What If You Really Hate a Book?

As a blogger, I get asked to review books quite a lot from authors and publishers. I enjoy doing it most of the time, but every once in a blue moon I come across a book I really don’t like. What then?

I don’t always believe in writing negative reviews just because you couldn’t get into a book. Sometimes I think a book is totally wrong for me, and I don’t know it until I get it. Just because it’s not my bag doesn’t mean it won’t be a good read for someone else. The problem, of course, is how to proceed. Do you just post a bad review? No review?

Since I get books from authors I know personally, this can become difficult. I like to remain positive, and therefore recommend books to you guys that I sincerely love. If I don’t love it, I’m not going to recommend it. So when I get a book I don’t dig, I usually tell the author I just couldn’t get into it. I know, can you imagine someone telling you that? My opinion is that it’s better to do that than just post a negative review that won’t help readers.

That’s what I do if I can’t get into the book. If I do read it, give it a chance, and it just never gets any better? And I read it right to the end? I do post a negative review. I try and make it as nice as possible (because again it’s all a measure of taste) but I will tell readers why I didn’t like it. I usually leave reviews like this for the major book sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If I list a book here, I want it to be one that I loved and feel very comfortable recommending it to you.

What’s your take? What do you do when you’re asked to review a book you just absolutely hate?

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2 Comments on "What If You Really Hate a Book?"

  1. I agree with you. Sometimes a book is just “not for me” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. I just couldn’t relate to the story line or garner interest. With those types of books I usually keep my review matter of fact about what the story is and then a little blurb to the affect of “If this type of ______________ (fill in whatever is applicable) interests you, I believe you might enjoy this book”. I’m pretty firm about not bashing a book just because it wasn’t of interest to me.

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    Cherie Reply:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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  2. I bought a book that an online friend wrote that was part of a series. I’d read her online articles, so I assumed her book would be good. It was horrible! Not to mention that the editing sucked and there were so many grammatical and spelling errors, it was like reading a self-published book from one of those free sites.

    I know she wondered why I didn’t buy the two subsequent books to the series, but honestly, I just couldn’t do it. I made up an excuse about being really broke and she never mentioned it again.

    But there seem to be a whole group of people who love her books, so who am I to say they are bad? They aren’t great literature, but they are readable, although more suited for a teen audience, I’m thinking. I’m glad she didn’t ask me to do a review. I would have had to say no, and that would have ended our friendship.

    [Reply]

    Cherie Reply:

    You bring up such a good point, Amie! Sometimes it can really put a strain on a friendship to ask your pals to review something that isn’t right for them. (Especially if the book is bad. **cringe**)

    [Reply]

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