. I feel exactly the same way you do. I won't review a book that I didn't like (afterall maybe it was just me?). I've seen 5 star reviews for books I could barely get through. I did a review once on Goodreads and had the author email me and ask me to remove something from the review. I don't think I've given less than a 3 star review on Goodreads and if I didn't finish, I just sweep that one under the rug.

  4. thought is..if you read a book you don't like - I want to know so that I don't go buy that book. I don't think negative reviews have to be snarky or degrading..but I think they help others make decisions when they want to make a purchase.

    But.....I also think you should run your blog the way you feel most comfortable. ;) And you do a fab job..I come back every day ;)

  5. Hey Patti!
    I guess I am like you. I mean I will do a review that was not my cup of tea to prove more to myself that I can step out of my comfy zone and read something that is different for my palette. But I will not do a sucky review. I might point out a "why it did not work for me" kinda thing, but I figure that is the author's hard work and it is not my job to dis an authors work.

    I mean, let me vent here for a minute and you can delete it if you want after... But when you go to a restaurant and order something for the first time and you do not like it - do you return it? No, you suck it up and eat it and next time you get something different. Same thing with books. I mean really... And for those that read out of the comfy zone. Don't dis a book that you did not like that was out of your comfy zone. Because if you don't like m/m and you know that is the main tag in the book... then don't pick it up. Plain and simple...

    And what happen to what your Mama taught you.... IF YOU AIN'T GOT NOTHING NICE TO SAY, SHUT YOUR TRAP!

    Okay, sorry Patti.
    But I agree with you, I started blogging and reading to talk about the authors I love, the books that I fall in love with!

    Okay, going this time for realz.
    Hugs honey and I hope all is well!!! Okay, now you can delete.

  6. Lela: I feel that way too - I have too many other books to read to suffer through a bad one.

    Becky: I admire that you review every book you read! And I don't mean to imply writing a "bad" review is mean, I see your point.

    Book Pimp: I guess I just don't want to "relive" a book I didn't like :)

    Mandi: Good point. I did that with a shifter book that had a great 1st half and the 2nd half not so much. But usually if I'm not impressed I don't say much about it.

    I love the wine - if you like sweet reds it's wonderful!!

    Cecile: Let it all out, honey! Everyone's got an opinion, nobody's right or wrong :) I like your restaurant analogy - that's good!

  7. Well, I'm new to the book blogging world (and I'm very excited about that) but I will say that I plan on writting about all the books I read. So even if I don't like it or I DNF it I am still going to write a review. The reviews are sometimes for me to put my feelings in order about the book and why I liked/didn't like it. It also gives my reviewers (not many right now, I think just one person, haha) a chance to decide if they want to read the book or not. It's also nice to read books and see how others feel about them...but I also think that to each their own! If you only want to write about the books you really liked then go for it! It's your space to write what you want to write! :-D

  8. I say blog how you want to blog. Do what makes you happy. I do both favorable and non-favorable reviews and I like to think I'm fair either way. I'm not much for snark and I don't do it or allow it on my blog. I also don't read snark blogs. But that's my choice. There's an audience for all types of blogs and we can pick and choose what we want to read or pass by.

  9. Almost all the reviews I post receive at least a 3/5 rating. It's not because I'm nice and don't want to talk about books who received lower than that but before I buy a book or accept one to review I really look into it. I check author websites, Goodreads and a few respectable reviews before I start a book. This helps me usually avoid the really bad ones.

    When I do write a review that doesn't receive the best rating I try and still be respectful while pointing out what I didn't like about it. I cannot not be honest because I'd feel horrible if someone said 'Wow, thanks for the book suggestion. It was total crap!' knowing it was a bad book I just didn't want to give a bad rating for.

    Stephanie G
    Paranormal Haven

  10. I'm so glad to read this. I feel the same way. It's why I recently started blogging myself. I was tired of reading all the snarkiness out there. There are constructive criticism vs. just being plain mean attacking the author. There's already enough ugliness in this world so I like to talk about things I love. I don't think your blog is less if you mainly have good reviews. There's a market for everyone. Different strokes for different folks.

  11. I’m with you. I started to blog to share the books that I was reading and to initially have a place where they could be discussed. But when I buy books (especially) or when I go to the library and borrow them, I’m not about to choose books that I know I’m going to hate.
    It would be different if I were sent the books to review. In that case, I would want to be truthful no matter what. But at the same time I feel bad when I give not-so-nice reviews and so I always try to find something about the novel that I liked.
    What I don’t understand are the people out there who, when they write reviews, they attack everything from the author, to the writing style, to the characters and their actions. I realize that it’s easy enough to get lost in a world while reading and come to feel as though you’re a part of the novel, but at some point you have to wake up and realize that you’re not a part of the story.
    In the end, why would a person start to blog anyways if they were only going to write about the books that they hate. That would seem like a waste of time to me.

  12. deannalynnc: Welcome to blogging! I admire those bloggers who can review everything they write - go for it!!

    FV: "There's an audience for all types of blogs and we can pick and choose what we want to read or pass by" <--Good point!

    Paranormal Haven: That's my view too - I know what I like and try to stick with it :) I don't give a good rating to a book I didn't like though.

    Ing: "There's already enough ugliness in this world so I like to talk about things I love." <-- Me too!

    -k: Unless it was a book I just couldn't finish, I do try to point out some redeeming quality :)

  13. Okay, watch me tap dance, because I'm an author and, of course, people who don't know me might assume I only want good reviews in the world. (Which is so not the truth, as I have an admitted addiction to Mrs. Giggles.)

    However, I have to make this choice too. And I choose to spend my time & attention gushing over the books I've loved.

    I've been told that makes me less trustworthy and my recs suspect*, but I guess I don't think that's true. If someone is not going to trust that I'm telling the truth when I promise there are quite a few books I read and am not recommending, why do they want to listen to my opinions anyway?

    We all have our comfort zones and our interests, and I totally think Mandi has a good point and that sometimes I pick up a book and think, "Good lord, I wish someone had warned me." But the things I want to be warned about may not be anything that would bother anyone else anyway (happens ALL THE TIME) so it's always going to be just me and the book at the end of the day.

    Your blog is awesome. I've picked up books because you wrote a review that made me curious. I would hate to think that anyone had made you think you HAD to only post about the things you love, but if that's what you WANT to do...rock on with your bad self!

    *My recs ARE suspect when it comes to my friends, which is why I try very very hard to disclaim when I am recommending one of their books. It is impossible for me to not be biased there. LOL

  14. I'm with you, Patti. I don't want to waste my time reviewing a book I disliked on my blog. I would rather gush about the stuff I loved (or at least liked). If that makes me too nice, oh well!

  15. I've got to agree with most of the comments here and you. There are too many good books in the world to spend time writing about bad ones. If I'm slightly disappointed with something and I've committed to reviewing it then I'll usually write everything down and go back over it, making sure that I'm being even handed about the good and the bad.

  16. I try to be honest. If I have a DNF, I don't usually review it unless it was something that really hit me.

    Before anyone read my blog I used to be snarkier. Once I realized people were finding it I niced up. :-) I think there are ways of saying "That really sucked" without saying "that really sucked" and I always try to remember that while I may hate it when and author does X, there are other people who absolutely love it. So who am I to judge?

    So I try to say "that didn't work for me because ...", that doesn't mean the book was necessarily bad, although I will go off on a rant on grammar type things which I don't blame the author for 100%. I read mostly e-books so I think for the formatting and editing stuff is more common than in print books, but to publish some things with the errors I've seen is just sloppy.

    I don't want reviewers to be mean, I just want them to be honest. And that can be done in a polite way although there are always those that will take offence no matter how polite and diplomatic you make a review. Don't be ashamed of being nice. There are far worse things in the world to be.

  17. I only review books I have something to say about and generally LIKED, despite any criticizes I may give.

    Some books are just a nice easy read and I have nothing to say in a review. They go under the carpet.

    Others are so disastrous that I have nothing good to say. These go under the carpet too.

    I try very hard to balance my reviews with positive and negative constructive points.

  18. I do always wanna be honest. Sometimes book may disappoint me, but then I look at the things I liked. And yes sometimes they disappoint me so much that I just have to say it. DFN, wont even posts those anymore, I do tend to give up on a lot

  19. If I managed to finish a book, I review it. but if I didn't like it I try to explain why I didn't like it. I also do not give stars on my blog, so people have to actually read the review instead of just going by the stars.

  20. Awesome topic!!

    I am just like you, unless it was a book for review, if I didn't like it I'll prob not review it... Like you said, Im blogging to share My love for books..

    That said if its a series or author I love and I am really disappointed with the latest installment I might share...

    if its an author that is just starting and I didnt really like or finish the book (is I got for review) I'll probably not review it... I'll NEVER lie and say I liked it, but I'll not go out of my way to write a DNF or 1 star review that might damage the author...


  21. Patti I bought two books off of your reviews and loved 'em. To me it's more about your point of view and taste. I think if a blog post reviews on books you've purchased and accepted for review it's different than a blog that only accepts books for reviews from publishers (probably more low ratings.

    I noticed recently on my blog that my reviews/ratings tend to be higher, buuuuut I rarely accept review requests anymore and tend to only post about books I really heart or want to write about.

  22. Lots of great comments and an excellent post, Patti!

    When I first started my blog, the books I reviewed were ones I purchased for myself, and therefore were pretty much all in the 4 star range. Now that I'm reading books provided by the publisher or author, ones that I may not have picked out myself, I've noticed a wider range of ratings.

    I try to have my reviews reflect the rating. If it's a 5 - well, the review will be all gushing. But if it's a 3 - I make sure I balance the likes and dislikes to a reader understands why I gave it a 3. Most of all, I try to be respectful and honest.

    Thanks, Patti! I enjoy your blog and reviews!

  23. Bree: Thanks for the compliments *blushes* I can imagine it's hard for an author to blog about other books :)

    Diana: Yup, I like to gush about awesome books :)

    Dana: "There are too many good books in the world to spend time writing about bad ones." <---agree!!

    Tam: I try to be honest too, and sometimes it seems like meanness is rewarded. I'm with you - polite is best :)

    Sweet Vernal Zephyr: I like your review style - I'm gonna get me one of those "carpets" :)

    Blodeuedd: I don't normally post about DNF unless it was really, really bad.

    Sullivan: Kudos to you for reviewing everything you read! I can't keep up with mine :)

    Larissa: Thanks! I had that happen recently (disappointment with series) and I just didn't review the book. I was frustrated.

    KC: You're so sweet! I too usually only buy/accept books I think I'd enjoy. Why would you accept something you don't think you'd like, lol?

    Twimom: Thanks - I think my reviews are like yours - 5=gushing, 3=likes/dislikes. That works for me too.

  24. I am honest in my reviews, but I think I'm like you. If I did not like a book, why write a review and torture myself? I'd still rate in on GR and write a small blip, but might not go through the hassle of doing a full review on the blog.

  25. I appreciate the bad reviews. It helps me avoid bad books. :)

  26. I try to get across the whole range of my feelings about a book...that's to say, I'll talk about both what I like and had issues with. But I've not yet come across a book that I couldn't stand AND still managed to finish. I rmbr one 2-star book in particular: even though most of my opinion was decidedly not in favor of the book, there was something in there that I enjoyed enough to make me want to finish. That particular review reflected all of those aspects accordingly.

    But to be honest, I'm more likely to DNF a book and perhaps give a few words about why I did so, than finish a book that breaks me out in hives. ^__^

    Also, I so enjoy scouting out books that I feel like I'm highly likely to enjoy. And I've lucked out to not get so many that I really don't like.

    If that makes me a softy reviewer, then so it shall be. Nothing wrong with it. ^_^

  27. I don’t like writing poor reviews. If the book wasn’t received for review than usually I’ll skip posting a less than stellar review on my blog. I usually still rate on Goodreads and Librarything though. If the book was for an ARC tour site or received for review than I’ll post my feelings bad or good. I can usually find something positive to say and I try to keep it snark free. I always feel a little nauseous after clicking publish when I have more negative than positive to say. I’m probably one who people think give out too many positives, but I try to only read books that I know I’ll love so it just happens.

    With that said I look forward to your reviews, and trust your opinion. It’s your blog so do what makes you happy.

  28. I agree with you. I tend to read books that I like b/c I only BUY books that I like. I don't receive ARC's or free copies, so why would I spend my money on a book I'm not interested in or know I wont like? Now if I pick up something of interest and don't like it, that's one thing. However, I am not going to nit pick and down grade books just to even the score. I'm just not that person. :P

  29. Smash Attack: That's what I normally do too - great minds think alike, lol :)

    Chris: I'm seeing this alot in the comments, it's definitely food for thought!

    Alisha: I try not to DNF books but sometimes I just. can't. do. it. ;)

    Christie: I get nervous when I post a not-glowing review too! But I do try to stay honest and won't give a good review if it wasn't a good book.

    Lily Child: Agree - Every now and then I'll pick up something out of my comfort zone - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't :)