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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Negative Comment on a Negative Review (with update)

I just received an outraged comment a few minutes ago on my review of Windwalker.  I deleted the comment, but I must admit that perhaps my review was too snarky.  I published it right after getting back from a week in Baton Rouge and the stress of Erin's surgery and dealing with her set backs left me in a less than positive mood.  

The comment did not change my view of the book.  It did make me think about reviewing a book with such petulance.  The anonymous commenter mentioned that I should not read books about soul mates or reincarnation if I don't like the topics.  It isn't that I really dislike the topics; I've read books about both that have appealed to me, although I find the single soul mate concept and the search through centuries to locate that individual a tad difficult to make ring true .  Truthfully, I believe that writing good stories about either are difficult, and so when I read a good one (meaning one that I like, one that makes me suspend disbelief) I'm especially appreciative. 

I can't always tell from a book's description whether or not the book will be one that I will enjoy.  Even if everything about the description sounds appealing, it doesn't mean that the book is one that will, after all, meet expectations.  We don't always like the same books.  Even readers with similar tastes, and who usually agree about books they read, have different responses to certain books.  

The commenter must have read my review on Goodreads because I don't give stars on my blog, but I rarely give one star reviews.  One star on the Goodreads site means "I didn't like it" and two stars means "It was OK."  I didn't like it.  

Which brings me back to my negative review.  I usually make a comment in my more negative reviews to the effect that my review is just my opinion, that the author has plenty of fans, that other reviews are positive.  It didn't happen with that particular review.  Mea Culpa -- I will keep this in mind.

Dang, I can't win for losing.  More comments on Windwalker review.  I sure made someone angry.  Even trying to mediate didn't help.  You'd think I was the only one that gave the book a less than stellar review.


  1. Don't let the comment get to you! You were honest is your review and that is what matters. You are always so nice and generous, don;t start being hyper-careful of what or how you say it just because of one negative comment. To me that says more about the anonymous person than it does about you!

  2. I wouldn't worry about it. I read your post and it was fine. I get rude comments, but it's my blog and if they have a problem they can stop reading it. :)

  3. Stefanie and Kelly - Thanks! The comment was abrasive, but it did make me think.

  4. Well, I didn't think your review was that negative. You didn't like the book but you were honest and I didn't think you were being mean. See, to me even if I read a negative review if the book appeals to me for the subject, characters, whatever then I will still read it. So I hope you won't worry about and keep on reviewing like you always do!

  5. Iliana - I'm much the same way about reading even if I see a negative review. If it sounds interesting, sometimes I just want to check it out to see whether or not I agree!

  6. Isn't it utterly absurd to write a negative, aggressive comment because of a negative review?
    Don't let anyone tell you what you're allowed to write or think. Knowing you, I'm sure, it was honest but not mean.

  7. I didn't think your review was that bad. I certainly could have (and might have) written something a lost nastier. People who respond negatively to criticism are insecure, that's all. I appreciate truthful reviews, even when they are negative. There's just not enough time in life to read books that are less than stellar.

  8. Never apologize for telling the truth about a book. A book review cannot be a true review if you only publish nice words about a book.

  9. Caroline - In the years of keeping this blog, I've only received two really negative comments. Not that there weren't some comments in which someone disagreed with my opinion of a book, but not with such outrage. Ah, well....

    Lexi - Thanks! The way we feel about a book is so personal. Even a negative review should not discourage someone else if they like the author.

    Laura - :) And it is only my truth, not a gold standard by any means.

  10. I agree with the others. I didn't think your review was in anyway unfair or overly negative.

    I love it when books bring out our passionate side, but I wish people would be more respectful when they have differing opinions, especially when commenting on other people's blogs. I am sorry you had to deal with this. Yours is just one opinion. It won't make or break the book.

  11. Wendy - I agree that my opinion won't have much impact on the book's success. And it shouldn't. I did, however, research some other reviews, which were pretty much divided into love it or hate it categories.