Negative reviews are the most difficult kind of reviews for me to write. Not only do I want to avoid offending anyone (like the author, if they are to see it), but it can be hard to come up with any redeeming/positive points if I really disliked a book.
While I may not enjoy writing negative reviews for those reasons, I absolutely love reading them. Part of it is definitely the entertainment factor – the snarkier reviews, in particular, are great at making me laugh. I also love reading negative reviews because they’re incredibly informative. The parts that didn’t work for a reader are thoroughly laid out, so if certain topics that I’m uncomfortable with or tropes that I really dislike are present, I avoid giving that book a read.
Of course, negative reviews don’t always cause a book to be removed from my TBR; in fact, they often cause me to want to read a book even more since I’m curious to see if it’s that bad. If it’s a book that I was really looking forward to reading, I may lower my expectations a little bit or borrow it from the library instead of purchasing it, but I’ll likely still give it a read. After all, just because one reader didn’t enjoy a book doesn’t mean that it won’t be another reader’s favourite story. An individual’s thoughts and feelings towards a book are shaped by their experiences, and that subjectivity is part of what makes reading such a magical experience.
Your turn: how do negative reviews affect your reading choices?