I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. It’s always been my favorite hobby. So it almost seemed natural that I would want to start reviewing books. I even signed up for a book reviewing site that sends you free ARCs in return for an honest review. The first (and only) time I did this I panicked a little bit. What if the book I pick is awful? What if it’s so dull that I practically have to force myself to finish it? If that were the case, what would I write for my review? Well, an “honest” review means that if I hated it, I need to write about why I hated it. And probably the author would be reading it, especially if she or he is a new writer and jonesing for reviews.
I agree that if a book is bad and a review is promised, the review should be honest about how bad it is and give important feedback. It will only help the writer in end. But for me… I… just… can’t… do it!!! The book is clearly something that took a lot of time and effort. And hey, I should give the author props for even writing a book! How many books have I wrote? Oh yeah, zero! So it’s hard for me to justify writing a bad review.
But at the same time, we can’t just have good reviews for every book. How would the reader know which books are really good and which ones are not? For me, I just don’t have the bravery to submit the bad review. It’s strange because if there was a product I bought on Amazon and I didn’t like it, I would have no problem writing a comment online about how poor the product is. It’s just that a book is not like any other product. To me, a book is a piece of art that has deep emotional connections to the artist (the author). I think my official stance right now is this: I don’t have the guts to write a bad review at this point in my life (though that may change), but I have an appreciation for those reviewers who are brave enough to point out the bad books that I should skip.
What about you? If you’re a book reviewer, have you ever wrote about a book you hated? How do you feel about writing bad reviews in general?