Say Anything {6}

Writing A Review When You Didn’t Like (or Finish) A Book

Everyone is different. Some people like one type of writing style or genre, while other people don’t. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes when you really don’t like a book, you just can’t wait to tell everyone why you didn’t like it, and sometimes we forget that the author probably put A LOT of hard work and love into that book. So how do you write a review when you didn’t like the book but have to remain respectful?

Easy. Here’s How.

I Didn’t Like The Writing Style.

What you want to say: “Um, did this author even finish high school? Hello, run on sentences and awful dialogue!”

What you should say: “The writing style was simplistic and easy to read; but left me hoping for a bit more depth and dimension.”

Key point: While you may not have liked the author’s writing; someone else might. Therefore the best thing to remember when writing a review for a book you didn’t like, is to put a positive spin on your negative thoughts. Referring to the writing style as ‘simplistic and easy to read’ is not insulting, and gives your followers an idea of how the book will read. Also, stating what you would’ve preferred (i.e.: more depth/dimension) lets your followers know what you like, and if they share your taste then they know what to expect from the book.

I Hated The Main Character.

What you want to say: OMG! The main character is so stupid!

What you should say: “Flawed and imperfect, the main character found him/herself in many situations that left me wondering how they would get out of it.”

Key point: Character development can be one of the most difficult parts of writing a book. A lot of times the character plays out in the writer’s mind like they are real, but when put on paper they fall a bit flat. Compile an image of the character in your mind with a ‘good/bad’ list. What was a positive about the main character? What should they work on? Write out what you did/didn’t like about the character, just remain respectful. It’s easy to do!

What the %#$^ Was That Ending?!?!

What you want to say: “Uh, how did this book even get past the editor and make it to publishing?

What you should say: “If you like unexpected endings, twists, turns, and cliffhangers then this one’s for you!”

Key point: You might hate the way the book left off, but some people out there enjoy gigantic unexpected endings that leave them guessing, wondering, and thinking about the book long after they’ve finished it. Without giving away the ending, spell out what worked and what you’d have preferred instead. It’s a good way to start conversations with your followers who’ve read it already.

Final Thoughts

So what I’m saying here is this… whatever you write will be read. It will be read by your followers, and possibly even by the author. Imagine writing mean, hateful things about a book… and then get a comment from the author on the review! EEEK! Now, I’m not saying you should lie, or write fake reviews. Nope, like I said not everyone will like every book out there. But if you keep in mind the old, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”, it’s easy to remember that you should remain respectful. If you spent time pouring your heart into a book, having it published, and then reading a review where the person completely tears you a new one, well as you can imagine that won’t feel too good, right? Right.

So how do you write a review for a book you didn’t like?

Happy Reading!

4 thoughts on “Say Anything {6}

  1. OMG, FANTASTIC POST, LAURA! -Vivi's giving you a standing ovation!- I absolutely loved how you've pointed out the key points so that we are writing respectable reviews while still being truthful. It is so true, also, that a lot of the time, for reviewers to complain is so much easier than the hardships an author goes through to bring a book to life. I really liked this, thanks for this awesome post! ❤


  2. Great post!!!! It is so important to write respectful book reviews even if the reader did not enjoy the novel. This post is absolutely fabulous and a great guideline for book bloggers!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    Feel free to visit my blog.


  3. Avina Viegas says:

    Hey Laura, Great post and a good review guideline to follow……thanks!!!


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