Positive or Negative, it’s the honest review that counts!

I couldn’t help to join the Negative/Positive Review banter! I have OF COURSE.. some opinions..here we go.

1-Your Blog, Your Rules.

As Drew said here in his fab post many times, if you’re on your blog, it’s your rules, your world, your post, no one really can argue why you’re posting a positive or negative review. It’s pointless. A blog is a personal thing!


I will still, never, ever delete someone’s comment on my blog, even if they don’t like my opinion, or the book I reviewed/featured, as I think if I am accepting comments under my post, I should be respectful to anyone who was kind enough to visit my blog and read my post.

2- To review negative…Is Cultural! Really.

I am born Turkish and been living in the UK last 8 years. One thing that’s very hard not to notice is the pressure to be polite- not saying it’s a bad thing to be polite, but I have seen many people, from friends to colleagues, feeling or being treated miserable just because they were too polite and the other party they were dealing with was terribly wile. British people are incredibly nice, so I totally understand the stress of saying something bad- out loud. The fear of offending is so dominating in Britain. It’s everywhere. Even at work, facing with something truly awful, people say “it’s not their favourite”. Turkish people moan and complain so much with a lack of empathy- I can’t tell you how different the office climate is in Turkey. If you’ve done something awfully bad- you will be told in Turkey. No one will care how you feel. I lost the count how many times in my school life, I have heard a teacher asking a student if they are stupid. But here, you won’t hear things like this from your manager or teacher. However other people might hear about you. (The truth, irony and sarcasm about a person in Britain starts only when they leave the room)

On Bookstagram I see American, German, Turkish reviewers, very openly telling they’ve disliked a book. But I think it’s the culture here that kind of doesn’t let the bad review out. And what’s wrong with not wanting to say something negative? It’s not like they’re protecting a murderer, come on people. And honestly, I prefer British politeness over any other nation’s loudness.

If I am free to say I didn’t like something then anyone is also equally free to NOT TO SAY it.

3- A Negative Review might trigger a purchase too!

I hated some books other people liked, and LOVED some other people hated!

I don’t necessarily believe negative reviews block book sales. There had been times, when I was tempted to buy the book(and I did, it was a Tasmina Perry book) after reading an exaggerated negative review and one time, after seeing one person HATED the book and I HATED their 5* reviews, so I thought it might work the opposite, and it did.

Not everyone will like same books!

And I always suspect when a book has JUST 5 star reviews. I love reading negative reviews, guys!


4. What’s important is being honest: you owe that to the readers

Everyone talks about the author and the publisher, but what about the reader?

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You owe the honest review to the reader who looks at reviews to decide and buy. Not every book we read could be 5 star, or perfect, right? I totally understand and respect people who don’t publish a negative review as they don’t like doing so. But one should never compromise the real opinion about the book just because they received a free copy from the publisher. It’s just not fair to the readers who’ll pay money to buy it. I will never publish a 5 star review for a book I don’t like – and it doesn’t matter who sent me the book.

5. Being Respectful is the key.


Please don’t tag authors in negative reviews. Just don’t. And never forget you review the book, not the author. I mean, it’s FINE to criticise the writing or the plot, but I have seen some people calling author’s names, and even slurs, it’s just not nice and makes one look really evil!

Also why would you tag an author in a negative review? Just imagine, if you were an author, would you want someone to do that? It’s like mocking them, really unfair and mean.

6. Posting Negative reviews doesn’t make you a HATER 

Never denying, that I can’t stop myself writing a review for a book I truly disliked.


It’s a tingle in my fingers, mingle in my brain. Funny the most passionate posts for me are either 1 star or 5 stars. The disappointment vs. The joy of reading. How very ridiculous of me.

But honestly, some people out there are saying, things like, “I will never post negative review and spread the hate” really? You claim to be positive, but you’ve just accused negative reviewers to be haters, or people who spread hate?

No, everyone is free to say what they want, I am a book lover and I am free to tell the world about the books I didn’t like, because, I can’t like every book I read. Period.

7. Positive or Negative- I love reading reviews… BUT

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Well, confession time. I LOVE reading reviews of bloggers and bookstagrammers, and the influencers on Goodreads, definitely effect my book purchases, however when I see only positive reviews from someone, it’s kind of a kill joy for reading a review. I love reading different opinions and if you know person A only posts positive reviews, then if they post about Book A- you know they loved Book A- and you won’t necessarily read the review. you know it’s only going to be positive. It’s fun only if I loved the same book too, I am a sucker for reading the reviews for the books I LOVED.

8. Publishers will not ban you for not liking a book. 

No one will hunt you down for not liking a book. They’re not gonna hang you! I promise.


There had been times, I got physical or e-copies from publishers or authors and posted unfavourable reviews, but I have never been denied another book. I am lucky that every single publicist that has been in touch with me, was kind enough to respect my opinions.

I will not deny the pressure of “not liking” especially if they’re taking the trouble to send me a copy- however what can you do? If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, right?

And let me tell you this: I have more NEGATIVE reviews on Netgalley than positive reviews. But I rarely get declined for a book. I’ve just calculated my numbers and I’ve been approved for 91% of the books I requested. (I’ll be posting a my year in Netgalley post to give tips to new  bloggers, if I pull myself together on that!)

Well, in conclusion I think book blogging is hard. It’s not paying anyone any money, and people do it as a hobby, so as long as everyone is HONEST, who cares, just post what you want!




  1. Great post Ova and your second point was sooo interesting and one I hadn’t considered before. You know that we (Belgian people) always find the Dutch people from The Netherlands quite crude sometimes in their opinions and I think we’re leaning towards the Brits more, but for me personally I also think it’s quite ok to share an opinion about a novel, even if you didn’t love the book. I love reading negative reviews too, we certainly have that in common. There are sometimes just too many raving reviews, I feel kind of singled out when I don’t like a novel :-).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad you enjoyed this Inge! Imagine me when I arrived to UK, people probably thought I was very rude, when I was just being Turkish!
      I know the feeling about the books we didn’t like. I sometimes see too many reviews claiming the book is “perfect” but as I said, if it’s all 5 stars, then I give it a pass!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So many valid points. I always think that ‘two people never ever read the same book’ and just because I don’t like a book doesn’t mean someone else can’t enjoy it. Being respectful and expressing my dislikes as my opinions, rather than ‘truth’ is always important to me, whenever I write a critical review. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! I think there’s no problems as long as you’re honest and if you’re not comfortable writing a negative review, than people can buzz off rather than telling you what to do! We should respect everyone shouldn’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I feel very conflicted about negative reviews. I don’t want to sound mean because I know an enormous amount of time goes into writing a book. I have written a couple of negative reviews for books that had loads of 5 star reviews on Goodreads, but I really struggled to write them. If I don’t like a book from NetGalley, I normally DNF it and just give feedback to the publisher but no review as I don’t feel I can post a review for a book I didn’t finish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean Nicki! My mum is a novelist in Turkey and it takes her around 18 months to write a novel. Even a short story may take months sometimes – I always find that weird!
      However if it’s not good, it’s not good. No book critic thinks, OK I shouldn’t write a negative review because he took 2 years to write this. Guardian Book Reviews. Some of them are horribly mean! A recent one was Melmoth’s review, the person who reviewed it was brutal- although the book really wasn’t that bad!
      As long as it’s not a personal attack, I think authors are kind of ready to take it- havin said that I know my mum gets really upset, after a rejection, or if the editor says change this, and that! So it’s kind of a difficult thing, really!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I guess we should be accepting each other the way we are, and stop criticising, Better to talk about books than how we all do things in different ways. It’s nice to be different! If everyone was the same, it’d be so dull! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It would. I wrote my post to explain that I don’t often write negative ones but it doesn;t mean I’m not to be trusted. I have no issue with people who write negative reviews in a repsectful way – it’s just different choices. The uproar it caused on Twitter was crazy

        Liked by 1 person

      • yes, it’s just mean to accuse people like that. It’s completely fine to only share the books you love. I understand the delicacy and politeness behind this mindset, and really felt angry to the person who said that positive reviews not to be trusted! Although I have no idea who started this? Bullshit, basically.
        But I have been attacked and got called “agressive” once by another book blogger, for writing negative reviews., and I think it’s equally wrong to call names to someone just because they choose to write negative reviews too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I agree. Name calling is not necessary and we are all adults so it gets a bit ridiculous. I’ve seen strong debate from both sides of the coin but that’s how it should stay – healthy and friendly discussions.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fab post 🙂
    I think you’re right that people are wary of offending – I suppose for bloggers who don’t wish to write negative reviews, it’s better not to include those books, rather than not be truthful about whether they liked the book.


  5. Great post! I’m in the process of writing a rather negative review because I was disappointed, and at times I am hesitant to keep things real. But I must be honest and it should be done!


  6. I bought many books based on others’ negative reviews. They disliked something i knew i will like 🙂
    And you are right, everyone is allowed to do whatever they want on their blog ❤
    Anyone who gets offended by another person not liking a book is a bit of a weirdo and prolly need to ask themselves why that bothers them. 😀


  7. This is a great post and I agree with your reasons! I never thought about the cultural component to negative reviews and that makes a lot of sense. But end of the day, it is my space and I can do what I want with it – I always am polite and constructive with my negative reviews, and try to highlight who it would be for if it wasn’t for me. No two people read the same book and it’s weird to pretend that otherwise.

    I have legit bought books from constructive/negative reviews, and plenty of people said that they plan on buying/reading books I didn’t enjoy. this whole thing is just weird


  8. You are SPOT ON re: negative reviews sometimes triggering a purchase! I’ve found a whole bunch of really interesting authors whose work I’ve enjoyed, precisely because someone I don’t admire or whose tastes I don’t share has put them on blast. And heck, look at what happened to Fire And Fury when Tr*mp told the world it was terrible! 😉👍🏼

    I’m quite lucky in that I’m reviewing a lot of classics at the moment, which means most of the authors have passed on and I feel quite free to say what I like. I feel a little more hesitant when the author is living, because I live in fear that (even if I don’t tag them) they’ll see that review and feel badly or angry about it. That fear isn’t enough to stop me being honest, though. I like to think I couch my negative reviews in terms of why the book wasn’t right for me, rather than why the book “is bad”.

    I’m always a bit skeptical of reviewers that post nothing but positive glowing reports – I’ll still read their blogs with interest, but I’m unlikely to pick up a book on their recommendation alone. But, as you said, at the end of the day “your blog, your rules” and we’ve all got to figure out what works for us. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheree, you summed up most of my thoughts! Exactly, not every book would be a 5star read, right? Maybe I am a picky snob, but when I look at a year of reading, only like 10% of the books are like 5 star.. so don’t know. maybe I am really picky. But I would really be cross if someone said to me, you’re spreading book hate, you shouldn’t write negative reviews, etc etc. I would never tell anyone else what to do, and all these people criticising people who only write positive reviews can go sit in a rubbish bin :))))

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A great post, Ova. Personally, I’m thankful for honest reviews. What’s the point of persuading someone to read something under false pretences? I particularly like people who go against the grain, not for the purpose of being contrarian but to tell the truth about a book everyone else says they like purely because they feel they *should* like it. I think highbrow literary fiction suffers more from this than other genres.

    Also, I love this: “British people are incredibly nice, so I totally understand the stress of saying something bad- out loud.” You’re SO right that we can’t speak our minds. I worked with a German colleague once who would flabbergast the team on a daily basis because of her bluntness (honesty?).

    I guess we have a thing or two to learn from the Turkish!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Kia, thanks for reading my post and your kind comments! I think we all need a thing or two to learn from each other 🙂 The Turkish can learn to show more empathy 🙂
      I agree with you, we should speak about the things we didn’t like as well.Obviously if we want to :)) I don’t like being branded as aggressive of negative, just because I say the things I don’t like!


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