Review Etiquette 101: A course some reviewers seem to have missed [A Controlled Rant]

Hey, everyone. So today I’m back with a topic that well, makes my blood boil. The lack of etiquette some reviewers seem to have.

Ok, so like I said in the heading, this would be kind of a rant, a controlled one, so I do miss the point while in anger.

So a couple of days ago, I was on Goodreads checking a review on book I was about to read; and like every other book out there, and as it should be since its is only rational, I came across positive and negative reviews of the book. But some reviewer seem to lack basic etiquette and probably didn’t even know what respectful terms mean (shocking right? i guess. not, i think we’ve all run into this kind of reviews).

Lets get this straight, I don’t mind negative reviews at all. I’ve written some, will probably write some more, as everyone cannot like the same books or have the same taste. And I’m all for saying the truth about how you found a book because you’ll be helping writers grow to and lying about a book you didn’t like isn’t right. Everyone has a right to express their thoughts, but, oh my God please, do it respectfully. It doesn’t kill to be respectful of other people preferences or the author’s work (because writing is hard), except if the book is inherently harmful to a group of people; but I’m not sure everyone knows this.

On booktsagram a while ago (you can find me here. shameless plug i know lol), I asked a question about how readers feel about writing negative reviews and the response I got mostly agreed, that although negative reviews themselves aren’t bad, and its great to be honest about how you feel about book, you should to be polite when wording your review. And I haven’t agreed to anything more before.

Be polite and respectful of the author and the people who had liked the book. Don’t go around calling the book trash and the people who liked it tasteless, because that in itself is tasteless. Do no use words like “the people who had thought this book was good have never read a good ‘insert category/genre/type here book.”. Oh yes, I saw that. And my first reaction was “what the actual fuck!”. You might not like it but you’re going a little far there. You don’t need to insult others and their taste just because you didn’t agree with their views or can’t see the book the way they see it; just politely say “although other reviewers might have liked this book or rated it highly, but i couldn’t see the book as they did.”. That’s all. That’s fucking all you need to say. No need to be edgy and insult others. That tasteless.

Also, you can criticise the concept and execution of a book, without outright saying or implying its trash, and yes I’ve seen this again on Goodreads multiple times. Like don’t, please don’t. It makes people less likely to read another review from you again.

I’ve seen other reviewers write negative reviews of the same books better, more eloquently. Stating politely or amicably what they didn’t like about the book without having to result to cheap insults. Those reviews help me see their side clearly, pointed out some shortcomings of the book that I might have overlooked or might not have seen as anything wrong, but just didn’t do it for them. For these reviews I’m grateful, because I can understand everyone’s side of the reading table.

So to round this rant up, I’ll be giving out the basic rules and etiquette for reviewers as given by readers on bookstagram (you can read the comments here)

★The only and most important rule, when writing a negative review be polite.

Don’t insult authors and fellow readers, except if the book in question is very harmful to particular group of people, and even if it is cheap insults are the last resort that shouldn’t be even used. Word your complaints/rants as politely as you can.

★Another rule, be constructive or try to be, because sometimes being constructive is hard.

If you’re not constructive, your review would be pointless and no one would take it seriously, even if you have great reasons for disliking the book.

I know that these points aren’t exactly easy to follow, especially when you’re raging mad about a book, but its best to be respectful.

Well rant over! I hope you all have a lovely day. Thank you for reading my rant, till next time <3.

If you have anything to say, do leave a comment!

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6 thoughts on “Review Etiquette 101: A course some reviewers seem to have missed [A Controlled Rant]

  1. YES!! I can’t stand when people straight up trash people who enjoyed a book. Like… I love fluffy YA. Sure, it’s not intellectual. But I ENJOY IT! I ran into a person on Goodreads who insulted readers of fiction. They said there is no point in reading fiction because there is so much great non-fiction and that readers of fiction just want to be mindless. LIKE ARE YOU KIDDING ME? For the most part I think that book reviewers are really respectful, but then sometimes I run across some extremely ignorant stuff. Negative reviews are important, but they don’t have to be mean.

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  2. I try really hard not to be mean about a book unless there are some very serious problems with a book (blatant sexism/racism) because like you said even though it’s hard we should be constructive in our reviews. I won’t say I never left an unsavory review but I try to remember that someone poured their heart and soul into writing the book so it’s best not to be nasty lol

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  3. I completely agree. I sometimes have to write my fair share of negative reviews, but I do try my best to keep in mind that the book is an author’s work and product of hard effort. And I absolutely HATE when the reviewer turns from critiquing the book and starts to hate on the author because of some things written. Like no, that is not okay.

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2019/05/april-wrap-up-int-giveaway/

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  4. Great post! I really dislike writing negative reviews, but sometimes they have to be written. I hate to see books getting bashed, so I always try to mention something positive about the book. Yes, some people really need to learn some respect in writing reviews tbh.

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  5. Wow, crazy how people don’t seem to think very far nowadays eh ?!

    i’m one of thoses who says like TEN TIMES how books are different for everyone and how “this this and this didn’t worked, BUT if you enjoy this kind of thing you’ll mostly like it, ithink”. Though it’s pretty rare I don’t like a book .. and sometimes the problem really is with my brain rather than the book xD ie; I just couldnt figure what was going on/hard to understood the different “too english” words for me, etc.

    And honestly, insulting and/or tagging an author in such reviews is just WAY TOO FAR. like, come on. just.. just don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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