My Two Cents on Critical Reviews and A Farewell to Ratings | Ready To Ramble

Let’s be real, rating/reviewing a book is a tough thing to do (well, at least in my case). This is especially true in the following (but not limited to) scenarios:
  • When you encounter a book that you hate but everybody loves, which gives you this anxiety to post your opinions online in fear of people’s retaliation.
  • Hurting the feelings of the author who worked tirelessly to deliver his/her precious baby in the world.
I know that as a book blogger, I shouldn’t be biased when writing a review because my credibility as a reviewer will be tarnished otherwise. However, I do think about the possible reactions of my readers whenever I write a critical review. “Will they hate me for disliking a popular series or book?” will pass by my conscience and I will suddenly become anxious to click publish/post. Thankfully, I’ve been coping with this issue and I am able to say my unpopular opinions guilt-free in public. Plus, the reactions I get from people are not as terrifying as I thought they would be.

The thought of the author who labored towards the publication of their novels is probably the most challenging one. This particular internal issue is what sparked this blog post in the first place. Even though I have been blogging for a few years now, I still have struggles writing critical and negative reviews because I do feel bad whenever I give a meager rating to a book. As an aspiring novelist myself I understand the hardships of writing, editing, and publishing a novel, which is why I struggle to write/talk about a book critically.
I know that many authors are adults and they could take any form of criticism. They also rarely have time to read book reviews, but I still think about their feelings whenever I post a one to three star rating. That is why majority of the reviews I post are the books that I do like/love enough to recommend to people. The problem with this is I feel like I’m not a well-rounded book blogger and I’m too “butterflies-and-rainbows” nice. I just want to strike the right balance between being critical without being too harsh, but the problem is I don’t know how to do it. 
As part of my sudden realizations in this particular topic, I decided that I will no longer utilize a rating system in my book reviews. I have been pondering about removing it in my blog for a while now and I finally am going to do it. I think I can now easily share my candid thoughts with you guys without stressing myself with which hand-gesture or number of stars I should give a book’s performance. Plus, you’ll be forced to read my review if you want to know my feelings towards a novel. 
I hope that this post made sense and I just want to air these thoughts out you guys, the people that understands the struggle.
If you are a book blogger/booktuber, how do you manage to write critical reviews? What were your experiences after you shared your unpopular opinions?
Your response with the questions at hand will be highly appreciated!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Erika E. says:

    AAAAAH! This is so on point, Kevin! I feel the same as you. I realized this when I posted my review of Me, And Earl, And The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Everyone liked it, except (at least I think) me for some reasons. I DNFed and rated it low and I was struggling if I should post my thoughts on my blog. But in the end, I did. It was Faye from The Social Potato who commented that I don't have to feel so sorry, that I'm just saying what I honestly think about the book and so be it.

    The whole process of reviewing a book is pretty subjective. So I get why people put a rating system scale on their blogs. I didn't even put my own rating scale on my blog even if I do rate with stars. This post just made me realize how important a rating scale is for those who use numerical or star/heart/whatever rating system on their book reviews.

    – Erika @ The Nocturnal Fey


  2. Kevin says:

    I'm so glad I'm not alone in this! I really like the advice Faye gave to you! I might keep that as a mantra whenever I tackle a book that didn't wow me or seriously infuriated me.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING THIS! I'm also really happy that this post resonated with you! 😀


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