Blog Files: How harsh is too harsh?

Jul 8, 2011

Alrighty, so today we're going to talk about "harsh" reviews. I'm sure you've all read one, and maybe even wrote one. From a blogger's point of view, it's definitely hard to write those reviews. I want to let people know that I did not enjoy the book, and it may be one to skip, but it's hard to do that in a nice way. In fact, it's almost impossible to not sound even the slightest bit harsh.

The real question here is:
How harsh is too harsh?

I always list the reasons as to why I did not like/enjoy the book, I mean if you're going to tell people to skip it then you have to back up your opinion. I ALWAYS try my best not to make it seem like an attack on the author though. I try to list at least one thing I liked about the book though too. The latter is not so easy if I really didn't like it though.

Sometimes (rarely) I will not review a book if I just didn't like it whatsoever. This has happened once, maybe twice. This is usually because I can't fathom how to write a good review that will not come off as brutal. I don't consider myself to be a harsh or mean reviewer, so when I find that my review will just be awful I don't like to write it.

Do you ever right these "harsh" reviews? Or do you avoid them as much as possible? Have you ever read a harsh review? If so, what did you think about it?

Sorry for all the questions guys, but lately I've come across a couple harsh ones and I've found myself writing some negative reviews and I want to see what you think.


  1. I have a general rule not to write harsh reviews. I don't review books I can't finish and if I don't love it, I usually don't finish it. I try to be pretty selective on the books I choose too.

    When I have to give something 3 stars that means there is are some pretty significant things I didn't like about the book, but I try to enclose my criticism in a cushion of compliments about the things that were good about the book.


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