This won't be a regular feature here, but I figured I'd see what other bloggers think about giving positive vs. negative reviews. Now, I've never been one to shy away from what I truly think, and I don't sugarcoat my feelings on books in person, so when someone asked if negative reviews reflect badly on me, it really got me to thinking.
Now, first of all, I'm not a professional reviewer by any means, and I certainly never claimed to be. My reviews are purely my own thoughts and that is explicitly stated in my review policy. I feel I do a good job balancing the positive and negative aspects of books, for the most part. If I can't finish a book, I will put that on Goodreads, rather than my site. If I do finish a book though, and it doesn't work, I want to share that. Case in point? Witch & Wizard by James Patterson. Rarely do I believe a book qualifies as craptastic, but trust me, this book reeks of dumbed-down YA prose. Now, the book might work for some people, but if it didn't work for me, is it right for me to hide that review off my blog so as not to offend people?
Then, however, there are the books I really want to rave about. Raw Blue, anyone? I've never been one for contemporary books, but my last mailbox was all contemps based on that book, alone. A book that can make me want to read more contemporary fiction like that deserves to be raved about, and I want to make a clear distinction between the gems like Raw Blue and Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar (and other such books that prove something to me) and those that just don't work like Witch & Wizard or Trapped. Again, these are personal opinions, but if a book is set apart, the reason I created this site in the first place was to name those books that are standouts and why they work better for me than others.
I guess my main thought on positive and negative reviews is this - I don't take pleasure in writing negative reviews, but how am I supposed to show what books work for me if I can't show which don't? I have received a few snarky, shall we say, emails that imply I've got my head stuck somewhere it shouldn't be, and I wanted to clarify my take on it. What do you all think? Do you think it's alright to write negative reviews? Do you write them, and if so, do you think that gives us, as bloggers, cred, or do you think it adversely affects us?