On Writing Negative Book Reviews

I’m just going to say a little something on the topic of negative reviews today. We’re not going to debate whether you should or shouldn’t post them, it’s been done to death and we each know how we feel on the subject.


My site is for my opinions, sometimes those opinions are negative but let’s remember; an opinion is NOT a fact, and therefore it cannot be wrong.

Can it be dishonest? Yes of course! We’ve all seen reviews on various products that are clearly people paid to lie, or done by friends, family or fake reviewers. Sometimes you’ll see a book on amazon where every early review is cookie cutter, same language, same phrases and quite clearly written by the same person. Outside of books I myself have had several online purchases arrive with a cheeky little card;
“Hey! Give us a 5 star review (on this truly awful product) and we will give you a £20 voucher”
Less so the case on books I think but still, there are people who believe a publisher will blacklist them for negativity and will give a glowing review regardless of how they truly felt.
Most of us aren’t the type do that, and I can promise you I am not.

Personally I choose to post reviews on almost all ARCs I receive and read to the end- whether or not I liked or disliked them. What annoys me may not be a problem for you, and it’s your decision on whether to purchase after reading my review.
I appreciate an author’s heart and soul goes into writing, but once you publish you’ve become a business, and with customers comes feedback. I try to ensure I’ve been constructive, I never make it personal and of course I don’t tag an author, lets not be cruel.

I also don’t review or rate a DNF, if I didn’t finish the book in it’s entirety then I don’t feel I should comment beyond explaining why. There might have been something amazing coming that would have changed my final thoughts, I didn’t finish it so I don’t know.

All this being said, I’ve discovered something interesting this year….


My highest viewed posts are reviews of books I have disliked!

You guys love to read negativity, sad but true. My ‘worst’ Book Review; The Sanitorium- Sarah Pearse has pulled in a 1000% increase in views vs all other posts across 6 months, after puzzling over why for a long time I posted another rather brutal Book Review; This Fragile Earth- Susannah Wise and noticed the same trend immediately.

Will this affect my reviews going forward? Absolutely not. I’m not here for the clicks, I’m here to give an honest reflection of my thoughts on a book. I would much prefer you all read my reviews of highly recommended books (which far outweigh the less flattering posts I assure you), and my reviews will remain honest.

I just… am surprised to see such vitriol toward negative reviews on book blogs and yet… everyone loves to read them!

You’re a strange bunch 🙂

Book Review; Wendy Darling – A C Wise

Page Count 352

Publication date June 2021

Publisher Titan Books

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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For those that lived there, Neverland was a children’s paradise. No rules, no adults, only endless adventure and enchanted forests – all led by the charismatic boy who would never grow old.

But Wendy Darling grew up. She left Neverland and became a woman, a mother, a patient, and a survivor. Because Neverland isn’t as perfect as she remembers. There’s darkness at the heart of the island, and now Peter Pan has returned to claim a new Wendy for his lost boys…

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Book Review; The Watchers- A.M Shine

Page Count 240

Publication date October 2021

Publisher Aries; Head of Zeus

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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You can’t see them. But they can see you.This forest isn’t charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina’s is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.

Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn’t reach the bunker in time.

Afraid and trapped among strangers, Mina is desperate for answers. Who are the Watchers and why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned, keen to watch their every move?

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Book Review; August’s Eyes- Glenn Rolfe

When the past leaks out of dreams

Page Count 240

Publication date August 2021

Publisher Flame Tree Press

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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When dreams start bleeding into reality, a social worker is forced to face the mistakes of his past.

A serial killer has found a way to make his land of graveyards a sinister playground to be bent at his sadistic will.

The secrets behind August’s eyes will bring two worlds together, and end in a cataclysm of pain and ruin.

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Book Review; This Fragile Earth- Susannah Wise

Page Count 400

Publication date June 2021

Publisher Gollancz

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

Not long from now, in a recognizable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They’ve only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they’re surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working. Unable to use their phones, pay for anything, even open the smart door to their flat, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.

But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones – vital to the world, ever since the bees all died – are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.

A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city…

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